Product Information Management Software Free
Can you get PIM software free? If so, why do some PIM software companies charge thousands of dollars per month for their products?
The truth is that there are some free PIM software programs, and some are even pretty good. However, they have limitations that would make it impossible for a growing business to use the program long-term. In most cases, free PIM software programs are free trial versions so you can try out various PIM platforms to see which one would best meet your company's needs.
What Is Product Information Management (PIM)?
To understand why businesses pay for PIM software, it's important to understand what product information is and why it's important.
Product information management, as the name implies, is the method you use to keep track of and share information related to the products you make and sell. This information includes SKUs, product descriptions, product specs, a list of product benefits, etc. It also includes product images and videos, owner's manuals, assembly instructions, and warranty information.
What is an example of product information management? There is more than one example as there are various ways to organize and store your product information. These include:
Keep a printed chart and log information as it changes. This chart is kept in a file drawer for easy access. Photos may be stored on the computer or in another drawer. Videos, if you have any, are stored on the computer. Warranty information is stored in one drawer, assembly instructions are in a different drawer, and another drawer has owner's manuals.
Use a database program on the computer to log data. All photos are kept in a single folder. Videos are in a separate folder. There is also one folder for warranty information, one folder for instruction manuals, one folder for how-to guides, etc.
Use a PIM platform to store product information. All information relevant to a single product is stored in the same place. A good PIM software program will enable you to see, with 100 percent accuracy, which products you have on hand at any point in time, as users in multiple locations can update the program as needed.
What Is the Main Use of PIM Software?
What is Product Information Management software? PIM software, unlike a database program on the computer, is specifically designed to store and manage product information. PIM software is typically cloud-based but some platforms offer software that runs on-premise.
What is PIM software used for? The main use of PIM software is to serve as a single "source of truth" for all a company's product information. That's why the best PIM programs include not just PIM functionality but also Digital Asset Management tools that allow you to store text, images, and file attachments in a single folder. Your marketing department can then use PIM software to create sales catalogs, flyers, and other online and offline marketing tools without having to search through file drawers and computer folders for image files. Your PIM program also makes it easy for your sales and customer service departments to answer customer questions and give accurate information regarding products for sale. This improves your standard of customer service, which in turn builds brand loyalty.
Who Uses PIM Software?
Companies of all sizes and in all industries, including manufacturing and other B2B industries, are turning to product information management software to better manage their inventory. Why? Consider the following product information system examples:
Company One, like most manufacturers, uses spreadsheets to log information about company products. Some of these spreadsheets are printed out and employees have made updates on these to keep track of items being sold or manufactured. There are also copies of these spreadsheets on the computer, but these aren't always updated as employees in some branches may not type in the updates they've written on the printed spreadsheets. Thus, sales partners don't always get accurate information from the manufacturer because a customer service representative in one branch may not have updated information stored at a different branch. The company struggles to create marketing materials and update sales catalogs because collecting updated information can take hours or even days. What's more, the spreadsheets on the computer are stored on the company's IT network. If a natural disaster or cyberattack renders the company's IT network inaccessible, there would be no accurate record of company products.
Company Two is a manufacturing plant that has just started using PIM software. It's stored on the cloud; thus, it's not only safe but also accessible to authorized employees across all branch offices. The platform is easy to work with and employees always type in updated product information into the software program. As all marketers and salespeople have access to the system, everyone is sharing accurate, brand-consistent product information with sales partners. Photos are stored with text descriptions, so it's easy for the manufacturing plant to update product catalogs and other sales materials as needed.
What is Product Information Management Software Used For?
As was noted above, PIM software is used to store all relevant product data in a single location. However, they also come with various Product Information Management tools that can enable you to boost sales, improve branding, and build brand loyalty.
What is PIM software used for? It can not only store product information but also track changes. It can integrate with product catalog creation programs to make it easy for you to create new product catalogs or update existing ones. It can automatically send data to your website and eCommerce platforms to update product information. It can offer potential customers personalized product recommendations based on which items they're looking at, their past interactions with your site, or past purchases. Some platforms can even create AI-generated product descriptions or translate your existing product information into other languages.
