The Ultimate Guide to Automating Product Data (Spec) Sheets

When it comes to building long-lasting relationships with customers, trust is essential. Customers need to be able to rely on your product information being correct across all of your channels, including your product catalogs. For many brands, overseeing these sheets can be a tedious, time-consuming process. Fortunately, the modern PIM has the ability to automate these spec sheets and catalogs entirely – completely avoiding the possibility of human error.

Some of the top brands in eCommerce use a PIM to make one of the most crucial, yet cumbersome tasks as easy as a few clicks.

In this whitepaper, we walk through what makes a PIM ‘modern’ in its capabilities, how exactly the automation process works, and the ultimate benefits to this configuration.

Finally, we’ll explain how a modern PIM solution like Pimberly enables top brands to ensure all their product information is up to date and reliable across every channel. With automation, you’re able to achieve your eCommerce goals year-round. We’ll illustrate how the all-in-one Pimberly system enables marketing and sales teams to capture vast amounts of data, build perfect product detail pages, and create exceptional customer experiences.

This is a roughly 25-minute read, so grab a coffee and get comfortable – let’s get this eCommerce lesson started.

Some examples to start…

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Pimberly is a world leader in Product Information Management (PIM) & Digital Asset Management (DAM) software for complex technical product delivering market leading AI and automation.

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In this whitepaper, we delve into what goes into creating new or updated product data sheets, and how the automation provided by modern PIM solutions is revolutionizing the process.

At Pimberly, we work with top brands to automate their product data sheets (or spec & sell sheets), no matter how complex or detailed.

Our goal for readers of this whitepaper is for you to walk away with a firm understanding of the benefits of automating these sheets and why Pimberly can complete the process adeptly.

To learn more about Pimberly, head to the end of the whitepaper for more about us and some other relevant reads.

Thanks, and we hope you enjoy the read.

Executive Summary

Today’s eCommerce playing field is completely data-driven. Managing product information efficiently is critical for both B2B and B2C companies. However, disparate product data sources often result in isolated ‘islands of information,’ making it challenging for many brands to access and utilize this valuable data. Even further, a good number of organizations store their product data in PDF documents scattered across hard drives, leading to inefficiencies in data retrieval and utilization.

For B2C companies, providing customers with the right product information at the right time (and at the right price) is critical. This means being able to quickly answer customer questions and compare products against competitors. To succeed in this environment, companies must embrace automation and centralize their product data to ensure accuracy and relevance.

In B2B, the challenges are even more pronounced. Technical sales agents and industry buyers require highly specific product information for decision-making. They don’t have the luxury of sifting through PDF documents manually. To meet these demands, businesses must implement machine-to-machine solutions that streamline data access and processing.

Pimberly recognizes the critical need to bridge these data gaps for both B2B and B2C companies. Our solution provides a dual feed of easily digestible, up-to-date product data that ensures consistency across all platforms and departments. Whether it’s empowering sales teams to make informed decisions or enhancing the customer experience, the Pimberly platform is designed to meet the challenges of brands and their respective sales teams.

This whitepaper sheds light on the challenges of managing disparate product data sources and highlights the importance of automation of product data sheets and centralization. Pimberly offers a unique solution that empowers businesses to break down the walls of data silos, improve decision-making, and enhance customer experiences. Our goal is to illustrate how you and your team can accomplish these steps easily by utilizing the right modern PIM solution.


The eCommerce industry was once a platform to complement brick-and-mortar sales. With the boom in online shopping, the eCommerce industry has completely transformed. eCommerce now is a platform that allows companies to run with a small or zero investment in physical presence. At times, companies that don’t even have a warehouse to their name sell hundreds of products to B2B and B2C customers through drop shipping.

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Because the internet has broken the barriers of entry for new competitors in every industry, especially eCommerce, the competition has risen. The increase in competition has driven companies to cut their costs and offer the best value for money. Fierce competition has also propelled businesses to add new products to their portfolio every few months and continually look for new marketplaces to improve the company’s visibility.

Apart from new product development and deployment, companies face a huge challenge when it comes to data management. New products, SKUs, and multiple marketplaces can lead to disparate product data sources often resulting in isolated ‘islands of information’.

Several organizations that earn thousands of dollars in revenue even store product data in PDF documents and Excel spreadsheets that are scattered across hard drives, leading to inefficiencies in data retrieval and utilization – eventually stunting their growth. Even if they shift these documents to the cloud, information management is not centralized and there is no single source of truth.

But is efficient data retrieval and utilization so important for growth? Here are some ways data centralization and management efficiency help businesses in eCommerce:

●     Control and Oversight

Amazon is not the only platform that buyers use for browsing and purchasing products. Even though it still dominates the eCommerce industry (amassing 43.7% – 47.9% of the industry’s total spend), according to Forbes, there are more than 24 million eCommerce websites in the world!

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To increase audience visibility and thus remain profitable, eCommerce companies have no choice but to list their products on a range of relevant online platforms, including the big giants like Amazon. Listing these products becomes much more efficient when accurate data is available at a single point.

If data is inaccurate, there are chances of errors and disparities that can lead to lost customers and even customer distrust. Plus, product returns because of human errors in product information can strain the company financially.

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When data is available at a single point of control, the chance of human errors is greatly eliminated. A single source of data used by multiple departments ensures that product data is correct and uniform across all platforms. It also fosters a positive relationship with the customers because they know they will not be deceived by the product information.

●     A Source of Truth

Just like a product’s picture is a source of truth about the product in the world of eCommerce, so are spec sheets that include the product’s information. The product information includes the materials the product uses, its dimensions, weight, and other technical details. Spec sheets can also include rich media like photos and videos about the product.

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So, the details in a spec sheet provide a comprehensive and accurate representation of the product.

Even if one aspect of the product information is incorrect, it can give rise to a lot of problems where customer distrust is only the beginning. When a customer does not get the product as described, it leads to bad word-of-mouth, which eventually hurts the brand image, impacting the customer’s lifetime value and their ability to acquire new customers.

●     Customer Loyalty

Marketing has four basic ‘Ps’ referring to:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

Accuracy about the product is a major part of its promotion in online shopping. It is a promise that the customer expects you to deliver in the form of a product at a given price. The more precise your attribution is, the more conversions you will see on your online store. It all comes down to the accuracy of the depiction of your product and the fulfillment of your promise.

