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In this article, we will lay out the basics of Product Information Management. In this article, we’ll look at PIM’s benefits for retailers, why it’s a vital platform for e-commerce businesses, and how it affects their overall return on investment. Read on to find out how PIM systems improve data quality, and how to take care of unstructured product data so you can succeed in omnichannel marketing.

Businesses without PIM

Businesses that sell their products online often accumulate a large amount of product information across various sales channels. A single product is often displayed with different descriptions, marketing messages, or even product data depending on the channel.

Adding to the complexity of things, product information is usually scattered across many teams and kept in multiple internal systems, rather than being centralized. It is not possible to exchange information between ERP systems and Excel spreadsheets on their own; the data may be saved in a variety of formats or only available in hard copy. The challenge of managing information for a constantly growing number of products easily turns into a spreadsheet crisis.

Here is where PIM solutions come in to make marketers and e-commerce managers much more efficient.

Why Product Information Management is so important?

Ventana Research has published a report about the attitude of businesses towards electronic commerce built on PIM as the foundation. The integration of eCommerce and PIM is only important to 1% of survey respondents. A significant majority of respondents felt that integrating PIM into an eCommerce business is very important. One of the best ways to effectively manage product-related content, according to executives and managers across industries and organizations, is to use one PIM application. A dedicated PIM solution can eliminate errors and improve customer experience by ensuring consistency across channels.

Product Information Management (PIM) vs Master Data Management (MDM)

Master Data Management (MDM):

To achieve operational excellence, MDM aims to consolidate all information about products, customers, suppliers, partners, employees, locations, etc. into one repository.

MDM is critical to every department in a given company since master data is accessed by several applications across the entire company on a daily basis.

Product Information Management (PIM):

Product Information Management enables users to centralize product-related data from various sources while managing, enriching, and syndicating that content across multiple channels.

It is particularly useful to the Sales and Marketing departments.

Product Information Management (PIM) vs Product Content Management (PCM)

It’s true that PIM is sometimes confused with PCM. Adding to the confusion, there are many definitions that position PCM similarly to PIM. However, there are many differences between the two.

PCM is a standard feature of most enterprise e-commerce solutions and primarily serves to enrich data. Enrichment means adding or editing product descriptions, attributes, images, and taxonomies efficiently. These features are fantastic for managing a single source of truth for product information.

PIM is usually so much more than just data enrichment. Additionally, it offers components such as data quality, data completeness, aggregation, and syndication. Business owners can rely on these features not only to centralize product information but also to syndicate consistent and accurate information to various sales channels.

Does my team need PIM?

If your portfolio has a few hundred SKUs and you do not plan to expand, you may not need PIM if you are willing to spend a lot of time managing product information. Any more than that, and managing your content will become difficult. You will have to dedicate a lot more time to editing, reviewing, and correcting errors in product information manually if you do not have PIM.

As a result, if you plan to use several sales and marketing channels, PIM will be your most efficient solution for creating & storing all the different versions of content required by your partners.

How is PIM data used?

Product information management drives online sales by centralizing and organizing product information. Product information can be used across all sales and marketing channels. The content of a product page can be incorporated into an eCommerce website; it can also be syndicated to marketplaces and comparison sites to increase the reach of a company and diversify its audience. To create print and digital collateral for campaigns, automated workflows are available. It doesn’t matter how you use PIM data – you can feed it to any platform or software that connects via APIs or allows import. It is possible to explore the still new fields of social commerce, chat commerce, and augmented reality using product data from a PIM system.

Will PIM be relevant in the future?

Yes, mainly due to the digitization processes that retailers are undergoing. As a whole, the e-commerce industry is experiencing massive growth year after year. In a study by Statista published before COVID 19, the global retail e-commerce sales are projected to reach a new record by 2021, growing 265% from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.9 trillion in 2021. As a result, we should expect this number to be even higher. Online sales are the future of sales, so PIM is a relevant and necessary platform.

Key takeaways

  • PIM stands for “Product Information Management” and is software designed to manage product-related data as efficiently as possible.
  • PIM solutions enable brands and retailers to create excellent customer experiences and improve sales.
  • Integrating a quality PIM platform is a major step towards achieving Omnichannel consistency.
  • PIM originated in the late 1990s.
  • PIM is part of Master Data Management, sometimes referred to as MDM for business.
  • PIM and PCM are two different things. While both are central repositories for product-related data, PIM boasts additional features, such as content distribution.
  • Online sales are the future, making PIM an essential tool.