Product Information management is a tool to centralize information about products and serve consistent and up-to-date product information to multiple distribution channels.
PIM system allows the User to:
- Add/update categories, subcategories, and their contents,
Add/update various types of products and their content data on the fly.
Add/update cross/up sell products data.
Add/update variants for virtual products.
Manage website by adding or removing the products/categories on the seasonal or promotional basis.
Keeping the product information updated is a real-life challenge for business owners and retailers. The product range is getting varied each day as per the customer’s choice. Each product is different from the others and has a varied range of features and interactive content which are tough to manage.
Thus, Business owners and retailers need a comprehensive solution that covers the basic aspects of cleansing product data, organizing product data, processing the product information and making it available on request.
PIM emerges as a great solution to meet all these requirements:
Helps in executing a consistent competitive pricing strategy across the product line.
Helps in improving the margins.
Helps in maintaining detailed product catalogs and create category using Category builder.
Helps in classification and alignment of product hierarchies.
Helps in maintaining huge product information in a simple and efficient manner.
Secure enough to provide the users with sufficient privileges to edit information relevant to their responsibilities.
A product store has all the information needed to sell products. It is composed of a series of catalogs, which are composed of product categories and products. Each store can have its own shipping, fulfillment, notification, promotions, payment processing, and tax calculation policies. A product store can point to several different websites, allowing the same products to be sold on multiple hosted sites or domains.
A product catalog is used to group many product categories together and forms an intermediate step in the organization of products, categories, and stores. The product catalog can be used to define a common look and feel for all categories in this catalog and specify the way different categories will behave. For example, it is very useful for stores which sell products from a different manufacturer or completely different product types that require differing presentations to the customer.
A category is a group of usually similar products which are presented together for the customer's convenience. A category can have both products and other subcategories and can have its own descriptions and images.Categories provide navigation for the site and containers for the products. If a product is not in a category then it will not appear in the search.
Products are items which are available for sale. They can have names, descriptions, pictures, and prices associated with them.
There are several major types of products:
- Digital goods: The products which do not require tracking inventory such as downloadable music or movies.
- Virtual Products: The products that are not counted in inventory such as a shirt, They are the products which have several selectable features, each of which resolves to an actual product. A virtual product cannot be added to a shopping cart or order.
- Variant Products: The products that are counted in inventory such as books or medium white shirts.The variant product is a physical manifestation of a virtual product, One product is a variant of another, based on features selected.
Once the product is created one can associates Categories, Features, Suppliers, Prices, Facilities, Agreements, Contents, Inventory, Locations etc with the Product.
Product features are characteristics of the product that describe its appearance, components, and capabilities. Unique features help products stand out from indistinguishable goods in the category, giving a competitive advantage. In Open for Business, features are associated, or applied, to products as Standard Features, Selectable Features, or Distinguishing Features.
Catalog Manager manages the product features through the following activities:
- Add features applicable to the products like color, size, brand etc.
Specifies the start and end date for that feature to be applicable to the product.
Set up Product with Selectable Features
A group of features for a particular product at an instance is termed as product variant. Variants usually vary from each other in one or more properties. A product variant invariably incorporates a unique identifier, such as SKU, price and every variant is based on the same product definition. Selectable features are the properties which distinguish a variant from another.
For example, a medium-sized, green shirt is one product variant of the Shirt product; together size and color form one variant.
OFBiz has an extremely flexible product pricing model that is based on a combination of data and rules.
Catalog Manager manages the base price of the products.
Activities to manage the base price of the product:
- Set product price either at the time of product creation or, as part of editing product details.
- Specify the purpose of the price i.e. Default Price, List Price, Promotional Price etc.
- Set From and Thru date on each price to enable and expire price; Product prices are displayed on the website according to the set From and Thru dates.
Product reviews and ratings aid customers to make significant buying decisions. Product reviews operate on shopping sites to provide customers a chance to rate and comment on products they have purchased. Other consumers can read these when making a purchase decision.