Last Updated: Mar 6, 2023
Product Information Management
Data powers everything we do. It informs us of who our customers are, provides insights into the effectiveness of our marketing efforts, and provides more information about products.
We live in a world where we have access to almost any kind of data, which can be a double-edged sword for some organizations. Having access to a ton of information is great, however, if an organization doesn’t have a well-thought-out system to manage its data, it can stunt product and increase an organization’s speed-to-market.
According to Gartner, poor data quality costs organizations an average of $15 million per year. This statistic is not insignificant and could be detrimental to some organizations.
Having disparate or bad data can be detrimental to an organization. Here are some challenges business face when using traditional or outdated product information systems:
- Duplicate data
- Extremely repetitive and manual tasks
- Data gaps
- Incorrect data
But here’s the good news: there’s a better way organizations can manage their product information.
It’s called a Product Information Management (PIM) solution and this software is instrumental in enabling organizations to manage and organize their data in powerful ways.
What Is Product Information?
Product information is any data related to a specific item. Let’s take a look at an example of what product information an appliance brand would want to display to customers who were interested in purchasing a refrigerator for their homes:
- Product Description
- Product Manual
- Type of Refrigerator
- Product Images
- Related Products such as parts and accessories
That’s a lot of data to manage for a global appliance brand selling multiple variations of this type of product with additional product lines available. If this organization doesn’t have a digital strategy to store, manage, and update this data, it could be detrimental to the business.
What Are Information Management Tools?
Information tools are platforms that allow businesses to store data of all sorts of data. Information tools that help a company organize
In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of companies that have developed product-related information tools. The Product Information Management (PIM) market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.2 percent by 2027. A trend toward a more digitally-focused world from both consumers and brands have played a huge role in this increase in market share.
Since 2020, consumer behavior has shifted to be more digitally focused. Consumers prefer to conduct their research online when shopping for a product. According to a Mckinsey report, digital shopping has increased in every category, with the largest increases in household supplies and personal-care products.
In addition to the gravitation toward online shopping, consumers also prefer their interactions with brands to be digital. What does this mean? It means less printed material and more digital experiences like mobile apps, landing pages, microsites, etc.
Product companies MUST keep up with consumers' preferences moving towards digital. Adding a PIM to your tech stack can help move the needle forward for your brand.
How Is Product Information Management Different From Content Management System?
Product information and content related to a product share similarities, but use different systems to manage the two assets. As an example, the product information we listed above regarding the refrigerator (i.e. product description, price, SKUs) would use a platform called a Product Information Management (PIM) solution to organize and store the data. Content related to a product (i.e. images, manuals, videos, etc.) would be stored in a platform called a content management system, otherwise known as a CMS.
Both of these platforms are essentially a repository for information and digital assets. Both need a front-end, like a digital experience platform, to display the assets in a manner where customers can access the data and content on a smartphone, computer, or even tablet.
What Is PIM Software?
Gartner defines PIM software as vendors who, “Provide product, commerce, and marketing teams with the ability to create and maintain an approved shareable version of rich product content.”
PIM software enables organizations to better manage their product data in one, centralized location. Depending on how the organization is structured, product data can be organized in many different ways. A company may choose to sort its product information based on various characteristics, end-users, and other attributes, while another company might have a completely different way of thinking about how its data is organized.
Who Uses a PIM?
Product information managers and product managers are the primary users for entering product data into a PIM. While marketing, sales, and customer support teams are often the biggest users of this product data in their efforts to market, sell, and service the products. Using a PIM drastically improves the efficiency and quality of multiple roles within an organization.
Why Use a PIM?
Why would companies use a PIM if they have been maintaining the status quo for years using traditional methods? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits associated with PIM solutions:
- Shorten Speed-to-Market - Add your product information and assets in a matter of minutes with no IT or development support required.
- Empower Multiple Users - Product management no longer has to fall on the shoulders of one person when using a PIM. You can enable multiple team members to update and manage data.
- Single Source of Truth - When using a PIM, your team has one centralized location to edit, manage, and view product information, meaning no more conflicting data or having to track down gaps in your data.
- Increase Sales - Accelerate your revenue growth by recommending relevant products, prompting related parts and accessories, and more.
- Deliver Dynamic Digital Experiences - If the PIM you are using is connected to a digital experience platform (DXP) or integrates to one, then your team can quickly create data-driven digital experiences to showcase your products for a wide variety of use cases with real-time product information.
The best PIM Solutions have all of the benefits we just listed out included in their platform. But it’s important to learn how to discern which PIM tools in the market make the most sense for your organization.