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Reliability has become an extremely important factor for online shoppers which is why companies that deliver as expected see an increase in customer loyalty, thus an increase in the customer lifetime value which is the total revenue an eCommerce business earns from a customer over time.

Plus when a well-developed spec sheet forms customer expectations that are met when the customer receives the product, competition becomes greatly irrelevant.

●     Decreased time-to-market

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Imagine a room full of files and papers. This was how product information, or in fact, any information was stored in companies before computers took over. While computers have made our lives easier, files scattered across different hard drives and formats make information retrieval and processing akin to the file room days.

So, when a product idea is generated and input is gathered from different departments, different versions of the product specs float in the company. To systematize the product specs, communicate with the suppliers, and give a go-ahead to supplies and manufacturers, employees need to sort through the information in these unorganized ‘virtual file rooms.’

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Sorting through the information to provide the correct product specs to the suppliers, manufacturers, and marketers greatly increases the time to market for new products.

Because eCommerce companies need to grow quickly to keep up with the competition, companies need to drastically decrease their time-to-market. When the attribution process is smooth, new products can be brought to the shelves much quicker.

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Efficient data retrieval allows sharing of information easily with supply chains, internal teams, and customers. When the information silos are broken, and the time-to-market is decreased, companies can outperform the competition.

Challenges faced by businesses in managing product data

We now know how centralized data management helps businesses create a single source of truth and garner customer loyalty.

But is centralization that easy?

Even with thoroughly organized spreadsheets, businesses still face a plethora of challenges in managing product data.

●      Disparate Data Sources

Managing product data is not easy, especially when you have a high volume of data that is stored on multiple spreadsheets across different departments. At times, new marketplaces might have specific formatting requirements, which makes it impossible to manage using spreadsheets and PDFs. Even if departments have access to all these files, the disparity in the data sources leads to wasted time, errors, and inconsistencies that chase away customers.

●      Manual Oversight

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Manually entering product specifications in files and across different platforms leaves room for human error, even if you have the most astute team members.

Unfortunately, the more people and departments handle the data, the more the risk multiplies. Even the error of a digit or a point could be disastrous for the company’s sales and brand image. And when the product data is complex, the smallest mistakes could cause health concerns, fines, and legal penalties.

●      Technical Products

Technical products usually have a lot of technical specifications that are important to both B2B and B2C customers. Even the slightest error in these specifications could lead to order returns, and cancellations, and hurt the company’s brand image and financial position.

●      Old PIM systems

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Many companies have Product Information Management (PIM) systems that are quite outdated. While these systems have basic functionalities, they do not offer automation options for the modern eCommerce business. Many of these systems include templates on which the employees manually enter data. This practice does not only result in a high manual labor cost but also leaves room for errors.

Understanding Spec Sheets and Technical Data

Now that we have established why efficient management of product data is important to eCommerce businesses, let’s delve deeper into what spec sheets are and what is technical data.

What are spec sheets and technical data?

Spec/Sell Sheets

Spec or sell sheets are files that include all the product information. This includes the use of the product, how it works, and what its dimensions are. These files are designed according to the company’s needs and preferences. For instance, companies could have spec sheets for physical products, digital products, and even services.

So, these sheets are not just used after the product has been manufactured. Spec or sell sheets are also necessary for bringing the vision of a product to life. Companies share product spec sheets with manufacturers, and everyone involved in the process to ensure that manufacturing is done the way it is intended. At times, spec sheets also ensure that the manufactured product is uniform across different batches.

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Simpler spec sheets that include the product weight, dimensions, storage, and other differentiable features are meant to make it easier for customers to make purchase decisions. So, the user intention of the spec/ sell sheet is what determines its contents.

A well-written product specification sheet is not just one that is detailed. For instance, a customer would have no concern with the dimensions of a chip inside an earphone. The color and design might be a few features that make up a well-written spec sheet intended for sharing with the customer.

Different versions of the spec & sell sheet allow the entire organization, and its stakeholders, to understand the product goals and ensure that the product meets the company’s and customer’s expectations.

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Spec sheets are also live documents that keep changing as the product evolves. Spec sheet versions can be stored in the archives for future reference like data analysis. However, depending on the company’s needs and preferences, spec sheets can also be overwritten to avoid confusion.

Technical Data

Spec sheets are not only made for simple products with a couple of measurements, colors, and sizes. They are much more important for technical products where every part of the product must meet specific dimensions to work together. Even if a small rubber part of the product is off by a few millimeters, it means that all the time, resources, and money put into the product’s planning and production have gone to waste.

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Spec sheets also accommodate technical data that is usually atypical. For instance, if a product needs a certain cable type, the specification cannot be listed under any dimensions or weight. These atypical specifications mean that each spec sheet is different and cannot be templated for different industries or at times, even related products.

With some products having atypical data and precise measurements, it can be quite hard to develop spec sheets manually and ensure that all the product data is delivered effectively without confusions.

Key attributes and data points in spec sheets

As mentioned earlier, spec sheets list different atypical data types. For a better understanding, here are some of the common key attributes and data points in spec/ sell sheets:

Product Categories

Depending on what you sell, your spec sheet should define the product category that the product belongs to. While this might seem like a trivial detail, defining the product category in the spec sheet makes it easier for employees to list the product over different marketplaces.


Taxonomies allow you to define how product attributes are displayed. Defining the product categories and subcategories is important for making product data management easier. Additionally, it also makes your website indexable to web crawlers on search engines.

A defined grouping also makes it easier for the customer to find products on your website and locate them on different marketplaces. For instance, a product of yours could be categorized under Women’s Clothing > Blouses > Short sleeve blouses.

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Taxonomies also allow customers to browse your products based on the materials, fabric types, or color palettes. For example, if someone is looking for cotton dresses, they will logically locate cotton in the taxonomy and view thousands of products that use cotton material.

Finally, taxonomies also help relate your products to each other to set up kits and discount bundles to cross-sell the customer.


Basic product descriptions such as size, flavor, dimensions, design, or color make up its attributes. These data points are essential to sales because it is the final choice the customer makes when they are making their purchase decision.

