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Tips for Prioritizing Product Content Enrichment

So much to do. So little time. — Anonymous.

For product content managers, it’s an endless struggle — deciding which products take priority for content enrichment. When hundreds, even thousands, of SKUs pour into your ecommerce queue every day, how do you decide which ones deserve your limited authoring resources?

Any number of factors influence content enrichment prioritization — market conditions, ecommerce strategy, budgets and staffing, etc. No magic formula exists. But every product content department needs a plan. In the post that follows, we offer a list of ideas that our product information management customers have successfully used to prioritize their product data enrichment activities.

Enrichment Defined

By definition, to enrich means to improve or add value. When applied to ecommerce content, enrichment means to improve the quality of the information provided so that the resulting product presentation is more useful to the customer. Enriched product content is comprised of text, specifications, images, videos and any other information you have collected about the product, possibly including customer reviews.

To illustrate varying degrees of enrichment, here are four descriptions for a yellow raincoat:

  2. Raincoat, Waterproof, Waist Length, Snap front, Lined. Yellow, Men’s, Size XL
  3. Waterproof Raincoat. Waist length with hidden snap-button front, vented sides, reinforced seams, adjustable cuffs. Polyethylene/vinyl coating. Poly lining. Bright yellow. Men’s size XL.
  4. Waterproof Raincoat. Protect yourself from the elements in this waist-length poly/vinyl coated jacket. It features vented sides to keep you cool, a comfortable poly lining, four-snap front closure with placket, reinforced seams and adjustable cuffs. Bright yellow color aids visibility. Men’s size XL. Customer rating: 4 stars.

The first product description is taken from a parts file. It gives only the basics and isn’t very useful to a customer. The second product description adds more information yet is still barely adequate for a customer to make a purchasing decision. The third product description is suitable for a printed flyer and maybe a web page. The fourth product description is fully enriched; add an image or two, and you have a customer-ready presentation.

What sells? And what are you selling?

Some of the most logical product information management tactics focus on prioritizing best-selling items and key brands:

  • The 80/20 rule. Identify the 20% of your products that drive 80% of your ecommerce sales, and ensure that these products are fully enriched.
  • Private label brands. In-house labels reflect your brand identity and should always be near the top of your enrichment hierarchy.
  • Featured products, such as high-profile brands that you sell, often subsidized with marketing support from the manufacturer. Rule of thumb: If you create a web page banner for a product, make sure the linked product description is enriched.
  • Core products. The essential products that “define” your brand and the value you provide. These are your best; make sure they reflect it.
  • Critical applications or markets. Similar to core products, but focused on solutions. If you are a sporting goods retailer but your forte is the active outdoors lifestyle, you want the hiking, boating, running and camping content to sparkle.

Other product content enrichment tactics are more refined:

  • Seasonal products. A retailer who sells pools and patio furniture in spring/summer might prioritize authoring those products in time for that selling season, while deferring holiday and game room items until the fall.
  • New product launches. Obvious, but often overlooked. Before you introduce a high-profile product to your ecommerce site, be sure the content is ready in advance.
  • Inventoried/stocked vs. third party. Enrich the items you stock and sell regularly. Items that you source on an as-requested basis are likely just fine with less enriched content.
  • Gated ecommerce. If you restrict access to your ecommerce site to select customers, ensure that the products they can access there are enriched.
  • Online-only products. Let’s say you have both a storefront and ecommerce presence but a large segment of your goods is available online only. Chances are there is stiff competition for these items. Enrich them for the benefit of your online customers and to improve your Google rankings.

Consistency and completeness count

There are “rainy day” content enrichment activities that pay big dividends if you have the time and resources to tackle them. Both require self-scouting—that is, conducting an audit of your product content as it exists.

  • Gap fills. Identify “thin” spots in your product content. Two examples are (1) a product category that has skimpy descriptions throughout, or (2) products without images. A product page with an image is more credible to a customer and much more likely to result in a purchase than a page without an image.
  • Focus on faceted search. This is a must if your website allows customers to refine their searches. The key to good faceted searching is having consistent data presented in a logical and uniform fashion. Over time, multiple-user data entry tends to breed inconsistencies in spelling and data labels (in., in, inch, etc.). In this scenario, product content enrichment entails normalizing your attribute data at the SKU level to eliminate duplicated or inconsistent values. Product attribute cleanup is another often overlooked but very worthwhile activity.

