But once you start thinking about expanding the store (say, adding a new line of products) or maybe even creating a second one, then manually managing the products stops being “fun.” It takes too much time. You or your team members find mistakes in the data virtually every day. You have no idea where the digital assets like images or videos are stored. You have several product returns or complaints to manage. And as the result, your brand reputation and revenue takes a hit.
Here’s where many companies start to consider getting a product information management platform, or PIM in short, to put their whole product data into one place and let automation carry most of the manual work for them.
What is a PIM solution, and how can you use it together with your Shopify store? Read on to learn more about just how valuable the Shopify PIM integration can be.
What is product information management (PIM)?
A Product Information Management (PIM) solution is an ecommerce application that provides a single place to collect, manage, and update or enrich your product information. Thanks to that, PIM tools make the business processes in your company related to ecommerce far faster, more efficient, and productive as everyone has access to the same database.
MarketsandMarkets estimates the global PIM market size is expected to grow from $9.0 billion in 2020 to $16.0 billion by 2025. That’s mainly thanks to the booming ecommerce market and companies increasingly looking for a ecommerce PIM integration with their stores to manage their high volume of orders (and growing).
The main job of PIM platforms is to gather and store all critical data about your products – from technical details (size, color, dimension, ingredients, and anything else relevant) to descriptions, images, videos, or documents related to a given product.
According to Wakefield research, 54% of U.S. office professionals said they waste plenty of time searching for much-needed files in cluttered online filing systems. Having a central database with all the crucial files in PIM can be a solution to that.
As the data is gathered from all internal and external data sources, put together into one place and then neatly categorized, your team doesn’t have to juggle several spreadsheets to find the data they need – they have everything in one place.
There are a lot of product information types that the PIM systems can manage and keep updated:
- Technical data.
- Digital Assets: Photos, Videos, also Animation
- Product Attributes: Product title, SKU, description.
- Marketing Data: SEO, Keywords, Meta description
- Translation, User Reviews, Product Variants
All this product information can be edited or updated from the PIM system’s interface as well. Moreover, since all changes in the system will be immediately visible and you can share data in a click too, you can be sure that your employees or partners will be kept informed.
Shopify PIM integrations: Why and when do you need them?
Shopify is a great ecommerce platform, but it has some limitations when it comes to managing your product information. You can use the built-in CMS and product features, or you can install some apps from the marketplace, but they may not be enough for your growing store. You may face challenges such as:
- Importing data and assets from different sources and formats
- Updating product data manually and frequently
- Finding and fixing errors, gaps or inconsistencies in product data
- Adapting product data to different marketplaces, stores or channels
- Sharing product data with customers, partners and teams
- Keeping product data compliant with regulations
If you experience any of these issues, you may benefit from a dedicated Shopify PIM solution. A PIM (Product Information Management) system helps you centralize, organize, enrich and distribute your product data across multiple platforms and channels. With a PIM, you can save time, improve data quality, increase conversions and grow your business.
Main benefits of Shopify PIM integration
With what could a PIM integration help your brand? For example, with improving the consistency of the product catalog but without so much manual work. Or easily attaching multiple other apps and integrations to the PIM system. But there are far, far more things that PIM can make easier for your business, here are just some of the significant advantages a PIM solution can offer:
No more need for several documents and spreadsheets
Spreadsheets are error-prone and costly for your Shopify store. You need to manually update and consolidate data, which can lead to mistakes and lost revenue. According to IBM, bad data costs the U.S. economy $3.1 trillion per year.
With a PIM solution integrated with Shopify, you can automate data management and access them easily from a dashboard. You can see all the details of your products, categories, and attributes, and take action accordingly.
Import existing data to shopify via PIM, no matter what format
How many different applications and data formats do you use a day? Possibly too many. And getting the data to work with Shopify product requirements is no easy task.
