07 June 2017

Are You Managing Your Product Data or is it Managing You?

Guest blog by Trevor Olson, President & CEO, Aware Web Solutions

For many organizations, product data has taken over. That mighty spreadsheet (or series of spreadsheets) created years ago by that one guy nobody really remembers is the master. Every product detail, spec, and line of marketing copy must pass through it. It’s a beast and no one ever wants to anger the beast.


Part of the problem is that your product data continues to grow. Today's empowered consumer demands more before they purchase a product from online retailers.
How so?
  • They demand higher quality images, 360-degree views of products and videos.
  • They demand more data about those products, with a higher degree of accuracy.
  • They want to find those products faster with better filters and empowered search. 
If you aren’t able to keep up, sales will go elsewhere… and fast.

And so you continue to feed the beast… that master spreadsheet of product data, routing it internally via email to all the different folks in the company who touch or impact your organization’s product marketing. It’s time-intensive to put it mildly and is chalk full of human errors. You don’t have the time, patience, or frankly, the will, to dive in to fix it. Remember, you’re dealing with a beast, your daily master. OBEY.

And we haven’t brought up the multiple channels to which you’re sending this product data. Your web site, catalogs, online retailers, industry marketplaces…you name it…they all now require that the product marketing content you send them is unique. That’s just more fields to add to that master spreadsheet.

Are you managing your channels or are they managing you?

Turn It Around. The PIM Solution.

The only method of fulfilling those demands is a central repository for your product data and content. This repository is known as a Product Information Management System, or a PIM.

Picture this for a moment. Imagine a single click, and you are instantly in a solution with a fully cleansed, organized repository of all master product content. It’s a single view of everything you need as a product manager. No more spreadsheets, files, and images scattered throughout networks, file systems, and individual inboxes. PIM systems accomplish several goals, including:

  • Connecting to ERP, PLM, and other data systems to input basic product data.
  • Enabling marketers to accurately describe their products in rich detail.
  • Allowing images, videos, and other digital assets to link to those products.
  • Allowing relationships to be built between products, like Upsells and Cross-sells.
  • Allowing kits and bundles to be built efficiently. 
  • Mapping products to hierarchies through rule-based classification.
  • Outputting data to multiple channels, including Web, Print, and Syndication channels.

Why inRiver?

inRiver is a Product Information Management suite that is built for marketers. Its advanced User Interface and adaptable design make it a leader in publishing your items quicker and to more channels. inRiver features include:
  • Customization of the inRiver marketing (data) model and workflows to your business model, and business logic. No Need to fit into someone else’s idea of how to model your data.
  • Generation of consistent normalized data faster with powerful, yet intuitive administration and business user interfaces.
  • Ability to view your products, product relationships, and output channels in easy and intuitive business-oriented user interfaces. 
  • Customizable business-facing activities that can be implemented by business users. Let IT handle IT tasks.
  • Control of your product messaging with one source of data for your e-commerce, syndication, and print channels—in one tool with a single data source.
  • Ability to easily add more images and videos to make your products stand out.
  • Push/Pull data synchronization and standardized product onboarding to make data collection and distribution faster and less costly.
  • Enrichment of product attributes and content so that you can consistently tell your product story.

Aware’s PIM Advantage

Meeting the needs of retailers, manufacturers, and distributors requires speed, flexibility, and experience. Aware Web Solutions understands the importance of these needs and provides a proven system to implementing a PIM package that achieves your data and content goals. Aware’s system includes:
  • An approach to product data from a marketing perspective, not an IT perspective. We listen to your marketers, data inputters, and product specialists to understand their products.
  • Customized data modelling activities that work with your team to build software that empowers your business. We learn your assortment as well as you do, track your workflows from end to end, and view your channels as some of your business’s critical assets. By listening to how your business works we understand what you need not just from a software and hardware perspective, but from a product perspective. 
  • Software configurations that adapt to your business, not adapt your business to a static model. Every data model is different, and only software that can adapt to those differences can improve your product data quality, product speed-to-market, and your business’s bottom line.
  • An analysis to explore systems to improve your speed-to-market by finding workflows that can be performed in parallel, build systems that move items through the setup process instead of waiting for people to find their next task, and make finding your products in the system easier and quicker.
  • Faster implementations that have your resources developing a Return on Investment faster. You need to produce, syndicate, and display product data and content now, not two years from now. We can have your software installed in an average of 6 months from kick-off, providing you a return on your PIM investment faster.
  • Software meant to be adaptable to a wide variety of future business models, avoiding expensive development projects that restrict your future growth. Our software implementations grow with your business to empower it today and in the future. 
  • Cloud solutions that let your product setup process function globally without needing complex access restrictions or special software client installations. Your product setup process can be a 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week machine making your items available online faster.
Our solutions help syndicate your product data and content using a single consistent message throughout your channels. Your marketing data and content outputs to your web site, your catalogs, Amazon, Google Manufacturing Center, and every other channel your business feeds can happen at higher Speed-to-Market rates and more accurately with less work.

Learn more at AwareWeb.com.  Or contact us directly at info@awareweb.com.
Interested in a demo? Contact Aware

Trevor Olson, President & CEO, Aware Web Solutions


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