What is a PIM and Why Do You Need a PIM?

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By: Sagar Sharma

What is a PIM and Why Do You Need a PIM?

If you own an eCommerce business, you might understand the pain of managing thousands of products with hundreds of attributes.

Modern businesses that sell their products online often end up in a situation where they suffer a lot to manage their product information according to the needs of multiple channels. Having control over the product data or information is one of the key aspects for modern businesses to sustain and to proceed towards the success path. This is why Product Information Management (PIM) becomes such a crucial thing. 

PIM helps businesses to gain full control over product data and empowers businesses to manage them efficiently according to the market and consumer demand. This article briefs about PIM which every business leader should be aware of in detail. 

Do you want to get detailed insight into what is PIM? I would like to share all the information about PIM through this post.

Shall we start?

What is a PIM (Product Information Management)?

PIM (Product Information Management) is the systematic procedure of handling all the information related to products. In addition, the PIM efficiently manages the product information based on the evolving market demands and meets the requirements of the sales and marketing team as well. 

PIM is well-known for managing all types of data and distributing them across channels with the desired quality. 

Let’s dig more about PIM (Product Information Management) in the upcoming section.

PIM stands for Product Information Management. It is a centralized repository to manage your massive product data. It refers to a process that collects, enriches, and manages product data in a single place.

It allows retailers to create a product catalog and distribute it across the different eCommerce and sales channels. PIM manages all types of content that are required to promote and sell the products.

The process also ensures the data quality, whether the information is appropriate for multichannel distribution and internal use.

How does a PIM (Product Information Management) work?  

Well, this may be a billion-dollar question among business owners ‘how does a PIM work?’ 

We are in an era, where PIM becomes an integral part of the business operation. PIM helps modern businesses in many ways through its astonishing features and capabilities. The PIM tool helps businesses to leverage omnichannel consistency and better product experience by delivering accurate product data. 

Let us explain the main actions performed by PIM that can support your team.

Centralized product data in a single platform

PIM reduces a lot of manual tasks performed to storing and managing product data. It offers a centralized location to store all data related to the business products. Let’s see what operations are performed by PIM on a centralized database. 

Data gathering

It collects the entire product data together in a single place and establishes itself as a single source of truth. 

Data importing

The system transfers all the data related to products from various systems in various file formats and custom templates to the centralized location. 

Data standardizing

PIM standardizes collected product data and with the presence of a custom product editor, it builds a structure that fits well for all the available product categories.    

Enriching content related to products.

PIM allows business leaders or data managers to create great appealing product content consistently. Delivering consistent high-quality product content across multiple channels will improve the product experience among the target audience. Let’s see what operations are performed by PIM for enriching product data. 

Enriching media 

PIM keeps track of all those product media files such as images, videos, PPTs, warranty cards, catalogs, etc, and makes sure they are updated according to the market demands.   

Relating product media 

PIM identifies the media files which are related to the products through product attributes and enriches them before relating or grouping them. 

Localization

PIM sets up multiple versions of product data and translates them according to the context of overseas market conditions or country-specific scenarios.

Grouping external channels

PIM displays accurate product information everywhere a business leader or salesperson needs. This ensures high-quality and accurate product data are easily accessible to all available channels. Let’s see what actions are performed by PIM here. 

Creating custom feeds

PIM allows data admins to create custom data feeds by setting their own rules and templates. 

Exporting product feeds 

PIM plays a handy role in sharing accurate product data among workers and business partners. 

Performance tracking 

PIM can keep records of product content enrichments and also track the performance of the product accordingly. 

Offers a collaborative work environment

To run a successful business, having a collaborative workforce is essential for business leaders. PIM delivers the same, by allowing colleagues to share their expertise, and effort with co-workers and improves the work progress. Let’s see what actions are performed by PIM here. 

Commissioning tasks 

PIM allows managers to invite workers to share the enriched product information by defining roles and permission for each to create a collaborative workforce to achieve the target. 

Streamlines the communication between teams

PIM improves the workflow with its platform by enabling multiple teams to communicate easily. This ensures the right data is shared among teams in the right format at the right time. 

