6 Signs Your Growing Business Needs PIM Software
The importance of product data management in an eCommerce strategy cannot be overstated. After all, making it easy for customers to find your products online is key to driving purchases.
Product information management (PIM) software is a central hub where companies can collaboratively manage all their product information. Today, merchandising products and optimizing them for sale across a growing list of retail channels is more complex and time-consuming than ever before. Product information management solutions provide a simple way to centralize and organize information and are an essential tool in managing content seamlessly through sales channels and customer points.
In this guide to growing your business with PIM software, you’ll learn:
- Benefits of product information management software
- Why you should use product information management software
- About Jasper PIM
- Frequently asked questions about growing your business with PIM software
Benefits of a PIM Solution
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from a PIM software, including intelligent batch management and automation capability, and rich product detail pages that provide a better front-end shopping experience and result in more sales conversions.
Five advantages to PIM software:
If product data is managed in a fragmented way, it can bring with it a lack of transparency, leading to confusion over who is responsible for product data. One of the benefits of a PIM system is the selection of diverse workflow tools that streamline collaboration and increase transparency.
Minimization of custom applications
These applications can be reduced if all data-related processes are added to PIM software. For example, lots of product data processes have been built around ERP, even though it wasn’t meant to be used this way. This can result in so much customization, business agility and management can be greatly reduced, which can slow down responses to developments in the marketplace.
Reduces new systems risk and cost
With so many features available for managing product data, you can include fragmented product data from across the whole application environment in PIM software. Usually, new features and applications can be added quicker and cheaper than with ERP, which makes it easier for IT managers to know what to expect when adding them.
Reduces management costs
The ability to automate processes such as onboarding product data lets you reduce management costs significantly. It also lets staff shift focus from managing such data to applying it. This increases productivity and reduces the risk of errors, resulting in a more pleasant working environment.
Data quality is increased
With a PIM system, data is standardized and of high quality, suitable for use in external channels. With an interface that’s user-friendly and automatic quality checks on assets and product data, you can be sure that quality is efficiently maintained. You can add product data from different sources to help create an ideal dataset.
Why use product information management software?
Modern PIMs are an important tool for binding back-office capabilities with eCommerce platforms like Adobe Commerce, powered by Magento, as well as third-party marketplaces like Amazon, print catalogs, and more.
And while having PIM software can help streamline that process, according to Ventana Research, just 50% of product-centric organizations are expected to use a modern dedicated product information management environment to manage product processes and provide high-quality product experiences by 2021.
- The problem is that many small business owners don’t realize when their business is ready for using a PIM software. This can be because:
- They are so used to doing things manually, that they excuse laborious, manual and expensive processes and tools as just a “part of the business.”
- They have no idea how to alter their current system architecture and workflows.
- They attempt to solve their product data issues with methods and tools that do not really suit their needs.
Many merchants attempt to download a DIY (do-it-yourself) PIM software and try to hack away at it themselves only to become frustrated after wasting much time and effort. Worse, many hire overpriced PIM installation “experts,” who consult them to death and create a long-term technology and relationship burden.
Luckily, there are six common signs that indicate a business should revisit its current operational workflows and evaluate how leveraging a lightweight PIM solution (built with the power and performance demands of large-scale enterprises) can help them scale and grow.
Sign #1: Balancing product information across multiple storefronts, geographic locations, currencies, and marketplaces
One of the biggest challenges merchants face when attempting to increase their national or global footprint is optimizing the way they sell across multiple online stores, geographically diverse regions, brick-and-mortar stores, and third-party marketplaces (such as Amazon or eBay).
Growing eCommerce merchants spend a considerable amount of their time and resources trying to do this. They usually require an enormous number of trained staff to launch a new product catalog or to complete updates to their current catalog. It’s challenging, time-consuming, expensive, redundant, and error-prone, resulting in a poor customer experience that puts them even further behind in delivering quality offerings against their competition.
