Understanding Ecommerce PIM: Streamline Your Product Information

An ecommerce PIM is a Product Information Management system designed to centralize your product data across all the sales channels.

Having the capability to effectively handle, distribute, and use precise product information has become one of the top business case drivers for successful ecommerce operations.

If you’re aiming to generate revenue online then Set Up Your E-Store and Simplify Product Management with a PIM System.

In this article, we explain What ecommerce PIM system is and share some of the top choices to help you easily manage all your products.

 

Key Highlights

  • An ecommerce PIM system allows you to easily store and manage all product information in one place.
  • It can help you save time and effort by automating certain tasks, such as data entry and distribution of product information.
  • You can improve the visibility and searchability of products by using ecommerce PIM.
  • A PIM in ecommerce helps to make sure that the information about your products is correct and consistent across all sales channels.
  • The choice of the best PIM software depends on the specific business needs and requirements.

 

What is a Product Information Management (PIM) System?

A Product Information Management (PIM) System is a system to help you manage and organize your product information, so you can easily share it with customers across different channels.

The PIM system helps companies save time and effort by centralizing all of their product information in one place, so they don’t have to manually update information across different channels like their website, catalogs, or online marketplaces.

Initially, PIM systems were simply databases used to store product information. Over time, as technology advanced, PIM systems became more sophisticated and integrated with other systems, such as ecommerce platforms and marketing automation tools.

Understand the Key Differences Between PIM, CMS, and ERP

These systems each have a different focus and purpose.

Content Management System (CMS) - A CMS system makes it easy to manage your website. You get to pick what goes on your website, and how it looks. You can add new pages, change old ones, and give your website a fresh look whenever you want.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - An ERP system is like your personal assistant for your business. It helps you manage your finances, keep track of your inventory and supply chain, and take care of your team. It’s like having all the information you need about your business in one place, making it easy for you to make informed decisions and grow your business.

Product Information Management (PIM) - A PIM keeps all the information about your products organized and accessible. It makes sure your customers always have the right information about your products. It keeps all the details like product descriptions, specs, and images up-to-date, so your customers always know what they’re getting.

 

How Does PIM Work?

The key processes involved in ecommerce PIM includes:

Data Input

To start using an ecommerce PIM system, you need to gather all the details about your products from different places like catalogs, lists, and supplier information. Then, you put all that information together in one place so you have just one spot to get all the product information you need.

Data Classification

The product information is classified and organized in the PIM system, making it easy to search, retrieve and manage.

Key elements of data classification:

  • Categorization: The product information is grouped into categories, such as clothing, electronics, or toys.
  • Tagging: The product information is also tagged with keywords that describe the product, such as “red,” “size 10,” or “smartphone.”
  • Hierarchy: The product information is organized in a hierarchical structure, with higher-level categories containing sub-categories. For example, under the category “clothing,” you might have sub-categories for “women’s clothing,” “men’s clothing,” and “children’s clothing.”

Data Validation

The PIM system checks the data to make sure that all the required information is there, such as product name, description, price, and image. If any of the required information is missing, the PIM system will flag this for correction.

Data Enrichment

The PIM system can be used to add additional information to the product data, making it more comprehensive and relevant.

The additional information that can be added includes, Translations of the product information, Product Attributes and Specifications, and Images and Videos.

Data Distribution

The PIM system can help you distribute your product information to various sales and marketing channels including your website, ecommerce platform such as, Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce and digital catalogs that can be distributed to customers.

The Advantages of PIM

Poor product data in spreadsheets can cost businesses up to 25% in revenue.

Source: marklogic.com

Centralized Product Information

Allows you to store all your product information in one central location. This makes it easier to manage, update, and distribute the information to various sales and marketing channels.

Increased Productivity

By automating many tasks and reducing manual work, a PIM system can help increase productivity and efficiency, freeing up time and resources that can be used to focus on other aspects of the business.

Improved Customer Experience

By providing accurate and comprehensive product information, a PIM system can help improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction.