Shares data among suppliers

PIM allows business leaders to invite suppliers to collaborate with product data. This ensures all suppliers receive high-quality accurate products in the right format. 

Why Do You Need a PIM?

Why Do You Need A PIM

Systematic Workflow

PIM helps manufacturers or retailers or brands to manage miscellaneous products effectively. It allows for defining the products as per their categories. Proper categorizing simplified the navigation flow and helps customers to reach their desired items quickly.

Leveraging PIM, you can display the product information in a highly systematic way that drives better opportunities for your business and amplifies the conversion rate.

Lead Generation

Finding potential prospects is a very crucial aspect of any business. It’s a process of attracting more customers and converting them into potential clients and eventually establishing a long-term relationship with the customers.

To increase the conversion rate, you have to improve customer satisfaction. And, one of the easy and effective ways to boost customer satisfaction is to enable them with precise, accurate, and complete information about the product they are planning to purchase.

With the PIM, you can easily control and enrich your product information. Using images, videos, accurate content, attributes, comments, and other advanced features. Harnessing all these capabilities of PIM, it becomes easy for you to improve sales.

Fast Production

To run the business smoothly, manufacturers need to operate their production-related jobs effectively. Faster production of the products is highly important for any business to gain the best outcome.

PIM allows manufacturers to store and manage the production data in the software and access every single detail of their product whenever needed. Moreover, you can spread your product information across all the different channels.

Personalized Experiences

According to McKinsey, 35% of Amazon’s revenue is due to product recommendations.

Almost all the leading eCommerce platforms and marketplaces recommend products to customers. They analyze the customers’ buying behavior to suggest the products of their interests.

PIM services help you to create and deliver personalized experiences for your customers by allowing you to offer product recommendations.

To offer personalized recommendations, it is very essential to specific product attributes.

Getting insights about the buying behavior of your target audience and understanding what they exactly want is the first step of personalization. The next step is to match the buyer’s data with the relevant products. To recommend the right product, you need to structure all the information about your products in a range.

You can perform both of these steps using PIM. It allows sourcing product data and referencing it with the Pim eCommerce and marketplace data on buyers’ behavior so you can recommend the relevant products to the buyers.

By suggesting the products that your customers have already seen the chances are higher that they make buying decisions about recommended products.

With structured product information, you can suggest and display products that have similar features and fulfill the same purpose.

Maximize Online Sales

Product relationships play a vital role in increasing online sales. When a customer visits a physical store, the objective of the storekeeper is to make sure he/she leaves the shop with the best option of the product in their mind.

Your web store also needs to work in the same way. Moreover, using the digitized product information available in the PIM, the online store performs this job in a far better way.

Data Flow Automation

Management of massive product information cannot be handled cost-effectively and properly without the support of the right technology.

PIM automates the flow of data from purchases and ensures having a single source of truth got your products throughout the organization. Moreover, PIM can be integrated with your existing ERP system and distribution channels to make effective exports and imports of your product information.

Goals of PIM (Product Information Management)

In product-driven organizations, the marketing team receives an insurmountable thicket of information from the product team to promote and sell the products. They need to distribute the product information in multiple versions to different distributors, sales channels, teams, retailers, and so on.

Product Data Management with Spreadsheets

There was a time when companies used to manage product data in papers. But, with the emergence of the digital world, companies have started managing product information in spreadsheets.

Undoubtedly, spreadsheets are a far better option than papers, but not an effective one. Your data is still scattered. Data merging, data matching, and data mapping become a headache when your data are dispersed in different sheets.

Product Data Management with PIM

PIM allows the marketing team to store, manage, and update the product information in their product catalog. Being a cloud-based repository, the PIM system offers centralization and improves productivity.

Additionally, it ensures the information reaches the right people at the right time through the appropriate channels.
These days, the cloud-based SaaS Model of PIM is gaining tremendous popularity as a cutting-edge technology across online marketplace sellers and eCommerce platforms.

4 Product Management Frameworks that You Can Integrate with PIM

Product Management Frameworks

Product Information Management serves different purposes by combining with different product management frameworks. Let’s understand each of them.

