6 e-commerce and retail trends driving demand for PIM systems in 2023

In the course of digitization, consumer buying behavior has changed and, accordingly, so have consumer expectations of a brand’s sales channels. More and more customers are shopping online and interacting with brands in new and interesting ways, as new technologies also constantly offer new opportunities for contact.

But any thriving business needs to find ways to keep up with these shifts in consumer expectations. They need to find processes to cater to the needs of their target audiences as e-commerce buying patterns evolve.

Trends like hyper-personalisation, mobile and social media shopping, global retail, supply chain challenges, and complex tech stacks impact how brands manage their inventories. Here’s what you need to know about how these trends shift the way brands work and inspire them to adopt product information management (PIM) solutions.

1. The introduction of hyper-personalisation

It’s already apparent that personalised user experiences are making waves and helping customers feel more engaged with brands than ever before. In fact, around 80 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if the brand offers a personalised experience.

But the same is also true for increased levels of personalization in the products brands sell. The average consumer is far less intrigued by generic products; they want something to help them stand out. Buyers find this level of personalisation to be incredibly appealing:

  • 81 percent of consumers would pay more for personalised apparel
  • 79 percent of consumers would pay more for personalised footwear
  • 77 percent of consumers would pay more for personalised jewelry and accessories
  • 76 percent of consumers would pay more for personalised furnishings

Product customisation can be a great way to connect with consumers, attract new customers, and drive sales – but brands need strong strategies to make this level of personalisation possible, profitable, and efficient.

An e-commerce product catalog – like a PIM solution – can be an incredibly useful tool here. A PIM solution gives you the power to store all kinds of variations on the items in stock and share product descriptions with customers.

2. A sharp rise in mobile shopping

Mobile eCommerce is surging in popularity—so much so that it’s been monikered: “m-commerce.” This term refers to online purchases made through portable devices like smartphones or tablets. Consumers are using their mobile devices to research products, compare prices, and purchase at higher rates than ever. In fact, at the end of 2022, almost one-third of US internet users made at least one online purchase per week using their mobile phones.

In 2023, time spent on mobile retail apps will exceed 100 billion hours across the globe—and these apps seem to be the preferred way for consumers to shop online on the go as they account for 54 percent of all mobile commerce payments.

Mobile commerce is expanding at lightning speed, which is why it’s so essential for brands to have mobile-friendly websites and applications complete with optimized product data. Integrating with a PIM system means it’s simpler for brands to complete a mobile-friendly site and store and optimize product listings across platforms and commerce channels.

3. A new era of social media shopping

Social media is no longer just a way for consumers to find and interact with new brands; it’s also a rapidly-expanding shopping platform. It’s anticipated that in 2023, sales from the social eCommerce market will top $1 trillion for the first time, with an expected $1.3 trillion in combined annual sales. This is over double the figure from 2020, when sales peaked at $560 billion. By 2026, annual social media sales could reach $2.9 trillion.

Social media is undoubtedly an effective marketing tool, but with shopping features prominently featured throughout the most popular social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest, and now TikTok. Now, merchants can use these channels to promote and sell their products.

Social commerce can significantly and positively impact online brands—especially those whose target audiences spending time browsing these apps. With a PIM system, sellers can manage their inventory (including social commerce platforms), store images and other assets, integrate marketing copy, and edit, share, and optimize content within a convenient location.

4. The expansion of global retail

Global eCommerce is taking off in a big way. How big? One only has to look at the figures:

  • In 2021, cross-border online shopping totaled approximately $785 billion.
  • By 2030, cross-border eCommerce will reach an anticipated $7.9 trillion.

Online brands are quickly adding cross-border selling to their eCommerce strategies, taking online selling past global Amazon storefronts to multilingual stores and worldwide commerce. Why? Cross-border commerce isn’t a niche selling strategy. In fact, 67 percent of global shoppers devote 10 percent of their monthly online spending to brands in other countries. It’s a smart way to expand a brand’s reputation to broader audiences and become a globally known, trusted brand.

With a PIM solution, online sellers can manage and update localized content on their own eCommerce website and within their other digital marketplaces. This simplifies overcoming localization challenges compared to spreadsheets or more traditional localization methods.

5. Striving for sustainability in the supply chain

If there’s one thing that the collective world of e-commerce learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that supply chain management is critical to lasting success. Internal processes like the supply chain can be essential to providing consumers with a strong, positive customer experience.

While supply chain issues today might look a bit different than they did in the early days of the pandemic, brands are still examining their supply chains as a whole and looking for ways to make them more agile, more sustainable, and better for the environment, more customer-centric, and more localized with tools like better inventory forecasting, and improved visibility throughout the supply chain. Human rights agreements, environmental protection agreements and improved transparency, including in supplier management, help to make the entire supply chain more local, fairer, safer, and thus more sustainable. The aim of all these measures is to promote optimized corporate governance throughout the entire life cycle of a product or service.

When issues like pandemics, wildfires, or other disasters interrupt the supply chain, brands need ways to fail-proof their operations. While these disruptions may be outside a brand’s control, they can utilize a PIM solution to track product availability and better discern which products you need to promote and which are waning in inventory. A PIM system can help brands share the most updated information with suppliers across the supply chain.

6. Managing complex tech stacks

It seems that anymore, there’s a separate technology solution for just about every step in the supply chain, adding up to a complex tech stack loaded with countless applications and software systems.

While a complex tech stack can help you analyze data, manage your marketplace, and store digital assets, it can also make things too complicated and costly. Employees lose an average of five hours each workweek toggling between tools like messaging, collaboration, and asset storage solutions – which can significantly impact productivity. Often, it also means work gets lost in the shuffle.

What’s more, the complex tech stacks may lead to all kinds of work redundancies; 44 percent of workers believe that siloed digital tools within their tech stack make it hard to know when multiple team members are duplicating work. And almost half of these workers are sharing that not having the tools to track work and collaborate in real-time leads to costly errors on the job.

As a result of this trend, many brands are adopting PIM solutions to limit the amount of app switching. Because these PIM solutions streamline workflows and make it easier to keep everyone on the same page, employees can better focus their efforts on the tasks without redundancies or work falling through the cracks.

Comosoft helps you keep up with the trends

Staying current with all these changes doesn’t have to be a hassle. With product information management software, you have a single, centralized location to oversee each product from the beginning of its lifecycle to the end.

Comosoft’s PIM system isn’t just a PIM system; it goes beyond product information management. With a digital asset management solution, a collaborative workflow and versioning tool that updates in real-time and consolidates your data and assets from multiple sources into a central repository.

When you combine your data and assets into a unified view, you and your team can plan and execute projects and tackle new trends with better insight – no matter how quickly trends shift and evolve.

LAGO Product Information Management

Learn more about our LAGO PIM and how we can help you organise your product information efficiently.