What Is Product Information Management (PIM)?

With eCommerce booming in the past few years, especially since the pandemic began, companies have to constantly upscale their sales channel and marketing strategies to keep up with their competitors on digital channels. A key component businesses need to market a product properly is information.

Without enough data, the product will either not seem attractive enough to purchase or be misrepresented to the audiences.

Therefore, tools that make the collection and management of product information more accessible are essential in sales today.

Table of Contents

What Is the Definition of Product Information Management?

hands using barcode scan for information of product in supermarket

Product Information Management (PIM) software is a tool (or sometimes a group of tools) that helps with the management of data related to different products so they can be used for marketing and sales purposes. A PIM tool catalogs all the products and their respective information in one place.

The collection and management of master data can often be a complex process. Hence, a PIM solution makes product data management easier and allows the multiple parties involved in the transaction of these products to get access to the same information from the same source.

PIM software also protects the product information, maintaining and ensuring quality. All data is placed in a centralized location, making management a more straightforward process.

Still, the continuous maintenance and updating of the data ensure the accuracy of the information. While the data might have been collected from multiple sources, PIM detects, analyzes, and fixes errors through thorough examination and updating.

Another important aspect of PIM is that it also helps with the distribution process. PIM exports the product information to all the appropriate distribution channels.

PIM is often used in tandem with other tools to maximize data utilization. For example, PIM is often used alongside Digital Asset Management (DAM), which is a tool that helps with the collection, storing, and sharing of data.

Together, PIM and DAM can enhance the product data even more.

Key Product Information Management Features

Some specific features characterize a PMI. Let’s take a look at some of them.

The software needs to be able to collect product information from multiple different systems into one source. The data and assets can also be in varied formats, so the tool needs to be able to import them and then modify them as needed.

In some cases, the PIM tool might not actually be able to perform catalog management, but this can still be achieved through integration with a separate system that specializes in that very task.

The PIM tool should be able to identify discrepancies in the data and metadata, like errors or contradictions within them. Then, it needs to be able to fix any data inconsistencies through a set of editing capabilities.

After the collection and the insurance of validity for the data, another essential characteristic of a PIM is a filtering function. A PIM tool should be able to create and assign product categories for each product.

This can also be facilitated through pre-built categories that accelerate the input and organization of the information. A filtering function can be quite helpful to all the parties involved, as it helps with the search and sorting of data based on their attributes and similarities.

Finally, the PIM tool must distribute the product information to multiple sales channels, like e-commerce, retail, and marketplaces. Moreover, it should also analyze product data, the upkeep of its quality, and how it is used across various channels.

Top 10 Product Information Management Tools

Inventory Manager Shows Digital Tablet Information to a Worker Holding Cardboard Box

Agility MultiChannel

Agility is a great tool that includes all the standard capabilities that a PIM solution should have, but it also focuses on print. Specifically, it organizes the product data into customized print publications like catalogs, flipbooks, brochures, etc.

Agility compiles and structures product information, enabling businesses to have readily available marketing materials that can then be featured in both print and online channels. Moreover, these materials can come in multiple languages and include different pricing models.

Akeneo

Akeneo is an open-source PIM system with many great features that can help businesses better sell their products from start to finish. It comes in many different pricing options based on each business’ needs.

Moreover, there is a free option available that includes all the main tools found in other similar PIM solutions. Still, the paid editions provide even more features that make businesses even more efficient.

Catsy

Another great PIM software tool is Catsy, whose functionality allows almost no manual processes or work. Thanks to its simple import process, Catsy helps businesses easily create product catalogs, flyers, flipbooks, etc. This PIM solution is better suited for companies that offer face-to-face customer experience.

Informatica

Informatica offers excellent features that give you greater control over the data of your products. You can control what type of information your collaborators have access to, accelerating specific steps in the business process while also maintaining the security of the data.

The platform provides automated quality checks that ensure that your data is up to date and that they will always fit your specific needs. However, you might encounter some challenges when it comes to more complex or heavily detailed data.

inRiver

InRiver is a handy PIM solution due to its image recognition technology that detects visual details from product materials like images, videos, 3-D drawings, and more.

Thanks to tagging, this helps assemble more detailed product descriptions and allows for a better-organized database. However, InRiver lacks DAM functions, which is a downside since DAM helps with the organization of media data.

Pimcore

Another open source product, Pimcore, is entirely free to use. However, the paid version provides more security for your product data management.

Both the paid and the free options offer great features, but one issue is that you cannot track what edits are done by each user, which can create some confusion, especially within large teams.

Plytix

Plytix is designed to be user-friendly, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and minimizing the chance for confusion. Its relationship matrix allows for excellent efficiency in upselling or cross-selling.

Productsup

Productsup is very well-known for its excellent customer support service, making it a reliable option for businesses that might be intimidated by being dependent on a provider. Productsup is generally user-friendly with great functions that make sharing information among collaborators a simple process.

Salsify

Salsify prioritizes product information among all else. It includes extensive amounts of top-quality information for each product, making it perfect for businesses like larger brand manufacturers and social media virtual shops.

Syndigo

Syndigo carefully monitors product content to provide feedback and make adjustments based on customer insights and vendor scores for incorrect or missing product information.

Its significant characteristic is that it includes over 250K available product attributes, which helps each product be distinguishable from the rest. Furthermore, Syndigo offers optimization feedback and product status alerts.