PIM vs CRM - What Makes Them Different From Each Other

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By: Sagar Sharma

PIM vs CRM - What Makes Them Different From Each Other

If you are running an eCommerce business, then surely you will experience confusion between choosing PIM and CRM for your business. In PIM vs CRM post, we help you understand the different capabilities of PIM and CRM and how to take advantage of the two platforms.

Among several acronyms that exist on the scene for eCommerce businesses, PIM and CRM create more confusion for business owners. PIM stands for Product Information Management and CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Both systems may look similar to each other, but there are a few key differences between them.

This article summarizes the differences between these two platforms of the eCommerce business and provides you with a clear understanding of PIM vs CRM. Before getting into the core topic, let’s brush up with some basics.

What is Product Information Management (PIM)?

Product Information Management (PIM) is a system specifically designed to collect and store business information from various sources in a single location. This system allows business owners or stakeholders to enrich the store information according to the market’s needs

This is a basic definition of product information management. Get a detailed answer by visiting What is PIM.

What Does Product Information Management (PIM) Do?

The ultimate goal of the PIM system is to assist businesses in managing and optimizing product-related information. By doing so, the system plays a key role in improving the marketing and sales operations by providing more accurate and high-quality error-free product-related information.

The PIM system has the capabilities of doing data consolidation, data enrichment, and completion of improper product data by analyzing existing product information like specifications, product assets, size, color, and so on.

Moreover, the system can able to collect all product-related information from various systems that includes both internal and external. The continuous flow of trustworthy product information provided by the PIM system helps an organization organize and harmonize its product information according to market demands.

To explore more information about PIM and the different aspects related to it, don’t miss visiting Product Information Management – An Exclusive Guide.

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system specifically designed to manage the company’s interactions with customers and to track all the information that exists between the company and customers.

This system helps business owners and stakeholders improve the customer experience by conducting data analysis over the large amount of information collected from customer interactions.

What Does Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Do?

The ultimate goal of a CRM system is to collect and manage the detailed information of every potential customer who engages with the business and to meticulously administer customer touchpoints. T

The CRM system helps business administrators to improve customer loyalty with its advanced functionality and data analytics tools. The system integrates everything related to customer interaction with business (sales, marketing, and service) and creates a unified 360-degree view of customer relationship details.

The functionalities and features of the CRM system help businesses to understand their customers very well and to create better customer engagement activities that will last. In addition, the CRM system allows businesses to identify their high-value potential customers and offer personalized services to them.

Why do Modern Businesses Need PIM and CRM Systems?

Both PIM and CRM come under the Product Experience Management ecosystem. However, each of those systems specializes in specific areas that make businesses rely on them strongly.

As mentioned earlier, a CRM system manages customer relationships within the business and a PIM system collects, manages, enriches, and distributes product-related information.

Let’s see how they become essential for modern-day businesses.

Need for PIM System

Well, the need for a PIM system can vary from business to business. It’s truly dependent upon the business requirement. However, the ultimate reason behind businesses’ preferring PIM systems is to utilize the long-term usage of legacy or home-grown systems.

Having the right PIM system will eliminate the need for other systems for businesses to manage their raising business SKUs or raise channels. Also, the system gets rid of the risk of incorrect product data and its consequences for business growth.

More importantly, the PIM system helps internal officers like product managers, marketers, and salespeople to spot the right product data and deliver it promptly.

Need for CRM System

Businesses from all over the world, seek CRM systems to build excellent customer relationships. The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system allows businesses to identify and understand the needs and interests of modern customers by tracking their behaviour.

With such information, businesses can easily deliver what their customers are looking for and earn their trust and loyalty. For many businesses, the CRM system acts as an ultimate weapon to overcome weak relationships with their customers and to handle their customer data with perfection.

In addition, having the right CRM system will help internal users like marketers and sales relationship managers to scale the customer and business relationships significantly. The system allows them to look for new customers every single time. This will have a positive impact on improving the company’s revenue.

PIM vs CRM: Difference Between PIM and CRM

Okay, let us come to the core topic. If you are seeking perfect information regarding PIM vs CRM, you need to be well aware of the basics of both systems, which were discussed in the above sections.

At the same time, to understand the differences between the systems with perfection, you need to have a clear vision of the similarities between both.

This section will give you the details of the similarities of both systems along with the complete details of PIM vs CRM.

