PIM is short for Product Information Management and offers companies significant benefits, such as higher e-commerce conversion rates, consistent product data, and efficient data delivery to digital touchpoints. PIM systems are specialized software solutions that consolidate, enrich, and deliver product information via one central platform.
With Product Information Management, companies are able to provide detailed product information – based on target audiences and communication channels – and therefore can address customers individually . This allows targeting customers with relevant product information, which results in higher conversion rates and increased sales.
For many companies inconsistencies in product information continue to cause high abandonment rates in the customer journey. Due to the multitude of touchpoints (e.g. email newsletter, social media post, online stores), a customer has multiple touchpoints filled with – oftentimes inconsistent – product information before a purchase decision is made. With PIM companies can eliminate disruptions and information discrepancies caused by the use of multiple touchpoints along the customer journey. With PIM they are able to provide a seamless experience for their customers.
With PIM, companies ensure the dimensions of data quality (consistency, correctness, timeliness, completeness, relevance, comprehensibility). A PIM system transmits product information to connected customer touchpoint systems (e.g., email marketing systems, social media management systems, content management systems) and thus ensures consistent product presentation throughout the customer journey. This gives the customer a real and complete impression of the product even before the purchase. Cost and effort drivers such as order errors, service calls, and returns can be significantly reduced.
Historically, product data is often distributed in different systems (e.g. ERP system, CMS system, InDesign files of print advertising materials), which causes inconsistent databases. In addition, stakeholders have to spend immense effort on searching for the product information they need.
With a PIM system, product information is centralized for the first time and made available to relevant stakeholders. This “single point of truth” creates a complete and up-to-date digital image of the physical product. Thanks to PIM marketing, sales, and customer service can access the up-to-date data set for their individual use cases without having to spend time searching.
New product launches are often associated with time-consuming product introductions that can keep the development, marketing, and sales teams occupied for several months. In countless, uncoordinated coordination rounds, e-mails and print documents, databases are exchanged, advertising materials for each channel are created and corrected in feedback loops, until the new product can finally be presented at trade fairs or in the online shop.
PIM as an enterprise discipline finally ensures an end-to-end product data management workflow. The process includes creating the product in development, preparing the promotion in marketing, localizing and translating the product information for other countries, and making it available to sales and service channels. Such a PIM workflow ensures well-defined processes, roles and responsibilities across the organization, accelerating product launches and internationalization.
Multi-level sales and the emergence of online marketplaces make the preparation and delivery of product information mandatory step. Until now, retailers, online stores and marketplaces have often been supplied with product data manually. Entire teams spend time and effort preparing, transforming, and delivering product information to various stakeholders. Often Excel is the tool used for this process.
PIM systems allow to individually manage output structures according to each target channel (e.g. retailer, marketplace). PIM enables the direct maintainance of the required assortments, product data, and data transformations. This gives companies full visibility into externally provided product data and the ability to connect to new channels, retailers, and marketplaces much faster.
There are numerous PIM systems on the market with a wide variety of features and applications. Which system meets your needs?
Take a look at 33 of the most popular tools with our vendor selection.