Product Information Management Best Practices
What Is Product Information Management Software?
Product information management software, or PIM, centralizes all product data into one location for easy management and storage access.
From product descriptions and SKU numbers to pricing, features, benefits, dimensions, and functionality, PIM software houses it all. Essentially, a PIM acts as a digital catalog that provides immediate access to every detail about your products.
If your PIM solution includes built-in Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality, it can also manage related digital assets. This could include product photos, how-to videos, owner's manuals, spec sheets, and more. This integration of PIM and DAM ensures that all relevant information and resources are conveniently located in one place.
One of the most beneficial aspects of a PIM solution is its ability to support multiple users. Team members can log in to the software and update product data in real time. Since all team members have access to the same product assets and data, a PIM serves as a single source of truth for all product-related information.
So, who uses PIM software? Technically, all stakeholders can use PIM software but marketers typically manage the operations and allow access to other stakeholders.
What Is PIM Good For?
A conventional approach to managing product data is using multiple spreadsheets, folders, and hard drives. Product images and other assets, too, are stashed away in different locations. This dispersed and unorganized approach makes it incredibly challenging to manage and update product data effectively.
So, what is the main use of PIM software? A PIM eliminates the need for disparate storage systems by centralizing all data in one system. With everything housed under one roof, the management and updating of data becomes streamlined and efficient.
A key benefit of using a PIM solution is brand consistency. You can ensure that the details disseminated across various channels are accurate and uniform. This consistency is crucial in maintaining your brand's integrity and trustworthiness in the eyes of your consumers.
Since multiple users can log in and access the data, various departments can now collaborate with each other with confidence. As a result, product development, marketing, and sales teams can work together seamlessly to ensure that the information being shared is in line with company objectives.
What’s Included in PIM Software?
A PIM acts as a comprehensive digital library of all product-related information. It allows any team member to access, manage, and update data efficiently, ensuring that the most accurate and up-to-date information is always at your fingertips.
Product information management tools house various kinds of product data such as descriptions, pricing, features, benefits, dimensions, and more. However, the capabilities of PIM systems extend beyond just housing textual data. If your PIM has built-in Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality, it can also store and manage a variety of product-related digital assets. This includes product images, owner's manuals, tech spec sheets, troubleshooting videos, installation guides, and more.
With a PIM and DAM solution, your product data and related assets are no longer scattered across different platforms or hidden in various folders. Instead, they're neatly organized and easily accessible in one place. This not only streamlines your workflows but also ensures consistency in the information you provide to your customers.
What Is an Example of a PIM?
Over the years, the functionality of PIMs has become a crucial tool for marketers and product teams. Numerous PIM tools in market exist that offer unique features to streamline product data management.
PIM software companies like Plytix PIM, Pimcore PIM, Akeneo PIM, Salsify PIM, Acquia PIM, Inriver PIM, and Catsy PIM all act as a centralized hub for product data management. These PIM software examples allow for seamless organization, update, and distribution of product information, thereby enhancing operational efficiency.
Lumavate, another notable leader in the PIM space, offers similar capabilities but with added functionality. It not only centralizes product data but also enables you to create mobile apps without coding. This added feature allows non-technical stakeholders to easily create digital experiences for customers.
While platforms like Adobe and Shopify may house certain product data, they don't include the functionality a PIM does. Understand that all PIM solutions centralize product data but only a select few will include additional functionality like a DAM to enhance operations.
How Do I Choose a PIM?
There are a series of questions you need to consider that will help you understand the question, what is a good PIM? Below are common questions you can use as guides to align your company's goals with the functionality within each PIM.
What Functionality Do You Need?
One of the more important questions to ask is if you need a system that solely manages product data or if you are looking for a more comprehensive solution.
Some PIM solutions focus exclusively on product data management, requiring you to integrate with third-party solutions to manage your digital assets and create digital product experiences. While this approach can offer specialized functionality, it may also introduce additional complexity into your workflows.
As an alternative, there are comprehensive platforms that bundle PIM, Digital Asset Management (DAM), and Digital Experience Platform (DXP) functionalities into one offering. These all-in-one solutions simplify the management of all aspects of your product experiences by providing a single, unified platform.
These comprehensive platforms often identify themselves as Product Experience Management (PXM) solutions, such as Lumavate. They offer a full suite of functionalities designed to manage various product experiences, from data management to digital asset organization and customer experience optimization.
Understanding the goals of your organization and aligning them with a specialized or comprehensive solution will help determine the best PIM for your business's unique needs.
What Other Systems Do You Need to Integrate With?
Your current tech stack will also determine what kind of PIM solution makes sense for your marketing needs. Integration capabilities can be a pivotal factor for many companies. The scope and scale of these integrations can vary significantly, depending on specific business needs.
For some businesses, a PIM solution with a limited set of integrations may suffice. The focus here is on a select few platforms that are integral to the company's operations. In contrast, other companies may require a PIM solution that can integrate with an extensive array of platforms, reflecting the complexity and diversity of their operational landscape.
Imagine having an existing tech stack that doesn't integrate with your new PIM solution. You would either need to go through the selection process again to find a PIM that does integrate, or completely change your entire tech ecosystem. The transition could drain company resources and take a significant amount of time.
Therefore, understanding your integration needs upfront can save you time and effort in the selection process, ensuring that the chosen PIM solution aligns perfectly with your business requirements.
