Self-service website tools allow nearly anyone to create an ecommerce website. But creating a good ecommerce site requires more thought than simply adding products to a page.
If you only have a few products to sell, then organizing your site and product data is fairly straightforward. But most businesses have difficulty keeping track of the data structure used in their product listings—this leads to a cluttered site that creates a poor user experience.
So, how do marketers get on the same page when it comes to using a PIM? Start by ensuring everyone understands the terminology and key concepts.
Duplicate Data [noun]: Any record that inadvertently shares data with another record in your marketing database.
Duplicate data may not seem like a major issue—after all, doesn’t it seem like that would make it easier for your customers to find a particular product if there are multiple listings for it?
Unfortunately, that type of issue is viewed by search engines as attempting to cheat the system. As a result, all pages containing duplicate information get penalized and ranked lower in, or removed completely, from search results. Furthermore, it’s confusing for visitors browsing your site.
To avoid this issue, ensure your PIM is set up with cleansed, validated data before exporting to your ecommerce site.
Taxonomy [noun]: The system of classification of a group of items in a hierarchical fashion.
Whatever system you choose for your products, it’s important to keep a hierarchy in mind to assist in organization and categorization. Factors to consider for your taxonomycould include grouping products by size, manufacturer, purpose, material, or other physical characteristics.
Data Governance [noun]: The process of managing the availability, usability, integrity, and security of data in enterprise systems based on internal data standards and policies.
It’s crucial to have a set of rules that regulate the internal data your systems contain. These rules should apply to existing data and new data.
Attributes [noun]: The product characteristics that classify into categories.
Categories and attributes go hand-in-hand, though they are not the same thing. An attribute is a particular product characteristic, such as its size, shape, material, or manufacturer. A category is the grouping of those attributes into searchable criteria that a customer can use to identify the proper product for their needs.
Product Information Management [noun]: A PIM covers methods and procedures for collecting, maintaining, and processing product data.
A PIM is a software solution whose foundation is a robust centralized repository for inputting, storing, organizing, and modifying product content. For ecommerce sites that offer multiple products from multiple manufacturers, a PIM ensures all product data is uniformly entered and displayed for your customers.
Product Lifecycle Management [noun]: A PLM is the software solution that manages your product throughout every phase of ideation, development, implementation, and retirement.
While a PLM isn’t necessarily a vital part of the ecommerce infrastructure, it is a valuable piece to your overall processes. A PLM is used extensively by engineers creating your products, and the information that is contained within can be used to inform the data within your PIM.
Because these two systems are so closely interconnected, it’s important that you have one system of naming and categorizing for a seamless integration between the two platforms.
Digital Asset Management [noun]: DAM is a set of systems or features related to digital assets.
A DAM allows you to better organize the digital assets associated with a product in your PIM(such as images, spec sheets, manuals, and other documentation). By classifying them and tagging them with the proper metadata, these digital assets can become the subject of keyword searches from your customers.
Competitive Cost Analysis [noun]: CCA is a systematic, detailed comparison of products that focuses on things like physical attributes and costs of labor and materials.
Understanding your competition and their offerings is a crucial part of maintaining and growing your share of the marketplace.
By running a CCA, your business can determine how your product costs stack up against your competitors'—and where you can save on production costs. Using this information, you can update your ecommerce website to further promote your biggest revenue generators and grow your business.
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We can help your marketing team set up or optimize an existing PIM to ensure your ecommerce offerings are clean, easy to locate, and ultimately, profitable for your business. Contact us todayto learn more about how we can apply these terms and concepts to make your products stand out from the competition.