PIM System Meaning

The amount of information available to the average company today is vast and varied. It’s also spread across a variety of formats and touchpoints. While this data presents opportunities for most companies, how the information is managed will determine whether it becomes an asset or a liability.

Relevant product information may not be in a usable state. It may be stored in inaccessible places or outdated formats. Some of the information may be old and incorrect and irrelevant. Successful companies are those that maintain high standards for their product information, storing it in a format that is useful, accessible, and regularly updated.

What Is Product Information?

Simply put, product information is any relevant information about a product, including details and data to help customers decide whether to purchase the product. Informed buyers will look for the maximum amount of information possible in order to fulfill their own due diligence in the business-to-business purchasing process.

What Does Product Information Include?

While it varies depending on the nature of the business and the products, product information examples might include SKU numbers, pricing, features, benefits, dimensions, functionality, and more. It may also include related digital assets such as product photos, how-to videos, customer reviews, owner's manuals, spec sheets, and more.

What Is the Purpose of Product Information?

The goal of effective product information is to help buyers understand a company’s products better, so they can determine if a purchase is right for them. A company benefits from having effective product information because it helps with marketing, customer support, advertising, and customer engagement.

Once a company has all of its product information in a single location, it will become easier for employees across the enterprise (as well as partner organizations) to access accurate product information needed for the creation of marketing materials, sales resources, social media campaigns, and more.

In addition, accurate product information can reduce or eliminate customer returns, which can be expensive for a manufacturer and lead to damage to the company's reputation.

How Do You Write Product Information?

Before you begin writing, it’s important to collect all the information you have about products and ensure that it’s up-to-date. This may be a time-consuming process: the information may be scattered all over the organization, or even be in the possession of partner organizations. The point is that while the initial process may be onerous, once completed, information will be accurate and centralized, so it can be effectively managed and accessed by people both inside and outside the company.

Once you have gathered all the data, it’s important to visualize it from a customer standpoint. What is the most relevant information? What is the most commonly requested information? What is the most effective flow of information that will lead to high-quality customer experiences? While it may be tempting to jam all relevant information into the same place, this can confuse and overwhelm customers and lead to visually cluttered and confusing experiences. For this reason, it’s important to engage in effective product information management.

What Is Product Information Management?

Before a company begins to gather and verify all product information, it’s important to have the right foundational system to store the information for future use, both by employees and customers, and this can be accomplished with a product information management (PIM) solution.

The goal of a PIM solution is to establish a single location in which to store and manage all product information, including prices, product descriptions, dimensions, user guidelines, SKU numbers, features, and more, including digital assets such as photos and videos.

Ideally, a PIM solution will have both a database for managing the product data and built-in digital asset management (DAM) functionality to easily manage images, documents, videos, and more.

Product Information Management Systems: PIM System Meaning

PIM solutions, sometimes called PIM software, allow companies to centrally store and manage all types of product data regardless of format. Often, this information includes text that outlines the nature of the product, but it may also include digital assets such as user’s guides, customer testimonials, how-to videos, troubleshooting guides, and more. With the help of a built-in DAM solution, this multimedia content can be stored alongside the core text for easy deployment in marketing, advertising, or customer care.

Because the information is centrally stored, the information contained in a PIM solution allows multiple users to log in to the software and update product data in real-time, which creates a single source of truth for all product information. The centralized nature of the information also boosts collaboration between employees and partner organizations when using the information to create content and customer experiences.

Who Uses PIM Software?

The companies that are most likely to use PIM software are those that sell a wide variety of products. This might include manufacturers, resellers, retailers, distributors, or any other type of company that needs to centralize the management of product data across the business.

While nearly all employees of a company may use a PIM solution, it is typically controlled and “owned” by a single department: typically marketing or product management in the absence of a dedicated product information management team. Regardless of who controls the PIM, it can be accessed by employees working in sales, customer support, product management, advertising, and more.

The Importance of Product Information Pages

In its simplest form, a product information page or product detail page is a document in either print or digital form that conveys pertinent product information. A product detail page should include the product name, description, features and benefits, and product specifications, as well as an image. In addition, companies may choose to include information such as relevant accessories, product videos, manuals, customer reviews, and more. This way, it can serve as a complete resource for customers regardless of where they are on the customer journey.

Typically, each product will have its own product information page. Customers can use product information pages to help them choose a product, and for information such as troubleshooting materials and owner’s manuals that will provide guidance on using the product after the purchase.

Product information pages are also valuable for in-house operations for the purposes of training or marketing, and to ensure that all employees are working from the same set of data about a product. Ideally, this information should be available in a standardized format online to allow for easy search and dissemination of the data.

Creating a Product Information Website

Product list pages are often displayed on websites to allow a variety of individuals to access the information regardless of where they are located. These web pages, which are sometimes called product list pages (PLPs), are important because they provide an overview of all products sold by the company. This makes it easy for customers to see all potential options and relevant information when they’re determining which product to purchase. To make them highly usable, the best PLPs include the ability to search for a specific product by product name, SKU, product type, features, and more, allowing the customer to filter the list of products to meet their unique needs. The main goal of the product listing page is to quickly help the customer find the best product to purchase.

How Do You Create Product Information?

While the details will vary depending on the product and the industry, at its core, an effective product information page will contain a well-written product description that is direct, informative, relevant, and not overburdened with unnecessary clutter. It may be necessary to engage a writer for the purpose of ensuring clarity, at least in the beginning of the project. Ensure the writer understands the material they are working with: if they don’t, they won’t be able to explain it effectively. This way, companies can build a strong core product description example that other employees can use to craft future product descriptions.

