Omni Channel Solutions: Why PIM Is Vital for Omni Channel Commerce

by Innovit Corporate Affairs | August 15, 2018 | Blog

Do you know how to use omni channel solutions to succeed in the e-commerce world?

If omni channel sounds like a big challenge to you, you’re not alone. However, this can become a valuable part of offering a top customer experience and winning the e-commerce game. What’s crucial is knowing how to use a product information management (PIM) system to your advantage.

Every 30 seconds, over $1.2 million is made in online business. Make sure you’re not missing out on any of this ecommerce earning potential by learning how to harness the omni channel experience. We’ll break it down for you here – keep reading to learn more!


What Does Omni Channel Mean?

Omni is a prefix that means “everything” or “everywhere.” Therefore, “omni channel” means “all channels” or “every channel.” When it comes to commerce, this means a completely integrated approach that unifies the experience for shoppers across all channels, including online and offline.

Omni channel shopping can and should encompass everything from brick-and-mortar stores to ecommerce marketplaces, mobile shopping, social media, online storefronts, and more. If you can think of it as a place to shop, it’s included in the omni channel approach.

Although omni channel has been a buzzword for a few years now, few retailers have actually harnessed the potential of the concept. It’s easier to focus on other aspects such as marketing, merchandising, or mobile optimization. But without omni channel solutions, valuable opportunities to upgrade the customer experience get lost.

Omni channel solutions are about more than just letting customers shop in multiple locations. This concept covers every step of the customer’s process from start to finish, everywhere they can shop.


What Omni Channel Solutions Look Like

You can easily imagine why these solutions are so valuable. But what exactly do they look like in practice?

It’s most crucial for any retailer with both a digital and physical presence to harness these possibilities. The goal is to make the customer’s experience effortless, seamless, and high-quality.

For example, you should let in-store shoppers also see deals and products on their mobile devices while they shop. The ability to ship in-store purchases to their home, or ship online purchases to the store, offers another omni possibility. Can stores process online returns, and can online purchases be exchanged physically? If not, you don’t have a full omni channel experience.

However, the strategies don’t start there. This is just the most limited, basic level of omni solutions. At its peak, the omni channel can let customers get a contextual and unique but consistent brand experience anywhere they encounter your brand or products.

The omni user journey involves getting information from one sales channel and inviting users to participate in other channels from that starting point. The interaction needs to feel natural, not contrived – every step follows naturally from the last. This allows for a seamless transition that draws the customer ever deeper into the holistic brand experience.

Omni channel solutions help transform first-time buyers into loyal customers. It also allows for adjustments in communications according to where each customer is in their journey.


Why PIM Matters

To build winning omni channel solutions, it takes much more than great product descriptions or adding lots of channels for users to discover. One of the most important aspects of making these strategies work is having great product information that offers what customers want to see.

Your great product content needs to be paired with excellent photography, as well as other features like video or even user-generated content like social media posts from customers. This helps optimize customers’ experiences across all channels.


Building Better Product Information

Moving from simple product descriptions to omni-optimized product information is a big task. The omni channel makes it even more complicated, since the information has to work across different channels, and time is of the essence.

Each channel can have different information needs, too. The way a product is presented in-store might differ wildly from the best way to present it in digital channels.

One of the major challenges in presenting products on digital channels is that the customer doesn’t have the in-store context. They can’t feel, touch, or try on products. Retailers need to try to provide similar information that can be transmitted in a digital format.

Featuring certain product details and offering enriched, contextualized product information can help. However, the amount of product information a retailer needs to sift through can get overwhelming. The information is collected from and optimized for multiple sources.

If you’re using outdated database systems to keep all this disparate information organized, the task gets even harder. When you’re using different systems to keep the information together, loopholes in the customer experience soon arise.


Making the Move to Omni Channel

When you start using the omni channel concept, your brand needs to inventory all of the current product information. This information should be evaluated to determine what’s needed and how it should be tailored for certain channels.

That way, you can build integrated systems and more efficient processes to keep the information flowing to the customer as needed.

Retailers all know that the biggest challenge in the industry is to capture the attention of customers and keep it. Using accurate, thorough content drives customer loyalty. To that end, product information management (PIM) becomes necessary.

Even without omni channel solutions, PIM is important. But once you factor in an omni approach, it’s critical. You need PIM to keep things consistent across channels and automate the processes so information reaches the customer on time.


Ready to Use Omni Channel Solutions?

Although many businesses have failed to use omni channel solutions so far, there’s no doubt that this strategy is the way of the future.

As new channels consistently get built, brands need a way to sync the customer experience across all of them. An omni solution is the best way to do this. And with proper PIM, the right information will always be organized and at hand.

Are you using omni channel solutions for your business, or are you ready to get started? Leave a comment and let us know!