This week, we speak to Renato Pastorino, Retail Assist’s Chief Commercial Officer, about OMIO PIM’s foundations and why it’s imperative for fashion retailers to reach their digital marketplaces with ease and speed.
Hi Renato! Tell us a bit about your background.
I’ve worked in retail and serviced the retail sector for longer than I want to admit! I’ve spent most of my life either in merchandising or within management and director roles for retail or retail software and services companies. However, merchandising was my first love, and you know what they say… once a merchandiser, always a merchandiser!
Why is there a need for Product Information Management (PIM)?
I think there are two main drivers. Firstly, the complicated state of legacy systems within retail businesses is stunting potential business growth and development.
Secondly, retailers are looking to reduce the mounting pressure on their current store estate. Retailers need to sell their products through digital marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba and Zalando, and social media channels. Speed to market is crucial; it’s so important to get products to market as quickly as possible to meet consumer demand.
When I first began working as a merchandiser in the mid-80s, it would have taken months to launch a product – even within the last decade, launching a product in a new digital marketplace would have had a similar timeframe.
However, now retailers risk being left behind if they’re not turning products over in weeks; for modern retailers, speed is the essence. When I first started out, I was told: “An inferior product will sell more than a quality product if it gets to market first.” Whilst increasing speed to market isn’t exactly a new concept, the importance of it means more now than ever. With influencers wearing items and then posting about them online, brands need to grasp opportunities when they arrive – not months down the line.
What challenges does OMIO PIM overcome?
OMIO PIM tackles the complexity of ranging products to different marketplaces; for example, your Amazon audience might be different to a specialised fashion website, such as Zalando. From a single point of data entry, OMIO PIM enables fashion retailers to create specific and tailored content to each of the digital marketplaces. We are creating customised and unique product information per channel, to deliver information the customer wants and expects, which ultimately helps products to be optimised, found and sold at full price. We have developed OMIO PIM with fashion retailers to deliver product experience management (PXM) and this is two-fold: delivering superior experience for the user and, more importantly, for the customer.
It doesn’t matter what your role is within a retail business, OMIO PIM will centralise product information across all your routes to market, providing you with a single version of the truth.
It overcomes the manual and time-consuming nature of legacy systems and the delayed time it takes to release a product to market via these processes. Legacy systems don’t have enough attributes for modern digital marketplaces; they were originally designed to support stores, not the multiple attribute demands of digital retailing.
It removes the need to duplicate data entry on multiple spreadsheets or systems. The product attribution happens in one system; data is entered once and content is syndicated out to all chosen digital selling channels. Through workflow, the product information is collated and attributed, and enables multiple people and teams to be working on the product simultaneously. It also notifies other teams to complete their required information to release the product once all sections are complete. This prevents products being released to digital channels without the appropriate information, which would block the product from being found in searches, frustrating customers and ultimately reducing a retailer’s ability to sell stock at full price.
Why has Retail Assist developed OMIO PIM?
A PIM empowers retailers to build digital market growth. The market is driving change and whatever retailers do, they must ensure that improved customer experience is at the heart of it.
Retail Assist understands fashion. We want to help our retailers sell into digital marketplaces with ease. We want to provide the solution to fulfil a brand’s digital marketing strategy, as the mounting pressure on store estates continues. We understand that changing legacy systems can be notoriously challenging, which is why we have built the integrations to existing systems. Retailers can input their data into the PIM, already integrated into existing legacy systems – rather than the costly option of replacing them – and still receiving all the advantages of reaching all desired digital marketplaces.
What’s OMIO PIM’s key differentiator?
Retail Assist has been in the fashion industry for 20 years, servicing retail brands and providing fashion-orientated expertise. Our background and heritage means that we don’t just sell software, but we provide the whole solution. Through both our solution and our partner connections, OMIO PIM takes retailers from beginning to end, with a total process of a product going to all relevant digital marketplaces. We’re not just a technical solution, we’ve built the connectors and integrations to make digital marketplace selling as easy as possible.
If you’d like to find out more about how PIM can support your future digital aspirations, click here.