In 2020, there were plenty of lessons learned. Online strategies and operations were tested to the extreme. Pivots were made, and holes were filled. Enough said – – let’s move on from the year of learning to a year of earning in 2021!
The eCommerce landscape is very different from a year ago. Many traditional retailers have prioritized the “online channel”, and there are a lot of new faces. Competition is fierce and consumers demand accurate information, knowledgeable support, and online excellence.
If you’re looking to make 2021 a year of earning, Akeneo’s PIM solution can help you stand out from the competition, showcase your expertise, and simplify your marketing operations.
Here are 11 reasons to investigate Akeneo PIM in 2021!
The Spreadsheet Rodeo is a Drag!
One of our clients provided this video to describe their product update process. It made us laugh, but the time and resources required to chase down and reconcile six different versions of the same spreadsheet each week was a huge drain on the marketing team. It seriously hampered their ability to keep product information synchronized on the web and in their stores.
A PIM like Akeneo eliminates the spreadsheet rodeo by centralizing product data and defining rules and controls that govern all aspects of product data management. Specific users – and groups of users – can govern product data in a manner consistent with their preferences and policies.
You Are a Drop Shipper
In 2021, many merchants are selling a combination of stocked and drop-shipped goods. That’s great, but drop shipping adds complexity. Nobody wants to place an order and receive an “out of stock”, “back ordered”, or “obsolete item” notification 10 minutes later.
A PIM like Akeneo can help you deliver real-time updates on drop ship items. Product and pricing changes, inventory status, promotions, etc. can all be reflected on your website within moments. Whether your drop ship providers provide a real-time feed or periodic updates, those changes can be reflected on your site automatically.
You Have Multiple Channel Teams (The Hydra of Spreadsheet Rodeos)
Many companies choose to segment their marketing operations into different teams. There may be a web team, a retail team, a catalog team, new product teams, etc. Specialization is great, but it can also create some unique problems:
- Multiple teams create multiple spreadsheet rodeos – within and between teams.
- Team responsibilities often overlap or collide, which creates more confusion and chaos.
- Collisions and conflicts often create the need for a traffic manager or mediator (i.e. someone who makes the final call).
A PIM like Akeneo can help you clearly define responsibilities for different channels, products, and product lines. That way, the web team has the ultimate say on the information that goes to the web team. Or the medical device marketing team has ultimate control over medical device product data. Other teams can’t infringe, trespass, or make changes to data that’s outside their sphere of responsibility.
You Want to Avoid Price Competition
In 2021, we’ve seen an enormous increase in online competition. Many brick-and-mortar operations have been forced to close or limit operations in their stores and have made the decision to do business (or do business more aggressively) online.
It’s hard to compete when there are 50 other operations out there offering the same products at lower prices. How do you compete without slashing your margin?
A PIM like Akeneo can help you rise above the “commodity” listings and provide the depth of information that instills confidence in your customers. Instead of presenting the customer with a “26” Full Suspension Mountain Bike” like everyone else, why not list the full specifications of that bike? What components are on the bike? Does the bike fit my height, weight and riding style? A PIM helps you differentiate yourself from competitors by showcasing your expertise – – deliver the details that sell!
You Want to Make Emotional Connections with Buyers
Connecting experiences to products is a recent trend that’s gaining momentum in 2021. We’re all sick of being cooped up and isolated. Enough of the impulse purchases. Inspire me!
Many companies feature “experience content” with their product listings. Videos, images and documentation that go beyond basic product attributes to show the experiences that customers can have with those products.
A PIM like Akeneo can help you connect your experience content with the right products or sets of products. For example, a mountain biking video may feature several different products: Bikes, bike accessories, shoes, gloves, helmets, and tools. Your team can “tag” this video with all applicable products and categories to ensure that it’s presented appropriately.
You Sell Complex or Highly Technical Products
Selling complex or technical products can be tricky. Simple listings on the web or in a catalog just don’t cut it. If you offer a “10 Ohm, 200W High Power Resistor”, your customers may ask 20 additional questions to determine if that listing is right for them. More likely, they’ll become frustrated and look for another supplier.
In the Industrial, Tech, and Medical sectors, subtle product variations can make a huge difference. If you’re selling these products – online or in a store – it’ll serve you well to have all available information on deck for your customers.
A PIM like Akeneo can help you manage complex products by tagging applicable components, options, specs, drawings, and documentation associated with a product. This will give your customers and employees the information and confidence required to complete the transaction.
You Sell Seasonal Products
Many businesses sell products that are or seasonal or otherwise offered temporarily. In addition to the spreadsheet rodeo, these businesses face some additional complexity that comes from closing out “old” or “out of season” items and onboarding new products.
A PIM like Akeneo offers an anchor point for businesses with an ever-evolving product set. A PIM provides a centralized location for all product data, with the ability to define the product lifecycle, and the changes of ownership that may occur throughout the cycle.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions are chaotic for everyone. New policies, new terms, new ways of doing things. . .It seems like everyone’s confused.
A PIM can’t solve all of the challenges that arise when a company structure changes, but it can provide a common platform to easily integrate and standardize product information. If a merger or acquisition is on the horizon, a PIM like Akeneo can help you minimize the chaos and noise.
You Have Multiple Product Lines or Categories
Industrial distributors are a great example – they sell a large variety of products and tools for many different trades and applications. A one-size-fits-all product structure doesn’t work well in this type of business: The attribute set for a hammer isn’t the same set of attributes required for nails.
A PIM like Akeneo can help you define and manage the attribute sets that are relevant to specific products and product categories. Often, attributes have to be managed in multiple locations (e.g. eCommerce platform, ERP/financial, and MRP systems), and that increases the complexity and time required to add and manage products. A PIM can help you manage these attributes more efficiently and be confident that changes made are reflected across your business channels.
You Plan to Launch New Products
New product launches are a rewarding but chaotic time for a company. Everyone wants things to roll smoothly, but there are a lot of unknowns and “what ifs”. There are last-minute design changes, updates and improvements to consider and all stakeholders need to feel comfortable that the product is represented accurately on launch day and beyond.
A PIM like Akeneo can provide the single source of product truth that your team needs for a successful launch. You’ll be confident that your new product will be represented accurately across all of your sales channels and internal systems.
We’ve already looked at PIM and. . .
Ten years ago, PIM initiatives required 18 months of time and an investment of $3-4 million. PIM was unapproachable and unrealistic for nearly everyone outside the Fortune 500.
There has been a lot of innovation and development over the past few years and PIM initiatives are now much more affordable, friendly, and simple. We recommend Akeneo’s PIM solution because it is feature rich, technically sound, and can be managed by “business” users on a day-to-day basis.
Want to learn more about Akeneo PIM? Schedule a 15 minute intro call and let’s talk about your goals for 2021. We’re also happy to provide an Akeneo demo and can assist you with your Product Information Strategy.
Have questions? Contact Alpine today!