Product Information Management Software
Every single business that offers goods and/or services for sale has product information. Properly managing this information can spell the difference between an empowered, successful business that is on track to reach its goals, and one that struggles to meet customer expectations and keep up with routine office work.
What is a PIM Software Program?
Product Information Management (PIM) software enables manufacturers to store product data in a single location. It also allows authorized employees to access data with ease, update information, and add or delete information as needed. Furthermore, many software programs have features that allow a PIM system to send information to online stores, which maintains brand consistency. It also ensures consumers have access to all the information they need to make informed shopping decisions.
Product data you can store and manage with a PIM solution include:
Why Do You Need a PIM Software Program?
What is the purpose of a PIM software program? After all, it is possible to store and manage your company data without a software program. Product information management system alternatives include documents, spreadsheets, and database programs. However, each of these storage solutions has flaws that not only make more work for your employees, but can impact your brand's reputation.
The problem with paper-based organization methods is that it's impossible to keep track of information from multiple branches in a single location. Spreadsheets quickly become outdated. This means your employees are relying on inaccurate information when doing inventory. It's easy to run out of popular items because you're unaware of what's in stock at any given point in time.
What's worse, an inaccurate spreadsheet may result in employees giving customers inaccurate information about a product. This could lead to poor online reviews and a loss of customer trust. In fact, a 2021 survey of consumers in seven countries found that up to 80 percent of consumers will abandon a planned purchase if the product information is flawed.
A database that's not designed for use as a PIM solution also has its limitations. As with any retrofitted solution, compromises are made. The business needs will never match up with the system’s limited functionality. Often this leads manufacturers to have information scattered in various folders and files.
When product data isn’t centralized it is impossible to validate and manage. Teams are unable to locate reliable product details and waste days or weeks hunting for key information. This waste of resources delays marketing efforts and hinders sales.
PIM Software Companies: What are the Options?
There are plenty of PIM software companies to pick from. Some of the best-known ones include Plytix, Pimcore, Salsify, Inriver, Catsy, and Lumavate. What's more, each of these companies offers several price plans, and each plan has its own service and feature package.
Product Information Management Software Examples
What is an example of a PIM? There are so many programs to pick from that no single answer would cover all your options. However, an overview of some of the most popular products can help you get a feel for what's out there.
Plytix's PIM software program includes digital asset management, spreadsheet and grid view, advanced filtering options, and in-cell editing. It allows for an unlimited number of users. It also allows a business owner to set custom permissions for employees to limit access to sensitive data. You can schedule imports and edit multiple products at once. Additionally, the Plytix PIM solution has a product relationship feature to cross-sell, up-sell, and/or bundle products.
Pimcore PIM software offers digital asset management and workflow management. It integrates with many apps, including Adobe and Microsoft. This makes transferring information to and from other programs a breeze. The omnichannel publishing feature makes it easy to send and update product information to multiple online platforms. Marketplace integration enables you to keep track of orders in one central location. Enterprise print publishing ensures your printed marketing materials are always accurate and up to date.
Inriver offers a PIM that promises to improve your marketing efforts because the platform has features for delivering the right digital asset to any segment of your target audience. Inriver's PIM solution not only logs information but also analyzes product performance to help you identify trending products. It also offers content optimization to ensure product descriptions on your goods for sale online attract potential customers.
Lumavate stands out because even its cheapest platform offers a range of valuable amenities and tools. These include an unlimited number of users, an unlimited number of product categories, and an unlimited number of product entries. The product relationship feature makes it easy to cross-sell products, bundle products, and help customers find product replacement parts. Built-in digital asset management allows you to store all information about a product in a single location. The change log makes it easy to keep track of changes in product information.
How Do I Choose a PIM System?
Which PIM software is best? There is no easy answer. There are five questions you need to consider to ensure the PIM solution you buy meets your exact needs.
What Functionality Do You Need?
This is a huge consideration when debating which program to work with. Basic PIM solutions may offer the product information management solutions you need but fail to provide other tools that could take your business to the next level. For example, a basic PIM solution may improve your product information management by enabling you to store all product information in a single accessible location. However, it might not have the tools needed to send that information to online stores, update product information that is no longer accurate or cross-sell products.
The best product information management software will meet all your business's needs. Instead of having to use several software programs to meet your goals, you'll be able to use a single program for multiple purposes. Comprehensive product information management software programs are often labeled as Product Experience Management (PXM) platforms. This label reflects the fact that they not only organize and manage information but also help you share it with current and potential customers.
What Other Systems Do You Need to Integrate With?
What other software programs do you use to manage your business? Does the PIM software program you are considering integrate with some or all of these programs? Program integrations save your employees a lot of time and hassle. Software integration also reduce mistakes because information is automatically transferred from one program to another instead of entered manually.