Do you need a PIM with Shopify? How about with Amazon or eBay? The answer is yes. While you could technically update these sites manually, allowing a PIM system to automatically update product information will save you time and ensure consistency. It will also enable you to immediately act on timely marketing opportunities such as upcoming holidays to boost sales, attract new customers, or generate brand awareness.
Free PIM programs have a few of the PIM tools you need and can be ideal if you're just starting a new business. The Pimcore Community Edition offers product information management tools and digital asset management functionality, but the DAM tools aren't compatible with mobile devices and the free platform doesn't track product edits. The free Plytix PIM also has free PIM and DAM tools but comes with a ridiculously low storage limit of 5GB. Neither of these platforms offers the marketing and branding tools listed above. Akeneo makes it clear that the free Akeneo PIM is designed for small and mid-size companies that want to start centralizing, managing, and distributing product information. It's not a long-term solution for a growing business. Meanwhile, Lumavate offers a 14-day free trial of its Standard Plan so you can see all of the benefits of using Lumavate’s Product Experience Management (PXM) Platform.
PIM Tools in Market: What is the Best PIM Software?
The PIM landscape is incredibly competitive. PIM software examples include Inriver, Catsy, Salsify, Pimcore, Plytix, Akeneo, Acquia, and Lumavate. Adobe is not a PIM even though its Experience Cloud has some content management capabilities that enable it to deliver information to your website. Shopify is likewise not a PIM; rather, it's an e-commerce platform that makes it easy for you to create and run an online store.
What is software used to make a website product catalog? BlueCart, Adobe InDesign, Flipsnack, and iPaper are common standalone options. These platforms shouldn't be confused with a PIM platform, even though both software platforms can be used for web product catalog creation. However, it's not a bad idea to use both PIM software and product catalog software when creating online or offline catalogs. Web product catalogs have the tools, templates, and layout options you need to create professional, engaging catalogs. Your PIM program, which may even be able to integrate with your chosen web product catalog software, has the up-to-date information you need to include in your catalog. What's more, some PIM systems can even update a website product catalog automatically so you don't have to design a new catalog every time a product goes out of stock or a new one hits the market.
If you're wondering, "How do I choose a PIM system?", read on to find out various criteria to consider when evaluating PIM tools in market examples. Following are five questions you should ask yourself before choosing a PIM platform.
What Functionality Do You Need?
This is a huge question, and it's one of the main reasons why you'll most likely want to skip a free PIM in favor of a paid one. Free PIM tools don't offer all the functionality you need long-term. This means you'll have to upgrade with the company offering the free PIM, which may not be the best option for your business. Alternatively, if you find a better PIM platform, you'll have to move all your data onto the new platform, which could take days or even weeks.
When considering paid platforms, remember that the program must offer both PIM and DAM functionality. Digital Asset Management allows you to store image files, video files, documents, and more. This in turn allows you to provide your customers with additional product information on your website and eCommerce platforms as the PIM platform can automatically post the visuals to product descriptions as soon as the visuals are created and approved for release. The added visuals can significantly boost sales as over 60 percent of consumers say high-quality product images are very important to them when they're deciding whether to buy a product online. Consumers also say that viewing a product video increases the likelihood of them buying that product by 85 percent.
It's also wise to make sure your chosen PIM software program has the Digital Experience Platform (DXP) tools you need to provide your customers with a positive product experience online and offline. DXP tools enable you to add QR codes to printed fliers with ease. They include templates for creating flyers, catalogs, and a host of other marketing materials. They enable you to personalize product offerings, bundle products, and build microsites to promote specific products or product lines.
What Systems do You Need to Integrate With?
