User Experience and PIM

Me, web development

You can't claim to be about User Experience without embracing PIM.

I've used and demoed several PIMs - most notably Akeneo. For businesses with several outputs of where their Products end up, they just make sense from an effiency in administration view. PIMs are data management systems at their heart but built with users in mind. You can see this in Akeneo's marketing. They reference the roles of users that are required to get product information in front of people and how their software enables this team to work better. Its relatable.

In practice, using a PIM like Akeneo has allowed myself to manage platform migrations of over 10,000 skus. I think it reduces the learning curve when on boarding new team members, so they can get their heads around the product mix quicker - and what is important to customers about the products. And I think the user interfaces keep these team members engaged longer, which leads to better product data & descriptions. Im a big fan of this angle. Just compare handling excel or word documents in and out of CMS's to a modern PIM interface like Akeneo and you will agree, I'm sure.

More esoterically however, I reckon that businesses that invest in PIMs just get 'data' and its impact on 'UX'. Not just how many RPMs or what type of colour or material a product is made out of that everyone knows is critical for selling it to someone.It's about the data used to filter and organise products, allowing better search and navigation. It's about organising products into seasons or bundles to allow merchandising or marketing. What about spare parts, freight data, manuals, FAQs and photographs? Storing, editing and organising this data without a PIM is not fun. Even if your ERP can even store it for starters, I bet you need to export csv's out of it to begin to edit it in bulk.

So, lets simplify User Experience and how Data affects it. Can you help your users find the product they are looking for? Then, do you answer their questions about the product, do you sell the product through words and pictures? Now you're improving user experience. Let's go a step further and make your team enjoy writing product descriptions, and standardise the parameters so they are getting the boring bits done quicker and without soul-crushing revisions. The end result will be more accurate and unique. Pretty important in marketing, but that is another post.

It's interesting trying to distill UX, or any other big thing into practical actions hey.

© Mikko Moisander.RSS