What is a PIM?
A Product Information Management (PIM) system is a type of cloud-based or on-premise software that’s used to collect, hold and distribute key data about your products. This includes the product’s name, description, EAN barcode, GTIN, size, weight, dimensions, other technical specifications you want to share, distribute or publish.
A single source of truth
The idea of a PIM is to provide a central database that acts as a single source of truth for everyone who needs to access technical, usage and descriptive information about your products. This might include your internal teams and departments, plus external third parties such as clients and vendors. Business types that use PIMs include manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and buying groups. A product hierarchy or classification system such as ETIM, GS1 or UNSPSC, is often used to structure the information in line with industry standards.
The purpose of a PIM
A PIM will help your business efficiently maintain your product content across all the different brands, categories, languages and sales channels that apply to your business.
A PIM makes it fast and easy to share and distribute product information across all your online sales platforms, including ecommerce webshops, e-catalogues, mobile apps, third party vendor websites and social media platforms. The data held in your PIM can also be used to inform the creation of offline sales materials such as printed data sheets, catalogues and brochures.
In addition, a PIM system enables electronic data feeds (e-data) to be shared with trading partners and data pools, such as EDATA, LUCKINSlive and 2BA.
The purpose of a PIM
A PIM is often connected to a company’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This focuses on the management of transactional data such as stock control, pricing etc. This integration enables all the product information and transactional data about your products to be centrally managed, streamlining your business operations and improving accuracy and efficiency.
How to use a PIM system
1. Collect & Import
Collect all product information from existing systems such as ERPs, inventory management systems, supplier data etc. Cleanse the data so it’s accurate and up to date.
2. Classify & enrich
Using your preferred hierarchy*, classify and categorise your products. Enrich your product data with detailed descriptions, instructions, images, videos etc.
* The customer-facing product data entered into the PIM can be classified using industry-standard systems such as ETIM or GS1, or in line with the company’s preferences.
3. Publish & distribute
Distribute channel-specific data to your e-commerce website, smartphone app, social media platforms, third party seller websites etc. Share information with trading partners and data pools using e-data.