Use your analytics

If your company has the capability to synthesize product data, consider prioritizing authoring based on product performance. For example, use Google Analytics data to identify products with low online conversion rates. Marry that information with product information management (PIM) data to find those products that also have a low enrichment level. From there, enrich the content with more copy, images, etc. Then monitor Google Analytics to see if conversion improves. One Magnitude Agility PIM client has seen impressive conversion rate improvements by acting on analytical data. Hear from Allied Electronics & Automation on why product information is crucial for driving customer engagement and conversion.

The ideas we shared here give you a basis to formulate a product content enrichment prioritization plan. One more tip: Check out what your competition is doing, too.

Ready to take your commerce strategy to the next level? Take our 3-Minute PIM Readiness Assessment—16 simple questions designed to help you establish if your business could benefit from PIM. Or, contact our Agility product information management experts and we’ll help you evaluate your business needs and determine if you are ready for a PIM solution. Let’s start a conversation.

Related Assets

How We’re Raising the Bar on Customer Experience for Agility PIM

We’re proud to continuously raise the bar on our customer experience for our Agility PIM customers. Retailers, manufacturers, and distributors around the world entrust us to help them radically reduce product introduction times, accelerate SKU count and introduce content excellent categories driven by ROI – all achieved without additional resources.

Watch what our customers are saying about their experience working with our Agility team:

“We have a really great support team with Agility. We try to customize for our customers’ needs and they’ve really helped us to build out those capabilities.”
Stacey Ostermann, Director, Digital Product Content
Allied Electronics & Automation

“They’re (Agility) continuously improving their customer service and the software that we use. That means the relationship is solid and we trust them. This helps us get on with our day-to-day job.”
Douglas Brown, Head of Marketing & Product Management
MSC Industrial Supply

“We have that one source of data now and everyone from different departments can make sure that one source has everything for the product. The collaboration of working with Agility has really helped out.”
Pam Mills, Database Marketing Specialist
Impact Products, LLC

“They’re (Agility) very responsive and always willing to have a meeting and point me in the right direction.”
Tony Orin, Ecommerce Operations Lead

“Working with the Agility team has been great. Anytime we have a problem I know that I can create a support ticket and they can send me to somebody to fix it.”
Sam Roark, Product Information Manager
Gopher Sports

“The ability for Agility PIM to be a one-stop shop to meet all of our reporting and governance needs and the excellent support was a big deciding factor.”
Jessica Alley, Senior Solutions Architect
HD Supply Construction & Industrial

“I can say with great confidence that whenever I needed anything, Agility would respond and be at my service.”
Picky Malhotra, Director, Digital Content Strategy
Consolidated Electrical Distributors

“We chose Agility for their strong integration with other systems and applications such as our Adobe production software. They also provided us with a strong local resource to help us implement our project.”
John Deweerd, Associate Director of Systems

“Agility is wonderful. If we have any kind of an issue, they’re a phone call away.”
Tony Boisvert, Director of Creative Media & Design Services

To learn more about how Agility PIM can optimize your product information strategy and performance across your organization, request a demo.

4 Product Data Resolutions for 2020

We’ve arrived into the 2020 future but it’s unlike what Hollywood promised. While we’ve yet to experience flying cars or time travel, we have up to this point avoided an apocalyptic scenario brought about by a megalomaniacal artificial intelligence bent on the annihilation of humankind.

So, what does 2020 bring us? The biggest undeniable change is the way we shop: B2B or B2C, with a single click or tap of a button, purchasers can order virtually anything they desire. Today’s customers buy on the fly and they expect a personalized experience and fast delivery. Embracing this new wave of customer engagement is crucial to survive and stay relevant with the always-connected consumer.