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However, not all your products will have a specific number of colors or sizes. Using a spec sheet template does not mean listing all product attributes. A well-developed spec-sheet lists product attributes that are relevant for each kind of product to make the purchasing process easy rather than overwhelming the customer with unnecessary details.

Product attributes include:

  • Physical product attributes such as the color, the dimensions, weight, or material.
  • Technical specifications such as whether it is waterproof or the type of battery it requires if not included.
  • Logistics attributes such as when and where the product is available for shipping or pickup or how much it costs in different currencies.

Digital Assets and Media

Spec sheets also have high-quality images, product videos, and marketing copy ready to be uploaded on sales channels. It also includes PDF documents such as product manuals and sizing charts.

Digital assets, media, and at times even product descriptions and marketing copy in a centralized spec sheet allow employees to bulk upload and edit updated product information over different marketplaces. Rich media also acts as a factor that propels the customer to make the purchase decision.

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Localized Data

Many eCommerce businesses that operate globally do not have translated versions of their product attributes and marketing copy. This is a barrier that impedes the business’ success in the global market. Spec sheets meant for international channels also include shipping information, international pricing for the products, and translated product descriptions.

It also includes videos and product images with translated product attributes on the images for better visibility and reducing data complexity.

Marketing Data

At times product spec sheets even include marketing data such as SEO information like keywords and meta descriptions, customer reviews, and enriched product descriptions for various channels and buyer personas.

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For instance, an electronic gardening tool might not have rich product descriptions for an unaware audience. but for listing on a marketplace meant for avid gardeners, the product descriptions might be more detailed for the informed buyer to make a choice.

Amazon has a space for companies to add rich media beneath the systematized, bulleted short product description at the top. So, marketing data can include photos with aspect ratios matching each platform’s requirements.

The Manual vs. Automated Approach

We know how important product information management is, but how does automation elevate product information management to the next level?

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A comparison of manual and automated processes

When processes are manual, they take a lot of time and effort – be it manual manufacturing systems or data management. Since data is one of the most sensitive assets of the company, a certain level of manual oversight is very important. But automation is also meant to improve processes.

The right balance between manual oversight and automation can lead to efficient product information management, especially in these aspects:

●      Sales

Sales of a product or service are the end target of any for-profit organization. But consider everything being run by chatbots. Your questions will be answered by a bot with algorithms that train it to respond.

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Would this level of de-personalization propel you to make a purchase? Perhaps it wouldn’t matter to you if you’re purchasing a low-involvement product, but high-involvement products like those at the pricier end or bulk purchases by business customers do require a personalized approach.

Automated systems could complement manual processes like personalized sales by providing the salesperson with the correct, updated product information. At times, even an automated script handled by a salesperson could be better than the salesperson just coming up with points to convince the customer to make the purchase.

●      Workload

Many skeptics predict that automation could replace humans. But the truth is that automation is just a tool for humans to conduct higher-level tasks. For instance, automation of spec sheets reduces the time an employee needs to verify the authenticity of a product’s information from different departments and thus, commit more time to sales or creative processes to improve revenue.

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●      Time-to-market

With tedious processes handled by automation, employees would be free to work on the tasks needed to reduce the time to market. For instance, the employees could work on getting marketing materials ready ahead of the launch rather than dedicating their time and energy to getting approvals for product specifications to place supply orders and start manufacturing.

Benefits of automation in spec sheet attribution

Your product spec sheets are the lifeblood of your company. And efficient management of these spec sheets ensures that suppliers, manufacturers, vendors, and sales teams have the information they need when they need it. However, manual processing of these spec sheets can give rise to a lot of challenges. While data management is a challenge itself, the right level of automation in the workflow can make data management easier and help overcome these challenges:

●      Eliminating human error

Product data creation and management is not a single-department job. Your company could have inputs from the sales department, marketing department, and R&D, all of which combine to form data for single or multiple products and their SKUs.

A collaborative environment might help improve the overall product offerings of the company; it increases the risk of errors because it might result in multiple versions of the product information being stored across different computers.

If your team works from disparate systems rather than a system on the cloud, that risk becomes even higher. Also, with complex product data, the slightest mistake can have dire consequences, including legal penalties, fines, health concerns, and more. Automation supplies all the required, accurate data needed to remain compliant with industry legislation.

When you automate your spec and sell sheets, you no longer have to worry about human error. An automated production information management (PIM) software creates a template for spec sheets with all information stored in a centralized hub with no issues of redundancy. Each team has a single, correct version to work in a collaborative, efficient, and productive way.

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●      Sales

An automated approach makes sure that you have eyes on the sales and can analyze your product’s performance over changes in its specs. Plus, all your internal and external stakeholders are aware of any changes, so they can keep processes running seamlessly to maintain revenue flow including arranging for supplies in case of product information changes and bringing new SKUs into the market to meet demand.

●      Employee time management

Manual data management processes take up a lot of your employees’ time performing tedious and repetitive tasks. Automation streamlines workflows and improves collaboration across all touchpoints. As a result, each department has time to work on tasks of a higher value. Their productivity is also enhanced. They work intuitively on the product information management system rather than going back and forth with the product information.

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Many skeptics worry that data automation causes a loss of control over product information management. However, modern PIM software makes sure that the process is transparent, and all the touchpoints can understand every step of the data journey rather than just dealing with a black box.

For this transparent system to work, all the employees need to do is select the correct template for the product. The automated PIM software automatically populates the spec sheet with the information and saves it to your digital asset management system (DAM).

●      Reduced time-to-market

Time-to-market is one of the most critical competitive advantages for eCommerce businesses. Reducing the time-to-market means getting extra selling days and is one of the key metrics to track organizational performance. Additionally, when you get the product out to the market earlier than the competitor, you are getting better brand visibility and a greater likelihood that the first movers will opt for your products in future too.

However, reducing the time-to-market is not dependent only on manufacturing. It has a lot to do with product information management. Here’s how automated systems help reduce the time-to-market for new products and SKUs:

  • A well-developed spec sheet allows manufacturers to quickly push the product into production.
  • eCommerce-ready product data including marketing copy and other promotional materials are ready ahead of the launch.
  • Different departments are streamlined with automated spec sheets and data points.
  • And most importantly, with automated systems, companies can develop a robust multi-platform eCommerce tech stack for a quick launch over multiple marketplaces.

