The great guide to the PIM system and why your business needs one.

Why you need a PIM system

PIM is short for Product Information Management. A PIM system can help your business handle significant amount of product information, and it can therefore make it significantly easier for you to run a webshop.

 

If you own a webshop, there is a lot of work involved in managing a large amount of products, each of which has a large amount of extra product information.

Many choose to manage the information the traditional way with excel sheets, ERP, or other similar systems. However, using a PIM system here, can be a great benefit.

If you want to know more on what a PIM system is, what it can do and how it creates value for your business, you should continue reading.

  • What is a PIM system?
  • Why is a PIM system important?
  • How does a PIM system work?
  • How PIM helps system marketing and sales
  • How PIM helps with the internal workflows and processes
  • Which departments in the company benefit from a PIM system?
  • Which PIM system should you choose?
  • Which companies benefit the most from a PIM system?
  • For which companies is PIM not an obvious solution
  • Take control over your product information with Kontainer

What is a PIM system?

PIM definition

The most important task for a PIM system is to help your business handle significant amounts of product information, as well as distribute them on all relevant channels.

Therefore, a good PIM system will give the company a Single Source of Truth. That is, one central system, where you have easy access to all the product information that your company has. In a PIM system you can gather all product information, enrich it, and easily distribute it to your relevant channels.

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Find information quick and efficiently with PIM

If a company grows and gets more product information to handle, a PIM system is a great software to solve some of the challenges that may occur. ERP-systems become too inflexible in the long run and excel sheets or other databases will not work when you need to find the right information quickly.

 

PIM systems can be integrated with other systems that the company uses. It lies between sources of the company’s product information (ERP, PLM, supplier data etc.), and the external distribution channels of information (CMS, webshop, catalogues etc.)

Why is a PIM system important?

PIM streamlines your manual work

When companies grow, so does the amount of product information. Therefore, there will also be an increasing amount of administrative work with your growth. If you manage all the product information through one of the traditional, manual systems, it is difficult to do it in an efficient manner.

A lot of precious time can be lost in inefficient processes, therefore, it is important to have a PIM system that can make your processes more efficient, and therefore, free up more time for value-creating work.

If you choose to acquire a PIM system, you can save a lot of time, as you avoid having to micromanage thousands of product information.

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How does a PIM system work?

To boil it all down, a PIM system is a central database of product information.

At the same time users have to opportunity to connect to the database, where they can create new products and fields, or edit information that’s already in the database. All the information the database possesses can from there be distributed to the various relevant channels.

All types of product information for example sound, video and images can all be handled in a PIM system.

The modern consumer is increasingly shopping online. As the selling party, you should therefore implement a PIM system, which makes it easier to store, upload and manage large amounts of product information if you want to appeal consumers to a satisfactory degree.

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Systems that data can be imported from:

ERP, PLM and supplier portals
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Systems that data can be exported to

ERP, BI-platforms, CRM, Adobe InDesign, CMS, Microsoft Office and E-commerce
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Integrations with other systems

Besides PIM being an amazing system to handle large amount of data, one of the other great strengths with the system is that it can exchange data with other programs.

How PIM helps system marketing and sales

The important role of product information

One way to increase your conversion rate is by increasing customer satisfaction. An easy and effective way to do this is to provide customers with accurate and complete information about the product they wish to buy.

Product information is a very important part to the buying process when the modern consumer is shopping online. When shopping online, you don’t have the possibility to feel and try on the new products, and therefore the precise and relevant product information becomes vital.

 

Before a customer ends up buying a new product, that person has spent a considerable amount of time researching the product. The better and more complete information of the product you can provide to the potential customer, the more likely it is that the customer will end up shopping with you.

 

With Product Information Management you can easily control, enrich your product information. The use of images, videos, descriptive content, and other advanced features is a part of the enrichment that you can do.

By taking advantage of these possibilities in PIM, you can effectively increase conversion rates and sales figures.

Tailor-made shopping experiences

Another method to increase sales figures is to create tailor-made shopping experiences

Almost all major e-commerce companies and trading platforms recommend products to their customers. By analyzing customer user behavior on your site, you can effectively use data to recommend relevant products.