As we enter this new decade, it’s the perfect time to reexamine your product information management efforts to make sure you’re prepared to deliver a seamless commerce experience in 2020 and beyond.

4 Product Information Management Resolutions for eCommerce Success in 2020:

  • Resolution #1: Resolve to treat your product information as a strategic asset. You need feedback to gauge the product enrichment required to drive performance, such as the ability to leverage data-driven insights for determining which products will benefit the most from further content and production-time investments, and which are ready for instant release to market. Having enriched, complete product content is a key differentiator between you and your competition for driving conversion rates. 
  • Resolution #2: Resolve to automate wherever possible. A major advantage for leveraging PIM software is the ability to automate enrichment based on business rules—this not only speeds the process but can also compensate for small or understaffed teams with limited resources. For instance, we’ve integrated AI technologies from Google and Amazon to give our customers the most advanced AI-powered product information enrichment with automated image tagging and moderation features.
  • Resolution #3: Resolve to be consistent across channels: Providing consistent, complementary, compelling and correctly targeted product content everywhere it’s needed is essential for driving revenues and building customer loyalty. A PIM solution enables a retailer, distributor, or manufacturer to integrate, optimize and syndicate content efficiently to websites, microsites, external marketplaces and even printed catalogs.
  • Resolution #4: Resolve to continuously analyze and improve your content. Establishing an analytical feedback loop and having quality metrics is crucial for identifying opportunities and staying ahead of the game. For instance, by using a proper PIM solution that offers easy integration with your business analytics tool of choice will provide your teams with real-time insights into your content quality and product performance.

Ready to take your commerce strategy to the next level? Take our 3-Minute PIM Readiness Assessment—16 simple questions designed to help you establish if your business could benefit from PIM. Or, contact our product information experts and we’ll help you evaluate your business needs and determine if you are ready for a PIM solution. Let’s start a conversation.

Why Agility® PIM from Magnitude Agility PIM is the Best PIM Software Solution in 2020, According to FinancesOnline

2020 is already shaping up to a big year for Magnitude Agility PIM and it’s a tremendous honor to have just been ranked Number 1 in Product Information Management (PIM) by FinancesOnline, the fastest growing independent review platform for B2B, SaaS, and financial solutions.

According to FinancesOnline: “The best product information management software for 2020 is for Agility® PIM from Magnitude Agility PIM thanks to its comprehensive features including data onboarding, business process tracking, data enrichment, and inventory management. Most of all, it packs all these powerful features into an intuitive dashboard.”

This ranking is a testament to our customer-centric approach to investing in product innovation and most importantly, our people. Our development team has worked tirelessly to ensure that Agility remains the market leading platform that we’ve been renowned for since our inception. With our most recent release of Agility® PIM v8, we’ve set a new standard in PIM and have exceeded customer expectations in delivering innovative new features and providing unmatched user experience.

As described by review analysts: “Agility® PIM is best-of-breed, built ground-up for easy, air-tight integration with multiple systems from many vendors such as Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM. It has fully documented APIs and can be easily configured to meet all business-led requirements.”

To learn more about Agility® PIM and how we’re helping retailers, global brands, industrial manufacturers and distributors take control of their product information journey, let’s have a conversation.

Related Resources

Agility Scores 3 B2B Excellence Awards

Choosing a PIM: What to Watch for

Personalized Shopping Experiences Begins with PIM

Personalization, data and bridging the physical and digital shopping experience were among the top themes at this year’s NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show, where industry leaders convened to discuss the latest trends reshaping the future of retail.

Today, with a single click or tap of a button, consumers can order virtually anything they want and have it delivered in mere minutes to their doorstep. Technology innovation is enabling a significantly improved, anticipatory shopping experience in the future – one that blends the physical and digital. Data analytics and AI are bringing new possibilities for automating and optimizing retail operations, product and inventory management and more importantly, to deepen customer relationships by building personalization engines.

Ecommerce now accounts for more than three quarters of overall retail growth, and U.S. eCommerce sales are projected to reach US$666.28 billion in 2020. Clearly, if you are a retailer that hasn’t jumped on the eCommerce train you are living in the past [Read More: 5 Reasons Why Retailers Need a PIM]. As the competition rages on for consumer attention and share of wallet, savvy retailers and brands must prioritize on personalization to deliver a seamless shopping experience.

