It’s a tough time to be a retailer. In a decade where when retail rents are rising, exchange rates are undulating and margins are becoming more and more fragile, how can retailers fortify themselves in these stormy business seas?
Easy. PIM – or Product Information Management – is a system that underpins your retail strategy. Centralising a product’s data, it allows data enhancement from many different teams and sources, controlling and managing the information that is shared to provide a consistent version of the truth. With more enriched and reliable data, customers can make informed choices across all possible routes to market whilst also saving retail teams valuable time.
Put simply, PIM must be central to a fashion retailer’s strategy. Fast fashion is only becoming faster, as the shelf-life of retail products has diminished to as being short as 6-8 weeks. In order to continue to be competitive, the acceleration of creating and launching products is essential. Retailers that are enjoying greater sales growth are those with shorter supply chain lead times and who are introducing new products at a faster rate, playing into immediacy-loving Generation Z and their equally instant millennial counterparts. A PIM system guides teams through a workflow, allowing different departments to see where everyone is at, whilst also saving time through avoiding unnecessary data duplication.
But it’s not just helpful in the here and now: PIM is also beneficial if your business needs to change product information frequently. In a world where an influencer wearing a certain dress can cause that product to sell out in minutes, PIM allows for quick changes and additions, especially for SEO, helping your product to be found quicker across all channels.
A thorough retail strategy will prepare for change and, in a world where customer purchases are changing both in time and in method, retailers must prepare for evolution. With this in mind, a PIM is helpful if a retailer wants to expand its channel offering; having a product’s information in one place but with the opportunity for multiple channels to receive it, sending data to a new channel couldn’t be easier.
In short, PIM is paramount for retailers who want to thrive – and not just survive.