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What is product information management (PIM) software?
Product information management (PIM) software helps retailers consolidate and manage data about their products and ensures that accurate, current product information is shared across all digital and on-site retail platforms. By having a robust and centralized product information repository, businesses can more effectively manage, promote, and sell products.
The benefits of PIM software
- Improved inventory control: By consolidating inventory information for the entirety of a company's sales channels, retailers can ensure the right amount of product is on hand.
- Seamless customer experience: PIM software ensures that whether the customer is looking at a product in a physical store, or making price comparisons on a mobile app, accurate and consistent product information is shared across all channels.
- Increased sales opportunities: PIM software allows you to relate products with one another and suggest associated products to consumers.
- Collaborative marketing: By giving your employees a platform through which to share product information, sales and marketing teams can create and share ideas about product promotions and advertising campaigns.
Typical features of PIM software
- Data modeling: Creates conceptual models of how data items relate to each other.
- Digital asset management: Manages digital assets related to products.
- Data quality control: Sets guidelines for allowed data fields to ensure data integrity.
- Documentation management: Manages product-specific documents and allows them to be searched and filtered by different categories.
- Third-party integration: Allows product information data to be accessed and updated by third-party applications.
- Collaboration tools: Provides a platform for team members to share media files and communicate on current projects and promotions.
Considerations when purchasing PIM software
- Industry specificity: The majority of available PIM apps are designed for specific market sectors such as clothing, automotive parts, and computer component sales. Other apps, although initially less expensive, are designed to be customized by the end-user or qualified implementation specialist. Careful consideration should be made to balance the cost of customization with out-of-the-box industry specificity.
- Product scaling: PIM software has historically been cost-effective for only larger multichannel companies. However, there are now PIM offerings suitable for small to midsize companies. Although these products are less expensive, they may have performance limitations as database size increases. Make sure the product you choose will meet your business goals and preclude costly data migrations to more robust solutions in the future.
- Physical versus virtual storefronts: Some PIM offerings manage brick-and-mortar channels alongside eCommerce platforms. Considering that physical store locations bring their own set of requirements for inventory control and point-of-sale purchasing, retailers that do business solely over the internet may want to consider more cost-effective solutions designed specifically for eCommerce.
Relevant PIM software trends
- Conversational chatbots will serve as virtual sales clerks: As conversational chatbot technologies become more affordable for small and midsize businesses, we will likely see retailers of all sizes integrating chatbots into their eCommerce apps and websites. Intelligent chatbots will help customers select products, order products, and make recommendations for future purchases using a simple conversational interface.
- AI will automate supply chain management and inventory control: As businesses continue to adopt AI-assisted technologies in the coming years , it's likely that we will see it integrated into PIM apps. By performing automated research on product trends, AI will be able to make decisions on which products should be offered and how to price them, and continually manage inventory levels based on market indicators.