In this article, we cover such aspect of modern e-commerce as product information management systems or PIM. Every PIM system relies on processes and technologies which centralise the informational flow bound up with products sold by the enterprise. That’s why product information management systems are usually focused on the data which is necessary for different market operations. They are designed to simplify the process of selling goods through one or more channels of distribution.
Product information management software generates a set of product data which can be used as up-to-date output for different media systems and products. PIM systems can be used for the integration of web sites with offline business. They can also produce data required for print catalogs or their digital equivalents. Moreover, PIM systems are usually connected with ERP systems.
Information management, implemented with a help of PIM system, provides a support for multiple locations and languages, making diverse partners or affiliates much more connected. All the members of such system get a centralized interface, where they can modify product information in a cost-effective and consistently accurate manner.
Modern retail involves numerous product data channels. Bricks-and-mortar stores as a part of enterprise are now complemented by websites, mobile applications, print catalogs, and different digital feeds. Thus, product information management software becomes a tool, designed for the organisation and structuralization of data produced by different departments and held by certain systems and people. PIM system utilizes a centralized and media-independent approach to data maintenance. As a result, the whole enterprise gets a simplified system for purchasing, production and communication. The new data flow is suitable for repeated use in multiple systems. Moreover, even different languages are not an obstacle anymore. In addition, you get multiple tools for data collection, management, and export.
Table of contents
- 0.1 Data used in PIM
- 0.2 Key concepts of PIM
- 0.3 5 reasons to use PIM in e-commerce
- 0.4 PIM users
- 0.5 PIM and ERP
- 1 Best PIM (Product Information Management) Systems for Your E-Commerce Website
- 1.1 Asim
- 1.2 Salsify
- 1.3 inRiver
- 1.4 Hybris software
- 1.5 IBM InfoSphere
- 1.6 Oracle
- 1.7 Agility Multichannel
- 1.8 ADAM
- 1.9 Stibo Systems
- 1.10 Pimcore
- 1.11 EnterWorks
- 1.12 Informatica
- 1.13 Merchantry
- 1.14 Riversand
- 1.15 Perfion
- 1.16 Akeneo
- 1.17 Ideosity + B2X Partners
- 1.18 Skypim
- 1.19 Contentserv
- 1.20 IcecatPIM
- 1.21 StoreGecko
- 2 PIM for Magento
Data used in PIM
All possible kinds of marketing data, such as descriptions, media assets, labels, etc.
Data generated by different users, which primarily consist of comments and rates.
Measures, identifiers and all other types of technical data.
Different data used in logistics.
Key concepts of PIM
As a central repository of all product data, product information management software helps extract, enrich, and distribute information. Data extraction includes such processes as collection from external sources (ERP systems, databases of suppliers); catalog data selection; and setting priorities between sources.
Another concept of PIM is data replenishment. It provides you with the ability to add new content (usually marketing or technical) to the descriptions of your products. Then, you can classify all your products. It is necessary to link them with different catalogs. Another component of data replenishment is multilingual support, which is necessary to prepare your data for both different employees and customers. Workflows, audits, and other lifecycle processes are also among available options.
Last but not least is data distribution. Product information management software provides the ability to manage different sales channels, data flows, catalogs, etc.
5 reasons to use PIM in e-commerce
With the help of PIM system, you will be able to structure your information, without spending too much time on this process. The right software will help you understand the way your products should be classified; the number of attributes, required for your e-commerce store; core principles of navigation on your website; major data sources, their priority and influences; the required level of data quality, etc.
Product information management software helps with information enrichment. You can use spreadsheets or ERPs, but they will never provide you with the most comprehensive data. In addition, you will be able to avoid different headaches, such as poor product pages or manual form filling.
The work of recommendation engines and search tools is based on product information. In order to provide your visitors with the most relevant results, you need to provide aforementioned tools with the most comprehensive information about your products. PIM system is the source of such information.
Multichannel support is another reason to use PIM. You can always connect your e-commerce website with brick-and-mortar store or mobile application with the help of product information management software. It is always easier to connect new channels with e-commerce store through PIM than making customisation directly to the website.
It’s more profitable to add PIM system to your enterprise now, because with the growth of your digital store, the costs, required for the integration, will grow to.
E-commerce merchants with complex product catalogs.
Enterprises with the need of centralized and optimized data flow.
Businesses with the need of data quality control.
