To be successful as a brand, you need a strong presence across all relevant channels. That requires a central, consistent source of product information that can be easily shared across teams. Unorganized, poor-quality product data won’t win buyers over – and can potentially cost time, revenue, and customer confidence. In fact, 40% of consumers have returned an online purchase due to inaccurate product content.
With data coming from different sources and in multiple formats, creating high-quality product information isn’t always easy. Establishing a central source for all the product-related assets and data that flow in and out of a business can seem daunting. But a Product Information Management (PIM) system makes it possible. PIM is designed to solve the issues that companies repeatedly encounter when it comes to product information management.
Introducing a PIM system has strategic significance for most companies, especially those with a broad product portfolio. It will change the way you present your products to the outside world by centralizing and optimizing your product data, ensuring consistency and accuracy across all channels, and enabling you to quickly adapt to market demands. But what exactly is PIM, what advantages does it bring, and is it right for your company?
What is PIM? — classification and definition
The term "PIM" stands for Product Information Management and refers to a centralized repository for product data and digital assets, with cleansing rules, data deduplication, matching and merging, and translation capabilities. It enables companies to collect all relevant data in a media-neutral manner in a single location, where it can be maintained, enriched, and updated. This enables secure and efficient product data management — not only for internal company use but for all relevant public marketing channels and partners.
Businesses can automatically connect the PIM system with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and an integrated Digital Asset Management (DAM), designed to manage and track all associated image and media data. Such an approach ensures that all product information is accurate, consistent, and can be published at any time. This applies to various sales channels including the company's online shop, retail platforms and marketplaces, and social media networks.
PIM originated in the context of catalog management by combining product information for the creation of printed and electronic catalogs. Today's systems, on the other hand, offer much more comprehensive options in product data management. And there is already a next stage of development: so-called Product Experience Management. Product content is not only highly tailored to specific applications but is also presented dynamically and in real-time, according to the context of the respective target group. This ensures the best possible customer experience.
Why do I need a PIM system? — possible applications
The great strength of a PIM system lies in ensuring a consistent product experience across all sales channels, even with comprehensive and complex product portfolios. Given that up to 73% of customers use multiple channels during their shopping journey, the demand for consistency is clear. But with a PIM system as the central source for your product data, you can easily share it with various channels and marketplaces. At the same time, information about product updates and launches can be quickly pushed out to all channels, significantly reducing time-to-market.
PIM enables your business to go well beyond the basics of simple product data to differentiate itself from the competition. Thus, a PIM system is essential when you aspire to:
- Optimize marketing and sales strategies for your products
- Improve customer confidence with reliable information
- Expedite time-to-market efforts
- Significantly streamline your product data management process
The capabilities of a PIM system extend well beyond systems like ERP, DAM, CMS, and ecommerce platforms. PIM acts as a central hub, connecting all these systems and other channels to help businesses market products more effectively, simplify internal processes, and use resources efficiently. Companies with complex product structures, numerous variants, or an extensive product catalog — ranging from several thousand to even hundreds of thousands of SKUs — can benefit significantly from a PIM system.