All businesses strive for commercial success. Normally it depends on increasing sales, so different company’s departments cooperate to reach their business goals. In the process, they deal with various types of product data. Businesses gather and manage data according to their objectives. Usually, efficient product data management is the main focus of their efforts. A variety of solutions have been developed to process product information over the last few years. Large-scale MDM software and ERP system are used for high-level enterprise management processes. PIM system, DAM software, and PXM solution work directly with the product databases. In this article, you will find product information management best practices that will help you to make the correct decisions for how to choose software solutions tailored to your business.
What Is Product Information Management Software?
The acronym PIM stands for product information management. The product information management software represents an integral part of the company’s internal ecosystem. PIM is storage of product data used for marketing and sales. In our contemporary world, customers demand wider information on the goods they're about to purchase. They’re no longer satisfied with basic descriptions for product categories, like dimensions or weight. That’s where the product information management system comes into play.
Product information management (PIM) provides all the necessary product data, including text descriptions, photos, and videos. It serves as a single source of truth for cross-functional teams, lets them easily add dozens of images, rich content, and translations into a system in a standardized way. PIM functionality allows to automatically adapt the product data to the various eCommerce platforms’ requirements.
What is product information management software for eCommerce retailers? PIM was initially designed to promote product data through various sales channels. Basically, the main purpose of PIM is to manage the product content and to optimize product pages in order to grow revenue and market share. Product information management best practices multiply businesses’ profits and save a great deal of time.
- Simple and immediate product data import through integration with internal & external data sources.
- Data editing in bulk to keep its consistency and save time.
- Product data analytics in real-time and with comprehensive dashboards.
- Data validation allows controlling the quality of the content based on certain rules defined by you.
- Product content creation, enrichment.
- Keeping multiple product data variations for the same product.
- Content standardization to simplify the content exchange.
- Product content syndication to various eCommerce partners.
Please see more information on how to improve your product data management performance.
Master Data Management Solution: Benefits Of The Large Scale
MDM, short for master data management, belongs to the structure of a company’s internal organizational data system. What master data management’s main functions are? It describes, processes, keeps, accesses, and provides all the company’s data for various operations. One of the most important master data management benefits is that it works across multiple domains of the organization. In fact, its infrastructure can be compared to a hub intended to source and distribute data among all the organization’s departments. Master data management tools create an accurate and consistent database instantly accessible to employees according to their access level.
- Enhanced data quality, uniformity, and consistency.
- Prevention of data duplication and/or inaccuracy.
- Automation of data processing mechanisms which saves resources (time, money, workforce).
- Compliance with laws and policies related to data helping to avoid penalties and security breaches.
- Better business decision-making based on more accurate data analysis.
- More efficient collaboration between multiple departments.
What is master data management software in its comparison to PIM? Master data management strategy is not focused on product data. But the product-focused approach of PIM might involve the cooperation of various departments within the company and make their contribution valuable for the product enrichment. While large-scale MDM projects enhance the company’s internal data processes, more flexible and agile PIM mechanisms focus on the elaboration of marketing and sales solutions to raise the company’s profits.
Digital Asset Management Tools: A Brief Overview
DAM, or digital asset management software, is basically a visual elements library within the company’s internal organizational data system that preserves all kinds of content for internal and external purposes. In other words, the digital asset management system is the most comprehensive, up-to-date, accessible, and secure storage of digital files related to your products, including documents, presentations, audio, video, and meta-information, etc. (and they’re not necessarily directly product-related). One of the major benefits of digital asset management software is that it helps all the company’s employees take advantage of existing digital assets.
- Simple file editing and instant format conversion.
- Assets tagging and their management (e.g. search) by metadata.
- Workflow creation and file usage reports (that track changes made in files).
- Friendly interface and multi-level user access system.
- Consistent brand-related materials database including graphic files, presentations, letters, etc.