1. Product Experience Management (PXM)

The purpose of centralized product information is to improve the user experience of end customers. As the end users buy the product online, they cannot touch them. So, they need to know all about the product.

Product Experience Management helps end customers understand

  • What product they are buying?
  • Will the product satisfy their needs and expectations?
  • Will the product deliver value for money?

2. Product Data Management (PDM)

Product Data Management allows sharing of internal product data. The information available on PDM is mostly useful for product designers and engineers.

3. Master Data Management (MDM)

MDM is a centralized data repository for every organization. Businesses can manage data related to products, customers, vendors, suppliers, distributors, production, machinery, finance, human resource, employees, and more in it.

On the other hand, PIM is used to manage product data and promote and sell the product.

MDM is a larger solution than PIM so it costs higher than a Product Information Management solution. If you are a large-scale organization that has to manage tons of data from different departments, then you have to consider MDM for effective data management.

4. Product Content Management (PCM)

PCM and PIM are very much similar but there are a few differences too.

Product Content Management is an add-on to your eCommerce platform. Enrichment of the product and taxonomies becomes easy using it.

Unlike Product Information Management, it doesn’t aggregate information from different sources. You can use PCM as a part of your PIM. However, it cannot replace the PIM.

PIM offers bigger benefits to you by handling massive product information in multiple formats and syncing it across multiple channels from a single source of truth.

What are the PIM (Product Information Management) benefits?

PIM system offers a wide range of benefits apart from offering complete product data management. This section illustrates some key benefits an organization can leverage through PIM. 

Benefits of Product Management Management

Easy-to-integrate

Modern PIM systems are 100% API-driven which allows businesses to integrate various handy business software & tools like ERPs, CRMs, data systems, BI software, and so. This effective integration of PIM delivers operational efficiency and paves a path for dramatically improved business workflow. 

Robust digital asset management

PIM offers a robust DAM functionality that enables businesses to manage all their product digital assets in a single location. This makes data onboarding, data enriching, and data syndicating of the product’s digital assets so effortless. It adds more fuel to achieve a better product experience. 

Effective syndication of product data

PIM can connect multiple external channels and delivers or publish product data instantly. The most highlighting part is PIM publishes data to multiple external channels in the desired formats of each channel. This enables audiences to receive optimized product data at all times. 

Improves customer experience

PIM plays a major role in improving customer experience by delivering accurate high quality product content consistently. Once, customers are satisfied with the brand approach, eventually, it will boost product sales and the company’s ROI. 

In addition to those, here are the lists of a few fascinating advantages businesses can gain through a PIM solution. 

  • Establish a more consistent brand image 
  • Detect errors quickly and enrich product data sheets 
  • Reduce cart abandonment and improve the conversion rate 
  • Pick up all the material and channel it to the right places 
  • Ensure access to all product information from a single source of truth 
  • Content validation before releasing it to public channels 
  • Synchronize product descriptions, videos, and images across all the channels where you promote your products 
  • Create a better impression for online buyers 
  • Optimize SEO using keywords associated with each product page 
  • Automatic product updates that improve the shopping experience before catalog renewal and product launches 

Centralized Data Management

Product Information Management Services not only manages your massive data but also classifies and organizes the products according to the desired data field and categories. It also allows your team to update any associated data.

PIM allows you to send your product data to the connected channels and auto-populates the fields.

Using PIM, you can eliminate the discrepancies between digital and physical catalogs by enabling companies with design connectors and catalog printing. Thus, you can display the products of the same collection with the same information regardless of the product catalog or web-based eCommerce store.

A centralized data management facility of PIM allows you to translate your catalog content into different languages. Thus, it becomes quite easy for you to penetrate international markets as well as launch your products on globally renowned and used marketplaces.

With the PIM, you can be sure to publish precise and complete product information across all your sales channels. Customers and all the stakeholders of your company can view the product data in real time regardless of location.

Catalog Structure Management

If you want to know about the outstanding ability of PIM, then it is an aggregation of product information in various formats.