If you don't see software integration options in the program you're considering, ask the manufacturer if these are available or will be added at some point in the future. You may have to spend a bit more to get a platform that integrates with your other software programs, but the end result is well worth the expense. You'll boost employee morale in your office by providing your staff members with the tools they need to do their jobs fast, yet accurately. You'll improve the customer experience by ensuring product data is always up to date.
How Do You Use Your Product Information?
What is a PIM used for? The answer to this question may seem obvious. However, it's a good idea to take some time to consider everything you do with your product information. In addition to using this information to keep track of inventory and orders, you also need it to promote your goods to customers, partners, retailers, and dealers.
If you want to just centralize your product data and display it in your website a PIM will meet your needs. However, if your team plans to use product information across a variety of channels, a PXM platform will give you the robust power you need.
A PXM that includes a digital experience platform (DXP) solution enables teams to create landing pages, microsites, apps, and websites that all display product data stored in the centralized PIM. Manufacturers using a PXM are ensured that their digital product content is always accurate and always up to date.
Lumavate is the only PXM on the market that incorporates a PIM, DXP, and DAM. Lumavate customers can store product data in a centralized PIM, manage digital assets and associate those assets to products, and use the product data and digital assets in any digital experience created in the platform.
If you sell to an international audience, you may want to consider a program that can translate your product information into different languages and then send the translated information to international platforms. Pimcore, Lumavate, and some other PIMs offer enterprise translation management. This feature saves your business the time, hassle, and expense of having to hire human translators and then send their translated product information to each international sales channel you work with.
How Much Does PIM Software Cost?
PIM software costs vary depending on the platform you pick and the price plan you select. Some platforms offer free, but very basic PIM solutions. These might work well when you're starting a business and have a tight budget. They're also ideal if you want to get a feel for a particular program to see if it's right for you. However, free programs won't offer the functionality you need long-term. You'll need to invest in a paid platform to get the features you need to grow your company.
An affordable solution that meets the needs of most small business owners will likely cost at least a few hundred dollars a month. Enterprise-level solutions designed to meet the multi-faceted needs of large companies can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per month.
How much money can you afford to spend on a PIM each month? Go through your budget carefully to come to a realistic answer. You don't want to choose the cheapest option around just to save money. At the same time, choosing an expensive platform doesn't guarantee that you'll get all the services and amenities you need to successfully manage and use your product information.
If you're looking for a PIM solution that is affordable and offers multiple features and amenities, Lumavate is likely your best option. The Starter Level, which is $499 per month, offers unlimited digital experience, unlimited product logs, and unlimited storage. Furthermore, it allows up to five hundred unique digital experience visitors per month. Plytix, in contrast, offers a Starter Level that costs $450 per month but only allows for up to five outputs per month and puts a limit on the number of SKUs the system can handle. Other PIM solutions, such as Bluestone PIM, Icepim, and Gepard PIM, charge at least $1,000 per month. Lumavate's PXM platform is up to 75 percent more cost-effective than other solutions and offers more tools and features to boot.
What Is the Implementation Time?
Some PIM solutions don't even list pricing on their sites. Rather, you have to go through a lengthy evaluation process to determine which features you'll need and how much they'll cost. In some cases, it can take weeks or even months for some of these solutions to be fully integrated into your system as you'll need professional services to get your new PIM software up and running. Some of these solutions can be worth their price but not all business owners can wait for a PIM solution for months on end.
If you need a fast, effective PIM platform, it's best to pick a solution that allows a free trial version. Sign up for it and see how it works for you. You may have to check out a few systems to find the best PIM software for your business. Even so, the process is far faster than waiting for a single company to provide tailored help and advice. Once you find a good system, upgrade to the plan of your choice to add on the features and amenities your business needs. You'll be given immediate access to the PIM system. This enables you to streamline your business and boost productivity faster than would otherwise be possible.
Another good reason to choose an immediate solution is that you control when you upgrade or downgrade your plan. This can save you a lot of hassle long-term and prevent delays and downtime that can cost you customers and sales. Instead of waiting for a PIM company expert to help you calculate the cost of adding new tools to your PIM solution and then install these tools, you can simply choose a plan that offers what you need and start using it.
Product Information Management software is a valuable tool to help you grow your business. It can boost your online reputation by enabling you to offer improved customer service and experience. It maintains brand consistency, boosts your customer base, and cultivates brand loyalty. It saves your employees time and hassle. This in turn boosts your brand’s reputation and becomes a competitive differentiator.
While there are plenty of options for your consideration, Lumavate stands out as an ideal PIM solution for several reasons. It offers all the tools a small, mid-size, or large business owner needs at a fraction of the cost of other, similar programs. It's the perfect combination of in-house amenities for business management and promotional features that help you use product information to boost sales and profits. What's more, Lumavate releases new functionality every two weeks. The fast-growing PXM platform offers stellar customer service, but you don't need professional IT help to get Lumavate up and running. Get in touch with us to find out how our customizable PIM solutions can meet or even exceed your expectations.