This blog post is written by guest author Casper Verhorst, PIM Consultant for our Dutch partner Experius.
The latest release of Akeneo is available: Akeneo PIM 5.0. The past year was spent on innovating the software, resulting in 70 new features! In this article, we’ll be taking a look into the most important features and improvements for you as a customer, but also for those of you who simply are interested in product information management.
What is Akeneo PIM?
Akeneo is known as a powerful opensource PIM (Product Information Management) system that helps with the efficient management, enrichment and organization of product information. The most important advantage is consistency. With all information being processed through one system, it remains the same. Visitors are always offered consistent and clear product information on all the channels where they come into contact with your products, quickening their decision to purchase.
We discuss several new features, the details of which do require you to know the Akeneo PIM system a little in advance. The following features are highlighted:
- Better quality score: an updated Data Quality Insights dashboard
- More flexible catalogue structure: add your own units of measurement and group them
- Create product sets: use the new association type
- Seamless connections: events API & improved connection monitoring
- Improved productivity: private views & improved search options
The newest features of Akeneo PIM 5.0
Better quality score: an updated Data Quality Insights dashboard
Akeneo completely updated their Data Quality Dashboard that allows you to track the data quality of your catalogue. A good quality score is important, because high quality product data leads to less returns, improved findability and a better user experience in your web shop.
The dashboard shows at a glance where your catalogue could use improvements. You can easily guard the quality of your product information and are offered valuable insights and recommendations. The quality score’s general development is shown in a graph on a monthly basis. Below that, ‘key indicators’ show specific quality criteria, such as the percentage of products without images.
These indicators influence your quality score and should be taken into account in the optimization! Even more useful: it is also possible to use spelling checks on attribution and option labels. This gives insight in the quality of your data based on completeness, spelling and structure. Because the better the content, the higher the quality score!
More flexible catalogue structure: add your own units of measurement and group them
The way measurements are managed in PIM has been updated to offer more flexibility in the catalogue structure. Besides the default grouped measurements (such as weight, length, volume) you can now also create your own. For example, you can now create the unit ‘distance’, containing the measurements centimeter, meter, millimeter and kilometer. This is a valuable feature for B2B because of branche-specific attributes. This feature gives you full control over your measurements and offers even better information for your customers on the specifications of your products.
Create product sets: use the new association type
A new association type in Akeneo makes it possible to create product sets with different products. For example, you can create a dining table set consisting of one table and four chairs, or a bed linen set with one set of covers and two pillowcases. That’s not all, because whenever you choose this association type, you can associate a chair with a table, letting Akeneo connect the chair to the table for you. This saves one additional action and makes it easy to connect compatible or replacement products, such as devices or interchangeable pieces.
The brand new ‘Events API’ was introduced. This new API speeds up the synchronization and distribution of data between Akeneo PIM and third-party applications, such as webshops or ERP. It also offers improved tracing of transmitted and received data and gives more autonomy to act on synchronization errors.
It is now easier to monitor connections. For each connection, an overview shows the latest integration fails that happened. Are there any errors occurring? Is data coming in correctly? Akeneo shows all of this. This makes it easier to track down any data errors in a connection and correct them. And that’s not all that’s shown: for example, you can see that 3,000 products were synched with your Magento webshop. You get more insight on the data that was, or wasn’t, transferred.
Akeneo now also offers the option for private viewing. If you create a ‘view’ you can choose to set this to private and only make it visible for you and whoever you choose. For example, your team. This not only prevents people from using incomplete products, but also helps with the organization of your product enrichment.
Improved search options
The search options in Akeneo have been expanded with a number of options:
- You can now search for variants of simple products
- The new “product typology” filter in the product grid lets you choose to only show simple products or only variants (or their product models if you group your product variants)
- The counter in the product overview has been updated: it now shows the number of products and the number of product models
I already have an Akeneo PIM system, do I have to upgrade to 5.0 or can I wait?
Akeneo 3.2 is supported until the 31st of May 2021 and the support for Akeneo 4.0 ends after the 31st of August 2021. This means that Akeneo will stop giving technical support for these versions as of these dates. It is not mandatory to upgrade, but doing so will give both your organization and your customers a lot of advantages. To summarize:
- Track the data quality of your catalog with the Data Quality Dashboard. High quality product data is important for both you and your customers: it reduces returns, enhances findability and improves the user experience on your web shop
- Create your own units of measurement. This offers more flexibility over your catalogue structure and easily shows your units of measurement where your customers are expecting them.
- Create product sets with different products. This allows you, for example, to create a dining table set that consists of one table and four chairs, saving time and making upsells easier.
- Improved monitoring of transmitted data and connections. Akeneo shows all data errors in your connections and lets you correct it. It also offers you more insight in the transmitted data, so you know exactly what data was, and what was not sent.
- Use private views and improved search options to structurally improve your product enrichment.
Would you like to learn more about Akeneo 5.0 or these incredible features?
Please reach out to Casper Verhorst from Experius! He would love to tell you all about it! And if he doesn’t know the answer (yet), he will find it for you 😉