Best Product Information Management Software
Product Information Management (PIM) is a system or software used by businesses to manage, organize, and enrich product information. Quality information has become a vital business standard, and it can provide a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Clients and users are much more loyal to brands that offer truth, authenticity, and valuable data on offerings and solutions.
PIM is not merely a system; it acts like connective tissue that ties the organization into one flourishing organism. In this comprehensive guide, we'll answer questions related to product information management software and provide many examples of PIM software.
We will also dive into critical information on choosing a PIM and the criteria to base your decisions on, depending on your circumstances - including product information system examples. Join us as we unlock the doors toward more efficient product information management.
What Is the Purpose of a PIM?
Before we explore what a PIM does, we must first understand what a PIM software truly is and answer "What is product information management software?". PIM software centralize product data, including descriptions, specifications, images, pricing, and other details, making it easier to maintain consistency across various sales channels like e-commerce websites, catalogs, and marketing materials.
What Is the Main Use of PIM Software
While it is true that a PIM solution is a single source of truth, it does much more than just warehouse information for later use. An excellent PIM extends its grasp beyond the product data to encompass any digital assets your brand may use. This means you can store captivating photos, user manuals, sheets with product specs, and even instructional "how-to" videos for customers.
The scope of a PIM is broadened when many different teams and stakeholders need access to information, so it is touted for its collaborative prowess. Typically, data specific to each team is soloed, meaning it is difficult to access at a moment's notice without the proper team member disseminating the information.
A great example is the design team needing the most updated spec sheets. In contrast, marketing needs access to high-quality photos to send to an account manager for customer satisfaction, pitches, and potential contracts. This can be achieved all in one PIM solution!
What Does a PIM Solution Do?
The best PIM software does many different things while maintaining the elegance and simplicity of a centralized solution. PIM tools in market today standardize product information, facilitate updates, enrich content, and ensure consistency, which fosters better customer experiences and efficient marketing operations.Teams within an organization have different objectives, rules, and compliance standards that they must adhere to, and not everyone requires the same amount of information.
PIM is a centralized source of truth that invites collaboration and integration within the brand. Sales and marketing can coordinate with the information provided on the PIM software and get further clarity on what they can advertise or not from different parts of the organization. The design team can weigh in on specifications, videos, manuals, and guides, while the manufacturing team can describe the critical components of the product.
The compliance team can review all information and ensure it meets regulatory requirements for marketing efforts, adherence to specific build-out requirements, and how to deploy the product in the end game best.
Who Uses PIM Software?
PIM software can be used by an organization that is looking to improve the organization of its product data and information. Some of the best use cases include the manufacturing industry.
It's not uncommon for manufacturers to get lost in a wide array of product information issues scattered across file folders, spreadsheets, excel documents, or even worse - individual desktops and hard drives. Fragmented data silos are the enemy of efficient work processes, as they increase the amount of work and re-work necessary to find lost troves of information.
Here are three of the most essential advantages that compel brands to use a PIM software solution:
Centralized Data Repository: PIM is the nucleus that consolidates all product data into a centralized repository. This singular source streamlines accessibility, encouraging a cohesive ecosystem and ecosystem for managing and updating product information.
Brand Consistency: Maintaining brand integrity is critical when you want users to trust your brand as an authority. The best PIM solution ensures consistency across product information, eliminating discrepancies from decentralized data management.
Collaborative Data Management: The communal nature of PIM allows multiple users within the organization to engage in real-time data management. This enhances efficiency and ensures the most accurate and current information is readily available.
PIM Components and Functionality
A PIM is a singular source of truth, but it does have as many components as you need. PIM software companies design their baseline solution to have some core functionalities, which can include:
Product Descriptions: In-depth details define the heart and soul of each of your products.
Pricing Information: There are various pricing models, including a tiered or solo approach.
Features and Benefits: A comprehensive repository detailing each product's distinctive features and associated benefits.
Dimensions: This can include precise measurements that comply with regulators or beautiful features that can be highlighted in sales copy.
The best PIM software solutions combine these functionalities with built-in Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality - which can help companies accommodate various digital assets that can integrate or replace the need for some tangible solutions.
A DAM integration with your PIM can store product images, spec sheets, troubleshooting guides, and videos - but it also helps to update these assets in real-time, making it easier to post to websites and social media channels.
What Is an Example of PIM?
A PIM is a comprehensive solution that uses simplicity and organization to provide a "one-stop-shop" for everything related to product information, whether tangible or digital. A common question is, "Does Adobe have a PIM solution?"
While Adobe is still widely recognized worldwide as a way to print, illustrate, and create using InDesign and PhotoShop, it cannot match the quality of PIM functionality. The various content creation and management tools are handy, but many organizations quickly outgrow Adobe, especially those with particular needs or large volumes to work with.
PIM systems are known for data organization and faster release of product information throughout the company, regardless of the size. Creative components can make isolated tasks more accessible, but managing, accessing, updating, and disclosing the data must be streamlined throughout the organization.
PIM solutions, especially those with DAM integrations, can provide large databases for descriptions, images, galleries, reviews, product accessories, and even replacement parts. This maximizes its utility and reinforces the ideal of a centralized source of truth.
What Is the Best PIM Software?
Many things make a top 10 PIM software do what it ultimately does. The competitive landscape is highly diverse, and many other solutions are available. Each PIM software listed below has its merits and makes an excellent home for other brands - depending on their needs. Here are some of the most prominent PIM software examples on the market:
Akeneo is known for its user-friendly and open-source PIM solution.
It focuses on helping businesses efficiently manage and enrich their product information.
Catsy offers a PIM platform that enables your business to organize and syndicate product information across various channels.