To deliver a consistent customer experience and maintain the branding, many eCommerce portals demand strict adherence to submitting product information in their catalog format.

Once you integrate your desired platforms with PIM, the product information management system sends different data to multiple channels automatically in their respective formats.

Additionally, PIM keeps your marketing team in sync. It generates insightful reports on any updates to the data and the content. It keeps a history of medications and changes done by each user. It is very helpful to the marketing manager to track edits and changes in the catalog.

What Information Does a PIM System Manage? 

A product Information Management (PIM) system is specifically designed to manage all the information or data which are related to product and product SKUs. Here are the lists of cross-functional product information which are efficiently managed through the PIM solution. 

Basic product data

PIM collects data directly from the product such as product name, titles, basic description, SKUs and so. All this information is handy and allows businesses to suggest product usage to buyers. 

Product digital assets

PIM manages all digital assets of a product like an image, video, PPT, document, catalog, description, 3D view and so in a single place. This enables a business to deliver a perfect view or understanding of the product to the consumers. 

Product technical details

Managing technical information about a product like size, color, fabric, material, dimensions, weight, warranty, etc, is essential for businesses to drive more attention to the viewers. PIM manages all those data in all formats together. 

Product marketing details

PIM manages all the product data which are essential to do effective marketing campaigns. Data like target customers, product keywords, SEO data, product category, Metadata and so. 

Product sales details

PIM can store all the pricing details along with customer reviews and testimonials. This allows businesses to overview the sales process at any time and to take necessary action to promote product sales. 

Product localization details

PIM manages product data in the house as a multilingual copy, so that it can easily translate them according to the demands of various markets cited locally, regionally, and globally. This empowers businesses to deliver custom-tailored product data as per the specific market condition. 

Product taxonomy

PIM manages data that are essential to building product catalogs and the company’s product structure such as product variations, relationships, and product categories. 

What You Can Do With PIM?

What You Can Do With PIM

PIM helps organizations to gather, enrich, and distribute product data efficiently in their omnichannel environment. Explore what jobs PIM performs to allow you to manage your complete, and accurate product data holistically.

Product Information Variance

The product information is not just a name, article, or description color and size. Each product has thousands of attributes and these attributes vary from product to product. So the marketing team needs to create different content for each product as well.

For example; you cannot have the same attributes for trousers and TV. A customer that wants to buy a TV is more concerned about resolution. On the other hand, when making the buying decisions about trousers, the type of fiber and instructions matters more to the buyers.

For some items, product details will be the same for all channels, brands, and languages. But, if we talk about the product description, it varies for each channel, brand, and language. Thus, there is a lot of complexity in managing different content effectively.

PIM helps you in managing all your product content seamlessly across different channels, languages, brands, and more.

Internationalization

All eCommerce business wants to expand globally. To do so, they have to collaborate effectively with suppliers and retailers in the international market. A strong relationship with your partners helps you to achieve an international standard like GS1.

Along with classifying the products as per their respective hierarchies for the local market of the organization, PIM classifies them in the international market too. It enriches product information with more specific attributes.

Through such classification, you allow decision-makers to access complete and accurate information about a product which directly impacts the conversion rate.

If you are considering internationalization extensively, then you have to go for PIM as it supports the translation process through a workflow for proper product data management with the help of an external translation agency.

Product References and Structure

Product structuring is always related to grouping similar products with comparable product content. Offering assortment functionality PIM allows organizations to group products to target the right products to the right markets. To facilitate customers with added value, you can suggest to them product combinations.

For example; if we talk about clothes, you can advise them to buy a combination of pants, shirts, and shoes. By offering references to the products, you can improve the conversion rate. It also improves the cross-sell and up-sell for your business too.

Another way to boost customer conversions is to allow them to replace the product if the customer doesn’t find it as expected or receive a damaged product.

Whether you want to enrich your product information by classifying or referencing products, PIM is capable to maintain it in both ways for you.

Product Data Quality

As the essence of product content is continuously growing in your omnichannel environment, product data quality becomes a serious business in today’s competitive era.

