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Sep 6, 2023 | 7 minute read

How to Choose the Right eCommerce PIM Solution for Your Business

written by Elastic Path

As eCommerce continues to grow, the demand for effective PIM solutions has also increased. A PIM solution helps businesses centralize, manage, and distribute product information across various channels, enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction. However, not all PIM solutions are created equal, and choosing the wrong one can lead to wasted time and resources.

Selecting the right PIM solution for your business is crucial to streamline your operations and maximize your online sales potential. To avoid costly mistakes, it's important to understand what key factors to consider when choosing an eCommerce PIM. Learn how to choose the best eCommerce PIM solution for your business.

What is an eCommerce PIM solution?

An eCommerce PIM solution is a software tool that helps businesses manage product information for their online stores. Think of it as a central database in which businesses can store and update all product data, including descriptions, images, pricing, and inventory levels.

With an eCommerce PIM solution, businesses can easily distribute this information to different sales channels like websites and social media platforms, improving consistency and accuracy. Using an eCommerce PIM solution makes managing product information easier, reduces errors, and improves efficiency for eCommerce businesses.

What are the benefits of having an eCommerce PIM solution?

eCommerce PIM software offers a centralized platform that allows businesses to efficiently manage and distribute product information across various channels, such as websites, marketplaces, and social media platforms. The benefits of having an eCommerce PIM solution include:

  • Improved product data management: An eCommerce PIM solution helps businesses keep all their product information in one place. This means accurate, up-to-date, and consistent product data across all sales channels, making the customer experience better and reducing errors.
  • Streamlined product catalog management: Businesses can easily create, update, and organize their product catalogs. This means they can quickly introduce new products, handle product variations efficiently, and easily change their offerings.
  • Enhanced data quality: An eCommerce PIM solution helps businesses keep their product data in check. It has validation rules and data governance features, which ensure that all product information is accurate, complete, and follows industry standards.
  • Increased operational efficiency: A strong eCommerce PIM solution automates tasks and workflows, saving time and effort for businesses managing product data.
  • Improved collaboration and communication: A PIM solution helps teams work together on product management. It brings marketing, sales, and product development teams closer, which means better coordination, faster decision-making, and enhanced product performance.

What are must-have eCommerce PIM solution features?

With the increasing complexity of digital commerce and the need to provide customers with up-to-date and relevant product information, a robust eCommerce PIM solution is crucial. Therefore, carefully considering essential features for your specific needs is important. Here’s what to consider:

  • Scalability: A PIM solution should be able to handle large amounts of product data and be capable of scaling as the business grows.
  • Integration: Look for a PIM solution that seamlessly integrates with existing systems to ensure smooth data flow and avoid manual data entry.
  • Data management: It should have robust data management capabilities, allowing businesses to import, export, and edit product data easily.
  • Workflow automation: Look for features such as workflow automation to streamline processes and improve efficiency in managing product information.
  • Multichannel support: If you sell products across multiple channels, choose a PIM solution that supports various channels, such as eCommerce platforms, marketplaces, and mobile apps.
  • Data quality control: A good PIM solution should have features to ensure data accuracy and consistency, such as data validation rules and duplicate detection.

6 steps to take when choosing an eCommerce PIM solution

With the market flooded with numerous PIM solution providers, navigating through the options and finding the best fit for specific needs can be overwhelming. However, by following a systematic approach, your business can simplify the eCommerce PIM decision-making process and make a well-informed choice. Here are the steps to take when choosing an eCommerce PIM solution.

1. Identify your business needs and goals

When choosing a PIM solution, businesses should first identify needs and goals. This ensures that the chosen solution aligns with their specific requirements and objectives. Understanding the needs and goals of your business is a must as it helps determine the features you need from an eCommerce PIM solution, such as centralized product data management, real-time inventory management, or multi-channel publishing capabilities.

2. Evaluate each PIM’s features and functionality

Businesses need to look at the features and functionality of each specific eCommerce PIM. These directly impact how you manage your product information. A good PIM system should include data import/export, data enrichment, data validation, and data syndication. These ensure your product information is accurate, consistent, and up-to-date across all channels.

When evaluating functionality, you must see if the PIM can handle your eCommerce needs. If the features are lacking, it can lead to errors and inconsistencies and make it hard to manage your product information. This can hurt your customer experience and make it difficult for your business to grow.

3. Consider ease of integration with existing systems

Many businesses already have inventory management, order processing, and customer relationship management systems. Integrating a new eCommerce PIM solution that works well with these existing systems is important. This helps avoid disruption and makes implementation easier.

If you don't think about integration, you might have compatibility issues, inconsistent data, and extra customization or development work costs. So, choosing an eCommerce PIM solution that offers seamless integration is a must to improve efficiency, contain costs, and boost overall productivity.

4. Look at the pricing and scalability of the PIM vendor

Pricing is important in deciding if a business can afford a solution. Vendors have different pricing structures, such as monthly subscriptions or one-time licensing fees. Assessing the pricing model and seeing if it fits the budget and expected returns are necessary.

Scalability is also important as businesses grow. The PIM solution should handle larger catalogs, data, and users without slowing down. Options such as cloud-based solutions or adding more storage or power should be available.

5. Check for customer service and support options

Implementing a PIM solution can be complex and technical, so reliable customer service and support are crucial for a smooth implementation and troubleshooting process. Customer service representatives are helpful when setting up the PIM solution, resolve technical issues, and answer questions.

Also, ongoing support is important for the solution's smooth operation. Quick resolution of any issues minimizes downtime and disruptions to the eCommerce business. Customer service and support also ensure the solution can adapt and evolve with changing business needs, as it is a long-term investment.

6. Understand the implementation and integration process

Implementing a PIM solution involves various steps, such as data mapping, cleansing, and migration. Understanding how these steps will be executed and how they will impact your existing systems and processes is essential.

Integration with existing eCommerce platforms, such as online stores and marketplaces, is also critical. Understanding the integration process will help you assess if the PIM solution can seamlessly integrate with your existing systems and if any customization or development work is required.

Potential challenges in choosing the best PIM solution

Choosing the best eCommerce PIM solution for a business can be challenging due to various challenges. One of these challenges is the wide range of options available in the market. With numerous vendors offering PIM solutions with different features and capabilities, it can be overwhelming to determine which solution suits a business's specific needs and requirements.

Another challenge lies in the complexity of eCommerce PIM implementation and integration with existing systems. It is crucial for businesses to ensure that the chosen solution seamlessly integrates with their current software and processes, which can be a time-consuming and complex process. Lastly, the cost can also be a challenge as PIM solutions can vary greatly in terms of pricing models and associated expenses. Therefore, it is essential for businesses to carefully evaluate and consider these potential challenges in order to make an informed decision and select the best PIM solution.

Choose the right eCommerce PIM solution with Elastic Path

On the whole, choosing the right eCommerce PIM solution is crucial for businesses looking to streamline their product data management processes. Fortunately, Elastic Path offers an advanced and comprehensive eCommerce PIM solution that can significantly enhance the efficiency and accuracy of your eCommerce operations. Get in touch with us today to learn more about Elastic Path's eCommerce PIM offerings.

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