With a PIM tool, you can process data in different formats and fit it, so it matches Shopify’s requirements. So even if you have data in several places, such as a spreadsheet, an ERP, or supplier documents, a PIM can take all of that and make it Shopify-compatible in moments.
Bulk edit product information
Editing a couple of product descriptions or attributes is manageable, but hundreds or thousands? That’s a nightmare for any store owner.
A PIM solution has in-built options to filter data, though, allowing you to edit all of them at once – and share the changes between all connected apps. As a result, you can change almost anything related to the products – pricing, product specifications, descriptions, availability, stocks, color, etc. What’s more, you can even sort the data by channel — meaning you can choose to edit only the data shown on your Shopify, website, or physical store and nowhere else.
Market products on multiple channels
Times of using only one place to sell products are long gone – now the more options you give to the customers, the better the chance they will find your products and buy them. But managing numerous channels by hand is…hard.
Product Information Management tools can help you here as well. With a Shopify PIM integration, you can push any number of products to multiple channels all in a click and also keep an eye on how each channel is performing through the dashboards.
Besides aiding you with moving to multichannel selling, PIM ecommerce platform powers can even help you expand your brand to other countries. Shopify does make it easier for merchants to sell across the globe, but how’d you do it without being compliant with demographics, currency, and people’s culture?
PIM system has a handy feature for that too. Inside it, you can set up several languages, currencies, and descriptions for the products, and the app will handle matching them with the correct shop. It’s not necessary anymore to create the SKUs for every region individually – that would be far too much work. Instead, you make them once in the PIM, and then you can use them in all channels or stores you have.
Saving a lot of time
Product data management is time-consuming. You have to deal with multiple spreadsheets, inventory changes, and different ecommerce platforms. You need a Shopify PIM solution to save time and simplify your workflow. With PIM, you can:
- Store and access all your data in one place
- Share and update data easily with your team and partners
- Automate data transfer and conversion to Shopify and other channels
- Market and launch your products faster and more efficiently
PIM helps you grow your business and revenue by freeing you from data hassles 🙂
Shopify PIM integrations: key features
Shopify and Shopify Plus are great platforms for online selling, but they lack some product and content management features. That’s why you need a PIM system that works well with Shopify or Shopify Plus. A good PIM system should have these features:
- Collect product information manually or automatically
- Handle multiple products with ease
- Customize fields for product descriptions, attributes, sizes, etc.
- Automate workflows and tasks
- Manage content and marketing materials for each product
- Integrate with CMS, IMS, ERP, and other ecommerce tools
- Manage data for multiple stores
- Create workflows for different teams and supply chain stages
- Analyze ecommerce product performance
With a PIM system, you can save time, avoid errors, and improve communication in your Shopify store. This will boost your customer engagement, satisfaction, sales, and revenue. If you are a Shopify Plus merchant, a PIM system is even more essential for your success.
TOP5 PIM systems for Shopify store
Now, which Product Information Management system should you even look at? Capterra, for example, has 142 PIM applications in their database, most of which support the Shopify and Shopify Plus ecommerce platforms. But as you look through the various comparison lists, you’ll see that a couple of names appear especially often – let’s look at those apps now.
The user-friendly interface, low price point, and exceptional onboarding and customer support make Plytix one of the most popular PIMs among small and medium businesses worldwide.
Brands and retailers or distributors with over 100 products or selling through numerous channels may find the app particularly helpful. Plytix is also unique in that it is designed and priced specifically for small and medium-sized companies.
Plytix offers three plans: one is a “free-forever” (great for starting with a Product management solution), and two are paid (300 and 1100 euros a month). You can also try both paid plans in a free trial or use the standard plan with add-ons.
Akeneo offers an open-source PIM solution to help brands simplify their product catalog management processes. The app makes it easy and simple for retailers and brands both in B2C and B2B markets to collect data from any source, enrich and control the quality of product information, and distribute it to numerous channels such as e-commerce, mobile, print, and points of sale.
