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Many companies struggle to manage their product data in an effective way. Spreadsheets just don’t cut it in today’s modern eCommerce world. That is why the Product Information Management (PIM) software was developed to solve this problem.

However, the problem I find is that many companies think a PIM will solve their product data issues when in fact it won’t. This is because there are generally two distinct issues, one that a PIM will solve, and one that a PIM cannot solve.

The 1st, and most common issue, is simply aggregating, normalizing, and creating quality product data. This either means you need to create it and update it consistently if it’s your data, or you need to aggregate it from vendors and normalize it into your own unified set if you don’t create the products yourself.

The 2nd problem is distributing this data to multiple channels. This is the problem that PIM solves as well as make it easy for everyone to go to one unified source of truth to manage all product data, which then gets sent to many channels.

The mistake I see many companies make is that they think by buying a PIM, they are solving problem 1. When in reality, the 1st problem is often a symptom of no one taking ownership of creating and organizing the product data in the first place. Without a good process, a PIM will simply be a better version of spreadsheets that is not being well utilized.

Here are the main reasons I would use a PIM:

Selling On Marketplaces & Social Platforms

Probably the most obvious reason is to have one unified place that can syndicate content to all the major platforms. This becomes a major challenge if you start selling on many platforms and a PIM is by far the best way to do this.

Selling To Many Distributors & Retailers

Once you start selling to many down stream channels, those people will need your product data to sell your products. This makes it obvious to use a PIM to give them all or some of your data in whatever format they need.

Managing Product Data Across Multiple Positions & languages

Managing data across many different positions and languages becomes difficult. Spreadsheets become messy and inefficient. A PIM is a much better way to manage multiple people in one software all with the same goal of making product data better for the company.

Better Product Marketing

If you need to market products across many channels, a PIM is the best way to organized product data for marketing. This way marketing can easily grab data for a product and create a public URL, or other product data assets for marketing.

One of these reasons alone can be enough to justify a PIM, but if you barely sell on marketplaces or barely need one of the reasons it might just not be enough. In that case you may be better off simply using your eCommerce platform as a PIM since it usually offers decent capabilities for managing product data.

PIM Solutions To Consider:

  • Plytix
  • Salsify
  • Inriver
  • Keebo
  • Akeneo
  • Sales Layer
  • Pimcore
  • Riversand
  • Catsy

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