Data Accuracy and Consistency

The PIM system ensures that the data entered is complete and accurate, and flags any inconsistencies for correction. This helps ensure that the customers receive accurate and consistent information about the products, which can improve their confidence in the brand and increase sales.

Data Enrichment

The PIM system can enrich the product information with additional data such as translations, product attributes and specifications, making it more comprehensive and relevant. This can help you showcase your products in the best possible light and attract more customers.

Increased Sales

By making the product information easily accessible and relevant to customers, a PIM system can help increase sales and revenue.

 

PIM vs No PIM when it comes to your new eCommerce platform

Having a PIM system for your ecommerce platform can greatly improve how you manage your product information, make sure it’s accurate and the same across all channels, and easily share it with others.

PIM tool adopters can correct errors 18x faster and increase time to market 2x than non-users.

Source: Plytix.com

Not having a PIM system can lead to the following challenges.

Inaccurate and Inconsistent Product Information

Without a centralized system to manage product information, there is a risk of having inconsistent or inaccurate data across different channels. This can result in confusion for customers and negatively impact the credibility of your brand.

Increased Manual Effort

Manually updating and distributing product information can be time-consuming and prone to errors. This can increase the workload for your team and divert resources away from more strategic tasks.

Poor Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Poorly structured and inconsistent product information can hurt your SEO efforts, reducing your visibility in search engine results and making it harder for customers to find your products.

Reduced Customer Satisfaction

Inaccurate product information can lead to incorrect orders, delayed delivery times, and frustrated customers. This can have a negative impact on customer satisfaction and result in lost sales and decreased customer loyalty.

Limitations in Scalability

As your ecommerce platform grows and the number of products increases, manually updating product information can become overwhelming and unsustainable. Without a PIM system, it may become difficult to keep up with demand and scale your business effectively.

 

When is it Time to Implement PIM?

Here are some signs that you might need a PIM system for your business.

Increasing product SKUs

As you grow your ecommerce business and offer more products, keeping track of all the information about each product can become really hard and take up a lot of your time. An ecommerce PIM system is a tool that can help you manage this information and make sure it’s always correct and up-to-date.

Manual data management

Managing product information manually using things like spreadsheets or shared documents can lead to problems with keeping the information consistent and accurate. A PIM system can help by doing a lot of the work for you automatically, which reduces the chances of making mistakes.

Inefficient product data management processes

If product data is managed manually and across multiple systems and processes, it can be difficult to ensure consistency and accuracy. A PIM system can centralize product information and streamline data management processes, which reduces the chances of making mistakes leading to productivity.

Inefficient cross-border sales

If you’re selling your products in different countries, it’s important to take into account things like different languages, currencies, and regulations. Keeping track of all this information can be time-consuming and confusing, but an ecommerce PIM system can help make it easier.

 

How to Implement PIM in Your Business

Here are the key phases to take into account in the deployment of an ecommerce PIM system.

1. Planning

The first step in implementing a PIM system is to plan the process, which involves defining the goals and objectives, identifying stakeholders, and determining the necessary resources.

2. Preparation

The preparation stage of PIM implementation involves assessing the current product information management processes of an ecommerce business, identifying areas for improvement, determining the necessary data structure, selecting a suitable PIM system, and integrating it with systems such as the ecommerce platform and CMS.

3. Execution

The execution stage is where the PIM system is actually implemented. This involves populating the PIM system with product information, testing the system, and training staff on how to use it.

4. Evaluation

The final stage of PIM implementation is to evaluate the results. This involves monitoring the performance of the PIM system, tracking the benefits achieved, and making any necessary improvements.

 

Must-Have PIM eCommerce Features and Capabilities

Any PIM system should have the following features

Customization

A PIM system should have customization options. You should be able to change things like product information (Name, description, images, categories, attributes, variants, price and currency) as well as the look and feel of the user interface. This will help you ensure that the PIM system works well for your business, and that it meets your specific needs.

Ease of use

A PIM tool should have a simple feature that allows you to quickly make changes to multiple products at once, which can help you save time

Product Information Analysis

An ecommerce PIM system should help you gather and study information about your products, like how many times people have viewed a product or added it to their cart, and how often it’s been bought, which can help you make better decisions for your business.