●      Manage returns

Higher-quality product information is bound to reduce product returns to a great extent. However, even the most accurate product descriptions can’t completely eliminate returns. And with a multi-channel strategy, managing product returns becomes increasingly hard.

Automating spec sheet attribution allows you to develop a consistent, smooth process to manage issues such as restocking returned items, sending correct or revised orders, identifying damaged goods, covering the cost of shipping returns, and of course, issuing refunds.

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You also want to record reasons for returns in your data management system to look for opportunities to improve customer experience. You need a process and software that streamlines the process regardless of where the order originates to ensure you save time and money, and of course, improve customer relationships.

Automation Strategies

We’ve talked about how automation with a degree of human supervision can greatly reduce the time-to-market for new products, improve sales and profitability, and eliminate costly human errors. In this section, we will cover different automation strategies that strike the perfect balance between the manual and automated approach:

Best practices for implementing automation in spec sheet attribution

Spec sheets are the most important tools for eCommerce businesses. However, the key to eCommerce business success is greater brand visibility. With a surge in eCommerce marketplaces, simple spec sheets managed over a cloud, even if centralized will give rise to a lot of challenges.

Centralize data into a central hub

Different marketplaces have different spec sheet requirements and formats. Automation in spec sheet attribution makes sure that you have the right sheet for every marketplace with the right layers of information and the suitable format.

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Plus, with data centralized into a central hub, every employee in the sales department has an updated view of the spec sheet. This reduces the need for establishing manual communication channels for updating changes in product information. The employees can reliably access and update accurate product information including specifications, product media, and inventory onto marketplaces. Even bulk updates are possible when data is in a central hub and is automated.


Automated spec sheet attribution workflows are automated. Any information updates and changes are routed through appropriate channels for review, approval, and publication. This can help streamline the attribution process and ensure that data is consistently handled. It eliminates a large number of tedious, manual processes like establishing communication channels for each change. As a result, most of the human errors are eliminated.

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If the company is working with external data management software, it must use APIs to integrate the information processes with other platforms (i.e. a CMS or an ERP). The API enables the company to automate how its product data is shared across multiple platforms.

The utopian is building workflows that can act across your entire tech stack and enable easy updates over multiple channels.


When looking to design standard templates, there is also an opportunity to structure a spec sheet for automation. Typically, there would be a different template per major category of product for every product a retailer sells.

But, with the right approach, you can create different templates for, say, a shirt compared to a pair of shoes or for a washing machine compared to a television.

Adobe InDesign to Generate PDFs

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Adobe InDesign is industry-standard software in eCommerce. By utilizing such a widely adopted solution, you will ensure not only that most designers can use the automation you’ve built but also that your processes are future-proof.

In InDesign, you will typically be able to create your spec sheet in any format that is needed – PDF, Word, etc.

In addition, when you leverage Adobe InDesign, you are able to connect to and integrate with your central PIM solution with ease. This integration is where the heart of these automated PDFs lies.

Integration with existing systems and workflows

While automation can greatly improve business processes and quicken data retrieval and utilization, there is one important consideration – a smooth integration with existing workflows and processes.

However, you cannot expect employees to learn and start implementing automated spec sheet attributions immediately after you’ve made the announcement. Even though automation makes things easier, integrating it into established workflows and processes is hard work.

Here are some clever strategies that can ensure that the integration of the Product Information Management (PIM) software is smooth:

Creating an urgency for change

Everyone knows that change is inevitable. But most people don’t like changing existing processes, especially if they have grown comfortable with using them. Without a sense of urgency to adopt new processes, change wouldn’t be possible.

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It is up to the top management to advocate the need for changing the old data management and spec sheet attribution processes to new, automated systems. It is also up to the management to identify and address all the concerns that the employees have regarding the new systems to make sure there are no roadblocks on the path to implementing these systems.

For your information, we have included the 8-step Kotter’s change model in Appendix A of this whitepaper which is quite helpful in getting the company and its employees ready for something new.

Training the employees

In many cases, implementing a new automation system gives rise to data governance issues. In many other cases, automation would not work well if the employees were not aware of the manual processes that they are expected to do and what they are expected to automate.

In the case of automating spec sheet attribution, it is up to the employees to push the product data into the right spec sheet template. Thus, training them regarding each template type and even demonstrating what the automation will do is of utmost importance.

Sales Channels Working Together

One of the most difficult tasks is getting multiple sales channels and partners to adopt the spec sheets generated by the automation software. In this case, it is also important that the PIM software that the company chooses produces information that is relevant to all stakeholders including suppliers, retailers, and distributors needed for posting.

Essentially, PIM DAM integration makes it easier to develop a single product description that can meet the content needs of numerous channels. As a result, achieving goals becomes simpler and quicker.

Data Quality and Governance

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Maintaining product data’s accuracy and consistency over multiple eCommerce marketplaces is a challenge that only automated systems can resolve. Let’s explore how automation in spec sheet attribution can eliminate inefficiencies and assure data quality and governance:

Ensuring data accuracy and consistency

With new products being added to the company’s portfolio and product updates according to customer feedback, maintaining data accuracy and consistency becomes a challenge. Although bulk uploads are quite popular for uploading mass amounts of information, automation allows you to conduct bulk editing and uploading in one easy step.

Implementing data governance policies

Since each product has a wide range of data sets intended for different stakeholders during the process, automation streamlines workflows to control which data sets can be used where and by who. For instance, the marketing team would not have access to data sets meant for the sourcing and production team.

Automation also allows companies to ensure the accuracy of technical data, which is often of high importance for certain products such as products in the healthcare industry or B2B manufacturing clients. Automation strengthens your data governance and makes it as foolproof as possible for your team.

Pimberly’s Solution

Pimberly’s Product Information Management (PIM) software handles the process of managing data required for the marketing and sale of products including the collection and centralization of the data, upgradation, and enrichment of the data, and publishing the data across different sales channels.

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Features and Functionalities

A PIM system is relevant for any business that manufactures, distributes, and retails products that get sold online. Whether this is D2C via web stores and marketplaces, B2C, or B2B, PIM is crucial in driving online sales.

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Its features and functionalities help companies deal with complex product information and assets and simplify and streamline their data management processes.