PIM and ERP
PIM is usually used to supplement ERP system. If a small company relies on a ERP to form a monolith infrastructure, PIM can be embedded into the existing ERP. In a case of big enterprise, a single ERP systems can represent only one of the existing applications. As a result, product information management software is implemented separately. In both cases, PIM can ensure the definition of every product across all systems and organizations – the feature which is impossible in ERPs. Thus, PIM is extremely necessary for data optimization and informational flow organisation, required for the seamless work of ERP system. Check the below links to find more information about ERP systems:
Best PIM (Product Information Management) Systems for Your E-Commerce Website
Asim provides a software suite designed to make the entire product management and the retailer workflow more convenient and simple. It consists of four modules: asimBase, asimFlip, asimPublish, asimCommerce. The first module is a base for implementation of PIM system. The asimFlip module works with catalogue PDFs turning them into online listings. AsimPublish is responsible for print publishing. In its turn, asimCommerce works with e-commerce websites.
With this PIM system, you will be able to create target-oriented publications with ease. Besides simplified complex data structures, it also generates data, which can be used for any purpose. Such combination of features makes Asim the ideal solution for enterprises, which rely on catalogs and other printed materials.
Salsify is an example of a cloud-based PIM solution. Within this platform, all employees get the access to the real-time information. The platform itself provides the integration with
most ERP systems and e-commerce platforms. Real-time collaboration in a combination with unlimited users and multiple workflows make Salsify a perfect solution for the companies with big teams. The platform supports multiple languages. In addition, it provides a system of one-click reminders. Salsify is a scalable platform, so it can grow with your business.
InRiver is another product information management system, which supports data output to multiple channels. This PIM can be integrated with e-commerce stores, mobile applications, and POS systems. It provides information for catalogs, signages and other promotional materials. In addition, you can get online-only information separately. Ratings, comments, reviews, and behavior of your customers are accessible within the system. Despite inRiver suits for both B2B and B2C businesses, it is perfect for companies with multiple channels, wide variety of product data, and crowded e-commerce store.
The system is designed to increase the quality of product information. Special algorithms are used to eliminate errors. InRiver also provides advanced search capabilities and supports channel to channel functions. Merchants with Magento stores can use inRiver extensions. There is also a planner app designed to manage promotions, marketing campaigns, and product launches.
There is also the appropriate PIM software among Hybris’ solutions. It centralizes all information related to products and customers within one single view. Hybris supports work with both internal and external data sources. We should also mention, that it works offline and online. PIM system by Hybris provides real time updates. It is ideal for B2C retailers with emphasis on e-commerce. It also works with user-generated content, supports multiple devices, and provides SEO tools. Down-channel selling is another important feature of product information management system by Hybris. The platform supports different currencies and suits for multiple markets. Supplier onboarding is extremely easy with Hybris.
IBM InfoSphere is a perfect tool for merchants, looking for real-time product data. This PIM platform provides such features as data aggregation, collaborative workflows, reporting, data modeling, auditing, etc. There are also very convenient text editors for web-style content. InfoSphere supports data consolidation across such channels as e-commerce websites, store, mobile apps. It is designed for B2B businesses first of all.
Oracle provides one of the most popular PIM solutions. The platform creates a central repository with all the necessary data. Besides product information, it also includes supplier data and information about locations and channels, which is available for sharing within the organization and out of it. Oracle product information management system helps ensure compliance with industry standards. Last but not least is scalability.
If you are looking for a user-friendly and highly customizable PIM software, then Agility is your solution. Agility Multichannel relies on contextual views. With this feature, you will be able to customize and adapt data to every channel of your enterprise. The software integrates with all possible e-commerce systems and offers dynamic workflows. Moreover, Agility Multichannel will help you streamline all data flows and enrich information about your products. In addition, you get real-time analytic tools, content auditing and history. Agility’s product information management solution works with both B2C and B2B businesses, providing them with the advanced visibility on performance and financial data.
PIM software by ADAM provides informative and up-to-date flow of information from all possible channels of the enterprise. It is ideal for B2C companies, because it supports different media, such as videos, images and audio files. As a result, this product information management software enhances current user experience. It also ensures consistency of your brand, products, and themes. In addition, you get different tools for creation of new content, localization of old one, launch of different products, and more.
Stibo Systems provides PIM platform as a part of data management suite. Other parts of the suite include software for digital asset management, MDM, and modules responsible for data governance and quality. PIM platform provides endless data flow and wide managing capabilities. Users get access to such product data as hierarchy and structure, attributes, versioning and validations, approvals, etc. Being part of robust platform, PIM solution by Stibo Systems suits best for big businesses.
If you are looking for an open-source solution, then you should check Pimcore. This multi-channel product data management platform provides full control not only over data channels, but also over web properties and marketing campaigns. You can easily use different integrated tools to create email campaigns, social media efforts, newsletters, etc. Thanks to advances support for apps and websites, Pimcore is a perfect PIM for retailers with the strong emphasis on e-commerce.
