Top Benefits of Using an eCommerce Platform with PIM

For this blog, we sat down with Stephanie Locke, Manager of eCommerce Consulting at Orium, to discuss the advantages of using a PIM with an eCommerce platform.

See the full interview below!

Pat Tully

Pat Tully

Sr. Content Marketing Manager

Using PIM with an eCommerce platform presents an incredible opportunity for brands deciding how to structure their tech stacks. With Pimberly, brands have the ability to get more out of their eComm platforms than they ever were before with the automation the platform provides.

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Orium is North America’s leading composable commerce consultancy and systems integrator. They work with best-in-class technology partners to set strong composable commerce foundations today that can support how brands serve their customers across channels in the future.

We had the amazing opportunity to speak with Stephanie Locke, Manager of eCommerce Consulting at Orium. In this conversation, we aim to cover why brands can get the most out of an eCommerce platform when used alongside a PIM.

To start things off, can you introduce yourself and provide a little bit of background on what you do at Orium?

My name is Stephanie Locke and I’m the Manager of eCommerce Consulting for Orium. I’m part of the Service Methods team and we’re focused on reusability. A lot of what our delivery teams do on a day-to-day basis isn’t one-off work, so the Service Methods team act as internal consultants with a focus on delivery readiness and best-of-breed practices. Alongside the Service Methods work, I leverage my almost 15 years of experience in a variety of PIM projects and vendors to support product data modeling or master data structure with our teams.

What would you say the primary characteristics, in your opinion, are of a well-structured tech stack?

A well-structured tech stack comes down to composability. I think the flexibility of being able to scale quickly and significantly – to be able to pivot on a dime – is key. What we’ve seen historically is that by the time new improvements are needed or new functionalities are required, getting the development requirements into the backlog and building platform connections takes months. And at that point, you’ve lost a lot of sales as a result.

What composable architecture does is offer you the opportunity to put best-of-breed vendors together in your ecosystem, giving you full flexibility to decide how and when you’re using them. So, I think a stack should not only start out meeting your needs but also grow with you, allowing you to add on as needed – similar to building an addition onto a home.

What role can a product information management solution, or PIM, play in enabling a brand to succeed online?

A PIM solution is critical. I think if you look at a PIM, and where it sits in the ecosystem, it is what feeds everything else downstream, regardless of whether it’s one system or multiple. The ability to pull all product data together into a single system where multiple teams can work to maximize their efficiency and make it easier to syndicate in whatever way makes sense. When you look at the ecosystems of clients that don’t have a well-functioning PIM, or a PIM at all, what you see is labor inefficiencies going through the roof.

I think the effectiveness of a PIM is often underestimated, especially with how impactful a PIM is across the entire org. When you implement a CMS, it has a very limited reach, right? You’re doing your content marketers, your content creators, a huge service when you implement it. The PIM, generally speaking, affects a much larger segment of an organization than that, because there are so many different abilities that it offers. It has a huge impact both on the company and on the downstream platforms, as well, but it’s often overlooked.

What are the signs, from your perspective, that a customer really needs a PIM?

Assuming they don’t have a PIM already? I would say a small-to-midsize company looking to expand in any capacity needs a PIM. If they want to go to market in more than one geographical location, more than one language, and/or other new marketplaces such as Amazon, Facebook, TikTok, etc. – all of those require either a PIM or a small army.

A PIM is highly, highly effective when you get into things like translations, or even different tax codes, and you get into all the complexity that comes with product data. The bar is high in terms of what clients, and in turn their customers, expect on the front end. If you don’t have somewhere to bring all that information to fruition – to enhance it, verify it, and validate it before publishing – you’re not going to be in the e-commerce game for very long.

On the other hand, when should a brand not use a PIM?

Exactly the opposite. If you’re a small, single product supplier, you likely don’t require a PIM. If you don’t have more than a handful of vendors; if you don’t have several manufacturers, and you can control the full product lifecycle; if you have a very small catalog with no variation—no colors, no sizes, doesn’t change very often—in those circumstances you probably don’t need a PIM

Another potential scenario you wouldn’t need a PIM is if you’re only selling to one customer, one place, or one platform, you don’t need a PIM either. For example, if the only thing I do is make burger patties, and the only company I’m selling to is one fast food chain, I’m probably not going to need a PIM. If you have any plans of growing in any capacity, a PIM is absolutely key.

You don’t have to buy a massive monolith of a platform. It’s not like that anymore. We now have the ability to put a very flexible, easy-to-configure PIM in place that not only can grow with you but can also offer you immediate efficiencies.

So, in other words, if there’s not just one singular customer that you’re dealing with and you’re looking to expand your market reach, you’re going to need a PIM.

