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What is Product Content Management (PCM)?

Here's a scary stat: 63% of shoppers will abandon a purchase if they can't find enough detailed product information.

Yikes! That shows how crucial robust product content is for converting online shoppers.

However, managing a mountain of product info and assets for hundreds or thousands of SKUs is no small feat. Just thinking about it is a sweat-inducing task!

Luckily, for e-commerce saviors, there is a solution to tame the product content beast - PCM or product content management.

In this mega guide, we’ll explore everything e-commerce brands need to know to master product content with PCM, including:

  • What is PCM?
  • Benefits of PCM
  • PCM features
  • Using PCM and DAM together
  • PCM vs MDM
  • Best practices for implementing PCM

Let’s dive in!

What is Product Content Management (PCM)?

Product content management (PCM) is a system that centrally manages all product-related content in one place. This includes:

  • Product information - Title, description, attributes like size/color, classifications, etc.

  • Product media - Photos, 3D images, videos, manuals, spec sheets, etc.

  • Marketing content - Ad creative, emails, landing pages, comparison charts, guides, etc.

A PCM system acts as a centralised content hub that structures and organises this content to optimize findability. It also facilitates content distribution to channels like your website, ads, marketplace listings, etc.

The overarching goal of PCM is to help ecommerce brands tell a consistent, compelling product story across channels. This maximizes sales opportunities.

Key Benefits of PCM

Adopting product content management delivers several key benefits:

1. Improved Content Quality

A PCM system lets you create, approve, and publish content more efficiently. Structured workflows ensure content is accurate, on-brand, and engaging across products.

2. Consistent Omnichannel Experiences

Sync product info and assets across channels to ensure customers get a consistent experience on your site, ads, marketplaces, etc.

3. Faster Time to Market

Collaborate on and approve content faster to speed up time to market for new products and campaigns.

4. Enhanced Search and Discovery

Intelligent tagging, metadata management, and content organisation improve the findability of assets.

5. Increased Team Productivity

Streamline content creation and approvals to boost the productivity of content teams, subject matter experts, and reviewers.

6. Lower Costs

Reduce overhead of content operations by eliminating duplicated efforts and manual processes.

7. Better Compliance

Ensure product info meets regulations and requirements for different channels and markets.

Clearly, PCM is invaluable for managing product content efficiently at scale. But what features should you look for in a solution?

Key PCM Features

When evaluating PCM systems, look for these essential capabilities:

  • Centralised asset library - Store all product images, videos, 3D models, documents, etc, in one searchable location.

  • Metadata management - Assign detailed tags, captions, and alt text to assets to optimize discoverability.

  • Workflow automation - Route content through review, approval, and publishing workflows.

  • Collaboration tools - Enable teams to provide feedback and annotate assets.

  • Multi-channel publishing - Syndicate assets and product info to all sales and marketing channels.

  • Product information management - Centralize product data like titles, descriptions, specs, attributes, etc.

  • Content templates - Create reusable templates for product detail pages, ads, emails, etc.

  • Digital asset management integration - Tie into your existing DAM for a unified content system.

  • Analytics - Track asset usage and performance to optimize content.

  • Integrations - Connect to e-commerce platform, ERP, marketplace accounts, etc.

  • Permissions - Manage access and editing rights based on user roles.

  • API - Allow developer customization and extensions.

Prioritize an enterprise-grade PCM platform that scales with your business needs.

Using PCM and DAM Together

Many e-commerce brands combine product content management (PCM) and digital asset management (DAM) systems. 

Though the two have overlap, they serve different primary purposes:

  • PCM focuses on product-specific content like info, media, and marketing assets. It manages the product information lifecycle.

  • DAM manages all digital media in one place. It’s not product-specific. DAM handles global branding assets, photos, videos, presentations etc.

PCM and DAM provide an end-to-end content ecosystem that covers both product and global creative assets. Look for integration capabilities when choosing your platforms.

PCM vs MDM: What’s the Difference?

PCM and master data management (MDM) are sometimes confused. But they are pretty different:

  • PCM manages product content - info, images, videos, marketing copy, etc.

  • MDM manages logistical and operational product data like pricing, inventory, ship dates, etc.

While there is some overlap with basic product attributes, MDM is focused on managing supply chain data. PCM handles the creative side.

MDM and PCM work hand-in-hand to provide a full view of products. Integrating the two systems creates a powerful centralized source of product truth.

Best Practices for Implementing PCM

Follow these best practices when rolling out a new PCM initiative:

  • Clean up legacy content - Audit and prune outdated/redundant assets and info before migrating to PCM.

  • Define content structure - Map out content types, taxonomies, metadata standards, and workflows.

  • Create contributor guidelines - Document standards for titles, descriptions, tagging, imagery, video, etc.

  • Train content creators - Educate teams on properly managing assets and data within the PCM.

  • Integrate with key systems - Connect PCM with e-commerce platform, DAM, ERP, and sales channels.

  • Iterate content templates - Continuously test and optimize templates for product pages, emails, ads, etc.

  • Analyze performance - Use PCM analytics to identify high-performing content to replicate across products.

With a structured approach, PCM transforms how brands manage product content for maximum impact.

Take Your E-commerce Content to the Next Level

A robust product content management strategy is critical for e-commerce success in today’s omnichannel landscape. By centralizing and optimizing product content across channels, brands can accelerate sales and provide seamless customer experiences. To learn more about powering e-commerce content, check out SHOPLINE’s e-commerce blog

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