The product data management process often begins as a bunch of fields and columns in spreadsheets. This raw product data needs to be put through the wringer of a PIM tool before it can find its place on product listing pages on ecommerce sites.
Take for example a global sportswear brand that makes kits for international football competitions and gets its product inventory from suppliers in Tirupur, a small industrial town in the south of India. Or a computer brand that sources storage components from Thailand, display panels from South Korea, and plastic casings from China.
The detailed product information that shoppers see either on these brands’ websites or on those of channel partners like Amazon and Walmart needs to be sourced from suppliers operating out of India, China, Thailand, and South Korea. Complex sourcing ecosystems like these create challenges with product data imports. For example:
- Suppliers can be distributed far and wide across the world. When sourcing files via outdated mechanisms such as emails and/or calls, delays occur as product teams have to deal with the differences in time zones and language.
- Brands find it difficult to ensure the accuracy of product data. This means the product files that end up on the desk of the product data team need to be checked and validated by a cumbersome, manual process.
- Brands may not be able to enforce consistency in the formatting of product files coming in from their suppliers. The files need to be reconciled to one standard format for internal use.
- Maintaining product data in spreadsheets and documents often means members of a product team maintain multiple copies on each of their local machines. Distributed, redundant copies makes it harder to keep track of the latest, most updated version. The wrong file could get sent out to sales channels, which means shoppers could see incomplete and/or inaccurate product information.
- Collaborating with suppliers/vendors to update product data over email and/or calls can get tedious and time consuming. This becomes especially critical when product teams need to keep tight deadlines during a peak shopping season, such as Black Friday.
A cloud-based PIM tool like Unbxd PIM can make imports a lot easier to handle for a product data team:
- Suppliers can be given their own logins, so they can directly upload product information into Unbxd PIM.
- Unbxd PIM creates a central repository of product data that all members of the product team can easily access and update, ensuring that there’s just one up-to-date version of the product data.
- Unbxd PIM can seamlessly extract product data from product files, no matter which format they are in. Product teams can simply upload the files as received from their suppliers, and the data is imported into Unbxd PIM.
- With Unbxd PIM, product teams can automate data correction, saving time and manual effort.
- Unbxd PIM can facilitate real-time collaboration between the product data team and external stakeholders like suppliers/vendors. This can speed things up substantially, compared to back and forth over long email threads.
Unbxd PIM can help brands and ecommerce companies manage product data imports with ease by using AI and ML-based automation features. By using Unbxd PIM to manage their product data, product teams can efficiently handle large volumes of product data, enrich it with digital assets, and publish it to multiple sales channels easily.
Up next, we’ll be taking a look at organization in Unbxd PIM.