The heart of every online store is its products and all the information associated with them. This makes the maintenance of product data all the more important, and this should be as simple and efficient as possible. PIM (Product Information Management) systems have therefore become an indispensable part of ecommerce. They provide product data centrally and make it available for all relevant channels. Ecommerce retailers who are looking for a customizable solution that allows them to master the provision of product data conveniently and with little effort should already start looking at the benefits of product information management today.

Table of contents

  1. What is Product Information Management (PIM)?

  2. The ideal repository for product information: Managing product data with the help of PIM

  3. Why PIM is important for online stores

  4. For whom Product Information Management is suitable

  5. Successfully integrate Product Information Management

  6. Frequently asked questions

What is Product Information Management (PIM)?

PIM systems (PIM for short) are applications for managing product information. They enable the collection of product data from various sources and facilitate the expansion and translation of this in order to distribute it on various digital channels. These include sales and marketing channels such as:

  • Websites,

  • Apps,

  • Social media,

  • Point of Sale (PoS),

  • but also print advertising material (catalogs, data sheets, manuals, product flyers, etc.)

PIMs ensure that all types of content are available in a consistent form and enable the standardization of business processes. As a rule, they have interfaces to CRM, ERP or CMS solutions and are used in combination with them.

The ideal repository for product information: Managing product data with the help of PIM

PIM supports store operators in managing various data in an online store. Here, the type of data managed depends on the specific requirements of the online retailer in question. Most PIM systems are flexibly customizable to meet the individual needs of companies.

Here are some examples of data that can be managed with a PIM system:

Product data: This includes product descriptions, titles, SKU numbers, prices, weight, dimensions, colors, sizes and other specific characteristics of a product.

Images and media: Using PIM, store operators organize product images, animations, videos, 360-degree views, and other media to create engaging product presentations.

Technical data: For technical products, PIM can be used to manage information such as specifications, compatibility, materials, energy efficiency, and other technical details.

Inventory: When connected to an enterprise resource planning or ERP system, PIM allows you to track the availability of products in different warehouses or stores and ensures that inventories are updated in real time.

Categories and classifications: PIM supports the organization of products into categories. It allows adding product attributes as well as tags to improve navigation and search for customers.

Translations: PIM can be used to manage product information in multiple languages to provide a personalized experience for international customers.

Why PIM is important for online stores

Production information management systems bring numerous advantages for store operators. They form the starting point for companies to manage all their available information and data centrally as well as across platforms. This enables online retailers to always distribute the right product information and the most up-to-date product data consistently across all marketing channels.

Central data management

An end to Excel sheets and numerous lists: A PIM system provides a central data source for all product data and prevents information from being scattered across departments in the company. This makes it much easier to update, synchronize and manage information and ensures better quality product data.

Improved data quality

With the help of a PIM system, store operators ensure that they have high-quality product data. The system provides functions for checking and validating data to minimize the risk of errors and inconsistencies. This prevents incorrect or incomplete product information, resulting in improved credibility and higher customer confidence.

Scalability and internationalization

Thanks to a PIM system, online retailers manage their product data effectively and can scale it as desired, as well as adapt it to the right channels and providers for marketplace solutions. PIM also makes it easy to update and manage product data in different languages and currencies. This is especially important for online stores that want to sell or expand internationally.

Save time and increase efficiency

A PIM system automates many time-consuming tasks related to product data management, minimizing the effort in the company. The system enables quick updating of product data as well as distribution to different sales channels. As a result, online retailers make workflows more efficient and save valuable time to focus on more important aspects of their business.

Optimization of the user experience

One of the most important prerequisites for the success of an online store is a positive user experience. With a well-implemented PIM system, store operators offer their customers comprehensive product information and make it easier for them to find. In this way, companies improve the user experience, increase the conversion rate and reduce complaints and returns through accurate product descriptions.

For whom Product Information Management is suitable

The demand for product data increases with company growth or an expansion of the product range. The more complex and extensive the range in an online store, the more important structured and consistent product information becomes. Not only companies that want to expand internationally benefit from a PIM system, but also store operators with a wide product range or online retailers who also offer their products on other marketplaces or social networks.

