September. A new school year, the official start of autumn and also time for the start of a new fashion season. However, whilst it’s always exciting when new product ranges hit the shelves for consumers, it also means new headaches for a retailer’s digital teams: product data needs to be uploaded quickly and efficiently, ready for customers to snap up the latest trends, all whilst hitting SEO targets and keeping customers happy.
One of the biggest issues facing these teams is collaboration; product data needs to move freely between different groups and departments, but with absences, linear workflows and immediate deadlines, there’s a very real danger of product duplication or even incorrect data being entered, causing hold-ups, a negative impact on product SEO and slower sales further down the line.
The Problem – Your Product Data Management System
The issue with spreadsheets is that it’s difficult to have multiple teams working on them at the same time. This can slow processes down, as a chain forms which relies on the person ahead completing the task before the next person can complete theirs. Any kind of hold-up – whether this be through illness, holiday, someone leaving their position, or even having to wait on information from another department before the current person can complete their task – can cause product publication to cease or stall.
Along with this, the use of spreadsheets can easily lead way to ‘copy and pasting’ product information errors, slow updates, duplication of product fields or even the correct cell being populated with the incorrect data – and not being noticed until it’s too late.
The Solution – Benefits of PIM
The way in which a PIM system operates, however, means that this isn’t the case. As product data is removed from spreadsheets, access can be obtained swiftly and easily. With OMIO PIM, information is centralised, giving a single reference point for employees to consult and meaning that any updates are seen instantly. Essentially, this is a truly collaborative approach; when someone does something, it is not only seen by others but also aids and assists their own process. This means that, for example, a stylist, merchandiser and buyers admin can all be working on the same product, at the same time. No-one is having to wait for the person before them in the product workflow chain to begin on their own contribution: through true collaboration, the process is sped up, whilst also minimising the possibility of error.
Maintaining collaboration is arguably hardest in periods of change and expansion; with either the implementation of new territories being entered or new employees being taken on board, the process can be challenging. The priority is always to continue the seamless customer experience and this can be seriously compromised if the product data management system is ineffective. New channels won’t be able to be adapted to quickly, inaccurate information may be encountered and a general slowing down may take place. If employees can have central visibility, they will be able to complete their own roles much more quickly and effectively, increasing the speed to market, exposure of the product and the ability to sell product at full price.