PIM – what is it?

Natalie Miller
Natalie Miller
October 15 · 4 min read

PIM – what is it?

It’s smooth sailing when Captain PIM is on board!

The whole point of implementing a Product Information Management (PIM) system is to streamline all workflows around your product information. And by ALL workflow, we mean ALL workflow.

What is PIM?

PIM is a system that is made up of a variety of useful processes and tools, with the goal of centralizing and managing product information. As usual, there are many different PIM platforms out there - like Sales Layer, Akeneo or Pimcore.

Let’s paint a picture, shall we?

Imagine you have an E-Commerce business, be it small or large, and you keep adding products, changing product descriptions, and tweaking the images you have online. That sounds natural enough right? It’s Summer, so out with your Winter catalogue, and in with your Summer catalogue. All reasonable and fair reasons to be amending things on your site.

Now the problem you’re faced with?

The product information that you have is often duplicated, incorrectly amended, or scattered around messily. Or you have products online that require a lot of information for the visitor eg. medicinal products, food items – where you need to carefully list a long explanation of content. You’re looking at your online store thinking ‘What on earth is going on here?’. Suddenly, things that you once had so much control over such as SKUs, item numbers, products, reference, images, localizations etc. are all over the place. On top of this, you’re trying to manage this system over multiple channels, in different languages, sold across different time zones and being paid for in various currencies. A bit of a nightmare really, no?

You know that the products or services you offer online are your bread and butter. Without being able to accurately represent them to your online visitors, your business faces a life-threatening conundrum. You’re starting to notice discrepancies on your online store, workflow within your team starts to slow as no one knows what’s going on anymore. Or worse yet, your already at capacity digital team now has to languish through data analysis, which isn’t their field of expertise. You notice that your conversion rate is dropping, and your inbox is sadly pinging with the amount of customers who have left their carts abandoned.

PIM to the rescue!

PIM offers a centralized platform to ensure a clear view of your product information. It allows you to manage data on your E-Commerce platform for all your products and services. It facilitates the maintenance of consistent and quality product data and information. Without getting too technical, how it essentially works is like this: In the beginning, you start collecting data from all your multiple data sources (and in their various formats) and then merge all this important information into a single source of what we call ‘master data’. This is the data of all data, the mothership. The benefits of having all this information accumulated and stored together is that now the PIM system can get to work by helping you to  identify and rectify problematic data. It has the ability to push data out as each channel needs it, without confusing one stream for another.

The great thing about a strong PIM is that it syncs product data across your whole operation. What this means is that all your teams, so the one’s that work with back-end server data, and your front-end team, those that work with everything your visitors engage with, including your marketing team, can work together with the updated and relevant data for their field. This means that each of your departments will be able to function at lightning speed, and be able to work confidently as their data and information is all up to date.

There is nothing better than a team that can work in unison and feel aligned. By implementing PIM, everyone will be working around a single set of product data. Not only is this great news for the team, it is also great news for your customers, which means it’s great for you, dear business owner, too!

The shopping experience for your online visitors/customers will become an enjoyable experience – images/videos will all be up to date and shipping procedures will run smoothly (data wise).

Scalability for your business will also be an enjoyable process, as opposed to a scary and tedious journey. By making your internal data organization streamline, and bringing all the information together, you won’t have to fear the usual downfalls that scaling can bring.

The PIM fallacy

We know that once you’re up and running, it’s challenging to let a tech team come in to implement a new PIM system over months. So, you make do with what you have but your data gets more and more messy. Which is exactly why we’re saying, ‘Start now’! Regardless of where you are, it’s never too late to slowly start incorporating a PIM system. If you are in the process of setting up an online shop with many complicated products, then have your PIM system ready from the get-go, to avoid any future annoyance and disorganization.

We’d be elated to help guide you through the different systems at your disposal and offer our expert consultation. Simply fill in our online forum or get in touch per email on hello@especial.digital

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Natalie Miller
Written by

Natalie Miller

Marketing Manager

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