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The Group of Analysts (TGOA) estimates that the global Product Information Management market will reach $63.8 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 21.09 percent. This number includes PIM software products and services and reflects the growing importance of accurate PIM data for businesses across all industries and regions.  

In fast-paced markets where consumers have countless options at their fingertips, making informed purchasing decisions has become an art form. Products are becoming more complex, and buyers wish to make informed decisions based on specific information about the products and services they are interested in.

With accurate and centralized data, organizations can swiftly navigate the complexities of product data governance, ensuring consistency across multiple channels and reducing time-consuming manual efforts. As businesses recognize the immense value of PIM data, they are empowered to seize market opportunities faster, gaining a significant competitive edge. 

As the founder and CEO of Gepard, a leading PIM company, I know the days of using one or two channels to showcase your products are gone. Today's world requires companies to adapt, use new platforms, and provide seamless and engaging interactions with customers through multiple channels and super innovative content.

In this article, I take a deep dive into the changing landscape of omnichannel and multichannel strategies, where flexibility and maneuverability of PIM data and PIM features are paramount.

But there is a catch: With each new channel comes unique requirements, formats, and data structures. Keeping up can seem like a never-ending puzzle, but fear not—I'm here to reveal the secrets to make your path to success easier.

What Is A PIM?

Product information management (PIM) is the software that holds all the product information and supports managing all the product information required to market and sell products through distribution channels. PIM software is a game-changing solution that is revolutionizing how product content is handled.

 So, what exactly is a PIM?

Imagine having a centralized hub that acts as a single source of truth for all your product data. With a PIM system, you gain a holistic view of your content, enabling you to easily organize, manage, and validate information: no more scattered spreadsheets or endless waiting for the latest updates from your colleagues. 

A product information management system becomes the nucleus of your content universe, ensuring consistency, accuracy, and reliability across all your channels. It's the foundation upon which your content strategy and resilience thrive.  

Gone are the days of juggling multiple platforms and struggling to keep product data up to date. Product information management systems provide a tech ecosystem to effortlessly collaborate with your team, enriching product descriptions, images, specifications, and more. With robust data validation tools, you can ensure quality and consistency, reducing errors and enhancing the overall customer experience. 

What Are the Benefits Of PIM?

The true power of a PIM platform lies in data accessibility. It is the ability to leverage automation for streamlined content flows and distribution across sales channels, not to mention the internal data consumers. The main benefits of a PIM system are critical for online business: 

Lots of automation for content distribution 

No more manual, time-consuming tasks. Users can automate the synchronization of product data with websites, marketplaces, and other sales channels, and each content modification is properly replicated for each channel

For example, if you update a product image or pricing in your PIM system, you will watch as the changes ripple effortlessly across all touchpoints. It's like having a content genie at your disposal! By harnessing automation, PIM solutions can increase efficiency and reduce time to market.

Consolidated perspective on data

One of the primary advantages of implementing a PIM system is gaining a consolidated perspective on your product data. With information scattered across various systems, spreadsheets, and databases, it becomes increasingly challenging to maintain accuracy and consistency. 

A PIM tool acts as a master data management repository, bringing together all product information, including specifications, descriptions, images, pricing, and more. This consolidated view gives businesses a holistic understanding of their product landscape, streamlining data management and decision-making processes.

No more spreadsheets

Bid farewell to the era of complex and error-prone spreadsheets. PIM systems provide a unified platform for managing and organizing product information, eliminating the need for manual data entry and spreadsheet maintenance. By centralizing data within a PIM system, businesses can ensure data integrity, minimize the risk of human errors, and enhance data accuracy. Moreover, PIM systems offer intuitive interfaces and automation features, making it easier for teams to update and maintain product information efficiently.

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Effortless data sharing

Collaboration and data sharing are integral components of any successful business. PIM systems simplify the process of sharing product information both internally and externally. Instead of relying on lengthy email threads or file-sharing platforms, a PIM system allows authorized users to access and update product data in real time. 

This seamless data-sharing capability enhances cross-functional collaboration, enabling teams to work cohesively on product development, marketing campaigns, and sales initiatives.

