Product information management systems develop constantly. A company’s own systems, business operation processes and customer understanding are all affected by the change. As the new year approaches, I reviewed the current industry trends. I recommend that you consider these development directions as the competition increases:
1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning support the improvement of product information quality
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning—when used correctly—can significantly improve the quality of product information. You can compare the quality of your product information with that of your competitors. At the same time, you understand how customers react to product information in different channels. This enables you to improve product information and to ensure its functionality in different channels and target groups. When the big picture gets clearer, you can also optimise your search engine visibility and differentiation methods in a more effective way.
2. Augmented reality as a part of the product information user experience
In recent years, combining augmented reality with the use of product information has created world-class examples of a new kind of customer experience. Among others, the furniture industry has significantly benefited from applications where customers can simulate the product qualities in augmented reality. Product information management systems do not in themselves produce augmented reality; instead, they produce background data for augmented reality solutions.
3. Video and audio formats as a part of product information
Traditional marketing materials, such as printed product brochures, are about to be left behind. The significance of video and audio as a part of the product information will increase. This can mean, for example, presenting the product in video format or guiding the use of the product with the help of audio. According to research, the importance of video content in online store conversions is significant: Customers favour products if it is possible to get a clear picture of their benefits, purposes of use and instructions quickly and effortlessly.
4. Important stakeholders included in the enrichment of information
Suppliers and other important stakeholders are increasingly involved in the enrichment of information. Many PIM systems have already made significant improvements in their systems to enable the participation of important stakeholders. For example, it is possible to create individually defined views and user rights in the product information system for different actors.
5. Marketplace integrations enable reaching global markets with one click
Amazon’s arrival to the Northern latitudes has created a lot of buzz in the retail sector. PIM systems now have modules that enable data mapping based on the marketplace. This substantially facilitates bringing products to new sales platforms, such as Amazon. In global competition, the quality of product information is highlighted even more and lifted up as a success factor.