Integration

A PIM in ecommerce should connect easily with other systems like ERP, supplier data, online store, mobile app, and in-store systems. Without seamless connections, the primary benefits of using a PIM system can’t be fully utilized, potentially leading to confusion and missed opportunities for improved efficiency and productivity.

Search filters

A PIM tool should have strong search filters that help you easily find what you need, even as your business grows and you offer more products.

Product Relationships

A PIM system has to allow you to manage your products more efficiently by establishing connections between different products. This makes it easier to find and keep track of all the details related to each product, and helps ensure that the information remains accurate and up-to-date.

 

Best PIM software

Here are top PIM systems in the market.

Akeneo PIM

Final: E-commerce PIM

Akeneo Product Cloud is a software that helps businesses sell their products in a better way. It helps you create amazing experiences for your customers when they look at your products on any channel, whether it’s your own website or someone else’s.

This software is easy to use and is based on the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about installing anything on your computer. You can use it from anywhere, at any time.

Main features:

  • Cloud hosting– Access it from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Robust asset management– Make sure that your assets are well-organized and secure.
  • Advanced information gathering– Standardize supplier data onboarding
  • Catalog management– Organize and manage your product information
  • Localized translations– Expand into new markets to reach a wider audience.

Plytix PIM

Final: E-commerce PIM

Plytix is a software that helps you work with your team to get your products in front of customers as quickly as possible.

It’s designed to make it easy for your team to work together and share information about your products.

Main features:

  • Advanced filtering options– Sort and view their products based on specific categories.
  • Open API– Custom integrations with ecommerce platforms or marketing automation tools
  • Digital Asset Management– Make sure that your assets are well-organized and secure.
  • Easy bulk product editing– Make changes to multiple products at the same time
  • Quick export– Share your product information with others or track sales and generate reports.

Sales Layer PIM

Final: E-commerce PIM

Sales Layer is a tool that helps businesses manage their product information. It’s specifically designed for companies that make or sell products, like manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers.

It’s a user-friendly tool that’s essential for both B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) marketing teams.

Main features:

  • Optimizing product data– Find and fix any problems in your product information.
  • Quality Score– Improve the visibility of your products online.
  • Custom filters and flexible templates– Sort and view their products based on specific categories.
  • Product data history– Track and view all edits and updates to your catalogs.
  • Product workflows- Set clear roles and responsibilities to teams.

 

Conclusion

In today’s competitive ecommerce market, it is essential for businesses to have a system in place to manage product information efficiently and accurately. Therefore, it is important to emphasize the significance of considering a PIM system for your ecommerce business.

It’s worth noting that the cost of skipping an ecommerce PIM system can be higher than investing in one. The long-term benefits, like better product information management, better customer experience, and improved competitiveness, usually surpass the initial investment in a PIM system.

 

Next Steps: What now?

 

Further reading – Useful Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ecommerce PIM system?

An ecommerce PIM system is a tool that helps online businesses keep track of all the information related to their products in one place. This information includes things like the product descriptions, images, prices, and more.

How does an ecommerce PIM system work?

An ecommerce PIM system works by allowing businesses to input, store, and manage all of their product information in one place. This information can include product descriptions, images, videos, pricing, and more. The PIM system can then be used to distribute this information to different channels, such as online marketplaces, social media, and the business’s own website.

Why is an ecommerce PIM system important for my business?

An ecommerce PIM system is important because it helps businesses streamline their product information management process. This leads to improved accuracy, consistency, and efficiency in managing product information, which can help boost sales and customer satisfaction.

Can I use an ecommerce PIM system for my online store?

Yes, an ecommerce PIM system can be used by any online business that sells products, regardless of the size or type of business. It can be especially beneficial for businesses that sell a large number of products or that operate across multiple channels.

How does an ecommerce PIM system help improve my product data management

An ecommerce PIM system helps improve product data management by centralizing all product information in one place, making it easier for businesses to keep their information accurate, consistent, and up-to-date. This can lead to improved data quality, which can help boost sales and customer satisfaction.

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