To ensure that the product information serves its purpose, ask questions from a customer’s standpoint. How big is it? Will it fit with other components? What is it made from? Does it meet industry standards? How is it shipped? Where is it made?

The goal is to create a high-quality user experience that will eliminate or reduce the need for a customer or potential customer to have to pick up the phone and seek clarity. For this reason, it’s not only about what a company writes, but it’s also about how the material is presented. Particularly for complex products, it’s important the product information page is organized in a way that makes it easy to find relevant information. Consider using bullet points or subheads and separating the information in a logical way that will make sense to a customer seeking information. Product descriptions should be consistent and follow the same organizational format so customers can easily digest the information and compare and contrast different products.

Creating a Product Detail Page in a PIM

The process of creating product detail pages in a PIM solution will vary based on the software used. Typically, most companies will need a PIM solution to manage all of their product data as well as Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality to effectively manage related digital assets such as video, images, user’s manuals, reviews, and more.

Beyond this, companies also need a way to pull the product data and digital assets into the digital experiences they create, such as product catalogs or websites. For some companies, this may require technical resources to connect their PIM and DAM to their website via an application programming interface, or API.

Some solutions make it easy to integrate resources so companies can be up and running with their product information quickly. Lumavate’s Digital Experience Platform allows users to easily build out data-driven product detail pages in minutes and have the data automatically pulled from Lumavate’s built-in PIM and DAM solutions. Using Lumavate, companies can ensure that product detail pages are automatically updated whenever the product data or digital asset is changed in the PIM or DAM. This ensures that product detail pages are always accurate and up to date.

What Is a Product Description Page Used to Build?

Product description pages can be used in aggregate to create a product catalog, product guide, or product list. At its core, a product catalog is a collection of data about all of the company's products. A product catalog may be available in a printed or digital version (or both). A digital version of a product catalog could be static – an example is a PDF document displayed on a website – or updated in real-time when connected to a product information management (PIM) solution.

Steps for Creating a Product Catalog

While some steps will vary depending on the products and their complexity, at its core, the process of creating a product catalog includes:

  • Determining the structure of the product catalog and the information that needs to be included.

  • Gathering all of the necessary product information and related assets.

  • Adding the product information and related assets to a Product Information Management solution.

  • Creating a digital experience that is tied to the PIM solution to provide up-to-date product information when the product guide/catalog is accessed.

  • Updating the product data and related assets using the PIM to make them instantaneously available in the product guide or catalog.

The Benefits of Creating a Product Catalog in a PIM

A highly functional PIM solution such as Lumavate makes it easy for companies to manage their product data and digital assets and build effective product catalogs. With the right tools in place, companies can engage the PIM to build digital experiences tied to product data in less than 30 minutes.

Thanks to its built-in digital experience platform (DXP), Lumavate makes it easy to create digital experiences that are closely tied to product data, including digital product guides.

Why You Need More Than a PIM

While a PIM is a must-have for every manufacturer or reseller of physical products, the centralization of product information is only useful if it can be easily shared and used in digital experiences, printed materials, channel partner marketing efforts, content marketing, advertising and more.

Accurate product data stored in a PIM is a great start, but it needs to be highly usable so the data may be seamlessly shared to the company website, sales resources, channel partners and more. Most PIM solutions, however, do not offer this built-in functionality and instead rely on time-consuming and expensive integrations to third-party software solutions, or require customers to tap their IT departments to build their own custom integrations to enable product data to be available for building digital experiences or other marketing materials.

Lumavate is different: it offers a built-in Digital Experience Platform (DXP) that automatically connects to Lumavate’s PIM solution and Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality. This allows Lumavate users to quickly create digital product experiences that dynamically pull in all product data and related digital assets in real time. A complete solution such as that offered by Lumavate makes it seamless for companies to centralize product information and use it with marketing, sales and customer service materials without the need for technical resources.

What Lumavate Offers

Lumavate is a Product Experience Management (PXM) platform that enables companies to create and manage everything related to their digital product experiences. Lumavate has a built-in Product Information Management (PIM) solution, Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality, Digital Experience Platform (DXP), text messaging, and form builder, and provides more than 40 integrations that make it easy to create digital experiences.

Because Lumavate is an all-in-one solution, it provides companies that manufacture and sell physical products with all of the technologies they require to effectively manage their product data and digital assets, create and update digital experiences containing product information, send highly targeted text messages, engage in content marketing, collect product registrations or lead registrations, and more. Simply put, there are no other platforms that offer the breadth of functionality that Lumavate provides, and the platform is available at a fraction of the cost compared to platforms that offer far less functionality.

How to Get Started with Lumavate

Lumavate makes it easy for companies to get started. Companies can schedule a demo and then engage in a 14-day free trial. The Lumavate platform is available in multiple subscription plans starting at $499 per month. Once a subscription plan is purchased, companies can be onboarded the same day to begin fully implementing the Lumavate Platform.

Lumavate is also easy to use: it was built for marketers and requires no technical resources. Lumavate offers professional services to companies that require assistance with implementing their product data for the first time. Companies can begin to create digital product guides in a matter of days, and quickly scale up to use Lumavate for their company websitesales resourcesevents, and more.

For more information on Lumavate’s PIM solution and to better understand why flexible product information management is important, take a tour of its extensive product master data attributes, or book a demo.

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.