It is a tool that helps collect all product information in one place. Easier access to information allows for productive circulation of resources starting from the marketing phase all the way to sales.
What is a PIM system?
Let’s dissect an example from everyday life – toothpaste. There is an assortment of product information that goes into one tube of insignificant toothpaste. Starting with the basics: flavouring agents, ingredients, and certification of Cosmebio or Ecocert Greenlife. If we go further into detail, we will have usage instructions, product safety information, and medical and non-medical ingredients. The tube of toothpaste will also have marketing information such as logos, promised benefits and descriptions stating to “ask your dentists,” “do not to swallow,” and not to use if flaps are broken. Internally, the marketing team will have copy decks, layouts, PDFs, JPGs, translations, etc. PIM-system is a tool for collecting descriptive and media file information for a single product in one place. Making the system a knowledge hub for the product, which can include data points for production, certification, marketing and promotion, sales and distribution.
How does a PIM system work?
When we describe one toothpaste in the example above, we are excluding all the possible flavours, sizes and variations of that toothpaste. That is not even to mention all the possible brands; we have all seen endless rows of toothpaste in stores. As we can recognize, it’s easy for an asset to get lost within the plenitude of data. PIM software will store that information in one convenient place; this will prevent the team from having to search, collect and store data across apps, spreadsheets and servers. The system will allow you to have verified information to any of your questions, whether it’s shipping destination or updated logos.
Why do businesses need a PIM tool?
Often PIM prevents inconsistencies in product delivery; fragmented or outdated information shared with the team or client. As well, departments spend less time looking for and gathering information both internally and externally. As a result, products and timelines are easier to manage online and offline, allowing for faster delivery to markets, retailers and customers.
Reduced data entry
Besides being able to see all the information on your product in one platform, we are able to edit, delete and share information within the PIM platform. Additionally, data will be clearly visible to everyone, and fields will be highlighted in case a particular data point has been missed. In cases when product information needs to be updated, editing it once on the platform will allow not only all other departments to see the revision but also be updated on all the sales channels, such as websites, marketplaces, social platforms or catalogues. By placing all information into a PIM, your company will be able to sell products efficiently, streamline operations and increase brand loyalty by presenting consistency on all sale platforms.
Catalog and inventory data tracking in real-time
PIM platforms are a strong base for e-commerce advancement, specifically in omnichannel and multichannel approaches that rely on managing vast amounts of product data. In addition to optimizing inventory management, PIM software facilitates workflow, keeps the information error-free and ensures data is updated in real-time across all channels. Mistakes in inventory management come at a high cost to businesses; these errors can occur due to pricing, wrong shipments and out-of-stock items. PIM systems give the opportunity to update information synchronously for all retailers and notify of changes, inaccuracies, and modifications to provide consistency for the company. For example, brands are able to update monthly stock quantities for every e-commerce platform individually or simultaneously; the standardized stock quantities will be reflected in real-time. This presents relevant information to global markets, meaning the correct data will be shared with clients leading to high-quality customer service.
PIM is a centralized database for each product and provides access to all departments with the latest information. Simultaneously, PIM systems have different access levels for employees, marketers and manufacturers, therefore, ensuring the correct departments are entering the appropriate information in correspondence to their field of knowledge. Maintaining product data in a single location contributes to stable and error-free workflows. A crucial benefit is clearly seeing the planned work process in each step, from development to distribution. PIM systems lower costs as they replace multiple platforms and avoid unnecessary back and forth between employees. These platforms store the history of the product, such as price and stock fluctuations. Consistency in the product customer receive results in brand loyalty and improves reputation. Preventing human error is the definition of PIM systems.
PIM databases have the ability to grow with your company. Teams have to put in a lot of effort to collect data from stakeholders within an organization, clients, marketers, vendors and distribution channels. No matter which e-commerce model your company is moving in, PIM systems will help optimize and centralize asset catalogues. Please note expansion is easier achieved on cloud-based PIM systems in comparison to On-Premises PIM platforms, as the latter requires additional equipment. The benefits of information management also relate to the number of users. This is a matter of company growth; at some point, new employees will be needed in new branches. The system should ideally have an unlimited number of users or the ability to pay for each new additional user.
Which product data is maintained in a PIM system?
Overall, any type of informational data that a manufacturer needs to distribute a product to the market can be maintained within a PIM system. Product Information Management solutions process massive quantities of content, simultaneously preserving user experience. Besides the information provided in the toothpaste example, the tool can be used for different aspects:
This data may contain ingredients, size, weight, safety information and any additional specifications required for commerce. Businesses that include a complete and accurate description to buyers ensure quality product experience and minimize return rates. As in our toothpaste example, it’s best practice to include all important information about the merchandise. Images, characterizations and prices inform a potential customer about the excellent quality of your product. The consumer will be able to picture the product even through online purchases accordingly, and the results will be accurate to their expectations.
Remember the direction for use at the back of a toothpaste “Apply the product onto a soft bristle toothbrush…” – this is usage data. It describes to clients how to safely and efficiently use your product. You can provide multiple recommendations, such as in the case of the toothpaste: “Brush teeth twice a day or as recommended by a doctor.”In the case of toothpaste, the recommendations and instructions are clear, but if we have a technically complex product like an air conditioner. It contains information about installation, use, cleaning instructions, warranty and return periods, etc. The main goal of the manufacturer is to provide accurate material and convey information in a convenient manner. Ensuring the customer will be satisfied with the results, correspond with their expectations and protect your business legally. Expanding usage data attracts more customers as the product answers more needs.
The purpose of emotional data is to connect the customer to the product by using emotional language or photos. The toothpaste will serve as an example once again, and society considers perfect white teeth healthy. Hence, creators use words such as whitening, complete care and 12-hour protection, providing confidence in the product and increasing the likelihood of intriguing the consumer. Images can work similarly; creating a halo or a protection bubble around a tooth on the packaging is beneficial to sales as it usually elevates the product. These techniques give a better understanding of the product, enhancing performance for PIM vendors. Teams can store content that is generated by users on social networks and retail platforms. We wrote more about this type of content in the article: https://picvario.com/what-is-user-generated-content/.
Product Information Management Benefits
Product information management is used for a high volume of products and customer information. In situations when companies have multiple points of sale, as well as when the product(s) are spread across many marketing channels. PIM simplifies product lifecycles by digitalizing and organizing information, especially streamlining multiple product relationships. In companies that hold seasonal or limited edition sales or any alternative short-term offers where information needs to be added or edited for a certain length of time and reversed to the original characteristics after a set date. Growing companies know how difficult it is to manage various suppliers and storage, especially when information comes from multiple sources, both internal and external. Centralized databases track where a product is located, how much of the stock is left and when it needs to be replenished. In addition, PIM has a long-lasting application in a business, such as storing data enterprise resource planning (ERP).
PIM stores product information; it does not store branded promotional materials and will not increase sales on its own. A DAM system is a centralized system for managing and organizing. By integrating PIM and DAM platforms, companies work at best results in a synergy that can be a successful content strategy. Our team will gladly offer consultations on how to integrate PIM and DAM into your workflows. If you have a question, email our experts at email@example.com.