Exactly. A PIM is needed to expand in any capacity. Really, nobody wants to stop growing. Nobody wants to stop making money. That’s not business, right? And a PIM absolutely critical if you want to grow in any meaningful way.

What role would you say an eCommerce platform plays in a well-structured tech stack?

Well, what you want – ideally – is more of that flexibility. One great example is the ability to A/B test the structure of titles, pages, listings, etc. You can throw in all kinds of different information to see how a customer responds. A brand can never have all the answers. The generations coming behind myself are doing approximately 60% of their shopping online. So, we need to spend just as much time and effort in crafting that into a stellar experience, much like we do in a brick-and-mortar retailer. And making sure we can pivot by adding up the minute information and taking action.

With an eCommerce platform, we can give them as many features, benefits, and reasons to buy, provide incentives not to leave the page, and make purchases as easy as a few clicks. For example, a brand can add a whole section to shop for outfits from the red carpet at the Oscars the next day. That’s the type of experience a retailer needs to be able to do. And customers have come to expect that level of availability.

What advantages can brands capitalize on when they use a PIM alongside their eCommerce platform?

Well, there’s the ability for vendors to provide retailers with information that’s already been created. You can ingest from a variety of places with a PIM. There’s an innate ability to get creative with the styling for product names or the brand voice. You can be very specific about what content goes to certain retailers, for instance. Brands can tell a brand story that suits a specific audience. A PIM offers many opportunities to amalgamate information from a variety of places and then push it out in a way that the retailer decides is best for their brand and their customers.

And it’s also very beneficial for their internal processes. 

One of my favorite stories is what we’ll call a ‘happy accident’ with a PIM where there was a customer service team for a global organization, covering about 22 different countries. They really struggled with an inability to consistently provide product information that was up-to-date and accurate.

They ended up using a PIM to solve the problem by allowing everyone from brick-and-mortar managers to customer service associates to have read access to the PIM for the most up-to-date and current information. That meant everybody across 22 countries was operating with the same information, and saying the same things to their customers. There were no longer any inconsistencies.

It’s one of the big wins that are very seldom called out. But when you have that experience, regardless of whether you’re in Germany, the US, or China, it is extremely powerful for building trust with customers. They then come to trust what you say to be true.

Why does Orium choose to partner with Pimberly when there are so many PIMs on the market? What about Pimberly stands out?

There were a few things that stood out to me personally with Pimberly. I was blessed with the task of evaluating the platform. We’re at the forefront of composable commerce as a company. MACH is certainly one of the biggest pieces of that puzzle and it’s really important to us to partner with fellow MACH Alliance members. It sets a standard for how we grow and scale together in partnership. We all benefit when we grow.

The second thing that I loved about Pimberly was the user experience. Ingesting, enriching, and publishing product data are the basics of a PIM. Pimberly really offers a differentiator in terms of how the user experiences their day-to-day job within the platform itself. It’s very user-friendly. And It doesn’t require a degree or any coding.

It is super simple, easy-to-use, and highly functional without being overly complex. 

For example, when you’re spending your entire day, every single day, in a PIM, the experience of drag-and-drop instead of multiple clicks makes all the difference. Having a dashboard that makes sense for a specific user’s needs that can be customized is a huge benefit. The in-platform functionalities are amazing, no one has to do it all in Excel anymore! All of those things are what I absolutely loved about the platform.

What’s something about Pimberly, specifically, that bolsters the way that a brand would leverage their eCommerce platform?

Well, I think it goes back to the flexibility. The ability to have a multi-level structure, to have inheritance rules, to build a variety of workflows— it all greatly enables whoever is using that PIM. The flexibility to use it in different ways is to the client’s benefit without a whole lot of complexity behind it. It’s not going to take a year or 6 months to create some new workflows. It’s not going to take forever to add a whole new category. If we put some rules in place with Pimberly during implementation you can do it in record time. It completely frees up the client to expand their business and their markets without a whole lot of restraints.

Finally, what do you see as the most important benefit of integrating a PIM with an eCommerce platform?

Speed to market. From my experience, speed to market is on average 5 to 10x faster with a PIM than without. I’ve worked at a retailer where it took 23 people and just over 2 years to get a product from creation to available online. 

That’s a long time. That’s 2 years of lost potential sales. When we put a PIM in place that was reduced down to 30 days. That’s pretty significant.

I’ve worked in several places where the PIM literally pays for itself in efficiencies – both internally, and externally with getting your product live and on the site in record time. Being able to produce, enrich, and publish a product online the day after some fabulous item is marketed on a TikTok video is such an advantage. In fact, it’s key nowadays to be able to do that in 24 hours, allowing you to capitalize on trends in the moment and put a whole lot more on your bottom line.


For more information on the benefits of composable architecture, visit

Thank you for checking out this Q&A, and keep an eye out for more in-depth content on the topic to come!