PIM vs. PCM: The Key Differences

Product Information Management vs Product Content Management – what are the key differences? In eCommerce, you manage a wide range of product information and content to develop your brand image and eCommerce strategy as a whole. As such, you’ll need robust systems that enable you to manage these large volumes of data. However, when it comes to the debate of PIM vs PCM, which is the right route for you?

In this blog, we’ll outline the difference between PIM and PCM systems. We’ll also look at how you can use them in tandem to drive the best possible results.

What is a Product Information Management Platform?

PIM (Product Information Management) is the process of gathering, storing, and distributing all the information required to market and sell your products across your sales channels. Examples of this would be your key product attributes such as size, description, and price. Essentially, all the details your customer needs to make an informed buying decision.

What is a Product Content Management system?

We start to get a bit more creative when it comes to PCM (Product Content Management) systems. A good way to view product content management is essentially your online merchandising.

In other words, product content is any form of content that’s going to help your customer build a meaningful relationship with your brand and products. For instance, this might include images, videos, blogs, and customer-generated content. Overall, product content is going to give your customer a more in-depth view of your products.

Product information vs product content

In short, PIM focuses on informing your customers, whereas product content management is going to focus on providing an extra layer of detail that will lead to a richer online experience.  Therefore, PIM isn’t necessarily a PCM alternative.

That said, you can further enhance the user experience when you use PIM and PCM side by side. Product teams can provide customers with structured data from within your PIM user-friendly browsing experience. Then, super-rich product content can be incorporated into the buyer journey with your PCM platform to improve the online experience.

Product Content Management and the buyer journey

Content is the driving factor of success for any digital business. Your product content strategy will determine how well your products perform. Like any content strategy, you should consider the overall objectives you want to achieve with product content. Think about the topics that are of interest and relevant to your audience to nurture your relationship with them.

Use different content types to tell your brand story and shed more light on your products. After all, the goal is to build solid customer relationships to sell more products. Use your product content to present them in the best possible light. Tell a story your customers will remember and bring your products to life.

Use product content management to create meaningful touchpoints with your customers throughout the buyer journey. Here are some examples of product content you can use at the different stages:

Early-stage awareness:

As the age-old saying goes, content is king. The consumption of digital content has pretty much doubled over the past year, so there’s definitely an appetite. Use blog content to tell your brand story and give your customers a fuller view of your products.

Often, the first thing a customer will look at will be your product images and videos. Make sure you’re bringing your products to life with varied and high-quality images and videos.


Research carried out by Brightpearl showed that 95% of shoppers read reviews before making a purchase. With them playing such an important role in the buyer journey, you need to make sure you’re using them.

Customer-generated content i.e., lifestyle shots and use case videos are a great way of showing what your products look like in real life and how they can be used. It also adds a more human element to your products and creates a stronger relationship between your brand and your customers.


At this stage in the buyer journey, give them as much information as possible to tip them over the buying line. How-to guides, product manuals, and Product Spec & Sell Sheets are the types of product content you should provide at this stage. This will enable your customers to visualize what it will be like to have/use your products.

Product Information Management and the product journey

One of the main benefits of using a product information management (PIM) solution is being able to create master data records. PIM is a central hub for all your product information which enables you to create a single source of truth. This is imperative when creating a consistent customer experience across all sales channels.

You also have full visibility of all product information which facilitates better product lifecycle management. With workflows and product lifecycle stages, your products automatically move through the different stages. You can create triggers for each stage, which means you’ll never release a product with incomplete or inaccurate data.

Managing the data:

Say so long to the manual process of searching for product content across disparate systems. PIM integrates with any number of internal or external data sources, like your PLM, ERP system, or Excel spreadsheets. Bring everything together in one place and create a single source of truth for all your products.

Data management is always a challenge, but PIM enables you to reduce manual processes by up to 80%. Within your PIM, you can manage all product descriptions, attributes, and assets. Powerful localization tools mean you can also store all of this information in as many different languages as required. You can also handle an unlimited amount of SKUs which means PIM will grow with your business.

Publishing the data:

A powerful PIM will give you the ability to set up as many sales channels as you like. It’s likely the different sales channels you serve will each have different requirements when it comes to the format of your product data and digital assets. Scoping capabilities enable you to tailor your product data and digital assets depending on the channel, so you’ll always meet the requirements.

You can also use scoping to optimize your product information for different audiences and markets. Having well-structured data with lots of different attributes means your customers will be more likely to find them. That’s the goal, right?! Get your products in front of the right people at the right time!

Product Information Management vs Product Content Management

Product information and product content management systems are both key tools that will ultimately help you create outstanding customer experiences. The better the customer experience, the more loyalty you’ll gain from your customers. Loyal and happy customers have a higher lifetime value and will end up generating more revenue.

Accurate product information and rich product content will leave your customers feeling fully engaged, informed, and confident in their buying decision. The more product content you have, the clearer your customers’ expectations will be which will lead to a significant drop in return rates.

This rich, accurate, and well-structured information will also do wonders for your SEO rankings. This means you can extend the reach and visibility of your products. Having good marketing content to accompany your product information will also reinforce the relationship your customers build with your brand.

Moreover, you can also massively boost your time to revenue (the time it takes for you to start generating revenue from newly released products). As soon as your product is launched, it’ll be accompanied by highly accurate product information, and super-engaging product content, which is a recipe for success!

You need a solution that’s scalable and fit for purpose – that’s why PIM and PCM software make the perfect match. Your PIM and PCM systems will work side by side, giving you the power to create truly unique and amazing online experiences your customers will love.