As such, investing in data analytics and more specifically in a product information management (PIM) platform is crucial for driving commerce success. A robust PIM delivers a single source of content for messages to be personalized and disseminated across multiple channels and at different touchpoints along the customer journey.

Consider these tips for commerce success:

  • Enrichment never stops: The product enrichment cycle is never-ending. Many small teams struggle to keep up with the demands of completing products with rich descriptions, full attribution, and multiple digital assets. Gain greater visibility to product data quality and completeness with a proper PIM solution. 
  • Automation is key: We may not have terminators, but the scope for automating product enrichment is limitless. Leveraging PIM software to automate enrichment based on business rules not only speeds the process but increases conversion rates with more complete product content.
  • Consistent product channels: Providing consistent, complementary, compelling and correctly targeted product content everywhere it’s needed is essential for driving sales and building customer loyalty.  A PIM solution enables a retailer, distributor, or manufacturer to integrate, optimize and syndicate content efficiently to websites, microsites, external marketplaces and even printed catalogs.
  • Continuous analytics: Establishing an analytical feedback loop and having quality metrics is essential to stay ahead of the game.

Ready to take your commerce strategy to the next level? Take our 3-Minute PIM Readiness Assessment—16 simple questions designed to help you establish if your business could benefit from PIM. Or, contact our product information experts and we’ll help you evaluate your business needs and determine if you are ready for a PIM solution.

Related Resources

PIM for Retail

Five Reasons Why Retailers Need a PIM

Choosing a PIM: What to Watch for

Why PIM is Primed for the Print Revival

As we roll into a new decade, you may be assessing your company’s marketing strategies: “Where can we find an edge?” you ask. May we suggest an “old reliable” that’s time-tested, impactful and, despite rumors of its demise, remains still viable. That medium is print.

According to U.S. Postal Service research, print is thriving, but in a different way than in its past. It’s true that while the volume of direct mail materials has declined 29.85% since 2006, direct mail response rates have actually risen by 173% for house lists and 194% for prospect lists. Personalization is a key driver for this growth, as is the trust factor that print holds over digital channels.

The Case for Print

Here are seven considerations for rethinking print in your marketing mix:

  1. Print offers something different. Today the average person receives 107 emails but just 2 pieces of mail per day. As consumers continue to connect more and more facets of their lives via digital — banking, shopping, making appointments, interacting, etc. — a printed piece in the mailbox becomes a novelty. Think about when you receive a greeting card in the mail or, rarer still, a personal letter. You might smile when you find it. You can open it at your leisure. Since so much of “junk mail” has vanished in favor of email marketing — and so much of that is unwanted spam — an eye-catching printed piece stands out.
  2. Print has a tangible presence. A shopper’s memory of a web page lasts until the next click. Emails are opened immediately and forgotten. A printed flyer or catalog is likely to be retained for 17 days. You can hold it, browse it, mark it up, bring it with you while shopping. The merchant can include a promotional card or small item to make a printed piece more engaging. Many companies take exceptional pride in their printed catalogs as a significant brand statement — a weighty presence on the shelf.
  3. Print allows greater freedom of expression. Web pages and apps are restricted by their wireframes and templates, creating a certain level of monotony for the user. The print is less confined. Using a proper Product Information Management (PIM) system, a designer can flow content and images to a page template, then work “outside the lines” to create dazzling, attention-grabbing visuals. Print allows trendy colors and fonts and special effects like gradients to shine at their best.
  4. Print can be personalized. Personalization goes beyond merely addressing a piece to a specific customer. Today, a business can harness its powerful PIM system combined with advanced analytics to create personalized versions of direct mail pieces in smaller lots. For instance, a national tool retailer can mail tailored editions of its monthly mini-catalog with different offers based on the individual customer’s buying patterns. These pieces build a “just for me” wow factor with customers.
  5. Print gets a response. According to the 2018 DMA Response Rate Report, direct mail achieves a 9% response from house lists and 5% from prospect lists versus 1% or lower for email and social media. DMA data indicates that 79% of consumers act on direct mail immediately versus 45% for email. 
  6. Print and Digital work well together. Digital remains the most common and cost-effective way to interact with customers, but print reaches where digital cannot. A customer can filter email but not the conventional mailbox. Direct mail plus email boosts conversion rates by up to 28%. And direct mail can raise the effectiveness of other channels by up to 450%. Many marketers use their print catalogs to drive customer traffic to their websites and apps.
  7. Consumer Data Security Laws are on the rise. And compliance is a headache for digital marketers. Since Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect in May 2018, consumers’ digital privacy has garnered attention worldwide. A similar California law went live on January 1, 2020. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, legislatures in 25 US states and Puerto Rico have more than 100 active consumer data privacy bills or drafts on their collective dockets. Some of these state laws are highly restrictive. Together they make up a byzantine puzzle of regulations. As a possible alternative, the US Senate is considering uniform federal legislation; the Federal Trade Commission is watching as it is the national enforcement arm. While governments debate how much protection is appropriate, “think tanks” like the Council on Foreign Relations and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have offered their opinions. Many consumer advocacy groups fear that a federal law will be weaker than state laws, while many trade organizations support the idea of a national standard.

