Five Questions To Pick Your Perfect PIM system
In our previous post, we made the case for why a Product Information Management (PIM) system is the busy e-commerce marketer’s secret weapon. Today, we’ll help you find your perfect PIM system.
PIM systems vary widely in features and costs. It’s important to know your requirements and goals, so you’re comparing the features that matter most to your business. Get started with these five questions to ask when selecting a PIM system.
Is the PIM system on-premise or cloud-based?
This one is important. If you select an on-premise provider, you’ll have to host your PIM system on your own computer/server/data center. For a lot of companies, hosting your PIM system will be challenging or require IT involvement.
A cloud-based system follows a software as a service (SaaS) model. Your PIM system will be centrally hosted and can be accessed by logged-in users on demand, via a web browser. Many organizations prefer the flexibility and reliability of a cloud-based PIM system.
Does it offer standard or customizable exports?
Many PIM systems offer a number of standard exports, meaning connections with distribution channels are already established and your data can be easily mapped to their data specs. Standard exports are nice to have if your product data already follows the naming conventions and field types used by marketplaces, like Amazon, Wayfair, etc.
Many e-commerce companies have unique data naming conventions and field types. That’s where customizable exports come in.
With customizable exports, your PIM system adapts to your data naming and formatting, while still enabling you to export your product data to different channels. You can also change the export whenever there’s a change to the channel’s data spec. Customizable exports are flexible, but maintain the formatting checks and balances of a standard export.
Can you upload and manage digital assets, like images and PDFs?
Some PIM systems include asset management, but unlike a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, it’s not always a major focus.
If asset management is important to you, and you want to link your product data and associated images, make sure that the PIM tool you select includes asset management. This is especially important for e-commerce companies relying on optimized product data and compelling imagery to sell products.
What types of support packages are offered?
This is another area where PIM systems widely vary. Support levels include live support, paid support, or educational resources, like a support portal or knowledge base.
When selecting a tool, it’s important to understand your support options for when you get inevitably get stuck. If it’s paid support, is it included in your plan or do you have to pay extra? Is it live phone support or email support? What are the available support hours? Do you have internal resources to rely on, or are you fully dependent on the system’s support options?
Does the PIM System offer all the features your company needs?
Before selecting a PIM system, make a checklist of all the features your company requires, so you ask the right questions up front. Make sure the tool meets your product, storage, channel, user, and support needs.
PIM systems are integral to managing and optimizing your product data, but they come in all forms, functionality, and prices. Pick the PIM system that’s perfect for your organization. Don’t settle for less!
Want to talk through PIM system options? Whereoware’s Product FastLane offers customizable exports, cloud-based hosting, asset management features, and more. Whereoware built 18 years of e-commerce experience into Product FastLane, so it offers the flexibility e-commerce companies desire, with the robust functionality the multi-channel digital landscape requires.