Attributes are the fundamental building blocks of a PIM system. They define the features of each product, e.g. tags, type, description. Having a strong product attributes list in the PIM will make it much easier to manage your data, and help customers easily identify relevant information in your e-commerce sites.

So here are some tips on putting together an excellent product attributes list:

Read customer reviews

Customers may give insights into which attributes they would like to see. For example, they might want to see the length of clothes in inches. Reading the reviews of both your products and your competitors’ products will give you an insight into exactly what your customers are looking for. This will help you refocus some attributes and capitalise on what you have that is currently working.

Consult with all departments

Building up an attributes list requires input from every department involved with product data. For instance, the marketing department may want specific descriptions and SEO attributes, while the technical department may have in-depth specifications and technical information that needs to be filled in. There are also attributes that may relate to product safety and quality control, specific details that can be used for customer support, and digital media assets.

Group the attributes

Grouping attributes that are similar makes it easier to manage them. It also ensures that the person responsible for a certain group of attributes (e.g. dimensions) can find them quickly.

Define types of attributes

At a basic level, this can be as simple as defining which ones need to be media, numerical or text-based, and the format for inputting them. In OneTimePIM, there are many more types of attribute available such as URL, date, select, currency and true/false.

Define validation rules and permissions

A PIM system will allow you to set strict validation rules that will ensure your data is kept clean. Defining the attribute types will stop certain data from being entered incorrectly; for example, text being entered into a metric type attribute. You can also set character counts and minimum number requirements. Following on from this, you can define which users of the PIM can view or edit certain attributes.

Can any attributes be computed?

If some attributes are made up of calculations or combinations of other attributes, then OneTimePIM’s computed attributes feature may come in handy. For example, you may want to automatically convert centimetres to inches, or combine several attributes to create a short marketing description. This avoids duplicating effort by filling in the data multiple times and minimises human errors, e.g. mistakes in calculations or forgetting to update other attributes.