In recent months, there is a sea change taking place in the Product Information Management (PIM) space. While emerging technologies are influencing PIM and pushing it to the next level, business owners are quickly embracing video and audio alongside text. In addition, we are also witnessing an increased number of integrations taking place in order to give PIM solutions the boost they need. However, what is catching most industry observers by surprise is the re-entrance of human skills in managing product information.
Here are the hottest trends to dominate the product information management space in 2019.
1. Artificial intelligence-driven product data management
The potential for using artificial intelligence and machine learning in product data management is unprecedented. Right from making product recommendations on-screen to providing live customer support via chatbots, AI-driven product information and data management are already in place. However, in the coming few months, we will witness the growth of textual analysis and natural language processing to understand how to word product descriptions better so that customers convert quickly.
- Use chatbots to deliver real-time customer support and answer queries while on product pages
- Make product recommendations based on user behavior
- Write better product descriptions using textual analysis and natural language processing (NLP)
If you are still waiting to adopt AI, you may never catch up, according to Harvard Business Review.
2. Use of augmented reality to enhance user experience
While product information management cannot create an augmented reality situation by itself, data within PIM can be used to create an AR-based interface on web interfaces. Web users on product pages can use their smartphones to interact with products while they are on the product page with the help of AR.
- L’Oreal used AR to help customers interact with its skin care products right from their smartphones
- Wayfair uses AR to help customers “try” furniture in their living rooms via a Smartphone app
- Audi used AR to explain how its E-Tron electric SUV works to journalists and customers
Consider implementing AR on your product pages so that customers can interact with product features.
3. Blockchain-based authentication of product descriptions
Blockchain is used by several companies to authenticate transactions. Nowhere is this more applicable and relevant than in product information management. If you are rewriting product descriptions or have employed an external vendor to engage in catalogue management, blockchain gives you the freedom to authenticate changes made to your product sheets and master product data.
- Use smart contracts to authenticate changes made to master product data and product sheets
- Approve changes made to product descriptions
- Approve or reject images uploaded to product pages
Integrating blockchain with your product information management adds an extra layer of security and authentication.
4. More content in video and audio formats
Neil Patel, the celebrity digital marketing specialist, recently revealed that 2019 will witness more video and audio content than ever before. With more people gaining access to smartphones, many of them from rural areas, you will have to publish video and audio content as well.
- Many people are not comfortable with text
- Video and audio formats have higher conversion rates
- People expect to “see” how certain products perform
If you are not able to rent expensive studios, you can even shoot videos of your products on your smartphones and upload them on your product page.
5. Integrations with multiple programs for added functionality
Today, PIM tools can be integrated with a number of third-party software programs for added functionality. For instance, PIM can be integrated with mapping technologies to ensure that the customer’s address is located in an area where the seller is able to ship. There are multiple tools to enhance an existing PIM tool.
- Consider integrating PIM with ERP and CRM
- Use PIM with web user behavior analytics
- Integrate PIM with blockchain for added security and privacy
You can also integrate your PIM with inventory management to make sure that all deliveries take place efficiently.
6. Importance of human skills underlined and highlighted
Human qualities such as soft skills, excellent copywriting and creative writing skills, and identifying potentially offensive material are still within the scope of things that only humans can do. While a PIM helps automate most of the tasks associated with product information management, businesses will still need human skills to ensure perfection in 2019.
- Making sure that product descriptions are beautiful and attractive
- Infuse emotion into your marketing copy and product descriptions
- Identify errors which automated tools may miss
Complement automation and PIM solutions with human skills for winning product descriptions.
- Product information management (PIM) tools will be greatly influenced by emerging technologies
- Artificial intelligence-based tools will propel PIM further towards automation, while augmented reality will deliver a realistic experience to users
- Blockchain will be gradually used to implement smart contracts and approve changes made to product descriptions and other data within product sheets
- Businesses will create video and audio descriptions of products
- More instances of integrating PIM with third-party tools for added functionalities
- PIM will complement human skills and businesses will seek highly skilled copywriters, marketing professionals and data professionals to manage product information