PIM vs. CRM: A Detailed Analysis

Here are the key differences you need to know when it comes to PIM and CRM.

  • CRM is exclusively built for managing customer data; on the other hand, PIM is designed to provide tailor-made product data to customers.
  • PIM system handles product data with more effectiveness, through which it offers a better customer experience. On the other hand, CRM delivers a better customer experience by facilitating customer relationships.

Well, the prevailing confusion over the usage of CRM and PIM systems will be elaborated in the upcoming table, where the PIM vs CRM briefing with factors Task, Data Type, and Importance will be presented.


Product Information Management (PIM)


PIM is a software system designed to collect product-related information from various systems, internal and external, like ERP, CRM, OMS, WMS, hard drives, and so on.

The collected data is stored in a single location where it gets organized and enriched according to the prevailing market conditions.

Finally, the well-optimized product data is distributed to multiple sales channels to reach potential customers to achieve a better customer experience.

Data Type

The data that comes through the PIM system matches the scope of maintaining consistency on every possible element related to the product information. This includes all product attributes like descriptions, size, color, price, metadata, specifications, technical details, product digital assets, and so on.

Also, the data delivered by PIM matches the requirements of geographical regions.


The data produced by the PIM system has a strong positive impact on a product’s sales.

In addition to that, the operation of the PIM system ensures data accuracy, data precision, and data consistency, which are the most essential for improving product data visibility.

The PIM supports various departments by delivering accurate data in a timely manner for conducting effective promotions.

PIM helps various departments to avoid time delays, overcome ineffective processes due to improper coordination, and improve customer experience.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The CRM system is specifically designed to manage all kinds of interactions and communication that happen between consumers and businesses.

The system keeps updating the customer information by tracking all the sales and customer support service data.

This ensures CRM delivers a 360-degree view of customer information covering all devices and channels.

The information provided by the CRM system helps internal teams of marketing and sales departments deliver more valuable campaigns for scaling and improving the business.

The data provided by the CRM system matches the scope of customer details sought by businesses in all forms. The system delivers both personal and commercial data to the customers with consistent quality and accuracy.

The system is well-versed to deliver each customer’s identity like name, age, sex, contact details, and nationality along with other information like social media details, job, family data, lifestyle, history of communication with business, data related to customer services they sought in the past, previous order details, customer financial details, and so on.

When modern-day businesses realized that their entire sales operation is dependent on the data delivered by the CRM system, the importance of CRM began to rise.

The CRM system helps businesses track customer activities continuously along with their feedback.

The CRM system is specifically designed to keep the customer in mind at all times and to provide a better and improved customer experience.

In addition to that, businesses can easily identify their product’s performance and formulate a better sales strategy based on the CRM data

PIM vs CRM: A Tabular Comparison

Key AspectsProduct Information Management (PIM)Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Data Focus

PIM systems focus on managing product-related data, attributes, specifications to enhance offerings.

CRM systems centralize customer data, interactions, and relationships for improved engagement.

Data Scope

PIM specializes in handling product attributes, variations, images, videos, and other product data.

CRM focuses on customer information, interactions, sales leads, opportunities, and support.

Data Complexity

PIM manages complex product data hierarchies, attributes, facilitating rich product representation.

CRM handles diverse customer data, including contact details, communication history, preferences.

Data Customization

PIM offers extensive customization to align with varied product attributes, structures, and industries.

CRM allows customization for sales processes, customer interactions, and data fields.

Data Enrichment and Quality

PIM prioritizes accurate and consistent product data, enhancing product data quality and accuracy.

CRM focuses on maintaining accurate, up-to-date customer information for effective engagement.

E-commerce Integration

PIM integrates with e-commerce platforms for seamless product data exchange, optimizing customer experiences.

CRM integrates with sales and marketing tools, streamlining customer interactions and lead management.

Sales and Marketing Collaboration

PIM enhances sales efforts with accurate product information, ensuring consistent product communication.

CRM facilitates collaboration between sales and marketing teams, aligning strategies for customer engagement.

Product Catalog Management

PIM excels in comprehensive product categorization, attributes, variations, enabling granular data management.

CRM offers limited product catalog capabilities, focusing on customer interactions and sales opportunities.

Inventory Management

PIM handles intricate product variations, enabling accurate inventory tracking and efficient management.

CRM manages sales opportunities and customer interactions, focusing less on detailed inventory control.

