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A New Standard For Product Information

  • A common industry-wide standard for exchanging information about products
  • 24/7 availability of product information in multiple languages
  • Enhance product differentiation
  • Control and steer the process of how product information is delivered
  • Allow easy compatibility of product features
  • Ensure a common approach within the appliance industry
  • Improve consumer satisfaction level
LEARN MORE
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Certified companies

These manufacturers drive and endorse the standard

WHY PI?

Why the PI Standard was created and what it aims to achieve

Commonality

One structure across all manufacturer brands – establish a common European standard, with integrated top retailers

Customisation

Actively structure the information according to your business needs

Distinction

A better opportunity to differentiate between products, brands, and manufacturers

Versatility

Shared amongst all players on the market: manufacturers, retailers and consumers

Consumer Satisfaction

Improved exposure to full product information for consumers, meaning they are better informed in making a product choice

Innovation

Take full advantage of modern developments in electronic communication and data processing
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ANSWERS TO POPULAR QUESTIONS

Why was the PI-certified initiative developed?

The Internet is becoming increasingly important both in terms of users and sales volume. To respond to this development, the retail industry requires more and more information in electronic format.

In addition, European and national authorities demand that manufacturers provide a wide range of data about the energy and safety characteristics of products. To provide this data in electronic form would allow considerable cost savings as compared to traditional data transmission.

Finally, third-party companies are offering product information in different individual formats. Manufacturers risk losing control over the development of such different formats and standards, and over the information that is presented in them. In addition, specific items for individual trade partners are not included.

As the volume of electronic commerce increases, powerful search features, cross-channel inventory access, and detailed content will be required – all of which necessitate strong industry-wide agreements as regards common formats, processes, content, and system interfaces. Therefore, European domestic appliances manufacturers have developed a common industry-wide standard for exchanging information about their products.

Objectives and goals
The PI-certified product information initiative is specifically driven by the following objectives and goals:

  • Establish a common European standard, with integrated top retailers;
  • Ensure a common approach within the appliance industry to product information;
  • A better opportunity to differentiate between products, brands, and manufacturers;
  • Improved exposure to full product information for consumers;
  • Consumers are better informed in making a product choice;
  • Improved consumer satisfaction levels;
  • Better potential for a trade-up.

How is the PI-Certified Philosophy ?

The “PI-certified” product information initiative stands for a communized Standard, for supplying trade partners with product information electronically, yet still recognizing the requirements for clear marketing differentiation.

The PI Standard is thus used by manufacturers to exchange information with trade partners via an electronic format, allowing everybody to speak the same language and to make comparisons between different products easy and accessible. The PI Standard is shared amongst all players on the market: manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.

What are the advantages for trade/retailers?

With the “PI-certified” product information initiative, the p-organization created an approach that leaves enough room for product differentiation, but still addresses the demands of the trade for as much standardization as possible. As a result, the PI Standard delivers:

One structure across all manufacturer brands

Many pieces of information are needed to describe a product. Today, the data sheets bearing such information are usually very different depending on the brand. It is a major step forward that European manufacturers of household appliances have agreed to use one standardised format for supplying product information electronically to retailers. The format is available for download on this website, under the feature “PI Standard”. The product information itself is directly provided by the PI-certified companies.

Complete information

There is no need to look elsewhere, as each retailer will receive the format for the full set of data that is provided by to them by the p-certified companies. This includes basic (technical) information, energy label information, features, and marketing information.

Correct information

Manufacturers in the p-organization are committed to providing their trade partners with correct information, accurate both in terms of “technical” details (i.e. which complies with the “PI-certified” agreements) and “content” details (i.e. the actual specifications).

Free of charge

Both the “PI-certified” product information format and the product information are provided free of charge. This is part of the overall business package offered by the brands/manufacturers.

Direct contact with your “PI-certified” manufacturer

Trade partners will continue to receive their product information directly from the brands where they also order the appliances. There will be no third party involvement. Manufacturers drive the process to ensure that brand specific values are communicated. This ensures that each trade partner can directly access information about his individual product range.

Some additional services:

Search engine

The web-site of each manufacturer will use the same search engine for all participating brands. Thus, in the future a retailer will only need to be familiar with one way of accessing information.

Lay-out

Manufacturers have agreed on a basic lay-out that in particular sets out product features and marketing information. This allows users to access and compare information faster.

Additional benefits:

Electronic availability over the Internet is easier to implement

It will be easier for manufacturers to make their product information available over the Internet. At the other end, retailers will be able to access product information 24 hours a day – 7 days a week.

How can you take advantage of the Certified Product Information?

The PI Standard offers certain advantages for manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.

For manufacturers:

  • You will be part of a European standard, which integrates top retailers and ensures a common approach to product information within the appliance industry;
  • “PI-compliant” information will have a common structure, which can be provided to all trade partners in the most commonly-used formats (ascii, txt, csv, and html);
  • You will save handling and transaction costs;
  • You will be able to control and steer the communication flow towards trade partners, making sure they know exactly what they need to know about your products;
  • This also gives you a better opportunity to differentiate;
  • Because “PI-compliant” information is up-to-date with current legislation (for example concerning Eco-design and energy labeling), you can be certain that your products are always compliant;
  • By joining the “PI-certified” organization, you will be able to actively determine the content and process of the PI Standard, according to your business needs;
  • You will keep bi-lateral contact with your trade partners without interference from third parties;
  • You will cater to better educated consumers.

For retailers:

  • “PI-compliant” information will have a common structure, and the majority of manufacturers will provide this information in the most commonly-used formats (ascii, txt, csv, and html);
  • You will have a quick and clear overview of a product’s key features, but you will also have access to detailed information necessary to communicate and sell the product;
  • Your data will be more up-to-date because you can quickly and and easily access the latest product information, electronically;
  • Product information in electronic format will facilitate a number of applications such as catalogues, Internet pages, kiosk solutions, and info terminals;
  • Lower costs as less manual data manipulation will be required;
  • The product information is free-of-charge;
  • The established communication structure with the retailer’s supply partner will be retained. Product information will be provided by the brand/manufacturer directly, to enable specific access to programme segments for individual trade-partners.

For consumers:

  • You will have a quick and clear overview of a product’s key features, but you will also have access to detailed and up-to-date information that may be necessary to make an accurate product comparison and a well-considered choice to eventually buy a particular product – even if this information is delivered by multiple retailers or manufacturers.
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PI Standard: A New Standard for Product Information

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