“What is PIM?” is the first question that springs to mind if you’ve just heard the term for the first time.
PIM stands for Product Information Management. This means all of the all the data surrounding the products in your product catalogue, sizes, weights, descriptions, reviews, certifications and so on.
There are many acronyms floating around for information management software:
- PXM (Product Experience Management). This is basically the same software, but hones in on the idea that centralized information enhances the experience for the final user. After all, you can’t touch products before you buy them online, so you need information to understand what it is you’re paying for.
- PDM (Product Data Management). A PDM is used more internally for the sharing of product data, the difference being that information is useful to engineers and product designers.
- PCM (Product Content Management). PCM and PIM a related terms, but PCM tends to be an inclusion in an ecommerce platform made for easy enrichment of taxonomies and products. Where it differs from PIM (and therefore is frequently not the right solution), is that it doesn’t aggregate information from multiple sources. The advantage of a PIM is that it can handle multiple formats of products information, synced across multiple channels from a single source of truth (SSoT)
- MDM (Master Data Management). MDM is a universal, internal repository for the information of a whole (usually enterprise level) business. Where PIM is used for the marketing of products, MDM is more an encompassing system which may contain information on employees, machinery, processes and of course, products. Of course, it also costs a lot more.
So let’s take it one step at a time and find out why PIM is a key tool in ecommerce.
Table of Contents
- PIM definition: what is it?
- PIM goals
- The advantages of using a PIM system
- Catalog structure
- Centralization of data
- Types of companies that need a PIM solution
- What product information does a PIM manage?
PIM definition: what is it?
A PIM is a software extension that integrates with online commerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify or WooCommerce, as well as other channels, data sources and software systems.
The PIM works as a multichannel marketing software tool that allows you to maintain control over all areas of your ecommerce strategy. A PIM in marketing and management has the ability to track in real time all the catalog and inventory data of the company, sending it to sales channels in the right format and ensuring that an automated sync from the PIM to the channel (via API).
Not all PIM solutions include the variety of connectors needed to launch your multichannel strategy quickly and efficiently. Sales Layer’s PIM is one of the most complete cloud SaaS solutions.
“A PIM is a multichannel marketing software tool for ecommerce.”
The main problem that arises in any product focused business is the tangle of information that comes from the internal team and also through the supply from manufacturer to retail.
What was once a huge library of paperwork has now been practically replaced by digital document folders. Hundreds and hundreds of spreadsheets full of columns that try to organize thousands and thousands of data.
A PIM solves this problem by helping marketers store and update all the information related to their product catalog. This solution is based on a cloud storage repository, which facilitates centralization and productivity, while ensuring that information travels to the appropriate channels and reaches the right people, at the right time.
The shift towards cloud-based SaaS models have made PIM a cutting-edge technology for ecommerce platforms and online marketplaces sellers.
→ You may be interested: The best Product Information Management systems in the market
The advantages of using a PIM system
Many companies use an ERP, where company-wide data files are stored. This information can be synced and the PIM will work in the background to:
- Pick up all the material and channels it to the right addresses.
- Enrich the product datasheets and detect errors.
- Optimize SEO using the keywords associated with each page and product.
- Offer a more consistent brand image.
- Generate a better impression on the online buyer.
- Improve the conversion rate and avoid the online cart abandonment.
- Synchronize images, videos and product descriptions in all the channels used by the brand.
- Perform automatic product updates, which improve the shopping experience before launches and catalog renewals.
- Ensure access to all information through a single source of truth.
- Validate content before being released to public channels.
→ Related content: PIM vs. DAM, which one is right for you?
One of the key benefits of PIM is its ability to aggregate information in various formats for upstream and downstream synching. Many platforms demand a strict adherence to their own catalog structure (to keep a hold on branding and provide consistent service). A PIM can send different information to multiple channels automatically.
A PIM in ecommerce ensures that all the members of a company’s marketing team are coordinated. A PIM provides quality reports on the content and on any updates to the data, as well as a history of changes and modifications, so that you always know who has made edits to the catalog.
“A PIM tracks catalog data in real time, sending it in an appropriate and up-to-date manner to all channels.”
Centralization of data
Using PIM, teams can organize and classify products according to the desired categories and data fields, as well as update any associated data. This data is then sent to the connected channel and auto-populates the fields.
With catalog printing and design connectors, there are no discrepancies between physical and digital catalogues. So products of the same collection will appear with the exact same information whether they are web based or in a printed catalog
This centralization also facilitates the translation of catalogue contents into different languages, and adapts it to different international standards and marketplace norms.
Your PIM system guarantees that the same complete and precise information will be shown in all channels, and that it will be visible in real time to all members of the company, in any country.
Types of companies that need a PIM solution
A PIM is a solution increasingly demanded by businesses of all sizes. Software that a few years ago was only accessible to large corporations is now within the reach of small and medium businesses.
The PIM is fundamental when a company handles a considerable volume of catalog and sales, impossible for small teams to manage
Vendors, retailers, distributors, manufacturers, brands and companies using a variety of channels and information documents and product updates will see their performance improve with a PIM.
The larger your catalog, the more exposed you are to errors, repetitions, and mismatches between channels, catalog versions, and team departments that continually update product information.
→ Keep reading: PIM system, the key to success in multichannel sales
What product information does a PIM manage?
These are all the data and product resources that you can manage in an automated and centralized way through PIM:
- Basic data: names, titles…
- Technical data (measurements, materials, ingredients…)
- Product Specifications
- Identifier codes
- Product Variants
- Data adapted to marketplaces templates (Amazon, Google…)
- Stock data
- User reviews
- Product resources (instructions, guides…)
- Marketing and sales documents
- SEO data for marketing purposes
→ You may be interested in: Steps to easily implement a PIM solution
A PIM can receive huge amounts, millions of fields of product data from an ecommerce catalog and unify it in one single silo before launching it to the world and your customers through all the channels you want.
Automated and synchronised connections to online channels are important to business moving into transformation and building their catalogs on the web.
Try PIM free with Sales Layer for 30 days and bring the fastest growing tool on the market to your team.