Yet there is an answer, and it’s waiting for you in the realms of product information management. Product information management, also known as PIM, is a key area for achieving significant cost savings. Simply by adopting a few key strategies, you’ll claw back a large slice of valuable time, and allocate less of your resources to managing product information while optimizing your customers journey.
You’ll even improve the accuracy and consistency of your product data. Read on and discover some practical tips for any business looking to reduce costs within their product data management systems.
1: Stop using Excel for product data management
There, we’ve said it. Excel is not your friend. One of the most important steps towards optimising your product creation process is to consolidate existing data. You need a single source of truth. Now, many businesses struggle with data fragmentation. Product data is scattered across multiple systems and departments. There are product data Excel spreadsheets everywhere. Frankly, it’s a bit of a disaster. It leads to inconsistencies, errors, and plenty of duplication of effort.
However, by implementing a PIM system, businesses create a centralised repository for all product information, including descriptions, specifications, pricing and images. This can significantly reduce the time and resources required to manage product information, while also improving data quality and consistency. Plus, a major advantage of this approach is that a good PIM data model means you don’t have to manually maintain all characteristics for each product. Instead, you can inherit subsets of information from product groups.
For example, let’s say you have 100 varieties of a certain product in different colours and sizes. With the right PIM, you only need to manage the unique differentiating fields. All the identical features, specs and descriptions can be inherited from the top-level product. Sounds great, doesn’t it? According to a recent study by Ventana Research, those businesses that implement a PIM system can achieve a 45% reduction in the time they spend on managing product information. This translates to some serious cost savings, as employees spend less time on manual data entry and more time on strategic initiatives.
2: Automate your manual labour
Another key cost-reduction tool in your PIM arsenal is the automation of manual tasks. This includes generating SEO copy, category copy, product relations, automated tagging and text generation. By automating these tasks, your business can significantly reduce the time and resources required to manage product information. One of the most exciting developments in automated text generation is the use of AI language models like ChatGPT.
These models can create high-quality product descriptions, reviews and other content with human-like fluency and accuracy. They even can automate the process of building product relations.
By using ChatGPT or other similar AI models, you’ll generate compelling product descriptions and other content in a fraction of the time it would take to do so manually. Sure, it may need a little fine-tuning here and there, but you’ll have workable copy that gets you up and running. From there, you can use an iPaaS platform such as Alumio to onboard the data into your systems.
Learn how ChatGPT can help you generating product information
Learn how ChatGPT can help you generating product information
3: Reuse and repurpose your existing content
This easy win can often get overlooked. The chances are you’ll already have a wealth of existing product content, which can be reused and repurposed across different channels, regions and marketing materials. This includes using the same product descriptions on multiple sales channels, translating product content for different languages, or repurposing product images for a diverse range of marketing materials.
You can even use text generation tools like Copymatic or ChatGPT to create new text out of old copy. By reusing and repurposing in this way, you significantly reduce the time and resources required to manage product information. According to a study by Gartner, businesses that adopt a reuse strategy for their product copy can reduce content creation costs by up to 30%. That’s a big win for very little work. Make sure it’s on your radar.
4: Automate your translations
Automated translations can significantly reduce costs in product data management, particularly for businesses operating in multiple markets and regions. By harnessing the power of automated translation tools instead of manual translations or professional translators, your business can quickly and accurately translate product information. Not only does this save on time and resources, it also allows copywriters to focus on making sure your brand is represented correctly across all markets. You’re achieving consistent and accurate product information between channels, reducing errors and increasing data quality. Furthermore, automated translations can help your business expand into new markets faster and more effectively.
5: Use workflows to increase efficiencies
One of the biggest inefficiencies in managing product information is coordinating the efforts of multiple stakeholders across departments and teams. With PIM you can streamline the whole process. Product data creation, updates and sharing requires clear communication channels between all participants. And even though this is a hidden cost, it can lead to delays, errors and inconsistencies. Making corrections after a product goes live is time consuming and expensive, though it is seldom reported on.
Using a central PIM system to keep all relevant product information in a single location goes a long way towards eradicating the problem. By optimising these data workflows, you can significantly reduce the time and resources required to manage product information, while also improving data quality and consistency. According to a study by PIM provider inRiver, businesses that adopt a centralised approach to PIM can achieve a 50% reduction in time spent on managing product information.
6: Centralise your image repository and use metadata
Images are a critical component of product information. They significantly impact buying decisions and help achieve sales. However, managing images can be time-consuming and costly. To reduce the costs associated with image management, you can centralise your image repository and use metadata to organise and categorise images efficiently. This way, you ensure all images are stored in a single location, making it easier to find and manage them.
From there, using metadata such as product type, colour and style, you can organise and categorise, making it faster and easier to reuse images across different channels and regions. According to a study by digital asset management provider Widen, businesses that centralise their image repository and use metadata can achieve a 30% reduction in time spent on managing images.
7: Stop processing those images manually
Did you know you can even use automation tools to remove backgrounds, resize, crop and optimise images in bulk? This can save a truckload of time and reduce operator errors. An even more impactful way to reduce the costs associated with image management is to automate your image processing for different devices and channels, too. Take a look at tools like Cloudinary, and you’ll be saving significant amounts of time, in no time.
Youwe, your experienced PIM performance partner
Reducing the costs associated with managing your product information and product lifecycle requires a combination of strategies. You’re consolidating existing data, automating manual labour, reusing and repurposing content, optimising data workflows, centralising image repositories and automating image processing. There’s a lot to think about. Yet, by adopting these strategies, you’ll achieve significant cost savings while also improving the accuracy and consistency of your product information. With the right approach, PIM can become a strategic asset that helps you operate more effectively in today's hyper-competitive market.
Plus, if you need a helping hand along the way, our team of intrepid experts can provide tailored advice that makes a measurable difference. Don't let the challenges of managing product data hold your business back. Reach out to our PIM consultants today and discover how we can help you unlock the full potential of your product data, transforming your commerce operations beyond recognition.