It emphasizes streamlining the process of maintaining and distributing accurate product data.
Plytix provides a PIM solution with a focus on being flexible and straightforward.
It offers features for managing and distributing product information effectively.
Acquia offers a PIM solution to enhance content management and digital experiences.
It can integrate PIM functionalities into a broader suite of tools for a more comprehensive content management scope.
Inriver is recognized for its PIM platform that facilitates creating, enriching, and distributing product information.
This PIM often targets players who have extensive data and product information management requirements with complex features.
Salsify focuses on providing a cloud-based PIM solution for optimizing product content management.
It aims to empower businesses to deliver compelling and consistent product experiences.
Sales Layer PIM:
Sales Layer specializes in PIM solutions, emphasizing real-time collaboration and data syndication.
It offers features to enhance the efficiency of managing product information across the organization.
Pimcore is an open-source PIM platform known for its balanced approach.
It combines PIM with other digital experience management functionalities for a holistic solution.
Lumavate's PIM solution is part of its broader Product Experience Management (PXM) Platform.
It provides marketers with tools to centralize product data, manage digital assets, and create engaging digital product experiences.
It is a cost-effective solution that combines and integrates various functionalities.
Ideal for companies that prefer versatility without spending copious amounts of time on training and onboarding.
How Do I Choose a PIM?
Selecting a suitable PIM is a personal decision that must be made with the utmost care and confidence. It will include all gatekeepers and decision-makers in your organization and should please all stakeholders. Thankfully, PIM software is always suitable for the job, as everyone in the organization will have a "place" to call their own within the PIM, acting as a repository for team members who need to access in-house information.
Granting them correct access to any other channels needed for their development efforts is also critical for choosing the suitable PIM. Here are some other questions you should consider when implementing a PIM solution:
What Are My Functional Needs?
Start by evaluating the functionalities needed in a product information management software. It's best to start with your core requirements and add the "bells and whistles" as you go down the list. For example, some PIMs listed focus only on product data management, a baseline and fundamental requirement that your company may share with others.
PIM software solutions such as Lumavate include a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) solution that combines the benefits of a DAM and PIM into a complete Product Experience Management platform that gives you a full range of use and control.
Do I Have Specific Integration Requirements?
Although a PIM functions as a single source of truth, it is unsuitable to be an island within your organization, especially if you have requirements beyond product management and digital experiences. For example, certain compliance and regulatory software, design software, and marketing solutions should be reviewed for integration.
You may have specific third-party software that cannot be integrated. In this case, a complete PXM platform can offer various solutions that are already built in to make up for any shortfalls in integration.
How Will My Team Use Product Information?
Product information can be stored anywhere; the trick is to review it for its use cases and needs. Different PIM solutions offer a mix of capabilities. Still, at its core, they should be designed to handle every single function related to product information in your organization and team.
PIM software can synchronize websites, sales resources, catalogs, and even events to the software and can be reviewed anytime before deployment or posting on different channels. Lumavate, for example, integrates with its own DXP, simplifying website creation and introducing "digital experiences" that make your products come to life for its users.
What Is Our Company's Budget?
Budgets are significant when implementing any solution, not just a PIM. Of course, it is always best to conduct your due diligence and market research before creating a budget so that you know what you have to work with.
PIM software ranges anywhere from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands, making it difficult to establish a budget. Many PIM solutions do not post their pricing on their websites or sales material, opting to first meet with you and price accordingly to your needs and size.
Lumavate is a cost-effective choice that displays pricing on the page and is touted for being 75 percent more budget-friendly than any other solution while maintaining a highly versatile and balanced functionality.
When Should This Be Up and Running?
The timeline for implementation on a new project is always tricky to establish, as many different variables are at play. Of course, the answer is always "ASAP," but it must be adopted and onboarded properly before initial implementation.
Free trials are a great way to start adoption and implementation with virtually no risk. They can familiarize key users with functionality before developing a pilot program to try out within your team. This can significantly speed up integrating the PIM into your ecosystem.
How Much Does a PIM System Cost?
As mentioned earlier, budget considerations should be made after extensive research and due diligence to determine what you and your brand require to get started. A significant obstacle in this journey is the lack of clarity on pricing throughout the market, with some PIMs costing well over $100,000 per month and delivering features that you may not be able to take full advantage of.
Lumavate shows its cards before playing them, adopting a pricing strategy that is clear from the get-go. The comprehensive PXM platform starts at just $499 per month and is 75 percent more cost-effective than any of the mentioned PIMs (and others!) while providing out-of-the-box robust functionality.
The Best PIM Software 2023 and Beyond: Lumavate
Establishing a competitive edge in the current landscape is extremely difficult, especially without an organized approach to coordinating your entire organization's efforts. A brand's recognition is based on the level of service it can provide to its customers - which starts at home.
Clear and concise information on the products and solutions within the company must be stored in a single, backed-up repository to become a beacon of truth in a world of uncertainty. Choosing the right PIM solution is a comprehensive and strategic decision that impacts numerous channels and facets within your organization while still needing to provide this level of service without breaking the bank.
Lumavate offers effective and efficient product information management and a complete DXP platform that can create and enhance digital experiences for your users and workforce to have your products stand out. Collaboration between decision-makers, marketing, sales, distribution, design, manufacturing, and compliance is virtually made seamless by having a focal point for your data to flow.
Lumavate is your comprehensive solution that offers cost-effective functionality and robust features that are easy to learn and even easier to implement. Book a Demo with the Lumavate team today to witness and experience firsthand how the power of the DXP can elevate your product experiences and resonate with your audience and team.
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