How PIM ensures successful product launches

Why do product launches fail without PIM?

Failed product launches are an issue many companies have become familiar with. And the most successful companies master this discipline - to avoid failed product launches, that is. In fact, they are so good at it that 25% of their revenue comes from new product launches. But how can that be the case when studies show that 85% of new products fail within the first 2 years?

At B2B companies, inRiver has collected data showing that increased competition, time-to-market and handling of product information are among the main reasons for failed product launches. In fact, missing or incorrect product information was the primary cause of lost revenue at launch. In the US, the survey showed that 1 in 3 companies had to withdraw products due to incorrect product data. And 26% of UK brands also admit that this is not an unfamiliar exercise.

So, is it development and procurement that is to blame for a long time-to-market and withdrawal of new products? No, most often it is rare that we find the problem in the design and development phase of a new product.

The problem most often arises during handover between the development and sales/marketing departments. Here, the main problem is that the processes around product information are inefficient and unstructured.

Specifically, these are:

  • Data silos that effectively prevent collaboration across departments
  • Inability to schedule product information from multiple systems and suppliers
  • Inefficient work processes that result in incomplete or inaccurate product descriptions
  • Disorganized methods of distributing product information to new and existing channels

If your time-to-market depends on data silos, manual procedures for onboarding and validation of new data, then you are at high risk of experiencing big delays. And withdrawal of products becomes a reality due to incomplete data.

This is how PIM ensures success when launching new products

    #1 PIM Streamlines your data sources

    Many B2B and B2C companies get data from many suppliers, and everyone has their own way of delivering data. Some have an Excel sheet, others send an email, a PDF, etc. This creates a problem as you have to spend a lot of time standardizing and customizing the data so that it creates value for you. At the same time, data within the company is stored in ERP and PLM systems. And these systems are not designed to handle product data, and therefore it becomes a slow and manual process that increases the risk of delays. A PIM system automates the collection and standardization of data from all data sources. Both the suppliers' data and your internal data sources (ERP, PLM, etc.). Thereby, the manual and error-prone process where you have to reformat data for webshop, image bank, catalogues, APPs, etc. is completely eliminated. PIM streamlines all internal and external processes around handling product data.

    #2 PIM creates a workflow that works seamlessly across departments

    PIM breaks down barriers between departments, making data accessible, shareable and synchronized throughout the company. Product managers, marketing department and salespeople all have access to the information they need in order to ensure an efficient and fast product launch. When departments have complete visibility of all product information in PIM, they can more easily create custom workflows, track progress, identify challenges and delays. In addition, they can also prevent bottlenecks, eliminate duplication of work and time-consuming tasks such as handling excel sheets, resizing images and translating texts.

    #3 PIM optimizes content production

    Launching products across national borders means that your product information must be adapted. Translations, adaptation of specifications in relation to legislation or industry standards require a lot of resources and involve another round of time-consuming processes. Unless you have a PIM system that effectively lets you create, enrich and distribute your content quickly, and completely without complex setups.

    #4 PIM increases your presence at the origin of all searches

    SEO should be a cornerstone of your e-commerce strategy. Almost 90% of B2B and B2C customers start by searching online. With PIM you can simplify SEO tags and meta descriptions, so you can easily support your SEO activities. If you also have invested in a professional copywriter, then you have created a good foundation on which you can take control of the organic traffic from the search engines (Google, Bing, etc.). PIM strengthens the collaboration with external agencies like copywriters. This is because it is possible to assign a custom and limited access where the external agencies only can view and edit the information that relates to their work.

    #5 Present your Brand. Present your products

    E-commerce is about creating a unique shopping experience. It is about delivering the right information, to the right buyer, at the right time and in the right channel (webshop, retail, apps, catalogues). PIM eliminates time-consuming tasks and frees up time for marketing so they can focus on creating consistent, compelling, and channel-optimized content that pushes your conversion rate through the roof.

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