Having the right system to gather and manage data is essential for eCommerce success. Whether it’s consumer, stock or product information, it all counts towards increasing sales. But every business has different objectives and that inevitably affects how they choose to manage their product data.


Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) are two of the most common methods for managing product data. While the two systems are closely related, they are different from each other. So, in the battle between PIM vs MDM let’s start with defining what MDM is.

What is Master Data Management?

MDM is a broad topic that doesn’t just refer to one kind of data management system. Its meaning can differ from business to business. But as a general definition, MDM refers to a framework of technologies that help to manage all data within a company. This data includes:

  • Employee information
  • Customer information
  • HR data
  • Finance data 

What is Product Information Management?

While MDM is capable of managing product data, it’s not designed to focus specifically on enrichment. Product Information Management (PIM) is a subset of MDM that deals exclusively with enriching product data for marketing purposes. 

Existing outside of MDM, PIM is an essential system for businesses that want to enrich their products and grow their revenue.


Internal vs external requirements

MDM is an internal solution that helps to cleanse and organise business data back into a company.

The needs of your product data are very different to internal business information. So, with PIM you have a system that’s solely designed to meet those needs. It’s an external solution that links to other systems like an ERP and helps to enrich product information.

As an example, a retailer could use PIM technology to import data directly from an ERP and house it in a single location. Then, the retailer would be able to enrich the data and distribute it through all sales channels.

Streamline how you process product data

As product data isn’t the main focus of MDM, managing it can typically take a long time. PIM vastly improves how product data is processed within a business. It provides a hyper-focused approach on improving the product enrichment journey.

Workflows can be set up to approve different stages of product enrichment and ensure a high level of consistency.  A technology retailer could want to assign specific product tasks to different departments. By setting up a workflow, relevant team members would receive notifications and contribute towards the product enrichment journey.

Increase revenue

MDM isn’t designed for marketing purposes, while PIM is. It’s ideal for companies that want to make their products more profitable. This can be achieved by creating detailed descriptions, opening up new sales channels, optimising products for search engines and expanding into new markets.

Say a marketing team wanted to create an eCommerce campaign for a new range of clothes. Copywriters would be able to write informative product descriptions, while the SEO team could assign relevant keywords to improve search engine rankings. And as a result, this would lead to a richer product experience.

Less complexity, more simplicity

MDM projects are typically undertaken by large enterprise companies that want to refine all internal data processes. Implementing MDM takes up a lot of resources and can develop into a complex project.

The complexity comes from data often being stored in disparate systems. For example, customer names could be stored in a marketing platform and addresses might be stored in an ordering system.

PIM focuses on a more precise set of product data objectives. This means that PIM projects are quicker to deploy because they are only concerned with enriching products.

Once the software is deployed, companies have the opportunity to become more productive. From accessing product data quickly, to improving communication between departments, the time-saving benefits of PIM can’t be overstated.

Putting the focus on your product data

Product data is what ultimately drives sales and helps companies grow. For brands that want to master their product data, PIM is an ideal solution. Quick to implement and sales-focused, PIM provides companies with limitless possibilities. It enriches products to a high standard, increases profitability and provides high ROI.

The core value of PIM is that it puts your product data first. Create stronger relationships with your products and create exceptional shopping experiences for your customers. So, whether you want to build an immersive experience with digital assets, or increase time to market for your products, PIM puts the power of product information in your hands.

There are many types of PIM software e.g. on-premise and cloud. It’s important to take the time to consider which is best for the requirements of your business and our blog highlights the differences between cloud and on-premise PIM platforms.

Keen to learn more about the power of PIM?