Is your company considering whether or not to implement a product information management system (PIM) for managing product data? A good place to start is to compile a list of the pros and cons of purchasing and implementing a PIM. It will definitely simplify the process of searching for the right solution. In this article, we’ve gathered a list of common pros and cons of PIM solutions to help your team analyze the information available and make the right decision for your business.
What Is PIM?
Firstly, let's clear up what is product information management nowadays. PIM provides manufacturers with a unique space to store, enrich, and share product information. The system offers a variety of tools to manage product content cost-effectively, keep the consistency and quality of product content on a high level, and distribute it to the sales channels automatically. However, the modern PIM system isn't just about managing product data in one place. It is also about analyzing product content quality, identifying insights for the enrichment of product descriptions, optimizing product information for the diverse sales channels’ audience.
These features enable brands to provide a high-quality user experience for their customers on each platform. It's clear that the better customer experience you provide - the more conversions you have, which results in sales growth. So, PIM reduces manual work with product content, improves data quality, accelerates time-to-market, and increases labour productivity of the business.
Seems like the Product Information Management System is a panacea for all business problems of brands. Is it really so? Let's find out the pros and cons of a PIM in a more detailed way.
Benefits of Product Information Management System for Brands
1. Better Customer Experience
A precise focus on customer experience improvement has significantly changed the functionality of PIM. Moreover, even the name of the system has changed and we can see Product Experience Management more and more often now. But, it's just the next step of PIM evolution. Product Information Management system gives an opportunity to provide consistent, complete, and relevant product information.
Detailed text descriptions, superb pictures, high-quality video, or even VR and AR — this content can be easily provided with a PIM. Product content analytics allows brands to analyze important metrics of their content performance on sales channels. Analytics gives an opportunity to optimize product descriptions due to the customers’ needs for each platform. PIM integration with ERP or Warehouse Management shows how much stock is available when customers want to buy something. And on the other hand, brands always know when the time comes to supply retailers with needed products. All these PIM features enhance customers’ experience. Thus, it's obvious that the more qualified customer experience you provide - the more sales you have.
2. Easier Product Data Management
People can be exhausted from endless work with product content. Especially, when the business grows and more and more new products are coming in. The more people get tired of working with product data — the more mistakes they make. The more mistakes people make — the fewer sales you have. Product information operations automation reduces the risk of errors. At the same time, you will meet your end consumers’ requirements to benefit from complete and reliable product descriptions. Product Information Management System gives an opportunity for brands to automate product information flows. Overall, it makes product data management easier and less time-consuming.
3. Fast and Less Manual Product Content Distribution
Brands share product information with plenty of sales channels. Sending product data manually is a waste of time. Product information management system enables brands to send product content automatically via API connections with retailers, marketplaces, and other sales channels. It is made with the product content syndication feature of PIM. Product content syndication is the distribution of product data feed across multiple eCommerce sales platforms and marketplaces while complying with each of their different requirements. This feature saves lots of time and resources for brands which can be spent on sales strategy enhancement.
4. Faster Time-to-Market And Scaling
Completeness of product information is a crucial factor for getting a product to market. The problem is that manual content management is slow and doesn't give any opportunity to check which areas still have to be enhanced. The product information system will help you to see a clear picture of content consistency. You'll know what content requires gap fixing or other enhancements. It prevents mistakes and pauses, ensuring no wasted time or work. Faster time-to-market enables brands to expand into new geographies rapidly. Text translations can be imported to the PIM system and used for several markets. And regulations of different countries for product data can be managed in a single place. All these features make it easy for manufacturers to develop high-quality product information, meet the regulations of different countries, and efficiently scale market presence.
5. Increased Productivity
Organizing product information in spreadsheets manually costs a substantial amount of productive time for brands. More and more businesses are now switching to automated PIM systems. Product information management systems enable businesses to automate these labour-intensive internal processes, which can improve productivity and spirit greatly among teams. This lets online manufacturers direct their time and resources away from manual entering and maintaining online data, allowing them to spread more resources across the rest of their business activities. By providing an intuitive and centralized data store, a PIM system also allows teams and departments across the entire company to track product content management workflows. This helps teams with coordination, growing the efficiency of business processes inside the company.
As we see, the benefits of a product information management system are crucial for the brand's eCommerce strategy. But nothing is ideal in this world, and the PIM system also has some cons.
Challenges With Product Information Management Systems
1. Functionality That Is Hard to Grasp
The truth is that different companies have their own challenges to solve with PIM. Some brands are interested in AI to enhance product content descriptions, but other ones can be fully satisfied with an opportunity of handling product data in one place. However, PIM vendors usually try to sell the full pack of features (the biggest part of them you may not need at all) for a higher price.
To overcome this challenge we advise you to identify the key needed PIM features for your own business first. Set up meetings with all departments which need PIM, gather all the expectations of the solution, and define the requirements for the PIM system. After that, you can start searching for the right vendor. Check this roadmap proposed by our CEO to find more detailed instructions for PIM implementation.
2. Vague Expectations for a PIM System
There is a slight difference between DAM, MDM, PIM. Some people can’t get the contrast and expect PIM to be the only one system for managing all business data. Let's clear up the issue once and for all. An MDM system handles all data in the company. A DAM system is used for managing all the digital content of a company: images, videos, etc. And PIM provides a single place for the management of all the product-related information used by a company (texts, photos, videos, supplier information, datasheets, etc.). Don't expect PIM to manage business data, all the digital content, but only product-related information, though it generally has a simplified functionality of DAM. This will help you to clearly understand what PIM is used for.
3. Long Implementation Process
The implementation of the Product Information Management system generally takes from 4 to 24 months depending on the project complexity. The solution should be customized to the business needs and integrated into the software ecosystem. Some mistakes during the integration can lead to dangerous consequences for the company. It also takes some time to set up custom connections with retailers or marketplaces. But, all the time invested in implementing PIM will definitely result in less time-consuming work with product information. So, be patient enough, and you will be surprised by the result.
Gepard: Product Information Management Vendor With 15 Years of eCommerce Expertise
Now you understand the benefits and drawbacks of a PIM. You may also request a free consultation with Gepard experts or request a guided tour for Gepard PIM. Our team of 150 highly experienced developers and marketers providing product content syndication services to the major eCommerce players in the EMEA market for over 15 years is always ready to hear about challenges with product information and offer the right solutions.
Gepard is a multi-tenant platform for Product Information Management and Product Content Syndication. Our solutions help brands to deliver a consistent customer experience across all sales channels. Gepard helps manufacturers to centralize diverse product data, collect data from multiple sources, analyze, optimize, and deliver complying content to sales channels. As a syndication service, Gepard provides ready-made API connections with retailers and marketplaces and develops custom integrations as well.
You’re welcome to connect with our eCommerce expert right now by filling in the contact form down the link.