Chapter 1 What Is Pim 1 Essay

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Product Information Management: Theory and Practice by Jorij Abraham
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Product Information Management: Theory and Practice

Chapter 1: What Is Pim?
1.1 The Rise of PIM
Product Information Management (PIM) is a relatively new term. The concept started to gain momentum around 2003.
Its popularity is rising due, to a considerable extent, to the rapid growth of e-commerce and the popularity of online stores. First of all, selling online required companies to collect clear basic product information that consumers can actually understand. Without product information
e.g. the name of the product, price and product category, the product could not be found and sold online at all.
Secondly, the Internet allows retail and wholesale companies to offer many more products online to their clients, often described as "long tail", than in physical stores.[1] While it was possible to manage product information for up to a thousand or more products in a spreadsheet, most online stores now offer tens if not hundreds of thousands of products. In this case spreadsheets simply no longer work.
In addition, product information is no longer offered via the Web but via a large collection of channels such as mobiles, tablets, stores, point of sale, printed catalogs, flyers, etc. This growth demands a specialized system to manage so much information so widely distributed.
At the same time consumers demand more, better and consistent product information. In general, the more information, the more you sell as clearly illustrates (we will prove this in Sect. 2.3.1) (Fig. 1.1).

(Source: Heiler)
Figure 1.1: Where would you shop? Customers demand more product information
A detailed product description is rated as one of the most important features of a Web shop (see Fig. 1.2). To sell a product online customers want to search and compare numerous details and want to know all the specifications before they buy. Likewise, they no longer accept a fuzzy picture but want high resolution photos, videos and 3D models.

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Product Information Management: Theory and Practice

(Source: Sterling Commerce, July 2007)
Figure 1.2: Product information is the most important feature for buying online
Some examples of information customers demand of a product: n Mattress: How many turns the springs in the mattress make;


Fasteners: the surface treatment of a bolt;


Dress: the exact circumference in centimeters of a dress at each 5 cm interval.

With the rise of more and more channels, customers demand that all this product information is consistently available across all channels.
However, there are also other trends that can explain the rise of PIM. For one, more and more products are becoming information. People buy tickets, download games and buy digital books and training courses online. To buy these virtual products customers want to have information in the form of photos, demos, videos, product reviews by other buyers and much more, before they buy.
A fourth reason is that companies are legally obliged to store more information about their products. Where are the materials source? How was the product manufactured? To which intermediaries was it sold? etc.
Finally, the world of distribution and selling of products is becoming morecomplex. Companies have seen the number of customer segments they distinguish becoming smaller and smaller, in the end moving towards 1 to 1. These customers use multiple channels (e.g. stores, the Web, mobile, catalogs, etc.). Companies have multiple