As an example of the importance of good product recommendations, it can be mentioned that 35% of Amazon’s products are sold through recommended products. An even wilder example is Netflix, where 75% of watched movies and series are found through product recommendations, figures from McKinsey show.

A PIM system can help you create and deliver tailor-made solutions for your customers, so you can offer personalized product recommendations. In order to provide personal product recommendations, that leads to conversions and sales, it is very important to have specific product information.

To gain knowledge of your target group’s buying behavior and understanding exactly what they want is the first step in being able to create a tailor-made experience. Next step is to match your knowledge on target audiences’ behavior with relevant products. In order to be able to recommend the right product, you need to structure all product information in your range.

Both steps can be done by using a PIM system. Using the system, you can compare product information with the knowledge you have of the target group’s behavior, and thus recommend relevant products to your potential customers.

Omnichannel marketing

Today’s consumers are not only found on one platform. Therefore, as a company, you must be present in several places in order to meet consumers. When using PIM for marketing, you need to effectively handle multiple platforms and channels, thus ensuring a consistent brand image.

 

It requires a large amount of data, and a system to handle the same data if one wants to be able to deliver consistent product information to customers at the speed required to be successful.

The seller's best friend

A PIM system can be your seller’s best friend. It provides quick access to relevant information, so that one can advise potential customers quickly and effectively.

With a PIM system, you have all data available to make unique brochures and price lists, which can be adapted to the individual customers wishes and needs.

In general, one of the biggest advantages with a PIM system when working with marketing and sales is knowing that you are working with the newest updated material.

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Add new languages quick and easy

As your business hopefully grows, it may be relevant to move onto new markets. When that happens it will be necessary to operate on multiple languages. Every time a new language is to be added, the marketing work becomes more complex.

It’s close to impossible to handle multiple languages in a good and efficient way in e-commerce, if you handle it manually.

 

With a PIM system you can set up clearly defined processes for translations, updating and uploading data. In principle you can get products out in several markets at the same speed that it would take you with one single language.

How PIM helps with the internal workflow and processes

Faster time-to-market

With the way that the market is set up, it is important to be able to be agile and quick. Therefore, time-to-market and being dynamic are two incredibly essential factors. With a PIM system you have the opportunity to make the process from development to marketing and sales much more efficient.

 

A PIM system allows that the coworkers from many different departments can work on the same product at the same time. Meaning that the coworkers from the marketing department can begin their work, even if not all product details are completely in place. When the details are updated in the central database, the information in the started marketing work will be updated automatically.

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Product information becomes less flawed

Many companies use Excel today to administrate their product information and that can quickly become extensive and unmanageable. Excel works perfectly well for a lot of things, but here is where it falls short.

 

If you still manage your product information with Excel, you will have a far larger risk of experiencing errors and mistakes in the information. With excel having a lot of manual work – typically between several sheets – there will certainly be more errors.

That is one of the best arguments in terms of why one should switch to a PIM system in the upscaling of your business. This is because it will help to remove a large part of the manual errors that can occur. By using a central database, you can ensure that all product information is correctly updated on all platforms and channels.

Give your product texts more value

Since many products can be found in many different webshops, a good product text can be the decisive factor for who will get the sale. Many companies are content with the information that comes from the supplier.

 

With a PIM system, you can easily enrich your product texts with additional information, so you can differentiate yourself from your competitors.

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Easier to sell through other channels

Once all your product information has been structured in a PIM system, it will be easier to sell your products in other marketplaces such as Google Shopping. You add, edit, and enrich product information via the PIM system, and then data is automatically transferred and updated in the Google Shopping feed.

 

If, on the other hand, your data is in scattered databases, it must first be found, then transformed into a structure that the recipient (e.g. Google Shopping) can receive, and finally it must be uploaded to the relevant platform. There, it is significantly easier, faster and more cost effective to use PIM.

Unified product information throughout all systems

You might be in the situation where you work with your product information in several decentralized systems. If so, there is a likelihood that your product information will not be completely consistent across all systems.