In any case, it is important to think about implementing such a system early on in order to implement the scaling of the online store as effectively as possible right from the start and to avoid inconsistent data. Companies that still manage their product data manually should analyze their current processes and find out whether the use of a PIM software can contribute to growth.

When a PIM is worthwhile for your own ecommerce:

1. inconsistent product information is available

When product information is stored in different systems, the overview of the data is quickly lost. Errors occur that have a negative impact on the company as well as on purchasing behavior and lead to customer dissatisfaction.

2. data maintenance takes too much time

Manual synchronization of product data involves considerable effort and provides a breeding ground for errors in the process chain. A PIM makes data maintenance easier for companies, as all product information is in a central location and is automatically updated in all integrated business applications. For example, in an online store, on other marketplaces and in the CMS and ERP system.

3. the store has many products and varieties

Products that are offered in different variants should be enriched with useful attributes. A wide selection of colors, sizes or patterns increases the administrative effort. The more different products are available in an online store, the more profitable it is to use a PIM to minimize the administrative effort and avoid sources of error.

4. the products are distributed through various sales channels

Many online retailers not only offer their products in their own online store, but also use other marketplaces (Ebay, Amazon) or social media. However, creating a separate product catalog for each sales channel is time-consuming, causes additional costs and is also prone to errors. A PIM enables the smooth implementation of an omnichannel strategy - time-saving, simple and effective.

5. a planned move to another store system

Back-office functions are connected to ecommerce platforms through a PIM system. Companies planning to switch to a new store system, such as Shopware, avoid problems during the migration process with a PIM and make the move as simple as possible.

Successfully integrate Product Information Management

When implementing a PIM system, it is important to carefully evaluate different options and choose the right system for the specific needs of the online store. The following steps are important when integrating a PIM system:

Requirements analysis

It all starts with a thorough analysis. To do this, companies should ask themselves a few questions: What are the requirements for the online store? What types of product data are managed? Are integrations with other systems required? What functions must be available? By clearly defining the requirements, the selection can be narrowed down to systems that meet the company's needs.

Market research

A comprehensive market research helps to compare different PIM providers. Important comparison parameters are the functions, user-friendliness, customer ratings of the various systems, and price.

Demos and tests

Many PIM software providers offer demo versions so that companies can test the performance and usability of the system in advance. This makes it easier for store operators to find out whether the program meets their requirements and brings with it the desired functions. Here, it is important to think long-term and keep scalability in mind so that the system can keep up with the growth of the online store.

Implementation and customization

Once the suitable PIM has been found, the installation can get underway. Most providers support companies in this process and customize the system to meet specific requirements. This usually involves configuring data fields, adapting workflows, and integrating with other relevant systems such as a content management system (CMS) or Ecommerce system.

Training and support

To use the PIM system correctly and effectively, companies should train their employees accordingly. Many PIM vendors provide training materials or offer corresponding services. Detailed training is important to counteract errors and ensure smooth use of the system.

Frequently asked questions

What is Product Information Management (PIM)?

Product Information Management (PIM) is a system for central management and organization of product information in an online store. It enables retailers to efficiently organize detailed and uniform product information such as descriptions, images, prices and technical data.

What are the benefits of Product Information Management (PIM) for online stores?

Ecommerce retailers benefit from these advantages by using a PIM system:

  • It provides centralized data management to ensure that all product information is accurate, up-to-date and consistent.

  • A PIM system facilitates the integration and synchronization of product information with various sales channels, such as online marketplaces and social media.

  • PIM improves the customer experience through consistent, detailed and accurate product information.

  • It optimizes internal processes, saving store operators time and reducing errors when updating and managing product data.

What data can be managed with Product Information Management in an online store?

A PIM system is usually designed to adapt to the individual requirements of an online store. Among other things, it can be used to organize the following data, for example:

  • Product information

  • Media data

  • Stocks

  • Product categories and classifications

  • Languages