PIM Systems in Marketplace Platforms

High quality and accurate product data enables sellers to present their assortment appropriately, and consumers to find exactly what they are looking for. The most popular marketplace platforms operate almost like search engines, allowing consumers to advanced filter listings using multiple keywords and various parameters.

However, managing the vast amount of product data can be a challenge in e-commerce business. Product Information Management – PIM systems – come to the rescue, becoming an indispensable tool to support marketplace platforms in effectively collecting, managing and sharing product data across sales and e-commerce channels.

Rise in Popularity of Marketplace Platforms

The popularity of marketplace platforms is due to several factors. Modern consumers increasingly value convenience and a large selection of different shopping options. Marketplace platforms meet these expectations by providing access to a wide range of products from different industries in one place, rather than on a store’s website. Secondly, the rapid growth of e-commerce businesses and growing trust in online stores are making more and more people prefer to shop online. Finally, for many retailers, opening new sales channels is becoming an integral part of their business development strategy.

Why Do Customers Buy on Marketplaces?

Consumers choose to shop on marketplace platforms for several reasons. First, they can easily compare prices and offers from different sellers, allowing them to find the best bargains. They don’t have to make a choice only on one particular online store. In addition, most platforms offer convenient payment options and fast delivery, which translates into a positive shopping experience. In addition, a rich database of reviews and opinions from other customers helps them make informed purchasing decisions.

Marketplace Platforms as New Sales Channels

Opening new sales channels is an important part of the business development strategy for many stores. It enables them to reach new groups of customers and increase sales. Diversifying sales channels can also reduce the risks associated with concentrating sales in one place.

Marketplace platforms are important for both sellers and customers. For sellers, they are an effective way to reach a wide audience, increase product sales and build brand recognition. Starting sales on a third-party marketplace is not a huge investment. In contrast, an in-house marketplace, although it involves a greater commitment of resources, offers tremendous opportunities for growth.

For customers, on the other hand, marketplaces offer convenience, a wide selection of products and attractive prices. They can freely compare products offered by different sellers in terms of price, availability, delivery time and possible promotions.

B2C Marketplaces

These marketplaces facilitate direct interaction between companies selling products and end customers, who are individuals looking for products for their own use. B2C platforms offer a wide range of products and services, such as apparel, electronics, hardware, groceries, books, airline tickets, travel services and many others.

Popular examples of B2C marketplace platforms include: Amazon, eBay, Allegro, Etsy, Zalando, Empik marketplace, Facebook marketplace or OLX.

B2B Marketplace

A place where companies can establish business relationships with each other, buying and selling products and services for their business operations. B2B marketplaces are mainly aimed at companies and businesses that are looking for suppliers, buyers or business partners to run their businesses.

Amazon Business is an excellent example of diversifying sales channels and has been a huge success as a global leader in the B2B marketplace segment. As many as 36% of business buyers use the platform, confirming its importance in the market. Slightly lower, in second place, is eBay, which attracts almost 30% of business customers. Chinese giant Alibaba, on the other hand, enjoys a market share of 27%.

How Are Marketplace Platforms Changing Traditional B2B Trade

Digital Assets and New Sales Channels

Adequate information and high data quality ensures a unified brand image, a common message, effective assortment management, increased visibility and availability, as well as minimized errors. That’s why it’s so important for companies to ensure the quality and consistency of their digital assets, especially in the context of expansion into new markets and sales platforms.

The importance of robust product information management becomes even more crucial in the context of opening sales on marketplace platforms. Here’s why:

  • Brand consistency: customers can identify a brand’s products through relevant descriptions, images and other information, regardless of where they shop. This builds trust and loyalty to the brand and increases brand recognition.
  • Uniform message: with consistent product information, companies can ensure a uniform message across sales channels. This means that descriptions, specifications, prices and other data are consistent across all places where customers can find products.
  • Effective assortment management: companies can more easily control which products are available on which channel, what their prices are and whether there are any special offers. This allows for effective assortment management and sales optimization.
  • Less risk of errors: data inconsistency and poor quality can lead to customer dissatisfaction, complaints and financial losses for the company. Therefore, taking care of these issues is crucial, especially in the context of introducing new sales channels.

Importance of Product Information for Customer Experience

Data consistency is also crucial to the customer experience on marketplace platforms. They make it easier for consumers to compare products, make informed purchasing decisions and avoid disappointment from ambiguous or incomplete information. Consistent assortment data builds customer confidence in a brand and translates into a higher propensity to make purchases.

