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What are the best PIM integrations?

Written by
Saad Merchant
Published on
April 29, 2024

In the dynamic world of modern commerce, consumers expect to be able to purchase a brand’s products and services through multiple touchpoints, such as e-commerce platforms, online marketplaces, mobile apps, social media, and physical stores. Product Information Management (PIM) systems have emerged as a powerful solution to manage, enrich, and distribute product data for thousands and even millions of SKUs across these sales channels. As such, PIM systems are designed to integrate and work well with other business applications, tools, and sales channels. Let’s explore some of the most essential PIM integrations or applications to integrate with PIM systems that help revolutionize product experiences!

What are the best PIM integrations for modern businesses?

Product Information Management (PIM) systems play a crucial role in modern multi-channel or omnichannel business strategies, as they are specifically designed to work with other business management systems, e-commerce SaaS, and third-party apps. By leveraging PIM systems, businesses can ensure that product descriptions, images, pricing, and specifications are uniform and up-to-date across all their sales channels.

What is PIM?

A Product Information Management (PIM) system is a software solution that can be used to centralize, enrich, and propagate product data across all sales channels. Establishing a single source of truth for all product information, a PIM presents an interactive database that all teams can access, collaborate, and tailor. It enables businesses to ensure consistency, accuracy, and completeness across all channels and touchpoints.

In an era where customer expectations for personalized product experiences are at an all-time high, PIM systems play a pivotal role in delivering tailored and engaging content to consumers. Some of the leading PIM solutions in the market are Akeneo, Pimcore, inriver, and Salsify.  

What are the best applications to integrate PIM systems with?

By integrating PIM with other applications, businesses can provide relevant and up-to-date product data across all touchpoints. At the same time, integrating PIM systems with other business applications means adding a wide array of revolutionary product data management and enrichment features to the tech stack.

As such, here are four essential applications to integrate with a PIM system to enable impactful product experiences for customers and intuitive product management experiences for brands:

1. Integrating PIM with ERP systems

While a huge part of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems is dedicated to product management, it might come as a surprise to most that PIM systems are still most commonly integrated with ERP systems. This is because ERP systems are great for managing frequently changing product data, such as invoices, orders, logistics, pricing, etc. (also known as hot data). On the other hand, PIM systems specialize in managing data that infrequently changes, such as marketing data, product content, multi-select product attributes, color types, and other specifications (also known as cold data).

Thus, the benefits of integrating a PIM system with ERP systems like SAP, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Kerridge include:

  • Simplified product onboarding: A PIM-ERP integration streamlines product data collection and enrichment within the PIM system. Once enriched, product data can be seamlessly transferred to the ERP, significantly reducing the time and resources required for new product launches.
  • Enriched product data: While ERP systems focus on transactional data, PIM systems specialize in managing rich product content. This involves enhancing descriptions, images, pricing, and specs of products before they go live, ensuring informed purchasing decisions and better product experiences.
  • Seamless product lifecycle management: Integrating PIM with ERP systems facilitates seamless management of the product lifecycle. From product creation to end-of-life processes, businesses can track and manage product data efficiently, ensuring products are launched and retired effectively. .
  • Improved personalization: By leveraging operational data and customer insights from the ERP, PIM systems personalize product data according to customer preferences and align effectively with product pricing, promotions, and marketing strategies.
  • Omnichannel product data management: While ERP systems can help store and manage data, PIM systems don’t just help greatly enrich this data, but they also help effectively distribute the enriched product data to various sales channels, tailored according to the needs and nuances of each channel.

Discover how to build easier PIM and ERP systems with a unique B2B, B2C, & D2C API Plugin solution →

2. Integrating PIM with e-commerce platforms

Integrating Product Information Management (PIM) systems with e-commerce platforms is also paramount for businesses seeking to streamline their operations and enhance the online shopping experience for customers. A PIM to e-commerce integration ensures that product information is accurately synchronized across all online channels.