Product information managed in the PIM should be seen as a single source of truth to increase the data quality. A reliable PIM system ensures product data quality.

PIM allows for analysis of the data quality and generates reports, facilitates the process to improve data quality, and applies business rules. The objective of PIM for performing so many activities to improve data quality is to increase conversions across all channels.

Multimedia

Would you prefer to buy a product without viewing its pictures and just by reading its description?

Sounds crazy. Right?

A product without an image is quite tough to sell as customers want to see what they are going to buy at the very initial stage of the purchase.

And, one or two pictures of the product are not enough. They want to see the product from different angles to get a better understanding of the product’s size, features, color, etc. So, if you count, you need 5 to 15 images for each product.

You need a robust repository to store and manage such massive data of images and videos of products. This brings the urge to Digital Asset Management (DAM).

PIM comes with DAM capabilities and facilitates a digital asset process in a workflow. DAM is a module of the product information management system that manages the multi-format images, videos, and documents related to the products.

A mature PIM platform contains more capabilities such as automatic conversions, formatting, data export, and cross-referencing for adding value to the customers on the eCommerce platform, searching, and more.

Product Onboarding

While talking about PIM, “onboarding” is a very common and widely used term. In the context of PIM, onboarding is about getting product content forms diffident channels and storing and managing them in a PIM.

For example; PIM allows you to import data from your excel, ERP, directly from the suppliers’ portal, or other product content sources.

An advanced PIM is capable of merging and mapping the data by importing and combining them from different sources.

Omnichannel Publication

As we discussed previously, it’s an era of creating and delivering omnichannel experiences. With the increasing adoption of omnichannel, every channel required its own set of product information.

For example; an excel sheet manages the product information in a completely different format than the web store or mobile app where you are going to promote and seamless the product.

A reliable PIM solution effortlessly addresses the different needs in exports to varied eCommerce platforms or marketplaces.

What Types of Companies Should Consider PIM?

PIM is a highly popular solution across all sizes of businesses. There was a time when only large-scale businesses afford this software. However, today small and mid-sized businesses have started using the software to streamline product information management flow.

PIM enables retailers, manufacturers, brands, distributors, suppliers, and vendors with product updates, information documents, and channels to see their improved performance.

Are you looking for whether PIM would help your business?

Check out the blow points. If your origination has any of the following pain points or requirements, PIM is for you.

  • Gathers data from multiple suppliers
  • Manages complex product relationships and content
  • Sells products through multiple channels
  • Having too many manual processes
  • Has a high volume of SKUs in its offering
  • Require accurate product information available for multiple teams
  • Sells products through multiple channels
  • Transitions or expands product offering multiple times a year

Who Needs PIM in Your Organization?

PIM is a widely used software across the large-scale eCommerce organization as it allows businesses to

  • Manage a high number of SKUs
  • Host complex content
  • Collect product data from multiple touchpoints
  • Host constantly changing or shifting products
  • Automated formatting of product data
  • Define workflows
  • Control and manage product data
  • Define business rules

Apart from managing product-related data, PIM helps businesses collect data virtually in an effortless way. It automated manual data processes that directly impact the productivity of the employees.

Also, PIM allows you to share information quickly amongst your multiple teams and push product information across different channels.

PIM helps your different teams work independently by accessing the data of their use.

Who Needs A Product Information Management

Marketing Team

The team runs multiple marketing campaigns to promote the products. They need to create and modify a lot of content ongoing basis as per the requirement of campaigns.

PIM helps your marketing team not only manage the content seamlessly but also push the content across multiple channels in the local language of your targeted users.

Sales Team

The sales team needs access to updated and accurate product data to present it to the prospects. They also need quick access to digital content related to the product such as brochures, flyers, whitepapers, eBooks, and more.

Implementation of PIM enables your sales team with access to all the required product information and digital content.

eCommerce Team

Your eCommerce team needs to update the product content regularly to improve user experience and conversion rates.

PIM allows your team to add, edit, or delete any of the product content. Not only that, but it also pushes the updated content on the different marketplaces and other channels where you have published your product.

Data Governance Team

When there is a lot of data, the security of that data is very essential. Moreover, everybody doesn’t need access to every data.