Data Analytics

PIM offers insights into product performance, trends, channel effectiveness, leveraging robust product data analytics.

CRM provides sales and customer data analytics for informed decision-making and strategy development.

User Access Control

PIM provides role-based access control for maintaining data accuracy, integrity, and data security.

CRM implements access control for customer data privacy, ensuring authorized user interactions.

Integration with E-commerce Platforms

PIM integrates with e-commerce platforms for consistent and updated product data across channels.

CRM integrates with marketing automation tools, facilitating targeted customer engagement and lead nurturing.

Cross-channel Consistency

PIM ensures product data consistency across various sales channels, enhancing customer experience.

CRM maintains consistent customer interactions across different communication channels for brand coherence.

Data Syndication

PIM syndicates product data to various sales channels, ensuring accurate, up-to-date product representation.

CRM offers limited data syndication, mainly focusing on customer data distribution.

Workflow Automation

PIM streamlines product data enrichment, approvals, and publishing workflows, ensuring accurate data dissemination.

CRM automates sales processes, lead management, and customer communication, enhancing operational efficiency.

Localization and Multilingual Support

PIM handles multilingual product data, translations, region-specific information, catering to diverse markets.

CRM often offers multilingual customer communication and support functionalities.

Data Export and Integration

PIM provides data export capabilities for consistent product information across different systems.

CRM offers data export functionalities for customer interactions and lead data.

Industry-specific Focus

PIM offers significant value for industries with complex product data needs, like retail, manufacturing.

CRM caters to various industries, adapting to customer data management and sales processes.

PIM vs CRM: Similarities Between PIM and CRM

As mentioned earlier, both PIM and CRM are part of the Product Experience Management ecosystem. The end objectives of both PIM and CRM are the same: to produce a better shopping experience and cultivate strong and long-term customer relationships.

Here are the similarities you can spot between PIM and CRM with their process.

  • The core similarity posed by the CRM and PIM systems is the support they provide to the internal marketing and sales teams. This allows team members to engage with customers with far greater effectiveness and build trust and earn a distinct reputation.
  • Both the CRM and PIM systems strengthen and improve the customer satisfaction level and support business stakeholders and owners to collaborate more systems (orders, inventory, warehouse, customer support, and so on) with the management system to provide better services to the customers.
  • Apart from that, PIM and CRM systems offer significant contributions toward building strong brand credibility and consistency among the target audience group. This will empower the internal team to work with more effectiveness to increase the customer base.
  • Both systems, PIM and CRM, ease the operations of marketing and sales team members and help businesses scale and grow by placing customers at the center.

Can CRM and PIM Systems Be Integrated?

Both CRM and PIM systems are exceptional when it comes to boosting customer experience and assisting in business growth. Moreover, both systems are vital for an organization to achieve its long-term goals easily and quickly.

Here are the lists of key advantages an organization can gain through the integration of CRM and PIM systems into its operations.

Better Customer Experience (CX)

Both systems’ end results achieve a better customer experience by delivering the best product data and through better management of customer relationships.

Improves Sales Through Analysis

Both CRM and PIM functions are improved by keeping customers in mind. This helps businesses track customer buying habits and analyze customer behavior accurately and offer products accordingly in an omnichannel environment.

Empowers Employees

With the presence of integrated PIM and CRM systems, internal employees of an organization can be able to get a clear and comprehensive picture of their customer and product data. This allows them to create effective campaigns and resolve customer queries in a quick time.

Delivers Better Sales Results

As both CRM and PIM help businesses predict customer needs accurately, businesses can easily increase their sales margin by delivering enriched product data along with the latest trendy products by matching their demands.

Creating More Opportunities to Sell Products

With the possibility of tracking all customer activity along with the great product data provided by CRM and PIM, businesses can be involved in cross-selling and develop innovative marketing tactics.

The use of CRM systems has become inevitable for modern public-facing companies, and there’s no need to describe the benefits of having a PIM system to all businesses. Integrating both CRM and PIM systems will be a good thing for businesses involved in e-commerce activities and will lead to business success.


Despite the key operational differences between PIM and CRM, the seamless integration of both systems will be a crucial point and deliver more benefits to an organization. Ecommerce businesses that use PIM and CRM can reduce business operation costs, improve operational scalability, and provide a better overall customer experience.

Say goodbye to data chaos and embrace the power of PIM/MDM to supercharge your business growth!