Companies using e-commerce can have a massive amount of product data. Product data consists of any useful information about a product. Useful for consumers, purchasing, marketing, logistics, or management. In short, this includes descriptions, digital assets, dimensions, pricing, and inventory. However, much product data is hardly accessible as it’s not available in a standardized format. A product information management (PIM) system like Icepim can help you to make your product data retrievable. What is a PIM actually? In short, a PIM refers to the processes and systems for handling all the structured and unstructured product content. Before choosing a PIM tool, in-depth business analysis is critical.
When analyze your product data requirements?
What are the signs that you need to improve your company’s product data flows?
- The time to market for new products is not fast enough.
- Too high client returns because of unclear or erroneous product information.
- Your clients can not easily search and select products based on relevant attributes.
- You miss sales because you don’t satisfy the product information needs of your customers.
- Easily expand your business into new categories is not possible.
- You can not connect to new sales channels as your product content is locked up, not standardized, or not mapped.
- It takes too much time to curate your product data, for example, all the required attributes and assets.
- Your content team is demotivated and a bottleneck.
In short, if one or more of these issues occur, it is time to look for a radical speed-up of your PIM processes.
Checklist product data types
Before selecting a PIM, it is still crucial to analyze the business requirements regarding product data. What types of data does your organization exactly need? Based on the data flows of 1000s of PIM users, we created the following comprehensive checklist. It lists types of product data that may be relevant. We starred (*) the data that are typically mandatory.
- Product identifiers, for example, brand name, brand product code, GTIN, ISBN, or other universal identifiers*.
- Vendor-specific identifiers for ordering picking.
- Categorization (according to UNSPSC and/or other standards)*.
- Packaging units, dimensions, weights.
- Stock quantities.
- Multilingual marketing texts, descriptions, and/or disclaimers*.
- Fully standardized product specs, grouped in spec groups*.
- Images of products *.
- Product variants, for example, to describe specs like sizes and colors that can vary.
- Product relations for cross-selling, up-sell (alternatives), and compatibility.
- Videos of products (normally in MP4).
- 3D/360 degrees animations in an HTML5 compatible format.
- Leaflets and user manuals (usually in PDF).
- Feature logos, videos, and related multilingual texts.
- Enriched product stores often as HTML5 based mini-sites.
- Sustainability ratings such as certificates and mandatory energy consumption classifications.
- User reviews.
- Professional reviews.
- Purchase price*.
- Consumer advisory price.
- Sales price*.
- Applicable taxes*.
A taxonomy consists of the definitions of:
- Brands and brand ownership relations.
- Categories and category trees.
- Category-specific attributes, including their units of measurement, data types, groupings, and whether they are mandatory or not.
- Mappings regarding taxonomy elements to foreign taxonomies for connectivity.
- Product popularity per region.
- Outlets per region.
- Sales-out estimates per region.
- Data health score and completeness.
- Aggregated product review scores.
- Stock evolution estimates.
- Price evolution.
PIM selection for headless e-commerce
The best PIM to select not only supports a multilingual taxonomy and all possible data types as included in our check, but also supports connections to Google, Amazon, Ebay, Shopify, Magento Commerce, Prestashop, and tons of other 3rd party platforms. Especially given the trend towards headless e-commerce. It is of course my advice to look into Icepim given it’s seamless integration with Icecat’s taxonomy and data sources, it’s ability to process any other additional data source as well, and as it is designed for headless e-commerce. Thus, it’s one of the more versatile PIM data hubs on the planet.