Why PIM-less e-commerce is too expensive and does not make anyone happy
Any online-shop project without a decent PIM system poses a huge risk, because excellent product data and flawless interface function are the keys to success.
In e-commerce projects, we are constantly faced with the issue of customers not having a PIM system (Product Information Management System). Product data often only exists in fragments – in different systems and in various formats. And when, at the start of a project, it’s time to plan project expenses and duration, the result is usually a feeling of astonishment. Many customers are surprised by the large figure for system interfaces and data integration. But it is precisely this investment that is of crucial importance, because excellent, well-managed product data and flawlessly functioning interfaces are the key to any online shop’s success.
Say goodbye to unnecessary risks when managing product data
As a service provider, we enter uncharted territory when dealing with companies which do not have a PIM system. This is the riskiest part of the e-commerce project. The customers themselves often have no clue what lies in the abysses of their systems. Whether it be an ERP system dotted with special fields or diverse Excel marketing spreadsheets managing numerous product texts for the web, it is only when the customer and service provider start searching together that they discover the great depths of data management and handling. At this point, every customer should realise that it is worth investing a decent buck in integrating product data, and thus tackling the root of the problem, in order to ultimately carry out a faster, cheaper, more streamlined e-commerce project.
The PIM system as the ideal aggregator for all product data
What is the difference between PIM-less and PIM-based e-commerce projects? The biggest difference lies in the number of interfaces to the online shop. Without a decent PIM system, data is often fed into the shop from various sources, usually without sorting, cleaning or filtering. Collating extensive data from many different systems in the online shop is very time-consuming and susceptible to error in itself. A PIM system prevents this problem, as the online shop is assisted by a strong partner who feeds it all product data through just one interface. This minimises the process, rather than the previous rigmarole of hunting high and low for the latest product data and identifying the responsible managers, who then had to laboriously gather all the relevant product data. The PIM system is the “Single Point of Truth”, doing away with the need to waste time and effort looking for and collecting product data (see Fig. 1).