Product Management Systems (PIM), whose name we have heard frequently in recent years, has started to take an active part in every process of e-commerce companies until they deliver their products to the end-user. Traditional data and product management systems can no longer respond to the requests and demands of e-commerce companies in the e-commerce sector, which has become globalized and has become widespread faster than ever before with the Covid-19 pandemic. Aiming to solve current problems faced by the e-commerce industry, innovative PIM companies combine artificial intelligence and machine learning with cloud technologies in their products. PIM solutions, which collect, process, and analyze product information in a single-center, can be among the technologies that e-commerce companies will use most in the future.
In the omnichannel era of multi-channel commerce, e-commerce companies actively use PIM (Product Information Management) systems to centralize their product information and meet the special needs of each sales channel. It would not be wrong to say that the e-commerce industry and PIM are in a symbiotic relationship. The spread of e-commerce and the increase in the number of customers, increase the competitiveness of companies in this sector. In this competition, companies that succeeded in adapting technological developments to their systems more quickly stand out and increase their market share significantly.
The American investment banking company COMCAP discovered a positive correlation between the increase in sales volume in the e-commerce sector and the use of PIM applications by the companies in the sector in its "PIM Overview" report published in January 2020. In the same report, it is also stated that the need for PIM and similar solutions have increased as a result of e-commerce companies starting to sell in the global market. To meet this need of e-commerce companies, many information and technology companies have developed and launched their own PIM solution applications.
PIM has many facilities provided to e-commerce companies. While selling in many different markets and channels, e-commerce companies can control their products quickly and effectively with PIM solutions. E-commerce companies have a safer and more comfortable business model at every stage of the supply chain, thanks to PIM solutions that can respond to different demands of businesses in every process from the supply of products to the delivery of the end-user.
One of the problems faced by e-commerce companies selling in the global market is the language problem. Companies that have to translate the information of their products into the local language in every country they operate can eliminate this problem with the solutions offered by PIM. PIM applications can easily translate the product data saved in the system to the desired language using automatic translation tools. With this feature, PIM applications, which help small and medium-sized businesses who want to open to the global market, save these businesses from additional costs.
PIM applications are used in the logistics, supply chain, and market integration processes of e-commerce companies, with warehouse and inventory control, automating inventory systems, easily integrating products into different channels and different sales sites, preparing data sets of products in any desired language, and allowing simple manipulation of product information. It aims to produce solutions to all the problems they may encounter. PIM applications, which can systematically evaluate the feedbacks of customers who buy the products, can greatly increase the customer satisfaction of e-commerce companies.
Thanks to PIM solutions that offer catalog management services, e-commerce companies can easily and quickly organize their products, transfer and change products between catalogs. PIM applications, which can work in integration with the company's previous product catalogs, alleviate the catalog management burden of e-commerce companies.
Another service offered by PIM to e-commerce companies is price optimization. Technology companies that produce PIM solutions can calculate the best price for each product of the company by analyzing all sales data of their customers. Thanks to this feature, PIM applications can maximize the profitability rates of their customers.
In short, PIM aims to support e-commerce companies to grow faster and to find solutions to every problem they encounter in product management, pricing, and inventory management processes.
When we look at the current trends of the PIM industry, we see that artificial intelligence and machine learning have an important place. It is possible for PIM solutions, which work under automatic and artificial intelligence control, to manage product information faster and with higher accuracy than traditional methods.
While PIM applications in the past years could only control the written information of the products, with the developing information technologies, now the features such as image and sound of the products can be processed by PIM applications. When PIM applications, which have recently become the leader in the market, are examined, we see that the majority of them use cloud technologies in data storage and exchange processes. Cloud technologies enable product information to be stored and protected more securely and quickly. Thanks to this convenience offered by cloud storage systems, PIM companies become able to serve more customers.
Another current trend used by PIM applications is augmented reality integration. PIM companies, which make their PIM applications usable in AR glasses, manage to offer a different PIM experience to their customers. AR PIM solutions, which allow employees in charge of product management to use PIM applications comfortably and easily, are expected to be used more widely in the future.
It is known that block-chain systems and cryptocurrencies have been used by e-commerce companies in recent years. PIM current trends include block-chain authentication. With the blockchain authentication technology used during the registration of the payment information of the product in the system, e-commerce companies that sell and buy with cryptocurrencies can safely store their payment information in PIM applications.
Companies such as eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, and Rakuten, which are the leading companies of the e-commerce sector, actively use PIM applications in their systems and make investments for the development of PIM. The fact that the pioneers of the sector invest in PIM indicates that PIM solutions will be needed in e-commerce in the future. In market research, 95% of business owners state that PIM solutions are important for their business. However, only 28% of businesses that say PIM is important are currently actively using PIM solutions in their systems.
Although the recognition of PIM in the industry has increased, most of the enterprises still have not used PIM at all. As a result of the researches on the reasons why PIM has not fully adapted to the market, for now, it has been determined that the enterprises have reservations about data security and data protection. Also, many companies say that their customers or suppliers not actively using PIM solutions is an important factor. Companies think that using only their own companies' PIM solutions in their B2B and B2C business models will not have a big impact on the entire trade channel. Although companies have begun to shirk these thoughts in recent years, concerns about PIM are likely to continue in the next few years.
Soon, all companies operating in the e-commerce sector can include PIM in their product management systems. It is believed that PIM will be indispensable for e-commerce companies with its flexible, customizable management tools and PIM solutions specially developed for each e-commerce company.
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