Effective collaboration with colleagues or third parties

PIM systems act as a collaborative hub, facilitating effective teamwork among colleagues and even external partners. With several user roles and permissions, businesses can control access to specific product information, ensuring confidentiality and security. 

Whether it's a marketing team working on product descriptions or suppliers updating pricing information, a PIM system allows multiple stakeholders to collaborate efficiently, resulting in improved productivity and enhanced user experiences.  

What Is PIM Data: Types and Categories

Data is the lifeblood that drives effective product management and marketing. To fully understand PIM data, it's important to explore its different types and categories. 

Let’s dig into the components of PIM data, including product types and attributes, marketing materials, product media, rich materials, and A+ content, highlighting their significance in delivering compelling product experiences. 

Product attributes

At the core of PIM data lies product data, which encompasses all the information associated with a product. Product data is typically organized into categories, and there are attributes. Categories serve as the framework for grouping products based on similarities in characteristics, features, or purpose. For example, subcategories within the electronics category can include smartphones, laptops, or cameras. 

On the other hand, product attributes define a product's specific characteristics and properties within a category. These can include attributes such as color, size, material, weight, or any other relevant specifications that provide a comprehensive description of the product. 

Attributes enable businesses to capture detailed information about their products, ensuring accurate and consistent data across different channels and touchpoints. Last but not least, attributes can be shared through the categories, so each category will be fine-tuned appropriately to reflect the actual product details, but they all should be within the same attributes space.

Marketing data for elevating product communication

In addition to the core product data, PIM systems also manage marketing messaging. 

These materials are crucial for effectively promoting products and influencing customer purchasing decisions. Marketing materials can include product descriptions, marketing copy, promotional texts, and other textual content designed to highlight a product's unique selling points and benefits. 

By centralizing marketing materials within a PIM system, businesses can maintain consistency and ensure that the latest and most up-to-date information is disseminated across various marketing channels

Product media and rich materials

Visual content plays a pivotal role in product marketing, and PIM systems cater to this need by incorporating product media and rich materials. 

Product media includes images, videos, 3D models, and other visual assets that showcase the product from different angles, demonstrating its features, functionality, and aesthetic appeal.

Rich materials encompass additional assets such as user manuals, installation guides, and technical specifications, providing comprehensive information to assist customers in making informed purchase decisions. 

By managing product media and rich materials within a PIM system, businesses can ensure the availability of high-quality visual content across multiple channels, enhancing product visibility and engagement.

A+ Content: Enhanced product descriptions

A+ Content refers to enhanced product descriptions that go beyond traditional text-based descriptions. It includes engaging visual elements, infographics, comparison charts, and expanded narratives that provide a more immersive and informative experience for customers. 

A+ Content serves as a powerful tool to captivate customers, differentiate products, and drive conversions. With a PIM system, businesses can create and manage A+ Content efficiently, ensuring consistent and compelling product storytelling across various online marketplaces and ecommerce platforms. It's important to properly build your taxonomy to be enabled to work flexibly with this content.

6 Powerful Ways to Use PIM Data for Ecommerce

Let’s explore several effective ways to utilize PIM data in the realm of ecommerce, including enabling easy access to product information for employees and sales teams, collaborating with translation agencies and content creators, creating product catalogs effortlessly, leveraging data for marketplace listings, and connecting with third-party data pools.

1. Helping employees and sales teams find product information

One of the primary advantages of implementing a PIM system is the ability to centralize and organize all product information. With a well-structured PIM database, businesses can empower their employees and sales teams to quickly and easily access and manage accurate and up-to-date product information. 

Whether it's specifications or related documentation, employees can efficiently retrieve the information they need, ensuring consistent messaging and seamless customer interactions.

2. Collaborating with translation agencies, content creators, and marketing agencies

Expanding into global markets requires efficient translation and localization of product content. PIM data facilitates collaboration with translation agencies and content creators/marketing agencies by providing a centralized platform for content management. 

By integrating translation workflows into the PIM system, businesses can streamline the translation process, ensuring consistency in messaging across different languages and markets. 

Additionally, content creators and marketing agencies can directly access the PIM system to gather accurate product information, enabling them to create compelling marketing collateral that aligns with the brand and resonates with target audiences.