Centralized management of assets

With Pimberly’s centralization of assets, the automation possibilities are immeasurable – especially if your PIM integrates with other technologies in your ecosystem (i.e. your ERP, eComm, or OMS platforms).

For example, you can automate the generation of essential items like package labels, as seen here.

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Labels are just one of many examples of items that can be automated in InDesign. Do you sell products with different sizes/colors? Pimberly will automate your sizing charts as well in a matter of clicks.

Here, you’ll see an example of a sizing chart for a bag automatically generated for one of our customers by Pimberly through our integration with Adobe InDesign.

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As another example, here’s a template for one of our customers’ sizing charts for a shirt that Pimberly can automatically populate:

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Essentially, you have complete power over what you can automate in your eCommerce instance when your product data can be pulled from a centralized source of truth. And this sense of control over their data excites the brands we work with most.

Items such as product catalogs are usually constructed to be visually appealing to a customer – and with Pimberly, the creativity for these catalogs does not have to be sacrificed when you choose to automate them.

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The colors, designs, and images used to enhance the look of the page are still intact yet all of the data listed here can be entirely automated.

Labels and product catalogs, however, are just the tip of the iceberg. Arguably the most important items for these brands to automate are their spec & sell sheets.

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Spec & Sell Sheets, like the one pictured above, are automatically generated by Pimberly and are updated as-and-when required. In other words, a new Spec & Sell Sheet is generated and saved to the Pimberly DAM when product attributes are updated, keeping all product data and digital assets in one location in your Pimberly PIM/DAM system.

So, this means employees can access everything they need without wasting time looking for relevant information across multiple systems.

Spec & Sell Sheet Templates

Many businesses have their own Spec & Sell Sheet designs. Alternatively, businesses can work with the Pimberly team to create or build an existing template library that fits their products’ key attributes and data points. Let’s look at a few examples of different PDSs Pimberly automated for varying products.

  1. Twist – Carpet

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2. V Microfibre Pillow

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3. Metric Cable Gland

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Each category of product typically has its own template because of atypical product information. All of these templates are then stored within the Pimberly Print System.

While template selection makes the process easier, automation allows users to create multiple Spec & Sell Sheets for different purposes. This allows the company to share the relevant layers of product information with users such as suppliers, manufacturers, salespersons, and marketers.

Streamlining and automating the process thus, vastly reduces the operational and administrative overhead involved in creating, storing, and utilizing different spec sheets.

Workflow monitoring & management

Life cycles and workflows in Pimberly can track any changes made to a Spec & Sell Sheet and report and/or seek approvals or inputs from other departments before going live assuring that any employee can access and utilize the data with full confidence in its truth.

Workflow monitoring and management also allows selecting which information, formatting or images are needed for a specific Spec & Sell Sheet. Furthermore, it also helps to ensure that all team members are working together efficiently.

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Spec sheet attribution is 1,2,3 easy

With Pimberly’s spec sheet attribution, centralizing and automating sheets and thus, workflows is easy. The first step is choosing which templates you need and sending them to Pimberly. You can then create a custom channel for each of your templates and publish your product data directly into your templates.

The second step is selecting which template to use for each spec sheet. Once all the imagery and product data are complete, the employee can release the product template to the chosen channel.

Lastly, Pimberly Print populates the templates with the relevant product data and generates a PDF Spec & Sell Sheet. The PDFs are then passed back into the PIM and attached directly to the original product record (either overwriting or archiving any old Spec & Sell Sheets).

Pimberly AI helps with product attributes

The more complicated your spec sheets and product attributes, the more time it takes to create user-friendly product descriptions. However, with advancements in Pimberly’s patented AI (artificial intelligence), product attribution becomes much easier and quicker.

Pimberly AI identifies and extracts product attributes from various sources using a brilliant combination of image recognition and product lookup. Using AI, the team can automate the spec and sell sheets in a matter of minutes, no matter how complex the product data.

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Benefits with Pimberly

Features and functionalities of the Pimberly PIM system eventually translate into business benefits that make the investment in it worthwhile.

Increase product sales

Spec & Sell Sheet automation allows employees to free up time spent on tedious, manual processes. They can then dedicate this time to creating campaigns that sell more products.

Well-developed Spec & Sell Sheets with relevant layers of product information also help keep all stakeholders informed about relevant product details. Manufacturers have access to product details needed to manufacture, and marketers have marketing copies, rich media, and a list of product attributes to upload onto websites and third-party marketplaces. The improved knowledge sharing, in turn, improves the competitive edge and increases sales potential in new marketplaces.

Reduce business risk

Spec & Sell Sheet templates by Pimberly are completely configurable. They can be selected according to the industry or customized based on atypical product information.

These configurable templates help improve the display of complex technical information in the least confusing manner. Plus, with all relevant information included, these Spec & Sell templates comply with the relevant legislation – eliminating the risk of fines and legal penalties because of misinformation.

Business risk is also reduced when any product updates or changes are quickly converted into new Spec & Sell Sheets. Employees, with the power of automation, can then quickly update these changes across the different sales channels.

Reduce time to market

Automation Spec & Sell sheets greatly reduce the time-to-market for new and updated products. With product data in a single location, relevant stakeholders do not need to search across disparate systems and verify product information by contacting different departments.

Automated Spec & Sell deployments also reduce the risk of stakeholders being supplied with the wrong information, saving a lot of time and resources.

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With all stakeholders supplied with the right layer of product information, the deployment of the product from the factory or warehouse to the customer is almost as swift as shopping from a shelf.

Supercharge productivity

As the product data is stored in a centralized hub, users can access all the information they need to update a Spec & Sell Sheet.

Powerful automation means Spec & Sell Sheets are rapidly updated, data is consistent, and marketers can devote more time to other projects. It also means that new products can be quickly added to the product portfolio. With the power of AI, developing Spec & Sell sheets becomes quick and easy.

Pimberly AI also allows marketers to get real-time customer reviews and insights into purchase decisions. So, instead of spending their time on tedious, repetitive tasks, they can use the AI insights to onboard new products and give recommendations for product upgrades.

Easy to onboard complex product data

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Unlike manual spreadsheet ETL processes, a PIM applies workflow logic to enable businesses to construct and reconstruct data for this onboarding process. Instead of contending with multiple spreadsheets and tabs, all the data during the product development or onboarding process is centralized in one location.