The implications for digital marketers are clear: More laws mean more complex regulations, more documentation of opt-in/out processes, more proof of compliance and tighter restrictions on what/how much/how long customer information can be retained by retailers, distributors and other organizations who reach consumers via the digital space. The laws also cover data brokers, who collect and re-sell consumer information. While direct marketing is subject to certain provisions of these laws, compliance is much easier as consumer consent is not required. Laws such as GDPR figure to take a big bite out of email marketing as companies scramble to comply. In turn, data security laws present an opportunity for these companies to reconsider print as a viable option. Customers trust print because it is virus-proof and bears no inherent risk of identity theft.

A robust and versatile PIM software should serve both digital and print needs. From a single source of content, messages can be personalized and disseminated across multiple channels and at different touchpoints along the customer journey.  So it’s time to rethink print as a valuable option for the personalization era.

Considering if a product information management (PIM) system is right for you? Take our 3-Minute PIM Readiness Assessment to help you determine if your business could benefit from a proper PIM solution. Or simply contact our PIM experts and we’ll help you evaluate your business needs.

Related Resources

The Marketer’s Guide to PIM for the Omnichannel Era

Choosing a PIM: What to Watch for

NRF 2020: How Retailers are Bringing Products to Life with PIM

Attending NRF 2020: Retail’s Big Show on January 12-14 in New York City? Join our Agility team to learn why Product information management (PIM) has become a priority technology investment for retailers to meet the needs of today’s always-connected consumer.

The ability for retailers to deliver contextual, comprehensive and flawlessly consistent product information is now table stakes. With infinite channels and touchpoints, a retailer must anticipate evolving customer needs in an increasingly competitive retail landscape where introduction times for new products have virtually vanished.

Meet with our PIM experts in-person at NRF 2020 at Magnitude Agility PIM booth #464, located on Level 1 on the Expo Show Floor, to talk through your product information strategy and performance.

  • We’ve partnered with Salesforce to showcase the power of PIM with Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
  • Experience the full breadth of capabilities with our Agility v8 demos – the industry’s most advanced and adaptive PIM that provide an unparalleled user experience.
  • Take our 3-minute PIM Readiness Assessment (and get instant results) to determine if you’re ready for the benefits a “proper” PIM solution can offer.

A PIM for retail should be the bedrock of any retailer’s information management and marketing strategy.

By leveraging a PIM system to deliver accurate, granular, and rich product content, retailers are empowered to deliver personalization services and facilitate individualized digital experiences that today’s consumers expect. Read more: Five Reasons Why Retailers Need a PIM for Retail.

Our PIM experts, Richard Hunt, Dawn Zassick, and Ted Allen MillerunHunt will be on hand to show you how Agility PIM brings products to life across every retail channel. Schedule a meeting with us to learn more.

