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What is e-Commerce Product Information Management (ePIM), and how does it differ from traditional PIM or MDM?

Instead of striving for a single golden copy, an e-Commerce PIM needs to be able to manage 1000s of different versions of the same product, and syndicate the right version to the right online retailer, in the right format.

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The original goal of Product Information Management (PIM) technology was to provide a single place to collect, manage, and enrich your product information. PIM systems were designed to provide a single source of truth – product data including inventory, pricing and basic catalog information the organizations could trust.

Similar to PIM’s forerunner, Master Data Management (MDM), early PIMs were internally focused, developed to support in-house processes that needed a single, reliable, golden copy of basic information for each product.

From Product Information to e-Commerce Content

The rapid growth of e-commerce has meant PIMs have needed to evolve to meet increased demand for rich content to represent products as product detail pages (PDPs) across online retailers and e-commerce sites. The first step in the development from PIM to e-Commerce PIM was improving the ability to handle additional, richer content such as full product descriptions, feature specifications, images, and video. All the content needed to help consumers visualize and understand your products.

However, more data is only part of the story. With e-commerce, there is no longer a single version of your product data that works on every online retail site. Every e-commerce site is different – Walmart’s website differs from Tesco’s, which is different again from Amazon’s.

No more one size fits all

Before Covid-19, it’s estimated there were more than 7 million online retailers in the world, with 1.8 million of them in the US. Given that nearly every retailer in the world adopted some form of e-commerce in the past year in order to keep trading during rolling lockdowns, the mind boggles as to how many there are today. Even, if you only sell to a single retailer, across multiple markets then there are language considerations, with 24 official languages in the European Union, and over 70 in Asia. In addition, sometimes the same retailer can have different website formats in different markets.

Each online retailer in each market needs it’s own version of your product information, which means creating multiple PDPs for every product. Instead of striving for a single golden copy, an e-Commerce PIM needs to be able to manage 1000s of different versions of the same product, and syndicate the right version to the right online retailer, in the right format.

As if that’s not complicated enough, e-commerce sites rarely stay the same for long. Online retailers regularly update site capabilities, adding new options for merchandizing your products in their efforts to keep up with the latest trends in technology and digital commerce. As such, a complete e-Commerce PIM system also needs to include monitoring capability to track content implementation across online retail sites as well as identifying when and how sites change.

eStoreContent

eStoreContent is eStoreMedia’s PIM built from scratch with e-commerce in mind. It is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product including all the features needed to manage digital channel product content for brands, from content creation, through approval, hosting, syndication, and performance measurement. Key features include:

  • Creation and Approvals
    Automatically generate rich product cards tailored for specific online retailers around the world, with live preview prior to approval and publication.
  • Rich Media Support
    Combine multiple media types from your content asset library, including text, images, video, animations or iconography, to create engaging product landing pages.
  • Multi-language Capability
    One-click content translation to support content management across geographies and markets.
  • Content Syndication
    Automated content transformation, delivery and syndication based on individual e-retailer specifications for management of global, regional and local-market e-commerce content requirements.
  • Performance analytics
    Ongoing audit and analysis of content implementation and impact, and speedy identification of changes to e-commerce sites that affect content requirements.

Compelling content to engage shoppers

eStoreContent is part of our eStore Shelf Automation Suite. Together with our digital shelf analytics platform eStoreCheck, it helps brands achieve e-Commerce Perfect Store performance across the online sales channels. These solutions enable consumer product manufacturers to identify gaps, prioritize actions, and execute in the online channel, turning data, insights, and content into sustainable online channel sales growth: 

  • Streamline content management workflows
    Dedicated workflows tailored to match your content management process, and eliminate inefficiencies such as exchanging emails, attachments, and large file transfers.
  • Maximize content effectiveness
    Maximize the use of all your rich content assets, and deliver the right content, in the right format to each online retailer for optimum consumer experience.
  • No more one-size-fits-all
    Translating content in just one click allows global brands to quickly deploy content that resonates in local language.
  • Track and optimize product content implementation
    Track content in individual online retailers, identify implementation gaps, and automate steps to fix problems.

Find out more about eStoreContent