As a result, it is very easy to create and structure new data templates for products that are simple or have technical details. PIM also makes it easier to sort through complex attribute sets by breaking them into logical parts so Spec & Sell sheets have all the relevant information organized in the most effective manner.

Case Studies

Automated spec sheet attribution is a need for today’s businesses. Let’s delve into some of the real-world examples of businesses benefiting from automated spec sheet attribution:

Demonstrated ROI and efficiency improvements

Cotton Traders


About Cotton Traders

Cotton Traders is one of the finest examples of how an automated Spec & Sell sheet attribution allows businesses to run direct and online shopping channels effectively. Being a legacy British fashion brand, Cotton Traders has had its days of manual data management. But embracing modernity, and especially automation has allowed this British heritage brand to earn 79% of its shopping revenues from direct and online shopping and 21% of its revenues from over 80 stores across the UK.

These sales percentages show the enormity and distinctiveness of Cotton Traders’ sales channels. With each of these channels having specific data requirements, Cotton Traders benefitted hugely from the time saved and risk minimized due to automation.

Cotton Traders and data centralization

The first thing that Cotton Traders changed with the PIM automation system was centralized management of the data on its catalogue, digital channels, and third-party marketplaces. Previously, the catalogue data was managed in an external system and thus, not compatible with their eCommerce website. This separation of data meant double the work for each channel and no centralized point of access for accurate product data.  A centralized data hub and automated Spec & Sell sheet generation meant Cotton Traders could seamlessly manage product details over multiple channels.

Flexibility in Spec & Sell Sheets

Furthermore, Pimberly’s automated Spec & Sell sheets provided Cotton Traders with the flexibility to maintain a parent product. This feature enables them to make necessary changes and adjustments tailored to the unique requirements of each channel, streamlining their product management processes and improving customer experience through product personalization.

Increased brand visibility

Cotton Traders also significantly expanded its brand presence by establishing their presence on various third-party marketplaces. Without Pimberly, the process of integrating their product data into marketplace platforms would have been extremely time-consuming and required extensive manual data input and enrichment.

By leveraging Pimberly’s feed functionality, uploading data across all those third-party marketplaces became more efficient and streamlined. With their product data already centralized within the Pimberly platform, the process of extracting the right layer of product information for every distinct need became easy. Plus, automation has allowed Cotton Traders to reduce the need for additional resources to manage complex, time-intensive, and risky manual data entry.

Right now, with Pimberly, Cotton Traders manages 3 websites, 63 workflows, over 92,000 assets and 140,000 products!


Denovo logo

About Denovo

A specialist camping brand with big dreams – Denovo is one of the best examples of how a company with a small portfolio leveraged Pimberly’s automated Spec & Sell sheets to grow. With the company’s manufacturing base in China and its primary audience in the USA, there was a huge communication gap when it came to product specs.

Denovo and data centralization

Luckily, with Pimberly, Denovo enabled the relevant departments across the two countries to access all the creative assets such as CAD Drawings, product images and safety sheets.

While data centralization meant all the product’s data in one place, automation of the Spec & Sell sheets allowed Denovo to equip the sales team with the relevant layers of information they needed, such as costings and pack sizes.

Automation also allowed Denovo to auto-generate GTIN item numbers based on a specific formula it had written to manage product data through multiple spreadsheets.

Customized Spec & Sell sheet automation

The manual processes that Denovo had in place were creating a barrier to its eCommerce growth. This is something this ambitious business was not going to let happen. It needed to find efficiencies in processes, and fast!

It started with the manual assignment of the UPC manufacturer ID number. If this was wrong, it would be detrimental to the experience that their customers were looking to create. The customer wouldn’t be able to buy an item if the barcode didn’t bring up the correct pricing information. Alternatively, the customer would have to wait for the cashier to find the correct information.

The team worked with Pimberly to find a solution using the attribute function. This enabled them to generate a UPC barcode using the company prefix, product number, and a GS1-compliant check digit appended.

Pimberly created a workflow that generates a formula to auto-generate the UPC barcode every time a new product is created. This made the process of product creation even more efficient.

With Pimberly, Denovo has enabled 55 automations across the two countries. It is striding towards success in the Amazon marketplace and Walmart. Soon, Denovo will expand to other marketplaces and it will have Pimberly’s Spec & Sell sheet automation to make it through.


Sigma logo

About Sigma

SIGMA‌ ‌Surplus‌, a division of SIGMA Group, is one of America’s leading surplus maintenance, repair, and operations part providers for ‌Automation,‌ ‌Electrical,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Industrial‌ ‌Parts‌. Because Sigma deals with parts, the accuracy of product specs is of utmost importance. With a 15-year-old product system handling product data management, Sigma had to actively propagate a change process to minimize manual processing and let automation take the helm.

SIGMA and bulk uploads

Pimberly’s Spec & Sell sheet automation directly picked data from SIGMA’s eCommerce platform, and within a month, SIGMA Group was already seeing more sales than was ever expected!

With Pimberly’s automation, the team at SIGMA was able to upload more than 160,000 assets in one go in a timely manner. Not only were these assets added with haste to the platform when uploaded, they were also automatically assigned to the right products by setting up rules within Pimberly. As a result of this nifty bit of automation, the team at SIGMA saved a day of tedious work assigning assets to the correct product.

Event-based processing

SIGMA is now also utilizing the APIs and webhooks to ensure their processes are event-based. This means products are directed to the right sales channels in near real-time maximizing sales opportunities.

A great example of this is how they have connected Pimberly directly to eBay’s merchant integration using FTP. This means that their products can get to market as soon as they have been enriched, allowing SIGMA Group to significantly reduce time-to-market and gain a competitive edge over other businesses.

As of now, SIGMA group has 3 brands and more than 655,000 assets that it manages with Pimberly’s automated systems.

Future Trends and Innovations

Data management continues to emerge as advanced technologies take over. Pimberly always stays ahead of the curve by adopting these emerging technologies. So much so that Pimberly has established its very own patented AI technology that enables businesses to enhance operational efficiency and further smooth their workflows. This technology is specific to product and service businesses and deals with a range of activities including marketing content generation, marketing data analysis, and assistance with cross-selling.

