What is product information management (PIM)
Product information management (PIM) is a necessary process to manage the required information and sell product through various distribution channels. The central product data set can be used to share and receive information with web sites, print catalogues, ERP systems and electronic data feeds.
PIM implementations generally need to support multiple geographic locations, multi language data, maintenance and modification of product information within a central catalogue while this data can be scattered throughout the business, employees and systems.
Product information management represents a solution for centralized, media and format independent data maintenance as well as data collection, management, refinement and output.
The basics of product information management is to consolidate all product information into a single platform. This means having a PIM based service running alongside multiple database servers and exchange XML based product information data.
PIM tools enable you to create a central hub to collaboratively manage all your product information. This radically simplifies the process of creating, maintaining, and using product descriptions and specifications for online and offline product catalogs.
While PIM can make your product information processes more efficient, it’s also a foundational technology that powers:
• Superior product experiences
• Omnichannel marketing
• Increased conversion rates
• Decreased product returns
• Faster time-to-market
• Increased product assortment
• Expansion to new markets
• Making cool new ideas like retail chatbots actually work
Product information management is a set of business practices and a category of business applications focused on managing product information for use across an organization from the supply chain to commerce to customers.
It is necessary for the organization to correctly identify what problems a PIM system will solve. For this to happen:
- Write down all the basic requirements for the ideal PIM system
- Determine most important goals since uncertainty can delay the implementation
- Don’t search for a system that will fully satisfy our requirements since a universal solution does not exist
- Choose a service provider but before introducing the system, make sure the organization understand how the standardization of information will take place
Our custom solutions offer open-source backed data management applications that centralize and harmonize all your marketing, sales and technical product management data. We can acquire, manage and share any type of digital data. Our API driven, service oriented architecture enable fast and seamless connection to third party CRM, ERP ad BI systems.
PIM solutions provide a single place to collect, manage and enrich your product information, create product catalogs, and distribute information to your sales and ecommerce channels. With PIM marketers can dramatically improve product data quality, accuracy and completeness, while simplifying and accelerating product catalog management.
Using PIM solutions will enable your organzation to:
- Drive good customer experiences
- Reach more markets
- Improve sales conversion rates
- Take advantage of new sales channels
Also, you will be able to:
- Collect product information from a variety of internal and external sources
- Enrich, classify and localize product information inside the PIM with business rules and validation workflows
- The enriched, localized data can be spread to eCommerce platforms, mobile applications and other channels
PIM tools can be used to manage different types of information:
- Technical - product specifications like size, color, material and ingredients
- Usage - product descriptions with where-use, how to and sample usage suggestions
- Emotional - rich product descriptions, stories and imagery that helps create emotional connection with buyers
Note: Transactional information such as inventory levels ad pricing are NOT managed in a PIM solution.
Why are so many companies adopting PIM so quickly? Top reasons companies cited:
(data quality is used for ranking)
- Customer expectations about data quality
- Data governance
- Rapid ROI from efficiency gains and cost savings
Why do companies need PIM?
- Scale of the catalogues and spread product information to additional channels
- Customization and localization - global scale is only effective when matched with the ability to granularly customize the product experience for every customer.
- Go to market need for speed - streamline the product creatio and enrichment processes to bring new products and seasnal collections to market much faster compared to wrangling product informatio in spreadsheets or other unfit-for-purpose systems.
PIM can also transform the often chaotic product enrichment process with built-in workflows hat clearly guide each team member through their next steps
PIM vs MDM
PIM typical has a much easier and more cost-effective implementation process than a more ambitious and organization-wide MDM deployment.
PIM vs DAM
Many PIM solutions include the ability to manage digital assets like images, videos, PDFs etc. A enterprise DAM system is complementary to a PIM solution and many integrations exist that link popular IM and DAM systems.
What to look for in a PIM solution?
- Make sure that the PIM system can interoperate with your current and planned information sources and destinations
- PIMs are not a one-shot development effort. They must adapt to support evolving connected systems and technologies
- PIM needs to be adopted and used by numerous users at various levels. The user interface needs to be intuitive
- Make sure that the PIM system is customizable and localizable so you get or keep the ability to conform to the requirements of different markets
- Data center or cloud?
PIM deployment options:
- On premises - the organization deploys and maintains all application and data on their own servers
- PaaS (Platform as a service) - the applications and data are hosted by a third party - does not require intensive IT support for basic plumbing
- SaaS (Software as a service) - everything from the application o the infrastructure is maintained by the primary application vendor - provide ease of use and some compromise on flexibility
PIM decision making:
For CMOs and directors of eCommerce - compelling product experiences across product experiences and accelerate time to market.
C-Level decision makers and general management - PIM is a business application. It enables continuous expansion with more product offerings, available in more markets and across more channels. PIM provides rapid ROI.
Product marketing and catalog managers - eliminate the repetitive, manual drudgery of tedious product information management routines. Product updates can be updated b cutting time needed to hours instead of days r weeks. PIM will generally improve and accelerate your current processes.
IT decision makers - PIM is a CRM used for products. PIM will introduce product data governance across your organization and give you control over who does what and sync with other enterprise systems and applications.