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PIM, what is it and why do you need it?
What is PIM? What is PIM used for? What are the advantages of PIM? Do I need a PIM? These are some of the most common questions we get when it comes to PIM. Every company that sells products can use a PIM system and benefit from it. If you don't know what PIM is or what the advantages are, make sure to read the following article where we answer all of your questions about PIM.
At PHPro we always recommend Akeneo as an Open Source PIM system.
What is PIM?
A PIM or Product Information Management system is a tool which you use to collect, manage and enrich all your product information in a central location.
This ensures that all changes or additions to a product catalog happen through the same tool. The PIM system is also connected with your different selling platforms so they all get updated automatically when you make a change in the PIM system.
Becuase of this, all your selling platforms have consistent information and there is no discrepancy in prices or descriptions between your different platforms.
What information can be stored in a PIM system?
A PIM system will store all information about you products. Some typical examples are:
- Product specifications
- Product description
- Related products
- Product images
What can I do with a PIM?
A PIM system is mainly used to keep your product information in a centralized location. You can also easily import information from suppliers and export your information to your selling platforms.
It's also possible to enrich your data. This means you can edit or add certain fields to your products. The PIM can also indicate whether or not all recommended and mandatory fields are filled in for your products.
Besides this, you can also add translations to your products and store them in the PIM. This isn't as interesting for everyone, because not all companies sell products in multiple languages. But if you do, this is a very useful functionality.
PIM systems aren't just useful for companies that do e-commerce. For example, a company could also make catalogs with the images and information that's stored in the system.
Why use a PIM?
1. Better product information
Because all product information is stored in the same place, it's easier to check and edit the information. By checking your product information you can catch possible mistakes that are present.
You also lower the chance for mistakes because your product information gets automatically uploaded to all your selling platforms instead of having to manually enter the information everywhere. This means you only have to enter the information once in the PIM.
When you're entering product specifications or other information, there's a risk of you making a mistake. This risk is a lot smaller with a PIM because you can usually import product information directly from the supplier.
All of this leads to a higher quality of product information, which will increase the trust of your customers.
2. More efficiency
In the past, and maybe even now, product information was often kept in multiple Excel sheets or tools. When changes had to be made, they had to be done in all the tools or Excel sheets.
In the case of the Excel sheets it wasn't always easy to edit a certain product, especially when there were a lot of fields for each product. In both cases it could lead to inconsistency when one of the files or tools was forgotten.
It also took a lot of time to make changes because of a lack of usability. This problem is solved by centralizing all product information in a PIM system.
Usually, PIM systems also have a graphical user interface which makes changing data a lot easier. Because of the usability of a PIM, changes require less time which leads to a higher efficiency.
3. Better SEO
For SEO, the content on your website plays a big part. When you have a blog, it's your articles that are seen as the content. However, when you have an e-commerce website, your products are the content.
A search engine needs to understand the content on your website, and your product information can help with this. So, by providing better product information the search engine will better understand your content.
Since a PIM allows you to enrich your content it will also help you rank higher in search engines.
4. Shorter time-to-market
Because you can easily import supplier information, edit your product information and immediately export to all your selling platforms, it allows you to quickly start selling a new product.
This is important because you don't want to fall behind your competitors when a new product is launched. If your competitors are able to sell the product a day sooner, they'll be able to grab a good part of the market share.
When you're ahead of the competition, you have the chance to grab the first customers for this new product. These customers could become regular customers who keep coming back, even for other products.
Who benefits from a PIM system?
Many teams can benefit from a PIM:
- Sales department: always need up-to-date product information
- E-commerce managers: need to keep the products up-to-date
- Marketeers/Marketing teams: use product information for campaigns on different channels
- Customers: are sure you're providing good and correct product information
When do you need a PIM system?
Every company that sells products can use a PIM. You don't even need to be an e-commerce business. A PIM is especially useful when the company has a high amount of SKU's, sells products on multiple platforms or in multiple languages.
Also when there is a lot of manual work through Excel sheets or the product information is spread over multiple tools, it might be useful to switch over to a PIM system.
PIM is used to manage the product information of all your products in a central location. Because of PIM, you no longer need to use multiple tools or Excel sheets. This leads to higher quality information and more efficiency. It helps you make a good impression on your customers, but also to perform better in the search results.
At PHPro we work together an experienced PIM integrator, Induxx. Induxx specializes in delivering PIM systems that integrate perfectly with Magento websites. Thinking about getting a new webshop? Contact us and we'll talk about your digital transformation!