PIM system

Definition of a PIM system:

A Product Information Management system, commonly known as PIM, is a system that stores and shares product information with web stores, print catalogs, social media, marketplaces and a company’s ERP system.

How does a PIM system work?

In addition to an ERP system, a PIM system serves as the single source of truth for product information/specifications. It contains product release workflows, detailing when products can be launched. It stores information like company roles with different access permissions such as sales, marketing, and product managers.

The PIM system exports the product information to different channels, such as a web store, printed catalogs, social media or a corporate website.

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What are the benefits of a PIM system?

The biggest benefits of a PIM system that companies often overlook is that it drives company growth. According to Forrester, “teams that use PIM will win customers and expand their markets.” But there are many other benefits to having a PIM system in addition to your ERP:

Supports an omnichannel strategy

A PIM system is perfect for businesses who want to embrace an omnichannel strategy, ensuring that customers get a seamless product experience regardless of their channel of choice. All product information on the internet is standardized, and companies don’t have to maintain multiple systems to keep this information consistent.

24/7 Availability

Consumers can purchase using voice commerce 24/7, as they would with any web store, but voice technology also allows them to do so more easily and quickly — without a lengthy browsing and purchasing process.

Gives marketing and sales teams access to product information

In larger companies, departments like marketing and sales don’t have access to the business’s ERP system and cannot change product descriptions and specifications. A PIM system grants these departments access to this information, ensuring they can easily make changes to product data whenever they need to.

Increases effectiveness

Having data stored in multiple systems costs money, time, and valuable resources. But with a PIM system, companies can easily access and update product information across all channels.

Reduces product introduction timeline

Companies that use a PIM system see an 80% reduction in the time it takes their business to successfully introduce and sell new products online.


What are the challenges of a PIM system?

Keeping two systems aligned

A company needs to keep its ERP and its PIM system constantly aligned. Making sure that product details are the same in both systems is critical, or the integration of data won’t work as it is intended to.

Pricing: PIM systems cost money

Having a PIM system doesn’t come free of cost, and this can be a deciding factor when purchasing this solution. With many PIM providers, if you’d like to add a language or several languages, you’ll also add to the price of the solution and to its complexity.

Not a one-size-fits-all solution

PIM systems aren’t an ideal fit for all types of companies. Having a PIM system won’t magically improve your e-commerce performance; it just standardizes and enriches your product information.

It’s a perfect solution for companies who don’t have a suitable ERP system to manage business processes, have too many product specifications, or for large companies that want a PIM system to better support an omnichannel strategy.


The future of PIM systems

As it’s becoming more important to have the same product information/specifications across all channels, PIM systems will become increasingly more popular. The internet has made product comparisons so transparent that nowadays companies cannot afford to make mistakes; in a matter of seconds, customers will move to the next supplier if the e-commerce experience isn’t data-rich, feature-rich, and up-to-date.

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