Marketing content generation

Pimberly AI serves as a valuable tool for auto-generating product descriptions as well as attribution for all products across various catalogs. It also streamlines the process of manually attributing spec and sell sheets, as well as creating marketing and product copy – ultimately saving valuable time and resources.

Furthermore, Pimberly AI also creates three product descriptions based on brand tone, enabling businesses to seamlessly leverage A/B testing to determine what copy works best for different customer profiles. Through A/B testing, businesses can discover customer preferences and use the most appealing product description for each channel.

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As businesses roll out across different marketplaces, automation along with AI enables them to enjoy success with less effort required in target research. So again; automation and AI allow you to reduce the time needed to reach new audiences.

Upselling and cross-selling

Pimberly’s AI also gathers data regarding a customer’s desired product attributes and preferences and recommends related products – making upselling and cross-selling across multiple platforms much easier. This feature is particularly useful if you sell across different marketplaces where each customer base has different needs and expectations.

Marketing data analysis

Pimberly AI can analyze text from multiple sources, including product descriptions, reviews, and comments to create landing pages or email announcements ready to edit and blast out to your mailing list.

AI is a trend that will not lose pace in the future. Pimberly AI is your product attribute secret weapon right now, instantly sourcing and leveraging reliable sources to unravel complicated product information. You can also automate Spec and Sell sheets, reach diverse marketplaces, and become a recognized brand trusted to bring top-selling products to your growing customer base.

Implementation Roadmap

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Pimberly’s PIM is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is tailored to every business customer’s specific needs. Cotton Traded needed to streamline its data management and automate processes across its multiple sales channels. The solution was not implementing a template-based Spec & Sell sheet. Pimberly’s employees worked with Cotton traders to find the starting point and work towards automating Spec & Sell sheets once the organization and its employees were ready.

For you, the implementation roadmap might differ, but it can be summarized in the form of this roadmap:

1)   Implementation team and methodology

The journey starts with an implementation team that defines the PIM requirements, clarifies business objectives, and considers the quality of the data. The implementation team develops a methodology which includes the time needed to make all required changes including platform integration and assigning roles and responsibilities.

2)   Business deliverables

Once the existing scenario is defined and goals are shared, the second step is clarifying those goals. Clearly defined business deliverables measured in the form of KPIs and project specifications allow the team and the company to move forth with the implementation.

3)   Discovery

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Since a PIM automates product distribution across hundreds of different marketplaces, you can use it to create specific product listing criteria suited to each platform. Discovery is part of the implementation process that discovers how the data will be mapped according to your platform and marketplace needs. Just like Denovo used the PIM system to automate a product schema and Cotton Traders to define parent and child categories, you can use it to meet your specific needs. At this step, you also need to clarify who will manage data sets and who approves product data.

4)   Planning and design

The planning and design phase allows you to define and improve your existing workflows. It could include the introduction of new workflows to improve data management efficiency. Here you will also define the hierarchy of the data including the product attributes, its taxonomies, and categories.

5)   Configuring the PIM platform

The four previous implementation stages were all about defining existing systems and planning for new systems. In the fifth phase of implementation, it’s time to configure the PIM platform including implementing a streamlined approval system, ensuring a single source of truth.

6)   Building and testing lifecycles and workflows

The testing phase will reveal more roadblocks and issues with the PIM integration. This is the step where identifying these issues and resolving them is crucial to making the data management and automation process smooth and efficient.

7)   Building and testing upstream and downstream integrations

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Integration for your PIM is not limited to the types of data sources you use. You can also consider using SEO tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs etc. to keep keywords up to date to improve browsing and searching capabilities for your data. You might also consider integrating translation tools for localizing product data as you expand into different markets globally.

Deciding which integrations you want to incorporate allows you to test compatibility and come up with bespoke solutions with endless possibilities. You just have to determine which ones are going to benefit your business the most and help you reach your business objectives.

8)   Populating the platform

There are two approaches to populating the platform. One is freezing new product data and dealing with existing products first so the customers experience little inconvenience. The second is to completely ditch the old spreadsheets and start anew with the Pimberly PIM system. The second method is preferred for companies who have extremely outdated spreadsheets with duplication errors, product information issues, and multiple product Spec & Sell sheets.

9)   End-to-end testing

With the platform populated, the last step in the implementation roadmap is end-to-end testing. This means testing the workflows and lifecycles, permissions, and collaborations. Lastly, with all things in place, the last step is switching over the PIM system live.


Automating product Spec & Sell sheets is not a luxury for online businesses. In today’s competitive eCommerce world, automation is an essential need for doing business. The first step to automating product information over Spec & Sell sheets is centralizing data management.

A centralized data management system allows greater control and oversight of the data. It creates a single source of truth for all departments and relevant stakeholders. Effective data management, in turn, results in greater customer loyalty and a decreased time-to-market for new products.

Once the data has been centralized, the system is ready to develop different spec sheets for different needs. Pimberly’s automated Spec & Sell sheets have all the information the user needs. A well-designed spec sheet with the right layers of product information assures that the processes are smooth and there are no information silos disrupting and delaying processes. Spec sheets also accommodate technical data that is usually atypical. It also chunks down complex product data and presents it in the best way possible to make workflows efficient.

Automation is the key to improving efficiency, but it is also up to the business and the PIM system managers to decide what degree of automation is needed to ensure that the data is in control. While manual systems are outdated, with the right balance of automation, employees can do much more with their time working on higher-level tasks.

To figure out the right balance of automation and its integration with existing workflows and systems, it is important to develop some automation strategies. We talk about how Human Resources can help employees to accept the changes in the workflows. Even though automation means freeing up time, without a change strategy in place, employees might become resistant to change.

Pimberly’s automation matched with its patented AI also helps you become more responsive to leverage trends and unexpected opportunities fast. Whether it’s creating a new category or deciding to expand in a new market to take advantage of a freak weather event, it’s all done in minutes.

AI is the future of eCommerce, but with Pimberly, you can get a competitive edge by using AI to reduce your product’s time-to-market, and market trend analysis and responsiveness.

With Pimberly’s effective data management system, automation, and AI, you wouldn’t get a better deal for your business. You can contact Pimberly for a free 30-minute product demo and see the PIM system in action. This 30-minute window will also allow you to figure out how Pimberly’s system can integrate into your business’s existing workflows, make everything more efficient, and propel your business towards growth.


