SaaS PIM vs Open-Source PIM

When buying a PIM, you want one that fits your specific business requirements. It’s also important to consider your future goals to ensure your chosen solution will help you achieve and exceed them. The two main types of Product Information Management (PIM) solutions out there are Software as a Service (SaaS) PIM and Open-Source PIM.

While both enable you to efficiently manage your product content and ensure data quality, there are some distinct differences. We’ll outline these differences in this blog to help you make the right choice, so read on!

What is Open-Source PIM?

Open-source systems are released under a license, and the copyright holder will then give users the ability to use, amend, and distribute the source code. Often, the source code will be publicly available online, meaning users can tailor it to meet their specific business requirements. Overall, open-source PIM systems will streamline the way you manage product data, just like any other PIM.

Pros of Open-Source PIM

  • Very little to no initial investment is required – they’re even offered for free sometimes
  • Open-source PIM is completely configurable, so you can tailor it to suit your specific data models and business needs
  • Changes can be made at any time and there are no limitations to the number of APIs you can add
  • You have access to a large global community that offers guidance, best practices, and support

Cons of Open-Source PIM

  • Though the initial investment is minor, you’ll need a dedicated team of developers to implement and maintain it
  • Open-source PIM solutions generally aren’t very user-friendly and very little to no training will be offered free of charge
  • You’re responsible for the security of the platform and the data you hold, making you more vulnerable to cyber threats
  • It can be hard to find compatible connectors and no complementary plugins are offered
  • As you’re responsible for the implementation, it can take longer for your PIM project to get off the ground

What is SaaS PIM?

A SaaS PIM application’s source code is closed and is often a ready-made solution that’s instantly ready to get up and running. It’s a subscription-based model, so customers have ongoing access to training and support from a dedicated team of PIM experts. The implementation process is flexible and will often be tailored to work around your setup to ensure business continuity. Because there’s a dedicated team of developers working on SaaS PIM solutions, there’ll be frequent updates and improvements that you’ll benefit from. saas-pim

Pros of SaaS PIM

  • You get a good bang for your buck as there are frequent updates and improvements, as well as unlimited connectors
  • SaaS PIM often comes with a contractual SLA and a full support network of in-house developers to implement, maintain, and improve the platform
  • You’ll have access to ongoing support and training to ensure you get the best use of the solution
  • Powerful APIs make it easy to import data from an unlimited number of internal and external data sources
  • It offers a high level of security and cloud technology is constantly updated, reducing the risk of unauthorized access
  • Even non-technical users can navigate the platform and quickly and easily access all product data as it’s very user-friendly
  • SaaS PIM is a totally scalable solution that runs on a cloud-based interface, enabling you to manage an unlimited amount of SKUs

Cons of SaaS PIM

  • There’s a large initial investment, however, this does include onboarding and ongoing support
  • As the source code is closed, there’s less scope for you to customize the platform to your specific business requirements
  • The SaaS provider will run regular updates to ensure you’re always on the latest version of the software, so you’ll have to take these updates on regardless of whether you want to or not

Key considerations when buying a PIM

Whether you opt for SaaS-based PIM or open-source PIM, there are some key considerations you’ll have to think about.

Firstly, how quickly do you want to get your PIM project up and running? The sooner you’re set-up, the sooner you’ll be able to start listing online. If this is the case, and if you lack a dedicated dev team, your best option would be a SaaS solution.

Secondly, how much do you want to invest? While open-source software is usually free, there’s an inherent long-term cost that’s higher than SaaS. Consider the technical resources and hardware you’ll to run the software and host the infrastructure.

In addition, as your eCommerce operations grow, you’ll have increased traffic on your LAN/WAN network. To deliver the best possible customer experience, you’ll need to ensure you’re updating on a regular basis so your site speed isn’t slowed.

SaaS PIM offers amazing value because it doesn’t come with any additional fees. Maintenance, integration, and hardware costs are all included in the initial purchase. Upgrades are also released instantly, ensuring you get the most up-to-date version of the software.

SaaS PIM is a super efficient data management tool that provides great potential for eCommerce growth as it makes it easy to sell across multiple channels and geographies. Overall, it’s a system that gives you the freedom to be creative with your product data which will contribute to more sales. In that regard, the benefits of SaaS PIM are truly limitless.