As you seek to expand to new markets and locales it’s critical to localize your product information for those channels. That means you need to update your entire catalog — compelling descriptions, market-appropriate specifications, attributes, and media — and configure it for local languages and sensibilities.
To do this at scale, your team can benefit from tools that make localization processes more efficient and enable you to deliver better product experiences, even in a complex environment. Considerations for accomplishing this task and selecting the right tool for the job include:
- What is the best way to manage translation at scale?
- How do you manage multiple metrics and standards?
- How do you adapt product information for cultural specificities and localization?
- How will distributed teams collaborate on editing product information?
- How can you ensure compliance with the rules and regulations for each market?
Product information management (PIM) provides the infrastructure you need to think globally while acting locally.
The Foundation to eCommerce Growth: Product Information Management (PIM)
PIM is a business application designed for marketers and ecommerce teams that makes it easy to address new markets and methodically prepare product information to be translated, localized, and deployed to relevant channels and touchpoints.
PIM is critical to any eCommerce internationalization strategy.
- Easily manage and adjust product information at scale: PIM makes it easy to manage and edit product information across an entire organization. Mass edit capabilities allow you to update large amounts of product data at once and ensure that the product information that shows on any channel is exactly what you specify. Business rules can help automate attribute fields and categorization for a localized product mix. Whether you need to modify descriptions and images based on specific cultural requirements or simply need to include different measurement systems and sizes, PIM can handle and automate many of these tasks to simplify the product enrichment process.
- Increase localization efficiency across distributed teams: PIMs provide translation capabilities that can manage the job of translation without users ever needing to leave the PIM. These translation plug-ins provide users with a choice of automated or manual translation services and significantly accelerate the translation and localization processes with streamlined workflows across global teams. What’s more, distributed workflows allow local contributors to modify product descriptions based on local needs while keeping headquarters staff informed and in charge of the global process.
- Accelerate time to market: PIM speeds up time to market by optimizing all the workflows associated with product information management. Product information can be automatically pulled from supplier ERPs and other data systems to populate and update product descriptions. The final product information can then be distributed to eCommerce storefronts, marketplaces, and print catalogs in the required formats. No more days wasted with tedious copying and pasting information to and from spreadsheets.
- Ensure quality control, legal compliance, and risk management: PIM tools that offer validation workflows and a business rules engine can better control product information quality and be sure that products are properly represented across every market. What’s more, countries have variable rules regarding labeling, licensing, and merchandising. These rules are often more strict for highly regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare, and food & beverage — where for example different states and countries require different labeling for ingredients, country of origin, health warnings, etc. By using PIM, organizations can ensure that these rules are met and as a result better manage their risk.
- Improved conversion and return rates. The final outcome of all your hard work is more accurate and compelling product information and a better product experience. This naturally increases conversions and decreases returns. Profits follow.
PIM is a centralized tool that makes it easy to address new markets and prepare product information to be translated, localized, and deployed to the relevant channels and touchpoints.
What to Look for in a PIM Solution
There are a number of PIM solutions on the market. Here’s what to look for:
- A centralized platform that allows your team to handle all product information enrichment, localization, translation, etc. in one place.
- Integrated enrichment process: Look for a solution that ensures comprehensive, complete, and accurate product data. The best tools offer workflow-driven processes so product data changes can be reviewed and validated for accuracy. You should also look for a completeness tool to be sure your product information is fully enriched and populated before spreading it to sales channels.
- Automation tools that can eliminate some of the time-consuming and repetitive tasks required in product information translation and localization including metric system conversions, currency conversions, as well as actual content translation.
- Workflow and business rules that validate and control product information quality, improve localized asset management, and manage locale-specific attributes, which makes it possible to maintain catalogs in multiple languages within a single PIM.
PIM acts as a single source of truth for all product information.
PIM the eCommerce Internationalization Accelerator
PIM is the platform you need to power your internationalization strategy. Optimized workflows and tools ensure that your products look good and are relevant across every channel, in every locale, and in alignment with your brand.
Originally published on 8/22/18 by Akeneo https://www.akeneo.com/blog/ecommerce-internationalization/
Johan Benoualid, Vice President of Global Sales at Akeneo
Johan Benoualid carries more than 15 years of experience helping category-leading technology companies drive growth and market adoption. Prior to joining Akeneo, Johan served as South Europe managing director at Hootsuite, a leading social media management platform, where he was instrumental in driving the company’s expansion across France, Spain, and Italy. Before Hootsuite, Johan worked at Adobe, where he helped the software giant increase market penetration of its industry-leading martech products. Outside of work, Johan is a travel aficionado who navigated the world with his family in the early 2010s.
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