An Introduction to PIM Systems

In today’s interconnected world, consumers expect a seamless shopping experience across various channels including in-store, online, through mobile apps, social media, etc. Omnichannel retailing satisfies this expectation, and a Product Information Management (PIM) system plays a pivotal role in making multi-channel selling efficient and profitable.

A product information system centralizes, manages, and enhances product information across various channels, ensuring consistency and standardization. From basic online shopping to offering memorable consumer experiences, a PIM is the cornerstone of modern eCommerce, projected to reach a market value of over $24 billion by 2027 with compound annual growth of 14% (from PIM Market article). Discover how a PIM can be the key to scaling and transforming your business.

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What PIM Systems Manage

A PIM system is a comprehensive solution that centralizes and organizes a wide array of product data. From detailed product descriptions, titles, SKUs, prices, weight, dimensions, to colors, sizes, and other attributes, a PIM ensures that every piece of information is meticulously managed. It also streamlines storing of visual elements such as images, animations, videos, and documents such as technical specifications and materials.

A product information system allows the inventory manager to create product categories and attributes to organize data in any fashion.

that Inventory tracking across different warehouses or stores is updated in real-time, and products are organized into categories with attributes and tags. For businesses reaching out to international customers, a PIM’s ability to manage information in multiple languages is invaluable.

  • Product Data: Descriptions, titles, SKU numbers, prices, and more.
  • Images & Media: Organize images, animations, videos, 360-degree views.
  • Inventory: Real-time tracking feeds across warehouses or stores.
  • Categories and Classifications: Organize products effectively.
  • Translations: Display multiple languages for international or non-English speaking customers.

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Advantages of Implementing a PIM

The implementation of a PIM brings multiple advantages that transform the way a business operates. By centralizing data, a product information system puts an end to scattered information, allowing for easier updates and synchronization. This centralization not only improves data quality by minimizing errors but also enhances credibility and customer confidence. A PIM’s scalability allows businesses to adapt to different languages and currencies, making international expansion seamless.

Empowering sales and marketing teams with better visibility and control over their content separates them from operations, allowing for more targeted and effective selling strategies. Time-saving automation minimizes effort and makes workflows more efficient, while optimization of user experience leads to increased conversion rates, more loyalty, and fewer complaints and returns. In essence, a PIM is a catalyst for business growth, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

  • Centralize Data: End scattered information, centralize data for easier updates.
  • Improve Data Quality: Minimize errors, enhance credibility.
  • Scale Internationally: Adapt to different languages and currencies
  • Empower Sales and Marketing: Separate marketing and sales teams from operations, giving them control over content and enabling targeted strategies.
  • Save Time: Automate tasks, minimize effort.
  • Optimize User Experience: Increase conversion rates, reduce complaints.

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Features of PIM Systems

PIM systems are equipped with cutting-edge features that make them indispensable in the modern eCommerce landscape. The integration platform ensures a seamless connection with existing systems, acting as a central hub for product data. Data modeling capabilities allow for the normalization and conversion of data, making it adaptable to various needs. Advanced tools such as merchandising, search tools, bulk editing, advanced pricing rules, multi-language & multi-currency support,and secure data backups provide flexibility and control. In addition, some PIMs come with a built-in digital asset management (DAM) feature, which can help ensure consistent branding and efficient organization of ancillary images, videos, and documents. These features collectively make a product information system a robust and versatile tool for businesses of all sizes.

  • Integration Platform: Seamless connection with existing systems.
  • Data Modeling: Normalize and convert data effortlessly.
  • Advanced Tools: Merchandising, search tools, bulk editing, and more.
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM): Consistent branding and comprehensive product views.

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When to Implement a PIM

Choosing the right time to implement a PIM is crucial for leveraging its full potential. A PIM becomes essential when a business is expanding their ecommerce presence. Integration with various sales channels, including a company website, marketplaces and social media, is streamlined with a PIM, making it a go-to solution for multi-channel retailers. PIMs are optimized to manage a large inventory that may contain simple and highly-configurable products.

If moving product data from one platform to another is needed (i.e., changing ecommerce systems), a PIM simplifies migration data and makes the transition seamless. In today’s digitized world, a product information system is a vital tool for businesses aiming to outpace competitors.

  • Manage Large Product Sets: Handle complex attributes and variable configurations.
  • Integrate Various Sales Channels: Websites, marketplaces, social media, etc.
  • Upgrade and Grow the Business: Seamless migration from one system to another.

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Differences in PIM Systems

The major PIMs offer similar core capabilities plus distinct features that businesses should evaluate to determine which best suits their needs. See comparison table below followed by a summary of each PIM’s features.

Vendor Sales Layer Akeneo Pimcore Salsify Plytix PIMworks Casty
Platform Sales Layer Akeneo PIM Pimcore Cloud Edition Salsify Plytix PIM PIMworks Casty PIM & DAM
Built-In 3rd Party Integrations Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
App Store No Yes No Limited No No No
Developer-Friendly API Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
DAM Incorporated Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Data Enhancement Tools Generated by AI Yes Third Party N/A Third Party Yes Yes N/A
Multi-Language Tools Yes Yes Yes No Yes N/A Yes
Main Market Segment (per Mid-Market/ Enterprise Mid-Market/ Enterprise Mid-Market/ Small Business Mid-Market/ Enterprise Small Business/ Mid-Market Mid-Market/ Small Business Mid-Market/ Small Business

What are the Best PIM Systems?

PIM Systems in Omnichannel Business

Omnichannel retailing revolves around delivering a uniform and reliable customer experience at every touch-point. A PIM system is instrumental in ensuring product details are accurate, consistent, and updated across all platforms. Regardless of whether a customer is browsing on their phone, tablet, and/or computer and later makes a purchase in the store, or vice versa, the product information will be consistent. This can include real-time inventory monitoring across multiple platforms, letting customers know what is available and where.

A PIM aids in personalized marketing by enabling retailers to customize promotions and offers based on specific customer behavior across various platforms.

By streamlining product information, a PIM enables retailers to offer a comprehensive and reliable omnichannel experience adapted to the needs of the contemporary consumer. These capabilities promote trust and enhance the user experience, leading to repeat business.


AI and ML Integration

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are transforming the way businesses operate, and their integration with a PIM is no exception. AI and ML bring intelligence and automation to PIM systems, making them more efficient and responsive. An AI-powered PIM can automate data validation and enrichment, ensuring that product information is accurate plus rich and engaging. It can analyze customer behavior and preferences to personalize product recommendations, enhancing conversion rates. ML algorithms can predict trends and optimize inventory levels, reducing stockouts or overstock situations.

Integration with AI and ML opens up new possibilities for content creation. Natural Language Processing (NLP) can generate product descriptions or translate content into different languages. Image recognition can automatically tag and categorize images, streamlining digital asset management.

The combination of PIM with AI and ML creates a dynamic and intelligent system that adapts to changing market conditions and customer needs. It leverages data to make informed decisions, automates routine tasks, and delivers personalized experiences. In an increasingly competitive market, AI and ML integration with a PIM offers a strategic advantage that can set a business apart.


Summary: PIM System Advantages

A PIM system allows all product data to be stored in one place that smoothly integrates with all selling channels. It serves as the “source of truth” for product data, ensuring consistency, accuracy, and efficiency, which translates to a better customer experience and improved business performance.

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