PIM allows your data governance team to define the rules and enable each user with the role and permission-based access to the product data. It helps your team to track and meet your compliance needs.

Which PIM System I Should Consider for My Business?

There are many Product Information Management solutions available in the market these days. It’s quite tough to make the right choice for your needs. Learn about the top 11 PIM systems that you can consider for your business.

Explore the advanced PIM solutions along with their features and benefits.

Verdict

Having a PIM solution will be beneficial for any brand; especially for those owning a huge volume of products and selling products online. The PIM system democratizes the product information suitable for businesses to improve the efficiency of their business operations. Also, businesses can utilize the PIM solution to improve customer interaction and boost the sales ratio. 

It allows you to collect, manage, enrich, and district the information across different sales channels. Leveraging end-to-end Pimcore development services, you can build a robust PIM solution that helps you achieve digital transformation for your business.

Overall, if your business is looking to achieve its goal and looks to improve its ROI in today’s competitive virtual market, then making use of the PIM solution becomes inevitable. 

Do you want to simplify and automate your product information management using a PIM system? Connect with our experts.

Frequently Asked Questions on PIM

What are the latest Product Information Management Trends?

With the emergence of advanced technologies, the trends of product information management are constantly evolving. The following top trends are currently getting tremendous hype for PIM solutions.

  • AI & ML improve the quality of Product information
  • Product data sharing and distribution become smoother
  • AR transforms the product information user experience
  • Completeness of product data empowers customers
  • PIM helps in making effective strategic decisions
  • Information enrichment through different users
  • Omnichannel experiences will lead the market
  • Audio & Video based product information
  • Reach out to the global market with marketplace integration

What are the most important features of Product Information Management?

While considering the PIM solution, you have to consider varied features for effective product data management. But, make sure your PIM software consists of the following features.

  • Bulk Editing
  • Catalog Management
  • Product Content Localization
  • Product Data Modeling
  • Data Distribution & Syndication
  • Digital Asset Management
  • Collaborative Workflow
  • User and Right-based Management

How to know my business needs PIM?

If you are the one who is struggling to figure out whether your business needs PIM, you need to analyze the product data relates challenges your business faces. Here are the most common challenges that your business faces in the absence of a robust PIM system.

  • Lack of transparency amongst internal teams and departments
  • Dealing with multiple sales channels becomes tough
  • Managing a massive amount of product data
  • Disorganized product catalog
  • Manual tasks and spreadsheets will be error-prone
  • Handling cluttered digital assets
  • Lack of supplier communication
  • Product launch cycle delays

What should I consider for effective product information management from PIM and MDM?

MDM is a quite large solution for you if you want to manage your product information only. While PIM is a very specific and cost-effective solution to address your product information management needs. To select the right one, you need to learn about the difference between PIM and MDM.

What are PIM (Product Information Management) Services?

PIM services are professional services offered by PIM vendors. Often these services from vendors help organizations to deploy and optimize their PIM solution. An expert from PIM vendors delivers consultation, training, and assistance on implementing PIM and providing excellent support under the PIM services. Overall, PIM services from PIM vendors help an organization improve business operations by getting the most out of the PIM solution.

What is PIM (Product Information Management) Solution?

PIM solution includes various tools, technologies, and processes by which an organization can manage and distribute its product information effectively across the platforms and channels to drive more sales. With the presence of a PIM solution, an organization ensures its shares accurate, high-quality product information consistently.

What is a PIM (Product Information Management) System?

PIM system includes various tools & latest technology along with the PIM solution, PIM software, and PIM services. PIM system enables an organization to manage and distribute product data effectively and efficiently. The main purpose of the PIM system is to streamline product data, boost data quality, and enhance the customer experience.

What is a PIM (Product Information Management) Software?

Product Information Management (PIM) Software is an application that was specifically designed to deliver effective PIM solutions. The PIM software acts as a centralized data repository for storing all product information including images, videos, descriptions, attributes, technical details, pricing, and so. Overall, PIM software plays a handy role for organizations in managing product details.

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