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Interviews
7 min read

Exploring PIM systems and AI tools with KatanaPIM

Written by
Carla Hetherington
Published on
May 3, 2024

With the steady rise of e-commerce, vendors increasingly rely on Product Information Management (PIM) systems to manage and centralize all their product data. PIM systems enable companies to quickly gather, enrich, and validate product data and swiftly distribute the correct information to different sales channels, resellers, partners, and catalogs. An up-and-coming PIM system that has taken the market by storm with its simplicity and effectiveness is KatanaPIM. In this interview, Raoul Straathof, Product Manager at KatanaPIM, and Erika Muttigliengo, Head of Marketing at KatanaPIM, talk to us about their PIM solution and the future of AI in PIM systems.

How does KatanaPIM stand out compared to other PIM systems in the market?

Above all, KatanaPIM is easy to use, implement, and integrate. Our onboarding process and setup strategy are highly effective, enabling businesses to have their operations up and running in under two months. Overall, KatanaPIM excels in helping businesses to centralize, enrich, validate, and distribute their product data across all channels and systems simply. Designed to reduce the complexity and hassles of managing product information, our solution helps companies create enhanced customer experiences, accelerate their time-to-market, and, ultimately, increase sales.

What are the primary use cases of KatanaPIM?

Many companies are still doing a lot of manual work when it comes to managing their product information, and one of KatanaPIM's main use cases is to help digitalize these manual processes to enhance their operational efficiency and allow them to scale. When you have your product information stored in, let's say, an Excel file, which we often encounter, you can easily fall prey to manual errors and time-consuming tasks. This will ultimately impede your ability to expand your product offering, since introducing new products and launching in different countries will be a gigantic task. With our solution, expanding is easy: companies can digitalize, centralize, and automate all their product information and ensure no errors or inconsistencies in their data.

Is it easy to integrate KatanaPIM with other existing systems a company may have in place?

Certainly! Thanks to its open API, KatanaPIM can effortlessly sync with other systems and third-party applications, including e-commerce platforms, ERP, WMS, channel integrators, and more. Additionally, integrating KatanaPIM using Alumio ensures we are more scalable since we can dedicate all of our resources to enhancing our product without worrying about the integration aspect since Alumio takes care of that. As such, partnering with Alumio increases our offering to our clients, as we can provide them with a best-of-breed PIM solution and an effective integration tool to ensure they can easily integrate KatanaPIM with any other systems they choose.

What role does AI play in PIM systems currently?

AI is now primarily used to generate new content based on limited data. So, if there are a couple of product specifications, AI tools such as ChatGPT can generate an entire text from it. For example, suppose you have a product that you want to sell on Amazon. In that case, you can ask the AI tool to create a product title suited for Amazon since different marketplaces have different product title requirements and best practices. Another common use case is to use AI to automate your translations, enhance your product descriptions, and even "read" images to extract product attributes from them and create text from that.

Additionally, there are new tools in the market besides OpenAI that have specific capabilities. We recently came across a tool called Descrb, and they are developing software that allows vendors to maximize the use of the models they might use and their products by enabling the rendering of product images on different models. This is especially beneficial for smaller brands that do not have the resources enterprises do since they can save costs and have just one photoshoot a year instead of several by using this tool. A similar thing can be done with the background of pictures by using a green screen and AI to generate a compelling backdrop for the image, which, once again, can cut costs drastically by avoiding photoshoots in expensive locations.

Do you plan on implementing AI into KatanaPIM in the future?

Yes! Since many of our customers have already been using ChatGPT in parallel to KatanaPIM to assist them in generating their product descriptions and translations, we will soon integrate OpenAI into our solution to facilitate their use of the AI tool. We believe that this will make their lives easier and contribute to enhancing their product information journey, so we are very excited to launch this integration.

What role do you expect AI to play in PIM systems in the future? What future trends do you predict?

With each passing day, AI tools continue to improve and expand their capabilities. In PIM systems, AI tools will be able to generate increasingly more precise product descriptions, translations, valuable suggestions, and even high-quality visuals. This is already happening with GPTs, which you can train to embody your brand's tone of voice and feed specific knowledge to become a more personalized large language model tailored to you. These developments will undoubtedly enhance data management and content creation processes, hopefully resulting in a positive impact on customers' purchasing decisions.

We believe that one of the greatest uses of AI in PIM systems will be to enhance the content's quality and not just quantity. If you have a lot of content in your system, it is challenging to see if your data is clean. For example, if you have a list of different colors, there might be duplicates or misspellings. As such, AI could have a significant impact on validating the quality of existing content and performing quality control checks to ensure data consistency and accuracy, helping vendors avoid mistakes that could negatively impact their customers' experience and brand image.

However, despite major leaps in AI tools' capabilities, we firmly believe that, for now, AI has the role of a very efficient assistant, enhancing and streamlining processes rather than taking over entirely. As such, we are huge advocates of using AI in PIM systems as long as it is coupled with human interaction to maximize the potential of the tools.

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About our partner
KatanaPIM is the single source of truth for product information that helps brands, wholesalers, and retailers easily collect, enrich, and distribute product data to different sales channels, marketplaces, resellers, partners, and catalogs.

Raoul Straathof

Product Manager at KatanaPIM

Erika Muttigliengo

Head of Marketing at KatanaPIM

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