Top 4 Challenges in Product Information Management (and How to Overcome Them)

Published on

August 14, 2020

Work Smart
Online store showing an elegant, orange dress with a v neck

Several factors contribute to e-commerce success.

Crucial ones include a user-centric website, outstanding customer experience, and product quality.

However, there's one factor that no online store can go without—effective product information management.

Product information management is the base of every e-commerce operation.

The lack of a reliable system can create many obstacles that could affect the success of the entire business.

What is a Product Information Management system?

Product Information Management (PIM) system is a structured framework that helps retailers handle all their product data through standardized, real-time processes.

The types of data this system supports include specifications, categories, characteristics, properties, etc.

The PIM program would ultimately increase the online store's accuracy. Overlapping and unstandardized information are issues that often arise.

This system is designed to remove errors and provide integrated information for all channels and content types.

With relevant information, online retailers will cut their costs and time spent completing tasks like this one.

This will allow employees to concentrate on essential processes, without worrying about the state of their product data.

What is more, accurate information will improve the customer experience as website visitors will encounter consistent and precise product descriptions.

What are the most common product information management challenges? 

Too many spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are the most common tool companies use to organize any type of data.

Aberdeen Group claims that 89% of companies use spreadsheets in their operations.

However, they often cause many problems.

They are tough to test, vulnerable to fraud, and don't support agile business operations.

Most importantly, they are very prone to human errors. In fact, almost 90% of spreadsheets contain errors.

Even the most precisely created spreadsheets have errors in 1% of all formula cells.

These numbers reflect the need for more sophisticated product information management software.

Inaccurate product descriptions

22% of customers return their products due to inaccurate displaying of items on the online retail store.

E-commerce sellers could eliminate these issues with an efficient PIM system that covers the information across all channels.

If items are not shown on the website with the correct description, this can eventually contribute to consumers being dissatisfied with their orders.

Moreover, the company can lose customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Such information inaccuracies, even if minor, will result in high costs for your online retail store.

Efficiently solving this issue requires a greater emphasis on showing valid product details.

This can be difficult if you work with a large number of products sold through different channels.

Online platform for shopping

Large amounts of content to manage

If you are an online retailer, your e-commerce store will likely sell numerous items accessible on several channels.

That implies specific content for each item, and probably for every platform, making the contents related to your products very difficult to handle.

When it comes to large amounts of content, online retail managers find it challenging to review and standardize product data.

In most cases, this is a manual process that requires a lot of time and focus from the person doing it.

As humans, it's normal that we make mistakes and can't keep our focus continually on the top level. With so many types of content and channels that distribute it, the entire process often becomes frustrating and confusing.

SEO optimization for each product

In an e-commerce store, every product page has to be optimized for search engines, so that customers would be able to find it quickly.

This means that if your store has 200 products with separate pages, you have to optimize each one.

Every page needs to have a meta description, an optimized URL, a title tag, and many other elements.

Before even getting to product descriptions, you have to write over 1,000 data points.

If you use repeated materials for all your pages, you'll end up with a lower search position.

What is more, duplicate content is a significant factor when it comes to increasing search visibility.

That's why you need to regularly update these datasets and keep them adapted to every channel.

Otherwise, errors like these that don’t seem so important could have a large negative impact on the discoverability of your online store.

How to handle PIM challenges?

Product information management systems are designed to organize the store's product data and make it easily usable for every channel of the e-commerce platform.

PIM systems with Artificial Intelligence (AI) provide a streamlined, error-free data management process.

This eliminates large amounts of manual work for online retailers and significantly reduces costs.

PIM systems are all about organizing product data. But, they also have a large effect on growth factors such as search engines, personalization, recommendations, size assistants, etc.

AI can boost a PIM system's effectiveness, thanks to complicated algorithms that enhance customer satisfaction and result in increased sales volumes.

Automatic tagging is an AI-based solution that automatically imports product tags into the PIM system, eliminating the manual process of adding tags.

The AI engines detect the products' features and organize them accordingly.

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Thanks to Deep Learning algorithms, the automatic tagging process is fully automated, with no need for human intervention.

The engine extracts metadata for every item of the product catalog.

It scans the picture of the product, identifying every attribute that is associated with a particular keyword.

With automatic tagging, you get increased product visibility, faster time-to-market, and a product information process that does the work for you.'s automatic tagging engine needs only a few minutes to attach tags to your entire product catalog.

Thanks to our descriptive tags, you'll get better visibility of your products and a clear image of the customer behavior of your website's visitors.

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