MACH-Based Product Information Management – a Step Towards Composable Commerce

The sphere of today’s commerce is constantly accelerating.

Forward-looking organizations are turning towards a composable approach that gives them agility and a “DIY mindset” in composing their tech stacks with best-of-breed solutions. The changes occur from the smallest particle – master, and product data.

As Gartner indicates in its newest “Hype Cycle for Data and Analytics Governance, 2022”, organizations seek to deliver the value of becoming data-driven. There is a growing need for effective master data management of product information for different business areas. The trend of MDM is in an early mainstream stage as the expected time to the plateau is less than two years.

Master data management (MDM) solutions and product information management (PIM) solutions are complementary. Many PIM systems already have built-in MDM to ensure there is one source of master data.

Product information, an elementary particle of digital commerce

To realize the importance of product information's quality is to step into shoppers’ shoes. Photos, product descriptions, whitepapers, or testimonials are different product data types. In digital commerce, customers interact through them on various touch points before they see and experience tangible products. In most cases, the purchase decision is based on the quality of product information (its completeness, compelling written copy, etc.)

Product-centric companies need to keep an eye on their data and manage them smartly to react quickly to changing customer behavior, enter new markets and add new channels. Modern automation solutions are significant once a company reaches 500+ SKUs (Stock Keeping Units). If e-commerce companies want to improve omnichannel strategy, launch products faster and control the growing volume of data, they should consider adding PIM software to their commerce stack.

What is product information management (PIM) software?

The main job of the PIM solution is to centralize, manage, enrich and publish product content in external channels, all in the most efficient way possible. It supports marketing, e-commerce, and IT teams in their everyday work with product information.

PIM core capabilities enable comprehensive product information management, and they can include:

  • team workflow,

  • business processes,

  • hierarchy management,

  • loading,

  • syncing,

  • modeling, and cleansing data,

  • distribution,

  • DAM,

  • MDM.

A high-quality PIM solution can successfully support multi-channel retailers to overcome their main challenges. The result of efficient product information management is a better, more consistent product and customer experience across all sales and marketing channels, which can translate into increased traffic, conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

Preparing for composable commerce

Commerce based on a business-centric composable approach is increasingly entering the modern retail landscape. And it’s not just a buzzword coined by Gartner in 2020. 95% of Elastic Path's report respondents agree that composable commerce is the approach enterprises should take. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of those "who are aware of composable commerce but not yet implemented it are likely to believe that in five years, most – if not all – companies will be on board."

Companies that want to join the digital revolution are looking for modern technologies and remarkable tools. MACH architecture is one of the critical technologies that enable the implementation of composable commerce. According to MACH Alliance’s survey, MACH adaptation is high on the agenda among tech leaders.

How MACH skyrockets the PIM software capabilities?

A product information management system based on MACH architecture fits other best-of-breed solutions like headless CMS, ERP, or DAM and can work with them within a composable ecosystem. With its help, enterprises can create a future-proof, scalable, and open digital stack.

MACH tenets and benefits for business

There are some key differences between ordinary PIM systems and MACH-based ones. Legacy monolithic PIM solutions are convenient for IT and business teams. However, they are often built on a single code base. That means if they get larger over time, the scalability may become limited, and the time of updates and adding new features be extended. MACH-based PIM offers unlimited scalability and agility, resulting from the implemented technology solutions:

  • Microservices-based– thanks to that, PIM software enables fast reaction to technology trends, adding new features, and implementing innovation.

  • API-first – makes PIM easy to connect with existing IT components seamlessly and fast. If PIM is part of the API economy, users have unlimited flexibility to connect their product data stored to any system, platform, or channel.

  • Cloud-native SaaS – means that PIM was initially built in the cloud and offers a customer the full capabilities of cloud computing, such as elastic scalability, storage, and automatic updates. These benefits are essential, especially in cases such as the rapidly growing number of SKUs and peak sale seasons.

  • Headless – allows a free user interface design, significantly promoting omnichannel e-commerce.

Summary

With the power of MACH technology, PIM software can support brands, retailers, and wholesalers in standard product information management procedures. Also, it can support business growth with long-term agility and enable customization.

The newest ebook, “MACH-Based PIM. The Ultimate Guide for Tech Leaders” by Bluestone PIM, broadly explains how PIM based on MACH principles works in practice, what benefits it brings to businesses, and why it is worth an investment. The publication also includes a comparison of PIM types and frequently asked questions about the technical capabilities of PIM.

The ebook is available for download here (ungated version).

About the author:

Zuzanna Zareba is a content writer and tech journalist at Bluestone PIM, where she explains meanders of product information management, e-commerce tips, and CX in simple terms. In a previous life, she juggled the topics as an editor and multitasker PR specialist until the tech space won her heart.