Product information management software (PIM). Product information management tools and solutions.
Product Information Management Software (PIM) is a solution that is used to market and sell various types of products via distribution channels. PIM coordinates changing product information across all channels of communication, thus ensuring that a business’s entire ecosystem has consistent and up-to-date information. Wikipedia offers the following definition: “Product information management or PIM refers to processes and technologies focused on centrally managing information about products, with a focus on the data required to market and sell the products through one or more distribution channels”.
Without a centralized location for storing data, companies rely on tedious and time-consuming spreadsheet-based manual data management as their product information management solutions, which makes it virtually impossible to satisfy the increasing demands of ecommerce markets.
Product information management systems offer the concept of entering and storing the product information once in a single place. This place is the source from which that information is then distributed without needing to be re-entered manually into a number of different systems. There is no need to spread all across your data, as you can easily manage, consolidate and improve media websites, ERP systems, print catalogs, and data feeds by implementing useful product information management tools. Therefore, if your goal is to find a product information management system that is centralized, offers independent data maintenance and collection product information, management capabilities are the right fit for you!
Reasons for product information management solutions growth
Product information management tools are mostly used to keep customers, stakeholders, and partners informed about all the updates in product related information. After products and services are created and added to the catalog, the status of materials, equipment, suppliers, distributors, etc. can change, often multiple times. Product information management system will note these changes and communicate promptly to maximize efficiency and minimize the impact of changes on the sales cycle. Product information management software allows for faster time to market, increases operational efficiency, and promotes sales growth.
The concept behind PIM (product information management) has gained its prominence around 2003 due to dramatic increase in the ecommerce market share and popularity of online stores.
The main reasons for PIM’s rise in popularity were:
• The demand for clear product descriptions that could be easily understood by the consumers. When selling online companies need to collect and provide clear basic product information like the name of the product, its category and price. Without these the customers would simply not be able to find the product online to make a purchase.
• A wider range of products that can be offered online compared to physical retail stores. It is definitely hard to manage all of the product data in the spreadsheet and not go crazy. While it was still technically possible, as most online stores started offer thousands upon thousands of products, it is becoming increasingly challenging every day. On top of that, the products are now offered not just simply via a website, but also through a large number of other channels such as physical store catalogs, mobile phones and tablets, printed catalogs, etc. This kind of evolution has caused an increasing demand for specialized systems that would offer their users a convenient way to manage all this information even when it’s so widely distributed. The worldwide market for product sales and distribution is becoming more and more complex, as companies are striving to have multiple brands across multiple countries with varying price lists and local promotions, all while building their supplier and distributor networks that often consist of thousands of partners! It is now obvious that this scale of complexity that’s becoming prominent on the market can no longer be managed without having advanced processes and systems like PIM in place.
• The growing demand for better, more detailed, coherent and consistent product information. The rule of thumb is the more information you provide, the better the sales. A well-detailed product description is typically considered one of the most critical elements of an online store. When looking to purchase a product online, customers in most cases want to browse and compare multiple options, see details and know all the specifications before they make the final decision to buy. People also shop online for services, such as tickets or training courses for example and more consumers these days look to download their digital books or games as well. Additionally, as the technologies develop, the standards rise, too. Today’s customers would no longer accept a fuzzy picture - everyone wants to see good quality high resolution photos, videos and 3D models.
• The increased amount of legal information about the products’ manufacturing information, materials source etc. These days sellers are legally obliged to store more information about their products than they used to. For example, the source of the materials, details on how a product was manufactured and so on.
The product information management systems take the central position between various sources of product information and all the distribution channels that a PIM exports its data to.
What product information management is used for? Product information management definition.
Keeping product information accurate and up-to-date at all times is critical for ecommerce organizations – having full control over this aspect prevents companies from having outdated data have an impact on sales or customer experience.
Somewhere along the process certain materials used in manufacturing a product have been replaced by more advanced ones.
PIM will be able to make sure that all the related channels, such as product databases, information on the web sites, CRM systems, etc. have accurate information about the product including the most recent changes in the manufacturing process. In addition, product information management systems minimize delays on downstream processes when production conditions change, thus accelerating time to market and improving customer experience.
