How Do I Choose a PIM System?

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by Lumavate | Last Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Product Information Management or PIM systems help organizations of all sizes manage their product information. Product information is more than catalog entries or product specifications. It can include images, videos, SKUs, pricing, owner’s manuals, dimensions, and much more.

However, disparate sources of information often go unverified, making accuracy a problem. Accessibility is also a challenge, with 80 percent of businesses estimating that over half of their data is unstructured. Unstructured data refers to information that does not conform to a predetermined data model, making it difficult to manage and retrieve.

For example, Sam remembers reviewing a write-up on a new product, but he can't locate it on the document server. Because text is unstructured data, Sam can't query a database. He must hunt through file directories, hoping to hit the right keyword to retrieve the file. If Sam's employer had a product information management (PIM) system, he could access unstructured data as quickly as querying a structured database.

What Does PIM Mean?

PIM systems centralize product information. They simplify the storing, updating, and managing of data. PIM tools enable multiple users to collaborate to ensure accurate product information and quickly retrieve documents, videos, images, and other unstructured data. Most PIM systems integrate with other solutions, such as customer relationship and enterprise resource management software.

PIMs create a single source of truth for organizations. With a PIM, manufacturers can ensure all sales and marketing channels receive consistent and accurate information. Service departments can rely on the data stored in a PIM solution when helping customers. A robust PIM solution includes more than the structured data in spreadsheets. It includes:

PIMs with built-in Digital Asset Management (DAM) capabilities allow manufacturers to maximize digital data such as videos, recordings, and images.

Why Do I Need a PIM?

Does your organization have a website, issue product catalogs, or launch marketing campaigns? Are you looking to improve your omnichannel experiences and develop more personalized interactions? If so, you need a PIM.

With PIM software, manufacturers centralize product information for improved accuracy across all channels. Customers receive the same personalized experiences from their mobile device, tablet, or computer. Employees spend less time hunting for information or correcting inaccurate data. They are free to engage in higher-value tasks that increase productivity and encourage innovation.

Omnichannel Experiences

Customers expect brands to remember them regardless of the channel. If they start a conversation on a mobile device, they expect a website chatbot to know what was discussed. When customers receive conflicting information from different channels, they lose confidence in the brand.

Meeting expectations is challenging for most brands as they lack a central repository of product information. Customer service may use one set of documents while sales another. Marketing may use a third source for their campaigns. PIMs make managing digital product content possible.

Single Source of Truth

The best PIM software organizes product data while ensuring the accuracy of the information throughout its lifecycle. Outdated information can be removed to maintain data quality. With a single repository, employees function more efficiently when creating customer-facing materials.

Employees learn to trust PIM Information on replacement parts and troubleshooting. Purchasing can order replacement parts when inventory is low, and customer support staff can guide customers through problem resolution.

Better Marketing

PIM with built-in DAM capabilities gives marketing the tools to manage digital assets. Combining images and videos into social media posting can help engage customers. Marketers can create different materials for the same product for A/B testing.

How Do I Choose a PIM System?

The global product information management software market is projected to reach $75.23 billion by 2032, with a compound annual growth rate of 20.2 percent. The rapid growth means more companies may enter the space, adding to an already overwhelming set of choices. InRiver PIM, Stibo Systems, Lumavate, and Salsify PIM are just a few examples of the top PIM solutions in today's market.

With the growing number of PIM solutions, consider the following questions when evaluating PIM tools in market availability.

What Functionality Do You Need?

Digital asset management (DAM) may be essential if your brand uses digital information such as videos and images. DAM capabilities make adding visual interest to marketing materials or customizing presentations easier. If your company uses print media, make sure the PIM software can output print files.

What Systems Do You Need to Integrate With?

Product information does not exist in isolation. It should be shared across an enterprise. PIM solutions may need to integrate with ERPs, CRMs, accounting packages, and websites. Make sure the system supports APIs for smoother connectivity.

How Will the Product Information Be Used?

Product data can be used to create custom packaging, appear on websites, or add to a customer presentation. Before deciding on a solution, set priorities for the types of information you have and want to produce.

What Type of Budget is Defined for This Initiative?

Cost is always a consideration. Some solutions may charge by the number of users. Determining the number of users before looking at products can help decide on a PIM platform. Also, consider product information solutions offered as a service (SaaS), as they may offer a subscription model that reduces the up-front costs for a PIM solution.

What is Your Timeline for Implementing a Solution?

Establishing a timeline starts with evaluating your data. Because product information is at the heart of the best PIM software, you need to assess what information is ready, what needs to be updated, and what is obsolete. Your team will need to decide what material is essential for which channels.

How Much Does a PIM System Cost?

The cost of a PIM solution depends on the system. Some PIM platforms may operate in-house, while others function as a PIM SaaS. Plytix PIM and Salsify PIM are examples of PIM SaaS solutions that charge a subscription fee for the use of their platform. For the truly adventurous, there's even an open-source option (Pimcore) that requires in-house programmers to customize and maintain. Of these PIM software examples, Lumavate is often the preferred choice.

Lumavate is one of the best PIM software 2023 platforms because it offers more than just a PIM. It is a Product Experience Management (PXM) solution that incorporates DAM functionality with a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) for a comprehensive solution. Customers can centralize their product information and manage their digital assets from a single platform. Schedule a demo to learn more about Lumavate's PIM solution.

See Lumavate in Action

Meet with one of our experts to see how easy it is to centralize your product data, manage digital assets, and create digital product experiences. Trust us…you’re going to be wowed.