If you have an ecommerce business that maintains a wide range of products across a variety of channels, it’s important that you deliver consistent product information. However, it can be challenging to manage so many different products. You may find that your branding, marketing, and sales efforts are inconsistent. Know that you are not alone, many online retailers encounter the same issues.
The good news is that you can streamline product content and deliver uniform messaging across all your channels effectively with the help of a centralized Product Content Management (PCM) solution. A PCM allows you to update, manage, consolidate, and distribute product information quickly and easily.
In this guide, we will take a look at what a PCM is, how it works, the benefits of a PCM, and how it differs from other solutions you may have heard of.
What is Product Content Management?
Product content management is commonly defined as:
“The tasks of content creation, aggregation, categorization, scheduling, staging, publication, and syndication. Beyond the core product content assets, it also incorporates the assignment of attributes such as category, price, and promotion eligibility.”
What this means is that a PCM will help you provide customers with a consistent customer experience as it relates to the branding, marketing, and selling of your products. No matter where your product is listed, customers will see the same details and branded materials.
How Does Product Content Management Work?
A PCM simplifies many of the tedious and time-consuming product-related tasks. You are able to quickly update and manage all your products, which is essential with a large or growing product catalog. Here are some of the ways that a PCM allows you to do that:
- Control all your product content across all sales channels from one place
- Consolidate all product content and information and provides accessibility and manageability for your users
- Categorize and classify products, manage your catalog, and even import supplier catalogs
- Easily add new products and specials like bundled offers online
- Give product content a consistent look across all your sales channels
- Provide shoppers with a compelling customer experience that is consistent and engaging
What Are the Benefits of Product Content Management?
When you choose a PCM to help with product management, you will save time and money and improve the customer experience for shoppers. Here are a few of the many benefits you’ll experience with a PCM:
- Control – With a PCM solution, you have full, quick, and easy control over all aspects of product content across all channels.
- Scalability – A PCM allows your business to grow with the addition of new products with minimal extra time.
- Increased customer loyalty – A PCM will help you improve the customer experience by providing setting consistent expectations.
- Save time and labor costs – You can add or update products and product content without having to outsource the tasks.
- Consistency – Your branding and marketing will be consistent and customer-targeted across all channels.
The Difference between PCM, PIM, and Other Solutions
In the ecommerce world, you will find that there is no shortage of solutions designed to help run your online business. The number of choices can quickly lead to confusion and indecision when you don’t understand the differences in what the solutions can do. Handling product content is no exception.
You may have heard of product information management (PIM) solutions and wonder how they are different from PCM solutions. And you will probably find that there is quite a bit of confusion about how they differ. Generally speaking, a PCM typically offers data enrichment. That means that with a PCM you will have the ability to add or edit product descriptions, images, attributes, and categorizations from one place.
A product information management solution usually offers the same as a PCM, with some additional components like aggregation and data quality. Aggregation allows you to collect and combine product information from various sources and in various formats into a single source of information. Data quality refers to the ability to normalize and remediate any problem data. With a PIM, you will typically pay more for the added components.
PIM and PCM are not the only solutions you will find when it comes to handling product data. Here are some of the other common solutions you may find:
- PRM – Product resource management is often used by solutions providers to refer to software that is similar to PIM and PCM solutions. This acronym is usually seen in England and France.
- PLM – Product life-cycle management is another term you will see. It refers to a solution that provides more of a management strategy than to specific IT technologies. Its main goal is to optimize and analyze product life-cycles over time.
- CMP – Cross media publishing is used in the advertising and print industries. It refers to the coordination of multiple media and the repeat usage of specific elements (images, text, or graphics) within different media.
Getting Started with a Product Content Management Solution
Despite the growing importance of product content management, many ecommerce business owners are still not familiar with its uses. If you are still managing your product content manually, it’s definitely a solution to consider. A PCM can have a significant effect on your efficiency and scalability, which in turn, helps your business grow and prosper.