Sign #2: Inconsistent imports for product information
Typically, each manufacturer or distributor (ultimately the originating source of item master data) provides product data via a specific and distinct system, protocols, and filetype format. Many suppliers still provide this information to merchants in emails or even through fax forms.
Product data sourcing examples:
- Product Suppliers
- Translation Agency
- Legacy Systems
- Procurement Systems
- SEO/Marketing Agencies
- Data suppliers
- Content Delivery Network (CDN)
These inputs usually produce a wide range of product data types, leading to a messy retrieval and manual management process which results in the need to:
- Purchase more technologies
- Hire more staff
- Handle more error-prone and inefficient workflows that negatively impact the entire business
Sign #3: Inefficient and fragmented technology stack and information architecture
Where manual processes are in place, error-prone data and inefficient workflows are running rampant across an organization. The lack of a PIM system to govern and validate this information suggests that important data is easily outdated or lost.
A PIM software solution not only centralizes and sanitizes product data, but when accompanied by a strong integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), it can enable a two-way sync across all business applications, including:
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
- Order Management Solutions (OMS)
- Content Management System (CMS)
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
- Master Data Management (MDM)
- Business Intelligence (BI)
- Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
- …and additional legacy systems
Sign #4: DIY errors: Manipulating manually installed PIM software or attempting to develop a custom PIM
Sometimes teams attempt to work with excel sheets, pivot tables, and cross-scripting SQLs as if it were product information management software. Often, this method turns out costlier than anticipated as it is prone to errors. It’s also extremely time-consuming and frustrating for staff and leadership, who end up ultimately lacking confidence in the data they need to guide their operational strategy.
Some teams take it a step further in the wrong direction and attempt to develop or implement PIM systems on their own. They quickly find themselves underwater, as they typically underestimate the depth of their product reach and the complexity of their integrations. They are left inundated with complex import/export processes, half-baked and buggy synchronization logic, and broken data workflows.
Sign #5: Selecting an “All-In-One” Product Data Management Solution
One size does not fit all. All-in-one solutions are often rigid, bloated, and expensive. They lack the ability to handle the delicate mix of mitigating consumer front-end load variations with internal performance. Meeting a brand’s specific business needs includes customizing front-end merchandising workflows, inventory management, and accounting back-office processes.
When combined, these are simply too large and complex a software challenge, and merchants often end up with over-engineered customized solutions.
Sign #6: The current PIM solution provider isn’t a good fit
It is common that organizations delegate the wrong person to evaluate PIM software. During the sales process, promises are made by PIM sales reps and the buyer is usually sold on ease and simplicity, only to find that the product doesn’t live up to expectations.
Often businesses end up purchasing what can be called “PIM-like” products that neither scale as their businesses evolve nor provide all the features needed to support operations from start to finish. So, companies end up stitching together connections to back-end software.
About Jasper PIM
Jasper PIM is a leading Product Information Management (PIM) solution empowering eCommerce merchants to manage product information from a single repository. Jasper's SaaS solution helps online retailers improve merchandising and increase online sales.
Frequently asked questions about growing your business with PIM software
Who uses PIM systems?
PIM systems are most useful for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies that sell their products through different sales channels in a wide variety of industries. Whether PIM is used or not depends on these factors:
- Lots of products, or a complex product dataset
- Product characteristics that frequently change
- Growing sales channels
- Complex IT infrastructure with different formats and sources of data
- Different locations/localization requirements
What is integration Platform as a Service?
Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is a suite of cloud services that enable the development, activation and control of integration flows that connect combinations of cloud-based and on-premises services, processes, data and applications in individual or multiple organizations.
How much does PIM software cost?
The price of PIM software varies hugely, depending on what you’re looking for. Free versions are great starting points for new users who will manage with basic features such as limited file storage and API, plus integration with Google Analytics.
You could pay around $250,000 annually for more complex versions with unlimited channels, product sheets and brand portals and automated feeds.
Adobe Commerce (Magento) maintains partnerships with powerful PIM platforms to enable a seamless flow of eCommerce data and offers different pricing packages and offers different pricing packages (starting at $22,000 up to $125,000 per year).