One place 5 kilos might be specified as ‘5 kg’, where other places it might be specified as 5000 g, or just 5. If this is the case, you might have problems categorizing your products properly and consistently across platforms.

This is partly a disadvantage in terms of user-friendliness, but it also means that potential customers may not see all relevant products if the person uses a filtering tool in the webshop.

If the product designations are not properly controlled, the user can thus overlook potentially relevant products. And that can mean losing sales.

When implementing a Product Information Management system in a company, there are multiple departments that will benefit from it

Which departments in the company benefit from a product information management system?

Kontainer - Integrations

IT

By shutting down decentralized systems you use for storing and managing product information, and thus simplifying the IT infrastructure in the company, Product Information Management will greatly help your IT department. By replacing decentralized systems with a Product Information Management system, you will also make any scaling of the company easier.

Kontainer - Onboarding

Sales

Your sales team need quick and easy access to updated and precise product information when they need to produce sales material for presentations and the like. With a Product Information Management system, all that data will be easy to access in a fast and efficient way.
Kontainer - Notification

Marketing

A marketing team need a fast and agile way to deliver creative solutions when promoting their products. In this context, it is important that they can easily and quickly find product information that is up to date and valid. With a Product Information Management system, that process will be much easier.

Product data

E-commerce

The employees in your e-commerce team needs to be able to update product information regularly to ensure the best customer experience and thus, a higher conversion rate. With a Product Information Management system, your e-commerce team can add, edit, or delete content easily and quickly. In addition, the updated content will appear on all your channels when it is updated in your product information management system.

Which PIM system should you choose?

If you sell through webshop

If your company is considering implementing a PIM system, you will have two possible variants to choose from. An integrated PIM system or a ‘best of breed’ PIM system, which is a stand-alone system.

 

The integrated solution is best for companies, that exclusively sell through webshops. It’s a solution that integrates with your current system. However, this also means that you have slightly fewer functions in the system.

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If you sell through multiple channels

If you sell through multiple channels, or have ambitions to do so, a stand-alone solution will be better, as it can act as a focal point for all your systems. At the same time, this type of solution will give you more flexibility and more options when it comes to working with product information.

Another factor that is worth considering is that a ‘best of breed’ solution will not be affected, if you later replace or upgrade your other systems or platforms. If you have chosen a solution that is integrated into your current system, however, it will be affected when or if the system is replaced or upgraded.

Which companies benefit the most from a PIM system?

Are you in doubt?

If you are in doubt about whether your company need a PIM system, you should consider what challenges you may have with handling product information.

If you can nod in recognition to one or more descriptions below, your company should strongly consider implementing a PIM system.

 

  • You have large amounts of complex product information
  • You market your products on several channels
  • You are present on multiple markets, and communicate in several languages
  • You wish to get more product information from your suppliers

For which companies is PIM not an obvious solution

For a lot of companies, a PIM system will be a solid investment. Of course, not all companies can obtain enough value from a PIM system to make the investment worthwhile.

Since PIM works very well for handling large amounts of product information, companies that sell few and unique products will not achieve the same value from a Product Information System.

 

One of the great advantages of PIM is that it can optimize difficult work processes. If you don’t have a heavy and complicated workflow to optimize, the investment might not be worth it.

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Take control over your product information with Kontainer

Gain your control back with Kontainer. With our PIM system, you will have the opportunity for easy and efficient handling of your product information. Instead of heavy and manual processes, you will free up time that you can spend on other activities that can give your business even more value.

At Kontainer we connect two of the most important solutions for suppliers and resellers in a combined Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) system.

Here you will gather all product information, packshots, videos, sizeguides and images together in a system where data and assets can easily be managed, edited, and shared automatically to dealers, webshops, og B2B platforms via integrations or exports.

Kontainer – Denmark’s leading PIM system

If you are looking for a new PIM system, Kontainer offers you one of the leading PIM systems in Denmark.

We have more than 15 years of experience and more than 350 satisfied customers, who use Kontainer on a daily basis as a cost- and time-saving tool.

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