What is PIM? – An Ultimate Guide for Product Information Management
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By: Sagar Sharma

What is PIM? – An Ultimate Guide for Product Information Management

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

Of course, you can manage the product data in traditional ways using spreadsheets, PDF, ERP, and many other systems. But, PIM makes a huge difference to you than any of these solutions.

Moreover, as your business scales, it is quite tough to manage the increasing product data effectively through any of the manual data management.

Choosing the right PIM, you can save the time of micromanagement of product data and focus more on other important initiatives.

Today, customers prefer to shop online from popular marketplaces. Being a retailer, you have to adopt a PIM that allows you to store, upload, and manage your massive product data to meet the ever-changing needs of customers.

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 PIM?

You may have heard this term before. It is a booming technology for retail, manufacturing, and many of the industries.

Let’s understand what PIM exactly is.

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 the 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.

Goals of PIM

In product-driven organizations, the marketing team receives the 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 the product data in the papers. But, with the emergence of the digital world, companies have started managing the 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 to 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

4 Product Information Management Frameworks

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

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, it is very essential for them to know all about the product.

Product Experience Management helps end customers to understand

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

Product Data Management (PDM)

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

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.

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 syncs it across multiple channels from a single source of truth.

Why Do You Need to Use PIM?

Why Do You Need To Use PIM

Systematic Workflow

PIM helps manufacturers or retailers or brands to manage the miscellaneous product effectively. It allows to define the products as per their categories. A proper categorizing simplified the navigation flow and helps customers to reach to 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 to potential clients and eventually establish 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, it is very essential for manufacturers to operate their production related jobs effectively. Faster production of the products if 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 the customers. They analyze the customers’ buying behavior to suggest the products of their interests.

PIM helps 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 the 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 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 they make buying decisions about recommended products.

With structured product information, you can suggest and display the 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 leave 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, 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 form 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.

What Are the Benefits of Using PIM?

PIM is the great software for organizations that juggle to manage a lot of product information and sell the product across multiple channels. When it comes to productivity, it enables companies with a lot of benefits. Harnessing the potential of PIM, you can save you and your team’s time, control your products, and improve the data quality.

  • Avoid manual data entry and data update
  • Create constant and rich content
  • Optimize content for all the sales channels
  • Eliminate data silos and bottlenecks
  • Expand product offering in a sustainable way
  • Improve customer loyalty and satisfaction
  • Improve time to market of product to win the competition
  • Reduce data redundancies and errors by relying on a single source of truth
  • Improves sales with accessible data and better content
  • Reduce wasted resources and overheads
  • Sort and import supplier data quickly

To learn more about PIM benefits, visit What Are the Benefits of PIM (Product Information Management) Systems?

What Are the Advantages of Using PIM?

For the company-wide data storage and management, most organizations use ERP systems. But, it is a cumbersome software that incorporates data from the different departments of your business.

If you are using ERP, you do not need to replace it with PIM. All you need is to synchronize it with PIM. Instead of ERP, you need to use PIM to leverage the following advantages.

  • 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 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 catalog 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 the 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 an 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 submit the 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 Kind of Product Information You Can Store in PIM?

Product Information Management drives a paradigm shift the way you manage and use the product information. You can access the following types of product information from a single database.

  • Important Product Information [Name, Title, Descriptions, SKUS, UPCs, etc…]
  • Technical Specifications [Materials, Measurements, Warranties, Ingredients, etc…]
  • Manufacturer and Supplier Data [Certification, Spreadsheets, etc…]
  • Design Specifications [Assembly Instructions, Designer Notes, Style Sheets, etc…]
  • Digital Assets [Videos, Images, Documents, etc…]
  • Marketing Data [Personas, Keywords, SEO Elements, etc…]
  • Taxonomy and Relationship [Labels, Categories, Variations, etc…]
  • Channel Specific Information [Amazon Titles, Google Categories, Mobile Descriptions, etc…]
  • Sales Information [Prices, Customer Reviews, testimonials, etc…]
  • Localized information [Translations, Multilingual, Support etc…]

What You Can Do With PIM?

What You Can Do with PIM

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

Product Information Variance

The product information is not just a name, or article or a description color and size. Each product has thousands of attributes and these attributes very 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, while making the buying decisions about trouser, 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 the different channels, languages, brands, and more.

Internationalization

All the eCommerce business wants to expand globally. To do so, they have to collaborate effectively with suppliers and retailers of 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 its 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 the complete and accurate information about a product this 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 group 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 an 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 receives a damaged product.

Whether you want to enrich your product information by classifying or referencing products, PIM is capable to maintain it in both the way 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 to analyze the data quality and generate reports, facilitate the process to improve data quality and apply 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 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 a massive data of images and videos of products. This brings the urge to Digital Asset Management (DAM).

PIM comes with the 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 into 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 relationship 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 to share the information quickly amongst your multiple teams and push product information across the different channels.

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

Who Needs PIM

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 the 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 on a regular basis 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 are 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 its features and benefits.

Verdict

The product information management solution like Pimcore can manage your huge amount of product information that includes millions of fields of product data, thousand of categories of multiple brands, and deliver you a holistic and complete view of all your data in a single silo.

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.

PIM framework of Pimcore drives a paradigm shift in the way retailers and manufacturers used to perform their sales, marketing, and operational activities. In short, it helps you to redefine the future landscape of your business.

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

Frequently Asked Question 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 spreadsheet will be error-prone
  • Handling cluttered digital assets
  • Lack of supplier communication
  • Product launch cycle delays

What should I consider for the 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.



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