PIM in the fashion world : 5 ways to accelerate your product strategy
For a seasoned marketing expert or digital fashion connoisseur such as yourself it’s obvious: your customers and your collections are in love.
And as with any love story, one of the (most) important things is communication!
Descriptions, photos, lookbooks, everything has to be crafted and completed so that the act of reading your product information alone will be enough to seduce your customers. Each piece from each collection has to be beautified for the day when that gorgeous websurfer comes to call.
These are the sine qua non conditions for :
- Lasting love : with your information always complete and your photos always true, there is no chance your customer will be disappointed : they won’t send you back their purchase
- A reign of trust : you convey a positive image of your brand and your customers recommend you
However, it is not always so simple to channel the right conditions for love at first site – pun intended – between your customers and products using product information.
Sometimes you have so much to say that it’s not easy to organize… especially when collections are coming out one after the other so quickly and customers are expecting to find them both on your website and their favorite marketplace…
The good news for you is that we have 5 ways to make this love story unforgettable. There is one essential tool you need before you start : make sure you have a PIM (Product Information Management solution) on hand. Why ? These 5 points will make this clearer to you.
1. Ensure the precision of your product pages
You are aiming for perfect communication: Product information sometimes comes from different sources which have no lines of communication between them (ERP, media server, files). You can’t have a product page without images though, nor images without descriptions, nor descriptions without SEO optimization. Data about stock availability and prices must also be perfectly up to date of course.
A PIM solution enables you to centralize all your product data, no matter what the source. All of your data is collected in a single space at the heart of the PIM, where different contributors enrich and enhance products.
The PIM enables you to control your product information efficiently :
- You check and follow the completion level of each product page on the dashboard before validating it
- VYou manage photo rights and note the names of the models wearing each product. You then receive an alert before the information expires/li>
2. Stay relaxed while your activity moves up a gear
You are aiming for elasticity : Seasons come and go, trends evolve, and your brand needs to be as flexible as it is creative. This is no small challenge : new information to input, photos to add, SEO descriptions, all which monopolize teams and delay diffusion deadlines. You want to rationalize the dynamic of this perpetual renewal cycle.
Using the PIM, you can easily adapt to move at a different pace for each operational step :
- You create a file tree around your different themes : you link and aggregate products to create looks, collections and style worlds
- Use your predefined looks to determine cross-selling and up-selling in one click
- The PIM is simple and easy to use for each contributor and each role, which saves you time
- Collaboration becomes automatic. The ticketing and notifications system which links contributors, boosts productivity, even for those working at a distance
What about when the season is over ? Archive the collection in a click and diffuse your new love story.
3. Commercialize your products as fast as possible
You are aiming for responsiveness : ABefore anything goes on sale, your product information has to be not only complete but also very seductive. It takes time to get ready, from impeccable visuals from the photographer, to SEO optimization. To avoid losing sales because product information has not been released yet, you try to close the gap between the time when your product arrives in stock and when you communicate its sale as much as possible. This is Time to Market optimization.
With the arrival of the CRM, Sales and Marketing teams were able to resolve this issue and start handling customer relationships smoothly, which led to increased profits. The same can now be achieved with the PIM for product data management : Centralisation + Fluidity + Automatisation = Time saved
Fashion brands which use PIM today talk about a revolution in the way that they work. They have considerably reduced their Time to Market. Jennyfer, for example, quotes a time reduction of almost 2 weeks without a PIM to 24H with Quable PIM.
This reduced Time to Market has a real impact on turnover, and the PIM contributes considerably :
- You define a smooth enrichment process by setting roles for everyone
- You accelerate media enrichment, which is known for being long winded and potentially error prone. Quable PIM provides an application which generates a bar code based on the product EAN (European Article Numbering). Your photographer scans each sample and the right photographs are inserted into your PIM and linked directly with the right products.
- You automate product information updates done in the PIM thanks to the flow of information between the PIM and your E-Commerce website and other channels.
4. Boost your E-Commerce performance
You are aiming for optimized product pages : LThe temptation to put your products on sale quickly can sometimes be detrimental to the quality of product page enrichment. Customer ratings, high definition photographs with an integral zoom, technical details, story-telling and the marketing spiel, are all part and parcel of the way a product page is staged, and how it really makes a prospect want to buy. Your objective is to tick all of your customer’s check boxes so they will go for it.
UAn utterly complete, high quality reliable product description is in fact guaranteed to improve your E-commerce transformation rates. Especially when you consider that ⅓ of consumers have abandoned an online purchase because of the lack of a product description (Shotfarm Study, product information report).
A flaw in product information can even have long term consequences that take a toll on profitability. We are talking customer returns. At 25%, the Fashion industry has one of the highest product return rates of any sector. Your profitability is sometimes skewed by a simple error in a description on a product page : this is in fact what 42% of consumers brought to the forefront in the Shotfarm Study, product information report.
This brings us back to the absolute necessity to please and seduce behind your clothes, and our consumer-collection love story. How could you even think of turning up to a romantic dinner without a dress or a new three piece suit ?
Outfit your products for the most important date of their lives with internet buyers, pull out all the stops, add all the trimmings, make them shine so that the relationship will last for the long haul.
The PIM allows you to steer product information and focus on the most vital aspects of e-commerce communication:
- Filling out and centralizing SEO attributes (Title, descriptions, keywords) to make products more visible
- VCompleting the more specific product fields to satisfy internet buyers’ demands on transparency (fabrics, origins, labels, etc.)
5. Aim for international omnichannel communication
You are aiming for omnipresence : The 2018 consumer is alert and volatile. They navigate on mobiles, computers, at the office, or in their own living room on their tablets. They receive catalogues, check products out in shops, buy them immediately online, or wait for seasonal sales. Your objective is to be present from the beginning to the end of their buying journey on every channel, with the right speech at the right moment, all while keeping your message personal.
The PIM is the perfect foundation to meet this goal. With your repository merged and centralized you save time and increase turnover. You can be free to take the leap and go omnichannel.
From the PIM :
- You diffuse your information on all fashion market places. The ones you are already on, but also the ones you aren’t on (yet)
- You generate web or paper catalogues and pdf lookbooks which can be styled in a few clicks and promoted in stores or sent to your suppliers and distributors
- Thanks to the direct translation of your product pages in the PIM into 50 languages, you give an international impetus to your company and publicize your products on new high potential markets.
Promote, automate, sell.
These 5 points are essential for building a great love story between your products and customers, and they have direct consequences on :
- Your operational productivity
- Your time saved (Time to Market, acceleration of your growth strategy)
- Your competitive advantage
- The improvement of your E-commerce and omnichannel performance
- The growth of your company
The fashion industry has chosen PIM to harmonize vast amounts of product data which needs to be renewed all the time. The solution supports changes in pace, which means products can be put on sale quickly, all while the quality of information provided to internet buyers is constantly being improved. These are the drivers behind high growth in an ultra-competitive sector.