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6 key considerations for the future of product catalogs

Raphaël Iscar
Head of Global PXM and Product Strategy, Valtech

maj 28, 2024

With over 10 years of experience in Product Information Management (PIM), our Product Strategy division has gained valuable insights into supporting clients in navigating Product Experience Management (PXM) programs.

Our approach over the last five years extends beyond platform implementation to create strategic programs that harmonize business and IT interests, avoiding operational and architectural siloes—a critical factor for PXM success.

Here are six considerations for building the future of product catalog management:

 1. Evolving perspectives on PIM to PXM

Organizations are shifting their perspective on IT projects. They are moving from standalone PIM implementations to comprehensive programs aimed at delivering value to end-consumer channels. This paradigm shift underscores the importance of a holistic approach to PXM, simplifying processes and technology stacks towards consolidation.

 2. Consumer-driven Product Information with the Product Data Moonwalk strategy

Starting with consumer needs, our methodology begins by understanding consumer channel requirements and then reverse-engineering the necessary processes and platforms. This approach ensures alignment with business objectives and facilitates efficient information delivery. Organizations have neglected consumer needs for internal operation needs, always starting from the source of information and creating too many complexities and unnecessary solutions to support them.

 3. Streamlining legacy processes for PXM technical implementation

Many of our clients are still entrenched in legacy IT systems, structuring operational processes around platform limitations. Advocating for process reviews driven by legacy systems can prevent complexity during the integration of new PXM systems and drive value to consumers. By streamlining processes and focusing on product information optimization, organizations lay the groundwork for efficient, sustainable and consumer-driven PXM solutions.

 4. Leveraging composable PXM solutions

We advocate a composable approach where PXM solutions seamlessly integrate with best-of-breed solutions, enhancing capabilities in critical areas such as ecommerce & checkout (commercetools+), Digital Asset and Studio Management (Cloudinary, Bynder+) warehousing and inventory, customer data, localization and personalization (DataBricks, Segment+), search (Algolia+), payments (Adyen+), order management (Fluent Commerce+) and more. This strategic alignment reduces dependencies within tech stacks, allowing for gradual and strategic introduction of new technologies without impeding continuous operations.

 5. Establishing PXM governance and ROI focus

Prior to selecting PXM solutions, establishing robust data governance structures is paramount. This means, not only defining the same data definition for your product catalogs across the organization but also understanding the ownership of each attribute before sending it to your consumer channels. When doing this exercise, many clients are noticing duplication in ownership, effort and systems! This foundation supports the development of a sound PXM strategy focused on delivering measurable ROI and addressing key business and consumer objectives.

To evaluate your PXM and product strategy maturity, this PXM Readiness Assessment Questionnaire will assess your requirements in terms of people, processes, and governance

 6. Accelerating PXM strategy with AI

AI offers immense potential for enhancing PXM capabilities when aligned with specific operational or consumer-driven objectives. Whether accelerating attribute enrichment or normalizing data, AI complements a well-established PXM strategy. The future of PXM is still being written, with many organizations needing to build a solid foundation before accelerating their PXM strategy.

A strategic approach to PXM begins with understanding consumer needs, streamlining processes and establishing robust product data governance. Once a strong foundation is established and tech stacks consolidated, scaling towards a composable application connecting with PXM solutions becomes feasible. By embracing AI as an accelerator, organizations can unlock the full potential of their PXM initiatives, driving tangible business outcomes and enhancing customer experiences.

For more on the future of PXM and its invaluable place in the digital age, check out Salsify's full report "What is the Next Gen PXM?" here.

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