An efficient Product Information Management (PIM) solution can save you time, hassle, and money. What's more, it can boost sales while building long-term brand loyalty.
What Is Product Information Management?
Product information management, as the name implies, is the management of all information related to the products you make and sell. It includes a product's SKU number, size, color, features, and benefits. It also includes information about the product buyers would need to make an informed purchase decision, including images, videos, how-to manuals, owner's manuals, assembly instructions, and warranty information. This is why many PIM software programs offer Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality. This feature enables a user to store all information relevant to a product in a single location.
What Is a PIM Used For?
What is PIM software? Product information management software is a platform designed to create a product record that stores complex product data for each product in a company’s portfolio. This type of software is cloud-based, allowing users in multiple locations to access and update product data. A PIM solution acts as a single source of truth for a company that wants to know how many products are in stock at any point in time. At the same time, many PIM software programs have a change log, so users can easily see which products are most popular with buyers. This data can then be used when making decisions about creating new products and/or discontinuing old ones.
PIM software can also be used to share product information with buyers. Many programs will update online product listings when new products are released or product features/amenities change. Some PIM solutions also offer custom product recommendations to customers based on their previous interactions with the site and/or previous purchases. This feature boosts sales exponentially. Research has found that nearly half of consumers have bought an item they didn't originally intend to purchase after viewing a personalized product recommendation.
Who Uses PIM Software?
Any business that sells physical products online is sure to benefit from all that a PIM offers. Its ability to automatically update product descriptions ensures customers always have access to accurate product information. The fact that it can easily offer custom product suggestions boosts sales and profits. At the same time, offline businesses that sell physical goods to customers in person can also benefit from using PIM software. Storing product information together with files related to the product can streamline a marketing campaign and make it easy for a business to present its goods in an accurate, appealing manner. A PIM can also act as a source of truth for all information related to each item you sell. It can thus help you answer customer questions and provide improved customer service to people who buy your products.
At the same time, manufacturing companies that don't sell products to the general public also have much to gain by using a PIM platform. Storing data on spreadsheets makes it hard to keep data updated in real-time. This can cause problems when sales representatives are selling items to retailers but are unable to provide accurate information about the items available for sale. It's also problematic if you want to find information related to a product but have to search through multiple file cabinets for image files and spec sheets. Storing information in various file folders on the company network is likewise problematic. Information stored on a computer is easier to update than information stored on paper; however, it can be time-consuming to find all relevant product information when you need to answer buyer questions or create marketing materials. An additional problem with these two storage methods is that they aren't entirely secure. If a natural disaster hits your area or a cybercriminal targets your IT set-up, you could lose valuable data. A cloud-based PIM solution keeps your data secure and organized at all times, so you can focus on moving your business forward.
What's Included in PIM Software?
What is an example of a PIM? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. PIM platform features and amenities vary depending on which platform you pick. What's more, some companies offer various priced plans, so the amenities you get would depend on how much you're willing to pay each month. Even so, the following list can help you get a good idea of what you could gain by signing up for a PIM platform:
Basic Product Information Management. All PIM companies offer this feature. Some will put limits on the number of products or product types you can put into the database if you use a low-level plan; however, the best PIM software programs don't place these types of limits on users.
Digital Asset Management (DAM). Digital asset management enables you to store audio files, video files, and attachments with text data. It's ideal because you'll have all the information about a product in a single location and will be able to share this data easily with potential buyers. This benefits not just your company but also wholesalers who buy your products and need to share this information with their potential customers.
Change Log. Keep track of all changes made to your platform with this handy feature. Most PIMs offer this service, which makes it easy for you to see where information is coming from and compare records with current ones. It's handy if you need to see which products sold best in a set period.
Data Integration. Some PIM platforms provide data integration services, so you can easily import and export information from Microsoft, Adobe, and other programs. This feature can save you a lot of time and hassle, minimize human error, and help you get a PIM platform set up faster than would otherwise be possible.
Print Publishing. This is an ideal feature if you create print marketing materials such as sales catalogs and product sheets. It enables you to transfer data directly from your PIM platform to your print publishing program to save time and hassle while ensuring your print materials are accurate and up to date.
Multiple Views and Filtering Options. If you have a huge range of products, you'll need a platform with advanced filtering options to find what you're looking for quickly and easily. Multiple view options help employees view and log information in the way that works best for them.
Product Relationship Features. Many PIMs enable business owners to provide custom product recommendations. Some also have a bundle feature, so you can bundle various products together for special sales and discount offers.
AI-powered Product Description Generator. Do you have a lot of products, but you don't have time to write engaging descriptions for each one? Some PIM platforms offer an AI-powered product description generator that will do the job for you. You'll want to read over each description before publishing it as AI isn't always 100 percent accurate; even so, an automated product description generator can save you a lot of time.
Bulk Editing. If you want to avoid typing in the same updated information for hundreds of products, this feature is for you. Bulk editing can be ideal for companies that create large product lines and then add features and amenities to these products later on.