How Will the Product Information Be Used?
Product data is a multi-faceted asset utilized across various platforms and channels. It's not just confined to your website or product catalogs; it extends to sales resources, events, channel partners, and more. Therefore, it's crucial to understand the diverse ways your business needs to use your product data and related digital assets.
Some Product Information Management (PIM) solutions merely store your product data and digital assets without providing an easy way to share this information with your website. In such cases, you'll need technical resources to build an integration between your website and the PIM for your product information to appear on the website.
Conversely, other platforms might include a built-in Digital Experience Platform (DXP), enabling you to construct your entire website using their solution. Here, your product data is automatically integrated, eliminating the need for additional technical resources.
There are other solutions that create product sheets or brand portals with a few clicks, making it easy for non-technical staff members to create and organize product data for specific use cases. Understanding the diverse ways your business needs to utilize product data will help you determine which PIM solution offers the right combination of features and functionalities to meet your requirements.
What Type of Budget Is Defined For This Initiative?
Establishing a budget before initiating the evaluation of potential vendors is a crucial step in selecting a Product Information Management (PIM) solution. Pricing among PIM solutions varies significantly, and a higher price tag does not necessarily equate to more functionality or better service. It's important to remember that cost-effectiveness and value for money should be prime considerations in your selection process.
Lumavate's Product Experience Management (PXM) platform, for example, is 75 percent more cost-effective than its competitors while offering substantially more out-of-the-box functionality.
Even if a solution does offer comprehensive functionality that would make digital experience creation more manageable, a high price point would be unreasonable for businesses with a smaller budget. It's about finding the right balance between cost and functionality, aligning with both your financial and operational needs.
What Is Your Timeline for Implementing a Solution?
While the evaluation process must not be rushed, it's equally essential to consider the implementation timeline as part of your analysis. Choosing a PIM solution should involve careful due diligence to ensure you are getting the most value for your investment.
Certain PIM solutions might take months to implement, necessitating professional services for a successful setup. Once integrated into your current system, team members may have a hard time adjusting to the solution in their workflow. The total time of implementation may take longer than anticipated when you include onboarding and training.
On the other hand, other solutions may offer the convenience of creating a free trial directly from their website, allowing you to start using the platform immediately. This efficiency is perfect for teams looking to adapt quickly as long as the functionality remains comprehensive and meets the business's unique needs.
Additionally, it's essential to consider any upcoming product launches or seasonal changes in your industry when determining the implementation timeline. Having a PIM solution that can be implemented quickly and efficiently can give your business a competitive edge by allowing you to streamline processes and deliver timely product information to customers.
What Is the Best PIM Software?
Due to the combination of product information management and digital asset management, Lumavate stands above the competition as a premier PIM solution. The platform acts more like a PXM with comprehensive functionality beyond what traditional PIMs offer.
Within the Lumavate platform, customers gain access to a host of integrated solutions. Firstly, a robust PIM solution enables centralized management of product data, ensuring consistency and accuracy across all platforms. Secondly, it provides Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality, offering a unified storage space for all product-related digital assets.
Further enhancing its appeal, Lumavate includes a Digital Experience Platform (DXP). The tool empowers users to construct digital product experiences within minutes. It also features a text messaging capability and a comprehensive form builder solution, which seamlessly integrates with the company’s system of record.
The breadth of functionality that Lumavate offers is unparalleled in the market. Despite providing such an extensive range of capabilities, Lumavate remains 75 percent more cost-effective than many competitive solutions, which often offer less functionality.
How Much Does a PIM System Cost?
The main elements that affect the cost of a PIM include the specific solutions and functionalities that come with the PIM system. For instance, some PIM solutions base their pricing on the number of SKUs stored within the system, while others price according to the frequency of product data usage.
Lumavate, however, adopts a different approach with its comprehensive PXM platform. Rather than basing its pricing on SKUs or data usage, Lumavate offers an accessible entry point to its PXM platform for just $499 per month. This pricing strategy not only provides cost predictability but also ensures that you're not paying for unnecessary features.
Compared with other platforms, Lumavate is typically 75 percent more cost-effective while offering a higher return on investment. The suite of tools included in the platform optimizes the entire process of creating digital experiences for customers including storage, organization, and management.
For those interested in experiencing Lumavate's capabilities firsthand, there's the option to start with a PIM software free 14-day trial. This allows potential users to test the platform's functionality and see how it could fit into their existing processes before committing financially.
How to Get Started With a PIM
To set up an efficient system, you need to store all your product data within your PIM and DAM systems. Lumavate is the best PIM software 2024 by offering you both functionalities right out of the box.
Once your data is organized and your digital assets are stored efficiently, the next stage is to create compelling digital product experiences for every touchpoint in the customer's journey. An engaging product experience creates a holistic experience that includes partners such as retailers, dealers, distributors, and even your employees.
With Lumavate, you can craft tailored product experiences that cater to each of these stakeholders, ensuring a seamless integration of information across all channels. This comprehensive approach not only enhances the customer experience but also facilitates smoother collaborations with partners and improves internal operations.
Starting with centralized data management through PIM and DAM, followed by creating engaging digital product experiences, is a proven strategy for effective product information management. Lumavate gives you all the tools you need to execute your digital experiences successfully.
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