Besides being a relevant software for regular retailers and manufacturers, PIM management is also used for a wide range of products and their frequently changing characteristics, online business and electronic commerce. In order to exceed in providing the best service, product information management solutions must:
• Collect all the information from multiple separate sources into a single centralized one;
• Locate and eliminate problematic or damaged data;
• Offer automation of many e-commerce business data processes;
• Possess a search tool as well as a filtering tool;
• Work with effective search engine software;
• Manage product listings and organize them into categories;
• Promote and market products using retail, social media and sales channels.
There are many product information management tools with open source architecture that will help you create your data repository in no time and get your products to the right sales channels quickly. If you are able to get your data quickly you can pass it to all your retailers and marketplaces rapidly by utilizing product information management system.
Content gaps? With product information management software open source solutions you can measure the completeness of your product content, locate information gaps and perform changes to satisfy any of your company’s requirement or industry standard.
If your end goal is to provide your customers with the best customer experience, a PIM (product information management) system lets you match customer profiles with their preferences and with the product description. This allows for a personalized service and for increased conversion along with great customer experience. Some of the best trends and practices that good PIM (product information management) tools can offer are:
• Data quality: multiple organizations have already implemented PIM in their best practices. Now, however, the focus has shifted towards optimization of those large amounts of data.
• Template based product information management solutions: Multiple successful vendors offer their clients great templates to achieve faster implementations.
• 360 degrees product overview will satisfy the customers’ demands for the full view of the entire products.
• Cloud: Product data that can be stored in the cloud prevents you from unexpected data loss and increases the number of available data to the customer at a given moment.
In the end, while looking for your perfect product information management system, always consider your end goals and ways meeting them. This article helps you to discover the qualities that each PIM should possess. If you are striving for a successful ecommerce website, you must consider enriching your data with modern PIM (product information management) software.
Product information management software by Virto Commerce
Our product information management software provides sophisticated catalog management capabilities making it easy and fast to work with even the most complex B2C and B2B product lists.
Manage digital and physical products’ categories, images, and descriptions with flexible properties structures, making your data consistent across all channels. Virto Commerce catalog can be configured to handle all your catalog information, or integrated with 3rd party PIM or CMS solutions. All digital assets can be stored in any popular Content Distribution Network (CDN). You can manage your catalog’s product categories, images, and descriptions from one place, making your data consistent across all channels.
For a global business, the platform and its product information management system support multiple catalogs, languages, taxes and storefronts.
Use the Virto Commerce product information management tools to run multiple stores with their customized product catalogs from within a single platform. Our Product Information Management system allows you to:
• Manage all stores from one central location or individually by store.
• Share product information across multiple stores and set a specific product assortment for each store.
• Handle multiple stores with different language localizations and currencies.
• Configure each store with unique options for payment, taxes, shipping, etc.
Physical and Digital products
Virto Commerce Product Management System (PIM) allows you to provide high-quality product information to a variety of sales channels. All the published product info can be easily located within the product information management system, accessed and changed from a single place. All changes made at any time will be applied across all your sales channels.
Manage your Inventory List, Product details, Product history, etc. effortlessly from one location!
Each product page can be configured to include:
• multiple images;
• weight, pack sizes and other variants;
• buy price;
• multiple pricelists such as wholesale and retail;
• sellable and taxable options;
• SKU code and supplier code;
Personalized B2B catalogs
Make buying experience customizable and unique for every B2B partner. With the Virto Commerce’s product information management software you can enable filtering in your product catalog based on vendors, so each buyer’s experience will be locked down to them specifically.
Adjust composite variants and incorporate negotiated pricing. Offer proprietary kits and bundles or different tiers of product and pack sizes.
External linked catalogs
Easily access product data from external systems like ERP, or any other third party system you might be working with. Incorporate multi-vendor catalogs with minimum hassle.
No-database (NoSQL) catalogs
Prefer a more scalable and better performing NoSQL to traditional relational model catalogs? We got you covered! No-database catalogs help support:
• Agile sprints and frequent code pushes.
• Large volumes of constantly changing structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data.
• Flexible and easily scalable architecture.