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PIM applications are not all created equal. Some PIM software companies offer features that others do not. Some PIM solutions are designed for different industries or roles which can all be a deciding factor in which solution your organization invests in. That’s why taking a look at the PIM Solutions Gartner Magic Quadrant report can be helpful to determine how various PIM solutions stack up.
The Gartner PIM Magic Quadrant is broken up into four different areas: Challengers, Leaders, Niche Players, and Visionaries. Each area provides insights into where a PIM solution is best positioned for the market.
While using this report can be helpful to begin a search for finding the right PIM solution for your business, it’s important to evaluate the options in additional ways. For example, a business user may visit a company directory, like G2 to read reviews on various PIM solutions to see things like ease-of-use, customer reviews, features, and more. A business user may extend their research to visit each solution’s website to further narrow down the options by requesting a demo or taking a product tour. There are many different avenues to help business users find the best PIM software solution for their organization.
We discussed how a business user may choose to evaluate a PIM solution. Now let’s take a look at some examples of PIM software companies:
- Plytix PIM
- Akeneo PIM
How Much Does a PIM System Cost?
Prices for each of these PIM application examples listed above will vary to a certain degree. For those budget-conscious individuals out there asking “Is PIM software free?”, the answer is yes, but it depends. The best PIM solutions are worth the investment, but there are some PIM examples that have free pricing tiers. For example, Plytix PIM offers a free solution for its software. Based on G2 reviews, customers have stated that the Plytix free subscription to the platform offers basic features, is slow to update, and is easily outgrown by the needs of the organization.
While some of the PIM solutions listed above have a free tier, many of the solutions require an interested party to request more information about pricing - except for Lumavate.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to manage your company’s product data, Lumavate is the better choice. We make our pricing extremely transparent, so you can see how much our solution is without having to book a meeting.
Lumavate’s PIM solution is built to meet the needs of your business. With Lumavate’s PIM, users can:
- Multiple Product Types - Utilize Product Types to distinguish products from parts and accessories or product lines from different business units or brands.
- Unlimited Products - Create a product record for every single product or SKU you offer.
- Digital Asset Management - Centralize the management of your product images, documents, videos, and more tied directly to each product record.
- Unlimited Custom Attributes - Quickly add custom attributes for each Product Type to align with your product data and related digital assets.
- Product Relationships - Relate products to one another to drive increased revenue from upsells, cross-sells, bundles, parts, accessories, and more.
- Change Log - Track product record changes made by any system user.
- Integrate to Existing Systems - Connect your existing data and content tech stack to create a unified product record.
- Unlimited Users - Enable multiple users in your business to create and manage product data and related digital assets.
- Drive Dynamic Digital Experiences - Launch data-driven digital experiences that always display the most up-to-date product information.
Take a look at how Lumavate’s PIM solution can work for your brand to unify your product data and marketing, sales, and customer support resources and empower collaboration across your business.
Get Started with the Best PIM Software
So, what is the best PIM software for your business? Lumavate’s PIM solution is built to help organizations take control of their product data and manage it more easily. Because Lumavate is a digital experience platform and has its own PIM solution, we make it extremely simple to deliver digital experiences for your products. Let’s take a look at some ways various industries can harness the power of Lumavate’s DXP and PIM functionality.
Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)
Product launches are a common thing in this industry. For example, food and beverage brands launch several new products a year. That’s a lot of product information to keep track of. When using Lumavate as their DXP and PIM solutions, product managers of the food and beverage brand can store all of their new and existing product data within the PIM. When it comes time for the marketing team to create a digital experience for the product launch, like a landing page, the marketing team can easily populate the digital experience with the information they know is 100 percent accurate.
When dealing with an issue related to their products, consumers do not want to spend hours researching local repair technicians to help solve their problems, nor do they want to spend hours on hold waiting for customer support. Creating a digital product information experience alleviates this headache for consumers. When using this type of digital experience, marketing teams can pull in the product manual and warranty information associated with the product found in the PIM. This type of moment in the customer journey helps boost the customer experience and turns customers into life-long advocates if they know they have a positive experience with a brand when trying to troubleshoot an issue.
Product Guides and Catalogs
Product guides are outdated almost immediately when they’re sent off to the printer due to factors like pricing changes. Using traditional product guides is not inexpensive for companies when you consider printing and shipping costs. Manufacturing companies can store all of the data related to their machinery and products within Lumavate’s PIM and create a digital product guide based on that data. This decreases costs for the company and ensures product guides never display incorrect information.
There are endless ways companies can take advantage of Lumavate’s DXP and PIM capabilities to decrease costs and enhance the customer journey.
Interested in learning more about Lumavate’s PIM? Talk to an expert or take a tour of Lumavate’s PIM functionality.
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