PIM is a system used to organize and manage product content presented by texts and basic visuals, whereas a digital asset management DAM solution is a database intended to store and manage predominantly visual media files. PIM and DAM systems are neither replaceable nor mutually exclusive because they serve different purposes. Digital asset management tools will be valuable even for the companies that do not sell any products at all but handle a lot of media content for other purposes. At the same time, what is digital asset management system for a large eCommerce market player without a PIM system? It should work together with the PIM software to guarantee the best quality of product content management.
The Main Purpose Of The ERP System
The name ‘ERP’ implies the enterprise resource planning software, which is essentially the backbone of every internal organizational data system. Enterprise resource planning definition lies in its name: the purpose of the solution is to integrate and manage key business functions and processes of the organization. These functions may include subjects from inventory and logistics to HR, from order management to CRM. The enterprise resource planning importance is in streamlining of processes and data across the entire enterprise, and data sharing among all the employees.
- Integration of all the enterprise’s data that results in better analytics and business intelligence.
- Automation of routine operations that reduces operational costs and frequency of human error.
- Mobile functionality that provides remote access to the data.
- Adjustable scalability + possibility to add/remove modules of the system.
- Comprehensive reporting.
Any enterprise resource planning system is implemented to structure and optimize business processes, including those related to marketing and sales. Prepared by the ERP system, raw product information can be further processed and enriched by more sophisticated PIM software tools in order to reach marketing and sales goals. While the ERP system controls stock or assigns deliveries, the PIM software manages multiple SKUs, detailed product descriptions, and their delivery within various sales channels. These two engines effectively complement each other while executing tasks they had been initially designed to do.
Product Experience Management: Inevitable Tool of eCommerce Strategy
PXM, i.e. product experience management, is the software that gathers and produces product content to engage customers and trigger buying decisions. What is product experience management in its core? Essentially, its purpose is to stage the unique product experience your customers would enjoy. Accordingly, PXM involves standardization, optimization, distribution, and customization of product data in all the channels the company employs.
- Most accurate possible information on every product.
- Consistency in product data across different channels.
- Tailored content for different target audiences and sales channels.
- Product content in-depth analytics.
- Variety of product enrichment strategies.
- Automation and optimization with application of AI and ML.
- Easy import and export of product data.
How is product experience management software different from PIM? Both systems are aimed at enriching the customer’s experience. Companies implement PIM to process and standardize product data + syndicate it to various channels in the quickest and most efficient way. PXM concentrates on customer’s product experience by personalization, contextualization, and enrichment of the relevant product data.
PIM system is the source of product data that enables PXM. Thus, PXM can be a part of the PIM solution. PIM system is WHAT business uses to describe products, whereas PXM is HOW you orchestrate customer’s product selection and buying experience. Product management user experience is becoming even more important as consumers are becoming more and more demanding, and their needs – more specific. This is probably the key takeaway from current public discussions related to PXM and PIM features.
Data Management Solutions: Recap
There is a certain number of software tools developed to satisfy a company's eCommerce needs. Some of them are general and organizational, others are more specific and product-oriented.
- MDM serves as a company's database for all master data and is accessible for each employee.
- ERP systems focus on the company's resources and business processes optimization.
- DAM software is a convenient and reliable source of the company’s media assets easily accessible by all its employees.
- PIM system is an irreplaceable tool for the management of all kinds of product data.
- PXM software provides delivery of products at the right time into the right place, as well as creates mechanisms to keep customers satisfied, loyal, and willing to make further purchases in stores.
Product data management is supported by deeper and more specific solutions intended to provide product data to a customer. All these solutions are developed to enhance a company's productivity and generate higher income.
Gepard: Product Data Management Solutions Elaborated by eCommerce Experts
You understand it’s time to introduce or improve data management systems in your company, but you do not know how. Leave it to professionals. 120+ million products are pushed automatically to various retail channels thanks to the Gepard PIM & Syndication system. Here at Gepard, we can increase your operational efficiency by 75%.
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 will be happy to contribute to your business’s successful development and growth. You’re welcome to connect with our eCommerce expert right now by filling in the contact form down the link.