Omnichannel Publishing. Many PIMs can publish product data automatically to e-commerce platforms. This feature is ideal for anyone who sells goods online as it ensures your online product descriptions are accurate and contain all the information potential buyers need to make an informed decision.
Digital Experience Platform (DXP). While many PIM platforms offer features that improve a customer's digital experience, Lumavate stands out as the only PIM platform to provide a fully digital experience platform as part of its PIM software program. This platform enables you to not only send information to e-commerce channels but also create marketing materials, promote events, and even build a company website on your own. It also offers free templates that can be used online and offline.
How Does Product Information Management Work?
The full PIM meaning isn't just about buying a software program and putting in data. While a PIM platform is a tremendous asset that enables you to track and update data, you also need human management of your company's product information to ensure it's used to its full potential. For example, even top PIM software programs can't ensure your product descriptions will appeal to your target audience. That's a job for someone in the company who has studied what your target audience wants and knows how to best meet customer needs. Another question that needs to be decided on by a human PIM manager is, who uses PIM software? While you want to make it easy for employees to access and update information as needed, you also need to keep your valuable data secure from breaches.
If you run a small company, you may have one or two people take on this responsibility along with their other job responsibilities. On the other hand, large corporations or mid-size companies with large product lines will want to designate full-time employees to handle all aspects of product information management. This includes not just the aspects of product management outlined above but also keeping tabs on product performance.
PIM Software Examples
Sales Layer PIM
Each one of these solutions allows users to log product data. They all also offer search, filter, and view options, so you can find data right away. Most PIM vendors offer digital asset management, so you can store all data related to a product in the same place. Furthermore, many will automatically send product data to e-commerce stores when you change or update product descriptions or other forms of product information. However, Lumavate stands out as the best PIM software 2023 because it also offers a full Digital Experience Platform (DXP) as part of its PIM platform. The DXP is easy to use and provides all the tools you need to increase sales and build brand loyalty.
How Much Does a PIM System Cost?
The cost of a PIM software platform depends on multiple factors. Most top PIM companies do not offer price plans on their site. Rather, you would need to contact the PIM provider, list your needs, and get a custom quote. This mode of operation ensures you aren't paying for features and services you don't need, but it's also time-consuming. What's more, it's not a one-time job. As your company grows, you'll likely need to reassess your PIM needs and get a new quote for additional services and features.
A few PIM companies, however, do list price plans on their site. Lumavate offers a starter plan for $499 a month and this plan includes unlimited products, product types, and online storage space. DXP usage is also unlimited. For additional services, you can purchase a growth plan for $999 a month or an enterprise plan for $4,999 a month. Plytix, on the other hand, offers a starter package for $450 a month, but this does not include the cost of onboarding and there are limits on what you can do with the platform. The company's custom plan is $900 a month while the Enterprise plan is $1,650 a month. If you're looking for an affordable plan that offers all the features and amenities you need to grow a business, Lumavate can be up to 75 percent cheaper than other PIM solutions.
How to Get Started with a PIM Platform
It can take days or even weeks to set up a PIM platform with most companies. After you send your information and get a price quote, there's a lengthy onboarding process. At this time, the PIM company gets your system up and running. This job is done by an IT expert, and you'll likely need to call the expert if something goes wrong with the system, or if you need to add features and amenities to your plan.
With ready-made plans such as Lumavate, the onboarding process takes only one day. You can check out the free demo and, if you like what you see, pay for the plan of your choice. There is no IT setup or coding as the company has designed its platform for ease of use. Once you've paid, you have access to the plan of your choice. If you need to upgrade or downgrade your plan, you can do so at any time.
When you start using the PIM platform of your choice, you’ll want to put all your data into the system and organize it so that all data related to any particular product is in the same place. Next, your product information management team can begin using the data to create appealing digital product experiences for your target audience.
The ability to store video and image data with text descriptions makes it easy for you to upload visual files to an e-commerce platform, and doing so can exponentially improve your sales. Research has found that posting a high-quality image doubles a product’s conversion rate. What’s more, posting a second image can double the conversion rate for a product that only has one image. PIM software can also offer custom product recommendations for people who are considering a product or who have already purchased or searched through your products in the past.
B2B companies can also use PIM software to improve conversion rates and improve in-house efficiency. PIM platforms enable you to create ideal product experiences for each of your retail partners, distributors, and dealers. You’ll be better able to meet each buyer’s needs and do so faster than would otherwise be possible. At the same time, you’ll want to ensure the system is properly set up so authorized employees can access and update data as needed. Making sure the system is easy for everyone to use ensures that employees will log updates on the platform rather than keeping separate paper logs.
Why do companies need a PIM? Your product data is one of your most valuable assets. It can increase sales, build brand loyalty, encourage people to recommend your company to others, and more. Managing this data as efficiently as possible saves you time while increasing your company's profits. That's why companies of all sizes and in multiple industries choose the Lumavate PIM platform over other options. Lumavate offers all the PIM features and amenities you need in a single package, and at a better cost than most other PIM vendors. It's easy to use, and you don't have to wait for an IT technician to set it up for you. Get in touch with us today to check out a demo to see if Lumavate is right for your business.
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