What Does Product Information Include?
by Lumavate | Last Updated: Oct 9, 2023
by Lumavate | Last Updated: Oct 9, 2023
What product information includes depends on who you ask. Product engineers think of specifications and engineering drawings. Support teams look for troubleshooting guides and operator manuals. Marketing and sales want product descriptions and case studies.
Manufacturers need to provide all teams access to a centralized source for all product information. This provides employees with the ability to find accurate and verified product data quickly. No one wants to spend hours searching a network for files or recreating existing documents. Employees may not know it, but what they want is a product information management system (PIM).
Product information ranges from documents, such as owner’s manuals and installation guides to detailed specifications. It includes marketing materials, such as product images, graphics, and lifestyle photography. What is included depends on the company, but the following product information list provides some examples.
Product Name. This information should include the official product name as well as any "nicknames" or internal identifiers.
Product Description. A written document outlining the product's features, functions, and benefits. Sales and marketing often use this information as the basis for their product information.
Product Specifications. Technical details that describe product size, dimensions, weight, and other details such as height or battery life.
Product Images. These images should show the product, its features, and its uses at a high resolution for use in presentations, printed materials, and online publications.
Product Videos. Video is another way to demonstrate a product or provide troubleshooting instructions.
Product Pricing. Product pricing can include MSRP, MAP, or dealer pricing for example.
Case Studies or Testimonials. These documents show how the product helped customers and what customers say about the experience.
Product Warranty. Details about warranties or guarantees that come with the product, including duration and coverage.
Product Compatibility. Compatibility refers to the product's ability to integrate with complementary solutions. It can also refer to the product's adherence to standards and regulations
Customer Care. Information on how the end user should care for the product may be part of customer care documents; however, data can include instructions to help customer support teams resolve customer concerns.
Product Manuals. Documentation that helps the product owner learn how to set up, maintain, or service the product.
Health, Safety, and the Environment Data. Depending on the location, product information may include environmental impact statements, regulatory warnings, and use restrictions. Keeping the information in one location can help ensure that the appropriate information is printed on the product, packaging, or documentation.
These are a few product information examples. Any data that helps customers and employees make informed decisions about the product should be part of product information.
Product Information Management (PIM) software centralizes product information within an organization. Instead of silos of data across multiple departments, PIM software collects, stores, organizes, and distributes product data from a central repository to ensure consistent and accurate communications across all touch points. Its goal is to improve the quality of information for an enhanced customer experience by improving internal processes.
Beyond centralizing product information, PIM software can deliver the following:
Improved Data Quality. Managing data quality should be part of any PIM solution. PIM companies may provide tools to help with data acquisition and maintenance.
Faster Search Results. PIM software creates an organizational structure that makes it easier for the end user to access the information they need.
More Consistent Information. In a multi-channel environment, PIM solutions ensure the same product information is used, creating a single source of truth for all data.
Easier Customization. Leading PIM systems can support customized data fields, such as multilingual product descriptions.,
Better Version Control. Version control is built into a PIM solution. Changes are recorded providing a history of data modifications.
Seamless Integration. To operate as a single source of truth, the PIM system must integrate with other systems that use the data, such as a company’s website.
Efficient Scalability. Cloud-based solutions take advantage of the technology to allow businesses to scale as needed with minimal changes to the base solution as they grow.
The right PIM solution can help product managers keep control of the information generated and updated by multiple sources.
Online and in-store retailers often struggle to align their product information. With a PIM system, they can centralize their product data so every channel delivers the same information. For example, a manufacturer of backyard sheds sells a do-it-yourself kit for residential use online and in stores.
Three months after release, the product manager noticed an increase in the customer support calls from buyers of the DIY solution. However, most of the calls came from online purchasers. After considerable research, the manager determined that the assembly instructions were incorrect.
The store managers had noted the problem and communicated the error to their management. They also informed customers who purchased the shed of the error, but no one updated the product manager or the product documentation. As a result, the online buyers continued to struggle with assembling the shed.
With a fully implemented PIM solution, the store manager would follow an established workflow to inform the product manager of the error. The product manager would, in turn, discuss the problem with the design engineers. Once a solution was approved, the correction was incorporated into the PIM solution, and all touch points were updated.
Instead of waiting three months to address the problem, the product manager was able to correct the error quickly. The customer experience was the same for those purchasing the shed online or in-store. With PIM software, the company avoided three months of end-user frustration.
Product information managers often serve multiple roles. They may be a project or product manager. They may be a marketing manager or even a technical writer. The difficulty with a partial product information manager is time. A product information manager is responsible for the following:
Data Governance. A product information manager's primary focus is establishing policies and procedures on how data is stored, collected, and used. Without governance, it's impossible to maintain data integrity.
PIM Strategy. Managers should define a strategy that reflects an organization's goals and objectives. They must ensure that the PIM workflow aligns with corporate strategies.
Workflow. Establish workflows for creating, approving, and disseminating product information as part of data governance. Create a system with checks and balances to ensure data accuracy.
Omnichannel Distribution. Ensure product information is effectively distributed to all sales channels.
Product Documentation. Collaborate on creating training and materials for in-house personnel, end users, and vendors.
Continuous Improvement. Practice continuous improvement strategies to ensure the PIM solution keeps pace with market and business needs.
PIM managers usually have budgetary responsibilities, may be tasked with ensuring compliance with industry and government regulations, and can serve as critical communicators to all stakeholders.
Given their overwhelming responsibilities, PIM managers need a tool such as Lumavate's Product Information Management solution. The platform not only centralizes product data but also delivers digital asset management functionality. Its Digital Experience Platform (DXP) builds digital product experiences for improved customer engagement. Whether product information management is your only responsibility or it's become an added task, Lumavate can help. Why not schedule a demo to learn how PIM software simplifies product information management?