Tools such as the PIM software can help maintain consistency in product information and manage all the data efficiently. It influences product information management by centralizing, standardizing, updating and synchronizing data, supporting offer personalization, optimizing business processes, and analyzing and reporting. As a result, vendors can manage their product offerings more effectively and increase the efficiency of their operations.

Tasks of PIM System on Marketplace Platforms

Product Information Management software provides an advanced tool for collecting, managing and sharing product data, which is perfect for driving sales on marketplace platforms, being responsible for many important processes. Let’s check out the key benefits of using this technology.

Centralization of Product Data

The PIM solutions make it possible to collect product data from various sources, such as suppliers, manufacturers or warehouse systems, and store it in one central location. As a result, all assortment information is easily accessible to sellers and customers on the marketplace platform.

Managing Multiple Sales Channels

Integrating PIM systems with various sales channels, such as websites, desktop stores, mobile apps or an in-house e-commerce platform enables consistent product data management not only on the marketplace platform, but at every customer touchpoint with the brand.

Data Standardization

The PIM system enabled the definition of uniform product data formats, which facilitates the presentation of products on the platform and improves readability for customers. Data standardization ensures clarity and consistency of information, which builds customer trust in the company and positively affects sales conversions – from hardware to cosmetics and clothing to furniture.

Improving the Quality of Information

By automatically eliminating errors and outdated information, PIM systems help maintain high quality product data on the marketplace platform. Adequate produt information translates into a better shopping experience for customers, and thus a lower risk of returns or complaints.

System PIM Best Practices

Personalizing the Offer

Analyzing product data makes it possible to personalize offers to customers by offering products tailored to their preferences and buying behavior, as well as preparing several language versions. Customizing the offer can increase customer engagement and lead to increased sales and brand loyalty.

Faster Time-to-Market

PIM systems facilitate the process of importing new products into the marketplace platform and standardizing their data, which speeds up their launch. The rapid introduction of new products contributes to the variety of offerings and the platform’s appeal to customers, and is key to gaining a competitive advantage. It also enables a quick response to customer needs and changing trends in the e-commerce industry.

Optimization of Sales Processes

PIM systems automate many processes related to product data management, saving time and resources. This enables sellers to focus on more strategic tasks, such as offer development or customer service, rather than creating product descriptions.

PIM System Integration with Marketplace

Integrating a PIM system with a marketplace involves establishing a seamless data flow between the product information management system and the trading platform. The main integration steps include:

  1. Transferring data to the marketplace: the PIM system provides comprehensive product information such as descriptions, images, technical specifications, etc. This data is transferred to the marketplace platform to present products to customers.
  2. Data updating: when product data is changed or updated in the PIM system, it is automatically synchronized with the marketplace platform thanks to the integration to ensure information consistency.
  3. Asset management: the integration makes it possible to manage assets in the PIM system, such as product images, and then make them available on the marketplace platform in appropriate formats and sizes.
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450% More Products with Marketplace Integration

For an effective example of integrationg an e-commerce and PIM system with a marketplace platform (in this case, Mirakl), we can look at the project we carried out for Black Red White (BRW). This company is the largest furniture group in Poland, with products available on 55 foreign markets, as well.

Due to its dynamic growth, BRW decided to open a marketplace for partners and distributors, aiming to acquire new products for the brand’s retail customers. In addition, the company sought to launch a new B2C sales channel through Home24, a popular marketplace platform in Germany.

In response to the need for effective product data management, we implemented a PIM-class system, namely Pimcore. We used AWS cloud infrastructure and Elasticsearch tool for advanced data search and indexing, ensuring full scalability and performance of the PIM system.

The PIM system’s functionalities enable automatic grouping of products into coherent structures, which significantly speeds up work. Integrations ensure a seamless flow of data between systems, enabling suppliers to populate product information in the marketplace and then present it to end customers in BRW’s online store. With the Unilinker integration tool, product data, categories, inventory, prices and invoices are transferred between BRW’s systems and the BaseLinker tool, from which the information goes to the German marketplace Home24.

Efficient Product Data Management with PIM

Integrating a PIM solution with platforms helps to streamline product data management and ensure that information is consistent and up-to-date. As a result, customers are provided with a better shopping experience and companies operate more efficiently, leading to increased customer confidence and increased sales. It is also possible to introduce new products for sale more quickly and efficiently adjust offerings to changing market trends.

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