The Power of Product Data for Commerce Success

Agility & Allied Electronics

The customer journey has changed significantly over the years. Today, there are many more steps and touchpoints, which makes the chance of an abandoned sale far greater in the digital customer journey. In fact, one in five customers who fail to make purchase when shopping online blame incomplete product information (source: Nielsen Norman Group).

As such, consistent product data across all touchpoints in the customer journey is instrumental for driving commerce success by removing doubt and ensuring conversion. Today, products acquire ever-growing volumes of data and content throughout their lifecycle. For instance, when a product is first introduced, there are part numbers and product descriptions and during its growth phase, there are product comparisons and short-form videos. As it matures, there are likely to be product stories and information on bundles and kits.

Watch the B2B Online presentation of our Dawn Zassick and Stacey Ostermann of Allied Electronics & Automation on why product information is crucial for driving customer engagement and conversion.

According to Stacey, it’s critical to have rich product data to drive conversions and sales. This begins with thinking about product data as a strategic asset to drive findability, trust and authority: “The story behind how Agility PIM can drive your business is compelling. Product pages have the power to turn browsers into buyers. All of the rich product data that’s curated in your PIM lives in product pages. It’s the customer’s first impression of your brand and can mean the difference between someone clicking and adding to cart or clicking away from your website.”

Hear how other companies are using Agility PIM to succeed in commerce.

Looking for best practices and benchmark data to help build a stronger PIM business case? Our team is here to help – contact a PIM expert today!.

Agility Scores 3 B2B Excellence Awards: Supreme Software, Expert Choice & Great User Experience

As we wrap up the year, it brings us enormous pride for Magnitude Agility PIM to be awarded with three awards by FinancesOnline, the fastest growing independent review platform for B2B, SaaS and financial solutions.

These accolades speak to the enormous impact that Agility PIM is making on the industry in helping retailers, global brand manufacturers and distributors take control of their product information journey. We’re proud to be recognized for our ongoing innovation and market leadership. This year, we’ve set a new standard in PIM with Agility v8, the industry’s most advanced PIM platform. In designing and modeling the PIM experience on the best eCommerce experience, we’re empowering B2B companies to compete and thrive in the age of the always-connected customer.

Recognized for our excellence in the B2B industry, we scored the highest marks in three categories:

  • Supreme Software 2019This award is given only to top B2B products and represents the highest possible level of service. It highlights the vendor’s extensive knowledge of the industry they’re selling to and the needs of their customers.
  • Expert’s Choice 2019 – This award is given by our team of experts to products that we think show especially good quality in terms of satisfying the current needs of the B2B and SaaS markets and helps companies they currently face with solid and efficient solutions.
  • Great User Experience 2019 – This award is granted to products that offer especially good user experience. We evaluate how easy it is to start using the product and how well-designed its interface and features are to facilitate the work process.

To learn more about Agility PIM, watch our customer success stories.

Video Highlights: 2019 Agility and Kalido Magnitude Customer Conference

We’ve just concluded another engaging and successful Agility and Kalido Magnitude Customer Conference, where our customers convened to exchange new ideas, share best practices and forge deeper connections.

Watch the Highlights

Key Takeaways:

  • We debuted Agility v8 and Kalido v11 – our latest PIM and MDM offerings for customers to experience the full breadth of capabilities.
  • Customers around the world including as TimCo, Allied Electronics, HD Supply Whitecap, CED, and Gopher Sport presented case studies on how they’re taking advantage of Agility features and functionality to streamline work processes and manage their entire data needs. Hear their stories.
  • In the UK, Michelle Beeson, shared the latest research on changing buyer behavior and how organizations must use data to create more relevant and consistent experiences, to continue to win serve and retain customers.
  • In the US, Forrester’s Allen Bonde delivered a riveting keynote on why there’s never been a more exciting time to reimagine what’s possible with B2B commerce. Watch the replay of his presentation: More Choice, More Convenience (and More Content!) Redefine B2B Commerce Strategies

Stay tuned for updates on next year’s events – visit the User Conference webpage for more details and event photos.