3. Creating product catalogs with ease

A PIM system simplifies the process of creating and managing product catalogs. With a wide array of product information at their fingertips, businesses can leverage PIM data to effortlessly generate visually appealing and comprehensive catalogs. 

The ability to dynamically assemble catalogs based on specific product attributes, categories, or target markets ensures that catalogs are always up-to-date and relevant. PIM systems provide flexible templates and design tools, empowering businesses to customize and tailor catalogs to suit their ecommerce branding and marketing needs.

5. Using product data for marketplace listings

Marketplaces play a significant role in the market, providing businesses access to a vast customer base. PIM data is invaluable for listing products on marketplaces efficiently and accurately. 

By leveraging PIM data, businesses can easily create standardized product listings with rich and consistent product information, including titles, descriptions, images, and attributes. This expedites the listing process and ensures that new product information is complete and optimized for searchability, leading to improved visibility and sales on marketplaces.

6. Connecting with third-party data pools

Integrating with third-party data pools such as Icecat, 2BA, Eprel, 1WS, and Etilize can further enhance the reach and quality of product data. These data pools provide extensive product information and specifications sourced from manufacturers, ensuring a rich and diverse dataset. 

By connecting with these databases through a PIM system, businesses can enrich their product data, tap into a more comprehensive network of suppliers, and ensure that their product information aligns with industry standards and regulations.

It's not content by itself that really enables business today. What enables and empowers brands is how easily they can share content with customers and how easily they can absorb third-party data.

How To Organize PIM Data: A Note On Formats & Standards

When working with product data, the ability of PIM to integrate with industry standards such as ETIM/BMEcat or FabDis (BMEcat and FabDis are the file formats to exchange product data in ETIM taxonomy) significantly expands the user's capabilities when receiving data or delivering it to their customers and partners. 

Many manufacturers, for example, in the DIY segment, use BMEcat to exchange data with their partners. And since BMEcat can have several versions of ETIM, there may be some discrepancies between the taxonomy provided by different manufacturers to the same retailer. 

Support of industry standards

In the ever-expanding landscape of ecommerce, adhering to industry standards is vital for successful business operations. PIM systems support various industry standards, such as BMEcat and FAB-DIS, ensuring seamless integration with other systems and platforms. 

By leveraging standardized formats and protocols, businesses can exchange product data effortlessly with suppliers, retailers, and online marketplaces, thereby reducing data inconsistencies, improving data quality, and ultimately boosting customer satisfaction. 

Another challenge is that the ETIM standard is designed primarily for professionals, and these data will most likely not be fully comprehensive or meet the expectations of customers. 

Moreover, it may be difficult for the end user to perceive and negatively affect the design process. Therefore, when choosing a PIM, you should think about whether it can adapt and optimize data for your requirements and taxonomy. After all, with great probability, the data obtained from third-party systems will not be fully ready and meet the client's requirements.

PIM systems go beyond data management and offer powerful content optimization and transformation capabilities. With built-in tools for content enrichment, businesses can enhance product descriptions, add multimedia elements, and optimize content for different channels and languages.

This ensures consistent and compelling product information across all touchpoints, resulting in enhanced customer engagement, increased conversions, and improved brand perception.

Harness The Power Of PIM Data For Ecommerce

Do you need a secret weapon to conquer the complexities of product information management in ecommerce, where content reigns supreme? 

By harnessing the power of PIM data with PIM software, you can gain a competitive edge and drive success and maximize the potential of ecommerce operations—from enabling easy access to product information for employees and sales teams to collaborating seamlessly with partners, effortlessly creating product catalogs, leveraging data for marketplace listings, and connecting with third-party data pools. 

All this can enhance productivity and provide exceptional customer experiences.

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Sergii Shvets
By Sergii Shvets

Sergii Shvets is Founder & CEO at Gepard, a PIM SaaS platform that connects retail and ecommerce businesses with manufacturers and content providers. Sergii is also Director of Technology at Icecat, an open product content solution trusted by more than 30,000 ecommerce businesses. Sergii is a computer science graduate from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine).