- Product codes and names
- Stock data
What does a PIM system do?
FAQs – Learn more about Product Information Management
What does PIM stand for?
PIM stands for Product Information Management. Not to be confused with Privileged Identity Management which is a service in the Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Product Information Management (PIM) solutions enable B2B, B2C, and D2C businesses selling online, or providing products to other businesses selling online, to gather, store, enrich, and distribute product data across various sales channels. A PIM platform like Pimberly has the capabilities to collect product data from any number of internal and external systems.
What is the meaning of PIM?
The meaning of PIM is Product Information Management. PIM is a software that enables businesses supplying products that are being sold online to collect data required for the effective marketing and sale of products across various different sales channels. Product Information Management is not to be confused with Privileged Identity Management as the two solutions have completely different functions. Product Information Management relates to product data, while Privileged Identity Management relates to the management and control of access to important organizational resources.
What is PIM and why is it important?
Product Information Management is a system that enables any business selling products online, or supplying products that are being sold online, to efficiently manage all the data required to effectively market and sell products across a range of sales channels. This includes but isn’t limited to product details, supporting digital assets such as images, videos, PDFs, Documents, audio files, sizing charts, and much more. Overall, it streamlines the management of complex product information and enables brands, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and resellers to have a digital representation of their products.
PIM is becoming increasingly important as online sales are predicted to make up around a quarter of all global retail sales by 2025. PIM systems hold essential data and enable businesses to create a single source of truth. As more people shop online, expectations of the digital experience are growing. Consumers want in-depth, detailed product information around things like sustainability credentials, proof of the originality of materials and components, not to mention high-quality digital assets.
Third-party logistics and international next-day delivery mean cross-border commerce will continue to grow. As such, more businesses will have to manage and distribute product details in multiple languages. All these factors massively impact the volume of product data businesses need to compile and validate. Spreadsheets are no longer fit-for-purpose and eCommerce businesses need to have robust solutions in place, like PIM.
What is an example of PIM?
An example of PIM is an eCommerce business needing to collect, manage, enrich, and distribute product content to sales and eCommerce channels with speed and efficiency. As well as managing product data, there is also the need to manage and distribute digital assets and various media files. A leading PIM tool like Pimberly has an integrated Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality.
Pimberly’s SaaS PIM is designed to help businesses grow revenues by delivering amazing customer experiences with high-quality product information and digital assets. Overall, this leads to improved customer confidence, increased conversion rates, and reduced product return rates all whilst automating large parts of product data management processes.
What does it mean to have PIM?
A PIM solution sits in the eCommerce tech stack and interfaces between different systems such as ERPs and PLMs, as well as data feeds from suppliers or manufacturers. The process of managing all this data and creating eCommerce-ready product information is massively streamlined. It also facilitates better data governance with dashboards that give users full visibility of the accuracy and completeness of product information. This can then be distributed to consumers, internal teams, and suppliers.
Powerful automation in the form of workflows and lifecycles will identify missing details or digital assets. Relevant team members are then notified to ensure any gaps are filled. As such, it’s super quick and easy for businesses to distribute data across different sales channels. Furthermore, it’s also super quick and easy to create new products to react to changes in customer expectations and market trends.
Is a PIM a database?
PIM is a non-relational database designed to store all the product data needed to effectively market and sell products online. A great PIM system will also facilitate the enrichment, and distribution to different sales channels. PIMs use non-relational database models as they have the ability to store unstructured data, unlike relational databases.
A relational database collects data with pre-defined relationships which is then stored in tables with columns and rows. On the other hand, non-relational databases do not use a tabular format of rows and columns, so there are no restrictions in terms of data structures. As a result, non-relational databases offer much more flexibility and businesses can configure the PIM to suit their specific business requirements and product types.
Non-relational databases have numerous inbuilt functions to ensure the retrieval of data is as swift and efficient as possible. Furthermore, they often perform faster than relational databases as there aren’t multiple tables that need to be viewed before delivering the answer to the query. Overall, non-relational databases offer a vast array of benefits including:
- Speed and scalability and can organize huge amounts of varied formats of information
- Flexibility in terms of new data being collected, regardless of whether it fits in with existing datasets
- Often hosted on the cloud which offers unlimited storage capabilities and unlimited access from anywhere at any time, provided there’s a secure internet connection
What data can you store in a PIM?
PIM platforms have massive storage capabilities and can host a wide variety of data sets. This includes structured and non-structured data.
- Key product details like product names, titles, descriptions
- Translates product data, including descriptions, currencies, and sizing information
- Additional information around packaging, delivery, and returns
- Sustainability credentials, and supplier information
- Images and videos, 3D and 360 views
- Audio files
- PDF documents such as manuals and sizing charts
- Microsoft documents
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) functionalities, design files such as CAD
- POS information – product catalogs for instance
Who uses PIM systems?
A PIM system is used by many teams throughout a business including:
- eCommerce Team to drive demand generation and online revenues
- IT Team to streamline internal systems and mitigate downtimes
- Product/Category Manager to track products as they move through the product development lifecycle
- Product/Master Data Managers to ensure data consistency and compliance across all channels
- Merchandisers to create immersive customer experiences with consistently high-quality data
- Sales & Marketing to create effective campaigns that deliver real results
- C-Suite to boost productivity by streamlining processes and achieving scalability by reaching new sales channels and geographies
In addition to these teams using PIM, other internal and external departments will also benefit from a PIM being in place. For instance, accurate product information can be shared with the sales and customer service teams so they can effectively inform and assist customers.
Moreover, a business may be working with an outsourced agency to create campaign assets that can then be stored in PIM platforms. In terms of digital assets, the studio and design team will require access to upload and edit for example. Essentially, a PIM system ensures there is a quality loop of data going in and out of the business.
What is the best information management system?
Every business has different requirements and resources, which consequently means they will need different systems to reach their specific business goals. For instance, an on-premise PIM is housed, stored, and managed on-site. This requires a certain amount of investment, not to mention physical space for servers and a good IT department on-hand to maintain it.
A cloud-based PIM system does what it says on the tin – is hosted in the cloud. A massive advantage of this is employees being able to gain secure access whenever they need it, from wherever they are, provided they have a stable internet connection.
There is also open-source PIM whereby you can configure the platform to suit specific business needs. This does however require a lot of time and investment into a strong IT team with good technical capabilities who need to create the code and maintain it, which can be very time-consuming.
With a SaaS PIM like Pimberly, the platform is totally user-friendly, and you have a technical team on-hand to support you every step of the way. We’re with you from implementation to going live and everyday use. The distinct difference between Pimberly and other PIM providers is the inherent scalability of our solution. Pimberly offers businesses selling online the ability to manage millions of SKUs. Moreover, you have unlimited inputs and outputs that come at no extra cost.
No-code workflows and validation/assignment rules that can be configured to suit your specific business requirements. This powerful automation will reduce manual tasks relating to product data management by up to 80%.
Pimberly is headless enabling businesses to create unique eCommerce experiences in the front-end of web stores and sales channels. This is a totally future-proof solution as it means you can change and adapt front-end design as and when you want, as well as being able to add as many additional sales channels as desired.
Overall, a cloud-based SaaS PIM presents an array of business benefits, less investment, more flexibility, and a lot more support than other platforms.
What is the difference between MDM and PIM?
A Master Data Management (MDM) solution is different from a PIM system in the way that it manages all the data within an organization. Typically, MDM solutions are used by larger organizations holding more than one version of data. This data includes; employee information, customer information, HR, and financial data. Inevitably, this leads to mistakes, inconsistencies, and errors which is where MDM comes in. It brings people, processes, and technologies together to ensure data is always consistent.
This isn’t dissimilar to the role PIM plays, however, PIM systems are designed specifically to handle data relating to the marketing and sale of products online. Like an MDM solution, it enables businesses handling large volumes of complex data to create a single source of truth. In addition, PIM also has the capabilities to enrich data for SEO purposes whilst also managing digital assets which are essential for effective digital representation online.
What is the difference between PIM and CMS?
Content Management System (CMS) is used to manage and amend content on a website. A CMS will often remove the need for teams to have strong technical abilities when content on their websites needs to be changed or updated. CMS systems are very different from PIM platforms in that they cannot manage the complexities often associated with selling products online. In addition, they don’t offer the capability to store essential dynamic data relating to the marketing and sale of products online such as product data, pricing information, and stock level information (held only as referenceable data).
Whilst you can store huge volumes of data and media files within a CMS, you cannot define product relationships for instance and it doesn’t facilitate collaboration across different departments. PIM has much more powerful capabilities when it comes to integrating with other systems to collect and distribute data. It makes the process of distributing new data to multiple sales channels very straightforward as it can be done in a few simple clicks with powerful rules and automation.
To sum up, these are two very different systems. A CMS focuses on delivering the relevant marketing images and banners to eCommerce platforms, such as web stores and digital POS/signage. Conversely, PIMs are designed to manage all the data and information needed to effectively market and sell products online.