As business grow, product catalogs can grow to the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of different products. Each product may have small variances in specifications, documentation, configurability, etc. as well. Managing all of this product information accurately is challenging to say the least. Updating and pushing out new product information to multiple channels takes long enough with a small team, but imagine if your company requires the approval of multiple departments for this process! Where time is wasted, so is money, so wouldn’t it be nice to find a more efficient way?
What is PIM?
Product Information Management (PIM) is just that; a method of properly managing the information of your products, which can change often. For this reason, PIM systems have been developed to offer retailers a way to save time, energy, and money. These days, having a great PIM system is essential for staying competitive, and not having one in place puts your company at a severe disadvantage.
What is InRiver?
InRiver is one of the most robust PIM systems on the market right now. Compared to other products, it stands out as a leader due to its cloud-based framework that allows you to streamline your order process and easily carry over your product’s information. You no longer need to painstakingly coordinate between different suppliers to ensure information is actually going to the right place. InRiver is particularly useful for businesses that manage a high volume of products (5,000+), have many different methods of selling products online, and maintain a large variety of different product offers (such as seasonal or special short-term offers). If any or all of these aspects apply to your retail business, then it’s paramount to invest in a reliable PIM system.
Challenges of integrating PIM
If you’ve already been considering PIM for some time now, or if you’re just starting to get the picture, it’s still important to understand the common challenges around implementing a system like InRiver into your business process.
If you’re looking to make your PIM integration worthwhile, you need to make sure your data is as clean as can be. Many customers of PIM systems don’t realize how much work their data needs until they’ve already purchased. Much of the work that goes into a proper Phase 1 launch of a PIM is ensuring the correct data model is built and relevant data is loaded.
In order to make sure your organization is ready for PIM, work through cleaning up your data so that all attributes, product hierarchies, naming conventions, etc. are all consistent. It’s also a good idea to have all images that go with your products to be similarly organized before migration. If they’re not, this can make the migration extremely challenging.
As a final note, having PIM will provide you the user interface to easily upload information and information changes to vendors. However, it can be a separate challenge to make sure that your vendors consistently use the PIM interface too, instead of taking things into their own hands as far as orders are concerned. It’s a good idea to slowly roll out PIM to vendors are ready to use PIM, and may use one today. You’ll want to choose a PIM system that will be as easy and as intuitive as possible not only for your team, but also for any vendor you’re working with. Having a user interface that checks this box is another reason why InRiver is such a popular option on the market right now.
Our personal experience with InRiver
Luminos Labs is an InRiver Partner with strength in integration as much as implementation. We’re always interested in helping our clients make the most out of their new PIM system. Part of what we offer is training and consultation during and after the integration. This is to ensure that your team is able to completely understand and manage the workflow involved with the system. This means helping define the relationships between who’s responsible for things like images, marketing, and merchandising. Each department will likely have specific interests as far as the data lists are involved.
PIM success and why you should be a part of it
For example, a Luminos client in the furniture retail space had some complex product information needs that caused their marketing team to lack the necessary power to carry out their roles efficiently. Ultimately, they chose InRiver and asked Luminos Labs to help implement. Integrating InRiver allowed the interface for proper separation of IT and marketing, allowing them to alter data without interfering with each other’s goals. In addition, their new InRiver solution enabled them to take images and immediately flow them into their proper channels. This is an incredibly easy and seamless process, as long as the images are categorized appropriately in InRiver. Ultimately, this allows for less manual steps and more data quality assurance.
At the end of the day, people choose InRiver because it serves as one of the most modern approaches to PIM on the market. Not only is it one of the few PIM systems to be cloud-based, it also has unparalleled user interface. Best of all, InRiver has a great framework that allows you to extend the platform for customization, making it the best option for any unique retail business.
Learn more about InRiver and how it can help your business today
Is your business gearing up for a big shift in e-commerce strategy? Looking to create a central source of product information for all of your goods nationwide? Luminos is here to help. Our team of experts works 24/7 to provide you with the smoothest implementation and most reliable maintenance when it comes to your e-commerce platform and experience.
We’re always interested in doing the best for our clients, and we’ve helped many achieve increases in AOV, some by as much as 22%! If you’re looking for help with e-commerce implementation, Azure cloud services, or general digital strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out. And if now just isn’t the right time, then please feel free to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more e-commerce updates, trends, and announcements.