Product data : 4 key principles that will take you to "Zero Excel".
To complete the data in their product sheets - we talk about product data enrichment - several alternatives are available to marketing teams. Excel is the most accessible tool, the familiar terrain to which people almost spontaneously turn at first. But in order to sell well, it is necessary to provide customers - whether on the Internet or in print - with impeccable product information. And when a context of strong competition, seasonality, the race to omnichannel and ever richer data takes hold, the use of Excel can quickly give one cold sweats.
For marketing teams, here are 4 essential needs that unfortunately cannot be fully met by Excel:
1. Making product data more reliable
To ensure that all the information is properly filled in, several Excel files are often circulated for the same product between the Marketing, Product, SEO and E-Commerce teams. With the time constraint comes the organisational constraint.
When the deadline for the release of the Products approaches, it is sometimes very complicated to find the reference file, so contributors work simultaneously on different files.
This type of pitfall can lead to incomplete or incorrect product information that will alter the visibility of products to potential customers.
2. Delete errors
A faithful ally at the beginning, when there is only a small amount of data to be entered, Excel can prove to be a major source of errors as the data flow increases. With the size of the file comes the problem of data readability which prevents proper verification of information.
For example, the same product could appear several times in a file without being noticed and form duplicates that will feed your e-Commerce site and your marketplaces in erroneous data.
The solution? It is the use of a PIM (Product Information Management) to work with unique and consolidated data. The contributors can then be sure that they are working on the right product sheet in a user-friendly and ergonomic tool.
Nor does Excel allow contributions to be traced in order to do a precise job. Conversely, the integration of a contribution workflow within a PIM makes it possible to control and master the enrichment of data.
3. Gaining productivity
To gain in productivity, it is necessary to be able to link speed and quality of data enrichment. This is very difficult to do with Excel.
PIM (Product Information Management) has the advantage of proposing a completeness system in order to define the level of enrichment required before publication. For example, indicating that a given product has only 50% of the required fields completed will alert the right contributor to continue filling in the product file.
The contributor then knows exactly what he has to do and when thanks to the PIM dashboard which serves as a to-do list and groups the tasks and actions required for each contributor.
Collaborating on the PIM allows teams to communicate, to gain in productivity and velocity.
4. Facilitating collaboration
Excel files are usually sent via the company's internal e-mail system. This method of transfer wastes time because they have to be systematically downloaded and sorted according to a file structure that is not particularly standardised.
It is also time-consuming to identify the right recipients for a specific product sheet. This is because each team has its own tasks and skills and needs to be supplied with the right information to perform its role.
This is why the PIM allows for fine-tuned management of user rights by offering only read and modify rights depending on the department.
Quable's PIM addresses all of these friction points by providing a solution to centralise product data in one place where different teams can collaborate effectively.
Excel may be a good choice at the beginning but it can quickly turn out to be time consuming... Think PIM to facilitate the whole chain product data enrichment.