Another PIM solution in our list is Enable by EnterWorks. It provides the ability to manage both media files and documents. Enable by EnterWorks works with e-commerce websites, supports web and print catalogs, provides access to business apps and data pools, etc. Its application is designed for all possible kinds of users, such as suppliers, dealers, members of sales team, employees from customer service. Other useful aspects of this software are extensible taxonomies and unlimited attributes. The solution is designed for B2B companies, but it also good for B2C retail.
Informatica combines all channels and platforms of the enterprise in a one holistic hub. It is easy to setup and use. There is also a simple integration for suppliers. Moreover, Informatica provides intuitive interface and lots of useful tools. It suites best for B2C retailers trying to automate their business processes.
Product information management software by Merchantry supports multi-vendor capabilities. With this platform, you will be able to scale the workflow, make supplier onboarding more simple, and manage product information within a user-friendly interface.
Suppliers and retailers get two connected portals. The received data can be used in e-commerce selling channels, print, or brick-and-mortar stores. It is also necessary to mention different configurable rules, which make data flaw seamless. Merchantry’s solution can be integrated into different businesses, but its core target audience consists of retailers with a large number of suppliers and vendors.
Riversand is another robust PIM solution. It provides support for multiple languages and regions, ensures publishing to e-catalogs and print media, and automates data flows. Riversand covers all steps of workflows from the product creation down to final sale. This PIM solution is highly scalable, so it suits for all kinds of retail companies.
With Perfion, you will get product data from different sources in one place. This PIM works with marketing, merchandising, sales and other channels of the enterprise. It even supports integration with existing IT management software. Perfion is equipped with product comparison tool, quality assurance features, and seasonal planning solutions. It is ideal for complex enterprises with sophisticated product structures and several selling channels.
Akeneo PIM is another reliable productivity tool. With a friendly interface, it is aimed at non technical users. Being based on a Symfony2, the platform is open source. Akeneo is highly scalable and customisable, that’s why it can be used within all possible types of retail businesses. Another strong feature is import/export engine. With its help, you can easily connect Akeneo PIM with other platforms.
Ideosity also provides its customers with top-notch product information management software. The platform covers all aspects of modern PIM. Moreover, it relies on individual approach to troubleshooting. Ideosity is teamed up with B2X Partners to provide the best PIM solutions. This collaboration also helps cover as much different businesses as possible.
skyPIM is another cloud based PIM platform designed to help you with organizing product data within central interface. Due to omni-channel output and multiple channel input, skyPIM can work with all possible sources of information, easily organising, enriching, and managing product data. With skyPIM, you will enhance the performance of your enterprise by implementing a single accurate data flow wherever and whenever you and your employees need it.
With its Multi Channel Hub, Contentserv provides a unified data flow, which covers all electronic output channels, shop systems, and platforms. It relies on product data, media information, and support for multiple languages. Besides PIM solution, Multi Channel Hub by Contentserv also includes digital asset management and translation management systems. The platform provides all your technical solutions and distribution channels with the ability to interact with each other.
The IcecatPIM system is completely open source. It is based on Perl/MySQL and designed to simplify the management of large databases. With the light version of the IcecatPIM, you will be able to create a data hub for product information generated by all you systems and platforms. In order to use the XML data in other apps, the system relies on SQL statements.
With StoreGecko you get the ability to optimize your work with Magento e-commerce store. You no longer need to spend hours editing filling in thousands of product details, because StoreGecko is one of the fastest ways to import your product information into Magento website.
PIM for Magento
PIMagento combines core benefits of Magento CE with the best PIM features. It can be linked to ERP systems and integrated with MAM or TMS software. There is also the possibility of manual data management. PIMagento gathers merchandise management, marketing, and sales within one place. It relies on data from the ERP systems, enhancing it with the relevant information.
Akeneo provides its users with the ability to integrate their Magento e-commerce websites with Akeneo’s PIM software. Akeneo Magento Connector still has some limitations, but it is the best possible solution. Check the above link for the additional information.
There is also an appropriate Magento extension for the integration of your e-commerce store with inRiver product information management platform. With this module, you will be able to add one of the most reliable PIM solutions to your Magento store. The module is completely free. To get more information about inRiver, check the above mention in this post.
You can also connect your Magento Enterprise website with Merchantry. Hit the above link to get the appropriate connector. You will also find out, how it works and what it does. If you use both Magento store and SaaS product information management software by Merchantry, then this is the best possible way to connect them with each other.
To integrate StoreGecko with your Magento store, you need a GeckoConnector extension. With the help of this module, you will be able to connect both systems together, and optimize the workflow on your e-commerce website. The extension is free, but you will have to pay 200 years per year for StoreGecko service.