PIM Platforms

If you're a consumer goods business, you likely have tons of products and relevant information scattered throughout different servers, hard drives, and networks. Fortunately, you don't have to keep hunting down individual product data whenever you need it. Instead, you can rely on product information management programs to handle the details for you.

But what are PIM platforms? How do they work? Let's break down everything you need to know about PIM and look at the top 10 PIM software solutions available.

Product Information Management Defined

Product information management is the process of managing data about different products in a single, centralized location. Because individual products can have so many data points and materials, it's necessary to manage everything as efficiently as possible. Otherwise, it can be nearly impossible for users to find what they need and ensure each piece is current and up-to-date.

The Main Goal of Product Information Management

So, what is PIM used for? The primary purpose of product information management software is to make it easier for organizations to create and curate content data about individual products. This information can include everything from SKUs and size dimensions to color options, marketing materials, tutorial videos, photos, and more.

Centralizing each data point makes it much easier to keep everything up-to-date, and it allows the product information manager to control access to the system. This way, each new piece can be approved, and it's much easier to update information (i.e., new colors or out-of-stock notifications) and have it take hold company-wide.

When evaluating different PIM tools in market, one feature you should also look at is digital asset management (DAM). Digital assets are often elements necessary to market or sell a particular product, and each item may have dozens of unique assets associated with it.

The best PIM solution is one that offers both back-end product data and front-end asset management. This way, multiple departments can utilize the same system. For example, the marketing team can add or use digital assets, while the sales team can use both assets and product details to close deals with potential customers. Similarly, the customer service team can use the system to provide accurate information for new clients.

Breaking Down the Product Information Management System

So far, we've answered the question, "What is PIM software used for?" However, now let's break down how the software works specifically so you can evaluate different PIM software examples better.

Right now, you may be using a patchwork of different systems and storage options to handle product information and digital assets. For example, marketing materials may be in Google Drive while specific product descriptions, SKUs, and dimensions may be in a spreadsheet. Having different details in multiple places can create various problems, such as inaccurate data, disorganized folders, and complex access permissions.

An all-in-one PIM solution alleviates these headaches by creating a centralized server where everything can live. When setting up PIM software, your company will import all digital assets and product data to the system. During this migration period, you can incorporate tags for individual products or digital assets. These tags make everything searchable, so it's easier for users to find what they need.

For example, the system may list information about a single product, and any assets connected to that product (tutorial videos, photos, pamphlets, white papers, etc.) will also appear.

The other advantage of having everything in a single system is that you can appoint a product information and/or digital asset manager. This manager can control permissions and oversee the entire system. This way, it's much easier to work with third-party companies (like marketing agencies) and ensure that every detail is up-to-date.

For example, let's say that a product is no longer in stock, but a suitable replacement is available for customers. The product information manager can update the system so anyone looking for the out-of-stock product will be redirected to the replacement. When using multiple solutions and servers, it's easy to overlook this change, meaning that users may still be marketing or selling the out-of-stock item by accident.

Who Uses PIM Software?

The top industries that can get the most out of a PIM solution include manufacturers, retailers, distributors, wholesalers, and any other business that manages or sells many unique products. Within the company, the marketing or sales teams often own and manage PIM programs. Sometimes, a business may have a dedicated product information department that would oversee the PIM instead.

However, while one department may be in charge of the system, users from across the company would still have access. Managers, customer service reps, and executives may all need product information for various purposes, and they can all access the same centralized server.

Again, a product information manager should be in charge of the system to ensure that everything is up-to-date. The manager can also control permissions, especially if the company works with a third-party vendor on a project. If too many people have administrative access, it's easy for data to become inaccurate or disorganized.

The PIM Competitive Landscape

By now, you may be wondering, "What is an example of a PIM?" There are many PIM software companies out there, each offering similar services. Here's a rundown of the top PIM platforms available today:

  • Salsify PIM

  • Acquia PIM

  • Akeneo PIM

  • Plytix PIM

  • Inriver PIM

  • Pimcore PIM

  • Pimberly PIM

  • LumavateSyndigo PIM

While all of these product information system examples are good, many of them are limited to product information management only. This means they don't offer extra solutions like digital asset management or digital experiences (turning assets into interactive engagement).

Lumavate is the best PIM software because it handles everything from a single dashboard. With Lumavate, you can centralize all of your digital assets and product information, and use the digital experience platform to create better, more engaging marketing materials. This way, you don't have to rely on multiple programs with multiple logins—you can do everything in a simple, streamlined system.

PIM Costs

In many cases, you can get PIM software free, either as a free trial or a freemium model. While free PIM software may sound appealing, it's often very limited. For example, you may only be able to manage a few dozen products, not hundreds or thousands of items. If you have a small company, you may be able to utilize free PIM solutions for a while, but you'll have to upgrade to a paid version eventually.

Some PIM programs charge based on the number of products in your system, while others have a flat rate. Typically, for larger companies, an "enterprise-level" solution can cost thousands of dollars per month. Also, you have to contact the company to get pricing, which can be kind of a hassle when comparing different options.

Lumavate has transparent pricing that stays at $499 per month. You can incorporate as many products as you need, and you still get digital asset management and our world-class digital experience platform included. On average, Lumavate is about 75 percent cheaper than the competition while offering more services and a more user-friendly interface.

How Do I Choose a PIM?

Because there are so many PIM solutions, evaluating them all can seem a bit overwhelming. So, here are some questions to ask when comparing different programs.

What Functionality Do You Need?

When running your business, you should already know where you're experiencing hassles and pain points. For example, maybe you're struggling to keep all product information up-to-date. Whenever a product's details change, you must update multiple systems, including your websitelanding pages, and social profiles.

Similarly, you may have issues with different teams creating their own product information systems. When this happens, the data in each system can mismatch, leading to customer service problems down the line. For example, if the sales team is using old product data, they may be selling something that's no longer available, leading to refunds or irate clients.

So, it's crucial to understand your current pain points and anticipate where issues may arise in the future. Are you trying to expand your product line and grow into new markets? If so, you want to build a solid foundation now to avoid larger headaches later on.

What Other Systems Do You Need to Integrate With?

Managing product information is only one piece of the puzzle. If you're marketing and selling these products to other businesses or consumers, you have to use multiple programs across different departments.

Ideally, your PIM solution will be able to integrate with everything. For example, if you use CRM software to handle customer support, you may want to integrate product data. This way, it's easier to resell or upsell accessories and other products based on the customer's purchase history.

Some PIM programs have built-in integration capabilities, while others don't. Overall, the more seamless your PIM can fit into your company's infrastructure, the easier it will be for everyone to use it effectively.

How Will the Product Information Be Used?

Storing product data serves multiple purposes because users from different departments must rely on this data for unique reasons. For example, the marketing department needs accurate product information to create various marketing materials (like product descriptions, landing pages, pamphlets, and how-to videos).

The sales department needs accurate product data to sell the item to a prospective customer. This way, if the customer has questions about a product's size, color, or functionality, the salesperson can offer up-to-date answers. Similarly, the customer service department has to make sure they know everything about a product if there's ever an issue.

Overall, knowing who will use product information and why will help inform you on which PIM solution will work best for your company.

What's Your Budget?

As mentioned, some PIM solutions can cost thousands of dollars per month, especially if you have hundreds or thousands of products in your sales inventory. However, you may not have that kind of budget, so you have to focus your attention on more affordable options.

Unfortunately, many cheap or free PIM programs offer limited functionality, so you may save money upfront but waste time and resources later on because of an inefficient or ineffective solution. That said, because Lumavate is so affordable, it can often work for any budget, no matter how constrained.

What is Your Timeline for Implementing a PIM Solution?

One of the biggest challenges of incorporating a PIM system into your business is the time and energy required to get it up and running. The migration period can take a while (depending on how many products and assets you have), and that doesn't include training for staff members.

Complicated PIM software can take weeks or months or implement, which could derail your business in the interim. So, you need something that's fast and easy, both for migration and user training. This way, you can minimize disruptions both during the transition and afterward as each team adapts to the new program.

In every metric, Lumavate is often the best PIM software, regardless of your company size or scope. Lumavate offers over 40 integrations, is extremely user-friendly, and offers fast and accurate migration solutions. Overall, you can incorporate Lumavate into your back-end in much less time for less money than most other PIM programs out there.

Why You Need More Than a PIM

While product information management is important, it's only one component within your company. Realistically, you need other tools and solutions to market and sell your products, even if you're selling to other businesses and retailers.

For example, you need software that allows your marketing team to create and manage various digital assets for each product. This way, it's much easier to incorporate different products into campaigns.

Speaking of marketing, if you can use a PIM solution that also offers interactive user experiences, you can boost engagement with your audience and build better brand awareness.

While you can use multiple programs to handle every part of your marketing and sales process, it's much easier to use an all-in-one solution. This way, you don't have to manage multiple logins, and you know that each component will integrate seamlessly with the next. By creating different software silos within your organization, you can create bottlenecks and pain points that will only worsen over time.

What Lumavate Offers

Lumavate is a product experience management (PXM) system. This means the software includes three primary solutions in a single system:

  • Product Information Management

  • Digital Asset Management

  • Digital Experience Platform

Additionally, Lumavate offers SMS messaging (built-in) and more than 40 out-of-the-box integrations. Basically, Lumavate has everything you need to manage and sell your products more effectively. From a single dashboard, you can create targeted marketing campaigns about specific products or product lines.

Plus, because Lumavate is so user-friendly, employees from every department can access and utilize the system with minimal training. Overall, you can get your entire company up and running with Lumavate in a matter of days, not weeks.

How to Get Started With Lumavate

The best way to start with Lumavate is to start a free 14-day trial. This way, you can see how the program works from the back-end and discover how easy it is to migrate products and develop marketing campaigns for them.

Once you've tried Lumavate and want to pull the trigger, you can choose from multiple subscription options. The starter package works best for SMBs, offering unlimited product listings and digital asset storage. However, if you need to upgrade to a more comprehensive subscription, we can also help you there. Best of all, our pricing is fully transparent, so you know exactly how much you'll spend before talking with us.

Onboarding happens the same day you sign up, and you don't need any technical or programming knowledge to start implementing the software. While you can start integration internally, we can help during the transition to ensure nothing is overlooked or left behind.

Contact Lumavate today to start your free trial!

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.