Like Plybix, Akeneo has a free edition available on their website. Meanwhile, their enterprise edition is custom-priced, so to know more about how much the app would cost, you need to reach out to the support.
Pimcore is an open-source PIM that works best for Enterprise brands with more than 50 employees. The app can gather, consolidate, cleanse and update any amount of digital data, making it far faster for large companies to manage their stores. As their best point, the app can publish data to 2 500+ sales and marketing channels.
Pimcore Cloud Edition is available in three different packages: a free community edition and two custom-priced ones. For the custom ones price, you need to ask the sales team directly.
Jasper PIM creates a central repository for all of your product data, enabling two-way data synchronization across the entire tech stack. The app also supports multiple languages and currencies across all sales channels, eCommerce storefronts, and online marketplaces and helps you schedule content updates for sales and promotions, so if you are thinking about expanding your store, those are the features you should look at.
As for their pricing, they have a separate one for small and enterprise businesses, starting from $49 a month for the lowest plan to $3750 for the most expensive one.
Salsify is a bit different form of PIM, called a product experience management tool. PIM helps businesses centralize product content and streamline workflows.
PXM meanwhile combines PIM with many other tools – such as enhanced content, digital asset management (DAM), analytics and insights, and more – to maximize customer engagement and loyalty. Brands can then provide a spectacular customer experience their customers want and across every channel they shop on.
Unfortunately, that means that their pricing is on the higher end – while their website only mentions that Salsify has custom pricing depending on the business needs, platform reviewers often say that this is a costly solution and primarily for larger companies.
Integrating PIM and Shopify: A Simple Guide
You want to use a Product Information Management (PIM) system to manage your product data. But how do you connect it to Shopify and your other tools?
Some PIM solutions have a Shopify app that you can install easily. But before you do that, you need to migrate your data from its original source to the PIM database. This is a crucial step that can affect your future success or failure.
To migrate your data, you need to:
- Collect all your data in one place
- Choose the most important data for migration
- Organize the data into folders
- Delete or archive any duplicate, outdated, or wrong data and assets
You also need to understand how the PIM app works, such as its data structure, entry methods, types, and names. You need to match your product information with the right data type in PIM.
This can be a complex and time-consuming process. If you need help, you can contact a Shopify or PIM expert. This is especially recommended if you have many shops or products and want to avoid any mistakes.
Why you should choose WeCanFly Agency for Shopify PIM integration?
Generally, it’s always safer to ask a Shopify development partner or PIM provider to handle the integration process if you need to transfer large amounts of products and customer data to the PIM or make sure that all applications integrate smoothly with it. As they know exactly what is the best way to import the data from Shopify or ERP to the PIM solution, you can be sure that your entire database will be moved there without issues.
Having a developer who knows their way around Product Information Management apps and Shopify PIM integrations also means that you can count on them to teach you how to use the platform later with your team.
We work with brands that want to move to Shopify, integrate the store with other apps, or optimize an existing one. We’ve seen a variety of issues that new merchants face when they migrate their shop or integrate it with new software – and know how to solve them. Here are some ways our Shopify experts can help you with Shopify PIM:
- Assistance in choosing the right PIM solution
- Business consulting in designing the new ecommerce ecosystem
- PIM installation and configuration
- Data migration
- Mapping the PIM data structure to Shopify
- Integrating the PIM tool with CRM, ERP, or other tools the client is using for their Shopify store
- Creating custom API integrations for specific tools
Are you currently growing your Shopify store but find managing the number of data overwhelming? Or maybe you are running multiple stores on Shopify Plus, and you’ve been considering using some sort of product information management system to make your enterprise brand run smoother?
Either way, a PIM system can be an incredibly useful tool to keep you in control when the waves get rough.
But to tap into the PIM ecommerce integration superpowers, you need three things – research on your needs, work on cleaning the current data, and also a helping hand from a Shopify developer expert if you are struggling. Add those together, and you’ll be amazed to see just how much smoother running the store (or stores) have become.