Working with data can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. Resources are in particular necessary for data maintenance to keep the contents of the PIM system always up to date. For sure these resources could be deployed elsewhere. With our tool dynamicPIM® we have solved this situation: with targeted automation through an API interface and the output containers – meaning the output formats. Automated text creation is an additional icing on the cake. Let’s take a closer look at these automations in the PIM system.
The API interface: master data maintenance at the touch of a button
The API interface passes on data automatically and targeted according to structure, fields and requirements or it imports data into our system. In general, there are several ways to do this.
A first option is the manual maintenance. This makes sense if there are smaller structures, few products and a possibly low turnover rate. The second option is the mass upload of structured data. For this intention we offer the Excel import in dynamicPIM®. Thus, an Excel template (.xlsx) can be generated from the system, so that it always represents the current fields of the system – i.e. it dynamically adapts to the system. Here, we have also taken into account that certain meta data can be linked to media objects or product/product relations. This means, you can process the time-consuming activity of establishing relations (media/media, product/media, product/product) by creating a structured import. This is extremely important because this is one of the main strengths of PIM systems. Ideally, they track all relations that are also of interest for sales.
We proudly present: a fully automated data extraction and transfer
The third option is the API interface, one of the automations in the PIM. The API interface accesses the data fields in the background and can forward data to a remote station as well as pull data from other systems. The whole process is fully automated and as individual as required, e.g. in a certain time sequence.
Typically, this function is used when data input is to be fed from a global system, such as an internal SAP application. In this case, it must be defined which data is to be retrieved, in what temporal rhythm and what restrictions are applied. In doing so, workflow scenarios can also be taken into account, since, for example, the end-dates that are set to automatically archive the data in our system.
A clever the output process thanks to automation in PIM
If you want to retrieve data – or to be precise: perform the output processes – there are also various possibilities for automation in the PIM. Trading partners can directly obtain the required data via an interface. This data is only assigned to this specific group of clients. Or a shop system obtains master data from the API and automatically brings the data to the shop. A website obtains data for product detail pages (PDP) directly from our system and enriches the content with comparison charts and optionally all associated media objects such as images and videos. If something changes – even in global systems – you only need to change it in the master data. The data update follows the next time, the data is obtained. Just like magic.
There are many scenarios: But all have in common that they considerably optimize the data flows of product and media data. And as data can be managed centrally, it is ensured that the data is outstanding in quality and up-to-dateness.
Automated text creation from the PIM – thanks to retresco
The creation of product texts, e.g. for an online shop, is a special case in which automation in the PIM system can ensure great efficiency. Our partner retresco developed a textengine which we integrated in dynamicPIM®. You can use this optional module’s full scope of services with separate licensing. This feature automatically generates texts from structured data and thus allows the creation of speaking texts in different variants. The big advantage: Texts in different languages and variants can be sent to different trading partners and are therefore no duplicated content in the eyes of Google & Co. in SEO. This is a real SEO boost for your texts!
Once you created the product cartridges, you only need to maintain the structured data properly. Since texts are now created specifically for each trading partner, all target groups are served individually, and the copywriter does not have to create numerous texts.
Is the copywriter now out of job?
Let’s put it straight: No! As is so often the case with digitization projects, the job description changes, but is not entirely replaced. The textengine helps with very large quantities of product descriptions or article that are subject to frequent changes. The so-called cartridges must be created for the respective product groups, which in turn enable the compilation of the texts. This requires know-how and a good sense of text structure and its style. Introduction, main part, conclusion … all text passages must be created and adapted to the respective product type, e.g. shampoo, shaver, lipstick, make-up, TV, hi-fi system etc …
If you want to know more about how the textengine works, check out our article.
The output containers in our PIM system – product data prepared for your further use
Let’s move on to further possibilities of automation in the PIM: The output containers are an output format that is either generally valid or only accessible to certain user groups. In addition to the API, which can provide data in the background, these output containers can be used in many applications, for example as a Microsoft Excel output format.
With only a few clicks you can create an Excel chart for a mass download or with a specific customized format for trading partners like Rossmann, dm, REWE, Aldi, Amazon, Zalando, Otto, Media Markt etc. The formats can be completely different and are created directly from the current data when retrieved. In addition, output containers can be placed in the data basket and thus many products can be created at once in one table.
The same applies to a PDF for a product sheet or several product sheets. Everything can be collected in the data basket or made available directly for download per product as an individual product sheet. In this case, the data is generated from the current stock right after retrieval.
PowerPoint or an individual output format – what would you like?
All data can also be created as a PowerPoint file. It contains all data of the product or product on multiple pages. These pages remain fully editable and can be used as a presentation. This offers many possibilities for usage: Even for sales force teams that need access to complete sales folders to create convincing product presentations.
And there is even more: The above mentioned three formats are included as standard. But all other text- or code-based formats are also possible. HTML, XML, JSON– just tell us what you or your customers need.
Automation in PIM has many faces. From automated data transfer via API interface, over text generation based on structured data, to different output formats of the desired product data. But at its core, they have one thing in common: They make it easier for us to handle and ensure efficient work with dynamicPIM®. Convince yourself and contact us.