PIM platforms can integrate with various programs to save you time and hassle. Integrations also prevent human error that comes from copying information from one screen to another. If, for instance, you have an expanding product range and are regularly creating and updating product catalogs, you'll want a PIM software program that integrates with your catalog creation software or to purchase an all-in-one solution such as Lumavate. This makes it easy for you to transfer product images and descriptions from your PIM platform to your catalog layout. If you want to use your PIM program to improve consumer experiences with your brand, choosing a PIM platform that integrates with Salesforce is smart, as Lumavate's PIM does. Many PIM platforms also automatically integrate with online marketplaces such as Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay, which is a boon to any business that sells goods online. If you use Microsoft's tool suite for marketing, customer service, and/or to keep track of inventory, pick a PIM that integrates with Microsoft.
How Will the Product Information Be Used?
How do you use your product information? If you run a B2C company, you'll want a PIM platform that has the tools you need to share product information with the public in a compelling manner. These tools make it possible for you to build brand awareness, maintain brand consistency, improve customer experiences with your brand, increase sales, and build brand loyalty. They also make it easy for you to create marketing materials, which enables you to offer special sales and advertise seasonal products without undue delay.
On the other hand, if you run a B2B company, your priority may be to choose a tool that makes it easy for you to keep track of product information and share that information with channel partners. In such instances, it may not matter that the PIM tool can create AI-generated product descriptions or translate product information into multiple languages. Rather, you'll want a platform that is secure, easily accessible, and has multiple search filters that make it easy for anyone to find information in a jiffy.
How Much Does a PIM System Cost Per Month?
As was outlined above, cost can't be the top priority when choosing a PIM system. Free systems don't have the high level of functionality your business needs to be efficient and profitable long-term. The same can be said for overly cheap PIM systems. At the same time, there is no reason to pay thousands of dollars per month when you can get the tools you need at a far lower price. That's why companies looking for a highly functional yet not overly expensive PIM platform pick the Lumavate PIM. It's up to 75 percent more cost-effective than other platforms and comes with PIM functionality, digital asset management tools, and an amenity-rich digital experience platform.
What Is Your Timeline for Implementing a PIM Solution?
Adhering to product information management best practices can boost your business. Unfortunately, getting the PIM support you need and deserve isn't always straightforward. Many companies do not offer a ready-made solution. Rather, you have to get in touch with a PIM company to explain the nature of your business and its PIM needs to receive a price quote. Once you get a quote and agree to it, the PIM company's IT experts will start the process of setting up the PIM platform for your business. It can take days or even weeks before setup is complete; what's more, you'll likely have to pay an extra fee for onboarding costs.
With Lumavate, onboarding takes no longer than a single day, and you don't need to pay the company to get the PIM platform up and running for you. All you have to do is look at the three subscription plans, pick the one that best meets your needs, and pay for it. You'll then gain immediate access to Lumavate's PIM platform, so you can start logging product information. If you decide you need greater functionality at a later date, you can simply pay for a higher price plan without disrupting regular business operations.
Lumavate is often the best choice for anyone who needs a PIM solution as it comes with PIM tools, DAM tools, and full Product Experience Management (PXM) functionality. It's user-friendly. It can build top-tier digital product experiences in a matter of minutes. It comes with text message capability and has a comprehensive form builder that integrates with your record system. It's far cheaper than other PIM platforms; in fact, you can start using Lumavate PIM software for only $499 a month. What's more, you get full functionality right out of the box. As soon as you sign up (or start the 14-day free trial period), you'll gain immediate access to all the tools you need to improve consumer and sales partner experiences with your brand.
What's more, you can easily use Lumavate to keep your digital product catalog up-to-date at all times. While a PDF product catalog designed by a program such as InDesign will become obsolete as soon as you add new products to your line-up, a Lumavate-generated digital catalog can be automatically updated by the Lumavate PIM solution when you make changes to your product line-up. All you need to https://www.lumavate.com/what-are-digital-experiencesdo is collect your information, put it into the PIM system, and create a digital experience tied to your PIM solution. Update your PIM platform as needed, and the PIM platform will automatically update your catalog. Creating your digital catalog takes less than 30 minutes and you don't need to invest time in manually updating it.
Are you ready to start using your product information to its fullest potential? If so, get in touch with us at your convenience to find out more or schedule a free demo of the Lumavate PIM platform.
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