What is PXM?

Approaches to product sales via digital channels are evolving. Just a few years ago, a retailer was considered to be state-of-the-art if she can provide complete, correct, and consistent product information to customers in as many touchpoints as possible. In order to further distinguish oneself among the global and ever-growing competition, many companies aim at improving the feeling of what it is like to make a digital purchase. This is commonly referred to as Customer Experience. Consequently, most companies identify Product Experience as the necessary condition of possibility for there to be a Customer Experience in the first place. And this is where Product Experience Management (PXM) comes into play: It aims at improving both customer satisfaction and customer conversation rates by providing the customer with individualized product data.

How does PXM distinguish itself from PIM, and how does it work?

Is PXM the new PIM? To cut the chase: No. PXM is best to be thought of as a concept which expands PIM by a novel aspect. Looking at the process covered by a PIM system — that is, from product data acquisition to data management and, lastly, data distribution — PXM is to be situated in between the latter two process steps:

Different Target Groups — Different Product Texts

As part of this new process step added by PXM (hereto forth “contextualization”), general-purpose and media-independent product data is individualized for various contexts. For example, an archetypical context is the customer or a specific customer group — since many products serve different use cases for different customer groups.

An Example:
Let’s take an expert retailer for adhesives as an example (adhesives as in ‘the glue which makes two separate items stick together’). Our retailer has a PIM system filled with correct and generally-applicable product texts all around adhesives. For example, this may include detailed descriptions of whether the clue is non-reactive or reactive, natural or synthetic, etc. Naturally, the adhesives can be used for different use cases, e.g. doing paper handicrafts or reattaching broken components of cars and other vehicles. From the first-person perspective of a customer from the customer group “hobby car repairman,” the product would best be described with the context of his use case “reattaching broken components” in mind, ideally providing her with fitting product images or short instructions of the general procedure. To the contrary, however, the “hobby artist” would rather prefer descriptions for her use case on how to make impressive handicrafts. The technical data of the product required is the same for both use cases — yet, descriptive texts, photos, and videos would be more meaningful if they were adjusted to the respective use case.

Customer groups and use cases are only two out of many more examples for contexts for which a product can be individualized. Other contexts include, for example, the customer’s current phase in the purchasing process, since the information required varies significantly based on which phase the customer is in.

Back to PIM

Therefore, PXM constitutes a new step in the process all modern PIM systems should be able to integrate. To this end, it is important that the PIM system can manage all contexts individually. Additionally, the content management should be based on data inheritance in order to avoid redundancy — so that not all product information is to be maintained for every single context.

Why is Product Experience Management So Important?

Depending on how far you want to entertain the contextualization of your product data, PXM may be resource-heavy. However, PXM supports you in establishing an emotional bond with your customer, which is why it is considered to be the next stage of evolution when it comes to the market value of your product portfolio (B. J. Pine II & J. H. Gilmore in Harvard Business Review).

What are the concrete benefits of this fourth evolutionary stage?

1. Establish relevance:

Content tailor-made to suit specific contexts is a sufficient condition for making a product more relevant to customers. Since, to customers, product information is the most important type of information on websites and online shops, more relevant content immediately translates into higher conversion rates.

2. Enhance customer bonding:

If you demonstrate expertise in providing information, answering questions, and solving problems, customers are more likely to default to your company for future purchasing decisions.

3. Increase outreach:

The contextualization of product information generates a set of appealing keywords and, consequently, your digital outreach. Anybody who spent some time on contemplating on Search Engine Optimization knows just how important the selection of keywords together with the content to back it up really is. More relevant keywords which fit the content described generate more traffic on your website and, consequently, more leads for customer acquisition.

4. Secure your competitive edge:

While your competition is still preoccupied with generating consistent product data for all touchpoints, you can stay one step ahead and maintain your competitive advantage with PXM.

The above benefits and more culminate in an improvement of your company’s success, so that the extra effort for PXM pays dividends.

What Makes for a Good PXM Solution?

Realizing a good PXM strategy can be effortful and complex. The software solution you put to use should support you in keeping an overview and minimizing the effort. The following functions may be of help in this process:

Global context management: To keep an overview of all contexts, you should manage the contexts and their individual content adjustments in a PIM system compatible with PXM.

Channel-Context-Connection: Not all target groups are present in all sales channels. Furthermore, some sales channels may only support the presentation of a product in a single context. As a result, you have to determine which context(s) is/are relevant for what sales channel(s).

Context-based adjustments to product attributes: The system should provide an option to decide for each attribute of a product whether or not it is to be individualized based on context or not. Technical data such as the height or width of a product is context-independent, while other attributes like description texts may be context-sensitive.

Data inheritance: To contextualize a product does not mean to manage all data for all product variants redundantly. Most of the technical data and product images may be the same across most contexts. Specific segments of texts should also be reusable. Accordingly, a good PXM solution should provide you with mechanisms for data inheritance so that you can individualize the set of context-sensitive product attributes and inherit commonly-shared product attributes.

Context-dependent quality assurance: For PXM, it is insufficient to observe data quality on a system-wide scale. It goes without saying that the system should calculate the data quality of products individually, evaluating whether it is adequate for the respective context. PXM is a concept covered by modern PIM systems. To realize this concept, the PIM system requires a set of functions which enable the contextualization of product content in the first place. When choosing your PIM system, keep an eye out on whether and how you can realize all given requirements.

Product Experience Management with eggheads

We help you in designing your product presence. This way, you can achieve the maximum amount of success when it comes to the sales of your products. With our know-how and our software solution, eggheads Suite, we support you in the implementation of your PIM/PXM projects. Thanks to its generic data model, our standard software allows you to do both individualize and distribute product data based on context. Built-in functions from data acquisition, enrichment, and distribution (including an on-board print system) make eggheads Suite an all-encompassing system solution: Achieve sustainable growth in Customer Experience for your clients.
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