Kotter’s 8-step change model is one of the most widely accepted change models in Human Resource Management. This model is an expanded version of Lewin’s 3-step change model.

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Step 1: Create an urgency for change

The first step in implementing automation in spec sheet attribution is creating urgency. This might include highlighting the losses that the company faces due to manual processes like money losses, customer losses, or time losses so the employees understand why the old system is limiting growth and how the new system is not only modern but can lead to drastic improvements.

Step 2: Create a powerful coalition

The second step is to create a team that is responsible for leading the change. This team could include the top and middle management. The middle management is quite valuable in this coalition because they can identify the issues that employees at the front line are facing in implementing and using the automated spec sheets. In the implementation roadmap, this change leadership can greatly contribute to the planning and development processes to make sure that the change process is smooth and achieves the change vision.

Step 3: Establish a change vision

Once the employees know why change is important, the vision of the change is defined which leads to the change process. It is important that this vision is centered around employees and all other stakeholders impacted by the adoption of the automated spec sheets. According to the implementation roadmap, the change vision should take into account the current workflows and decide whether to stop using them completely or go with a gradual implementation process to make it less disruptive for all the stakeholders involved.

Step 4: Communicate the vision

With the relevant vision established, it needs to be communicated to the employees and affected stakeholders. Upon communication, some obstacles might arise that will be addressed in the next step.

In a dynamic organization, communicating the vision also means involving all employees and stakeholders in the process of configuring the PIM platform and building and testing the new systems.

Step 5: Address obstacles

If the company fails to identify and address the obstacles in the change process, the employees might fall back to using manual processes. Addressing obstacles also includes training the employees regarding spec sheet templates and key attributes and data points in the spec sheets.

It also involves identifying and addressing the issues with the new system throughout the building and testing phases.

Step 6: Chunk down the goals

Achieving complete change just after addressing the obstacles might not be possible. Although PIM systems are intuitive and easy for employees to learn and handle, chunking down the goals to establish small wins can be encouraging for the team to keep learning.

Even PIM’s legacy client Cotton Traders is still looking for ways to use PIM, automation, and AI to further improve and optimize their workflows.

Step 7: Build on the changes

As employees keep learning the automated spec sheet systems, they need to stop using manual processes and shift to using automated spec sheets. While understanding this will be a gradual process, it will strengthen the effectiveness of the automated spec sheets.

Step 8: Internalize the changes

Internalizing the changes means integrating them into the organizational culture and making it the only way to work for the employees. When automated spec sheets are internalized into the work processes, employees get time to handle a larger product portfolio across more channels effectively – meaning more growth and profitability for the company.

With PIM’s dynamic capabilities and Pimberly staying ahead of the curve, clients will always be in a circle of change. Once a single vision related to Spec & Sell sheet automation is achieved, the company moves on to the next vision. This consistent state of change with the reliability of the PIM system assures that there is a single source of truth, but systems are gradually changing to become more efficient and optimized as the company grows.

About Pimberly

Pimberly, a modern SaaS-based Product Information Management (PIM) solution, is a PIM/DAM hybrid designed to handle all kinds of product data. Founded in 2016, Pimberly was created to empower brands that sell online to excel no matter what changes occur in the greater e-commerce landscape.

What sets Pimberly apart is its holistic approach, combining the functionalities of both PIM and Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems, supplemented by the prowess of built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and comprehensive automation capabilities. Our comprehensive solution not only simplifies the management of product information but also propels businesses towards more efficiency and market responsiveness.

Hybrid PIM/DAM Solution

Pimberly’s hybrid nature addresses a prevalent challenge in eCommerce: the seamless integration of product information with relevant digital assets. Legacy systems often treat product data and digital assets as distinct entities, leading to siloed ‘islands of information’ and disjointed workflows. Pimberly, however, unifies these elements within a single, intuitive platform. This integration enables businesses to effortlessly link high-quality images, videos, and documents directly to their corresponding product listings. This unified approach streamlines internal processes and also makes sure that customers always have a pleasant and informative online shopping experience – a key factor driving engagement and conversions.

Built-in Artificial Intelligence

At the core of Pimberly’s innovation is its leveraging of AI technology, designed to automate and enhance various aspects of product information management. Our AI capabilities extend from the automatic creation of alluring product descriptions all the way to image recognition for easy product tagging.

These features significantly reduce the manual effort required in managing extensive product catalogs, allowing businesses to focus on larger strategies rather than tedious, repetitive tasks. Pimberly’s AI-driven tools provide brands with consistency and accuracy across product listings, a vital aspect in maintaining customer trust.

Automation Capabilities

Automation is another fundamental part of Pimberly’s solution. It is used in every facet of the platform’s operations. Pimberly automates all workflows involving product data – from imports and validation to the syndication of product information across sales channels and marketplaces. This automation extends to customizing product information for different regions you sell in, automating the translation and localization process to cater to global audiences. Pimberly accelerates time-to-market by drastically reducing the potential for human error. Our PIM ensures customers always have access to the most current and accurate product information.

The platform’s flexible (and scalable) architecture supports businesses at every growth stage. Whether you’re a startup venturing into online sales or a multinational corporation managing thousands of SKUs across various markets, Pimberly scales to meet the evolving needs of its users. Pimberly’s cloud-based nature offers reliability and agility simultaneously. We enable our customers to expand their product offerings and enter new markets with ease.

Pimberly’s modern PIM solution represents a paradigm shift in how businesses manage and leverage product information for online success. Its innovative blend of PIM and DAM functionalities, enriched with AI and automation, offers an unparalleled platform for brands looking to streamline their operations and enhance the customer experience. With Pimberly, companies can look forward to navigating the complexities of online retail with greater agility, efficiency, and confidence.

Learn more in our other whitepapers you can access by scanning the QR codes below!

Creating the Perfect Product Detail Page

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Making the Business Case for PIM

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Top Practical Ways Brands Can Leverage AI in eCommerce

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How to Evaluate Next-Generation DAMs

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What our customers are doing with PIM

Pimberly Success Story: Gill Marine
Pimberly Success Story: Westcoast
Pimberly Success Story: Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports

See us in action!

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