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Nov 2, 2022 | 6 minute read

Gartner® Report: Market Guide for PIM Solutions

written by Emily Kathi

Industry analyst Gartner® predicts by 2025, 70% of organizations will choose data management software products primarily based on the business user experience, up from 20% in 2021.

So what does that mean? Data management is mission-critical, however how brands deploy that data is changing at an accelerated pace.

Elastic Path is recognized in the guide as a select vendor of PIM software. The research and insights are compiled in the Gartner 2022 Market Guide for PIM Solutions.

A Comprehensive Guide to eCommerce PIM Solutions for Decision Makers

Gartner developed the guide for companies embarking on changes to their current solutions based on product information management trends. Its content educates and informs data and analytics leaders like you on how to pick the best PIM for eCommerce based on your business needs, so you are consistently managing and optimizing product information.

Inclusion and Evaluation Criteria

Gartner does the research so you hit the ground running on RFP and vendor selection. You get a global overview of the market players based on specific criteria.

Gartner typically limits their inclusion criteria to a set number of vendors, a revenue threshold in dollars, and product availability on more than one continent. As for evaluation, Gartner makes an assessment of the different vendor offerings based on general criteria such as global viability, client experience, marketing strategy, revenue, and revenue growth. For each offer, the criteria are ranked and weighted according to their importance for Gartner at a High, Medium, or Low levels.

The process is no ordinary selection process. Gartner provides a thorough, rigorous review of who is in the market, what they offer, and how well they are performing. To be included in the guide means a company is differentiating and leading in the market as a PIM solution. The next choice is yours given which of them provides the best solution for your needs.

Closing the Loop on the Product Content Life Cycle

Let’s begin with the basics of Product Information Management (PIM), or what Gartner refers to as the value delivered from a PIM:

The ultimate purpose of PIM is to speed up your time to market, improve all aspects of sales, and deliver compelling product experiences across any touchpoint.Regardless of what channel you’re selling in, PIM provides the foundation for customer experiences using relevant product information across touchpoints, and is especially crucial when enabling a digital eCommerce strategy.PIM enabled eCommerce allows your brand story to be told with a single source of product truth without silos; sales, merchandising, marketing teams have access to and are empowered to build off the data.

Enter PXM, a Crux of One of Gartner's Predictions for 2025

Product Experience Management (PXM), is an arm of a broader approach to PIM for eCommerce. Working in tandem with PIM, PXM levels up the customer experience with analytical tools, such as Digital Shelf Analytics (DSA), machine learning, and artificial intelligence. The result is richer, more engaging customer experiences across touchpoints that support multiple use cases and product complexities.

For channels that are long-term strategic investments, manual processes will eventually become insufficient. Instead, companies should invest in more robust product experience management (PXM) solutions, which represent an evolution beyond traditional PIM systems. PXM capabilities include automated rich content creation using natural language generation, AI-assisted rich content optimization and channel behavioral data, and DSA.

When referencing a “closed loop” , Gartner predicts that businesses adopting more robust PXM capabilities to enhance PIM will have greater leverage in building a revenue-generating, multichannel eCommerce solution. By gathering product information derived from PXM functionality, brands are now able to make changes and push those changes back out to their channels through syndication. The results? Product content optimization across every touchpoint and channel.

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Elastic Path Product Experience Manager helps you merchandise every unique product experience, without custom dev work.

Further Down the Road for Today’s Brands: Leveraging More Data

While Gartner points out in the report this practice rarely exists today, businesses will in the future tap into data from more resources than ever before such as existing PXM systems, point-of-sale in physical storefronts, and commerce platforms to further optimize across channels. The analyst notes that if the process happens today, the majority are performed with outdated PIM solutions. Within the report is a helpful visual tool as you envision the product data supply chain and how PIM affects the ecosystem: p>


Terms to Note

Worth mentioning among this cavalcade of acronyms, are two I am highlighting from the report with additional explanation:

  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) - A single source of truth for all digital assets including video, audio, presentations, media files, and animations to name a few. Housing these assets in a centralized location streamlines brand identity and consistency, enabling automatic asset updates. It also streamlines content repurposing which is fast becoming key to a brand’s social media presence and social commerce strategy.
  • Master Data Management (MDM) - As businesses increasingly went digital there was a rush to adopt Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), but that became somewhat limiting when businesses were faced with multiple use cases. MDM emerged as the answer to building a better beast; housing unified data across tools, systems, and locations to form a single source of truth.

Elastic Path Product Experience Manager

Good news for organizations of all sizes embarking on today’s complex and competitive commerce landscape: aligning with Gartner’s predictions and recommendations for the future state, is a product designed for your success: Elastic Path Product Experience Manager.

Product Experience Manager combines re-imagined eCommerce PIM software, Product Merchandising, and Catalog Composer capabilities into one central place for merchandisers to create the complex product experiences that keep your brand front and center in the eyes of increasingly demanding customers.

The market guide references supportive PIM functionalities vendors provide that fall outside traditional core capabilities, such as supplier data onboarding, content optimization, and print publishing.

Two standouts mentioned within the guide where Product Experience Manager differentiates are product variant management and catalog creation. The product is designed with the merchandiser in mind with the ability to manage thousands of SKUs and multiple catalogs. In fact, Product Experience Manager is the ideal solution for companies with “multis”: multiple brands, channels, geos, and use cases.

As those sought after, hyper-personalized customer experiences become critical to your brand’s growth and reputation, this is the PIM game changer. Interested in hearing more? Get in touch with our experts today to learn about Elastic Path's very own product information management solution. In the meantime, unlock and download the Gartner’s full 2022 Market Guide for PIM solutions report here.