Thus, the benefits of integrating PIM systems with e-commerce platforms such as Shopware, Shopify, or BigCommerce include:

  • Efficient product catalog management: PIM integration enables businesses to efficiently manage large and complex e-commerce product catalogs. It helps organize products into categories, attribute sets, and variants via one search-friendly user interface, making it easy to find, modify, and publish product data.
  • Automated product updates: A PIM integration automates how product information gets updated on an e-commerce platform. Any changes made to product data within the PIM are automatically reflected on the e-commerce website, ensuring real-time accuracy, consistency, and faster product launches.
  • Improved SEO performance: Integrating PIM with e-commerce platforms can enhance search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. PIM systems help enrich product data with relevant keywords, meta tags, and attributes, optimizing product listings for better visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Streamlined order processing: Integrating PIM with e-commerce platforms streamlines the order processing workflow. Accurate and consistent product data ensures that orders are fulfilled correctly and efficiently, leading to improved customer satisfaction and reduced order errors.
  • Improved product translations: PIM systems help greatly simplify the process of translating product data into multiple languages, expanding market reach. Centralizing translation management helps businesses ensure consistency across all product listings and streamlines the localization process.

Want to discover how to build an end-to-end PIM and e-commerce integration in less than a day? Discover the Akeneo to Shopware Integration App →  

3. Integrating PIM with online marketplace feed management tools

As mentioned, apart from providing a centralized hub for product data, PIM systems also specialize in efficiently distributing this data across multiple sales channels. One of the most effective channels that PIM systems help tailor content for and automate listings on is online marketplaces like Amazon and BOL. Integrating the PIM system with online marketplace channels or feed management tools helps tailor product listings according to the nuances of each marketplace to improve rankings and inform purchase decisions.  

Thus, the benefits of integrating PIM systems with online marketplace feed management tools such as ChannelEngine and Channable include:

  1. Centralized product data management: By integrating PIM with marketplace feed management tools, businesses can centrally manage product data across various channels. This ensures consistency in product information, including descriptions, images, prices, and inventory levels, across all marketplaces.
  2. Automated listing and updating: A PIM integration automates the process of listing products on online marketplaces and updating product information in real-time. Any changes made to product data within the PIM system are automatically synchronized with the marketplace feed management tools.
  3. Enhanced product content for marketplaces: PIM systems enrich product data with detailed descriptions, high-quality images, and engaging videos. Apart from improving product data distribution, integrating feed management tools helps tailor this enrichment according to marketplace preferences.  
  4. Simplified performance tracking: Integrating PIM systems with marketplace feed management tools helps track the performance of product listings across different marketplaces. This enables businesses to enrich their product data and marketing campaigns according to product performance on each platform.

Want to discover how to build an end-to-end PIM and an online marketplace feed management tool in less than a day? Discover the Akeneo to ChannelEngine Integration App →  

4. Integrating PIM with the latest AI tools

Product information management (PIM) has revolutionized the way businesses manage product data. However, the advent of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) has unlocked a whole new level of efficiency and optimization, especially where the creation of product data is concerned. Thus, while PIM systems are already renowned for speeding up the process of enriching products and making them ready to go live, integrating AI systems helps take the time-to-market advantages to the next level.

The automation benefits of integrating the latest AI technology like OpenAI with PIM systems include:

  • Automated data enrichment and classification: AI-powered PIM systems can automate enriching product data with detailed descriptions, specifications, and relevant keywords. By analyzing existing product data and external sources, it can categorize products accurately and assign relevant tags.
  • Image and video recognition: AI-powered image and video recognition technology integrated with PIM systems can automatically tag, categorize, and organize visual assets. This enhances the discoverability of products by enabling customers to easily search and find relevant products based on visual attributes.
  • Automated multi-channel content creation: Integrating AI with PIM systems can analyze your product data and audience demographics to automatically generate channel-specific content variations. This ensures you deliver targeted and engaging product content across sales and marketing channels.
  • Enhanced customer self-service: AI-powered chatbots can be integrated with your PIM system to provide customers with instant access to product information. By leveraging product data within the PIM, chatbots can answer customer queries about product specifications, availability, and compatibility.

Want to know more about the future role of AI in PIM systems? Read our full intereview with popular PIM system, KatanaPIM →

Building future-proof PIM integrations with the iPaaS

While modern businesses can greatly benefit from building these four aforementioned effective PIM integrations, this is still only a part of the solution. In order to seamlessly build these integrations and facilitate real-time data exchange, businesses are now using integration solutions like the Alumio iPaaS (Integration platform as a service).

The Alumio iPaaS is a cloud-native, low-code integration platform that helps connect multiple systems, SaaS, cloud apps, or data sources without the need for custom code. As an API-driven solution, it helps create, monitor, and manage these integrations via one user-friendly web interface. It synchronizes data and helps build workflows to automate thousands of processes between integrated systems.

As such, the Alumio iPaaS greatly simplifies connecting PIM systems with an entire ecosystem of applications, including e-commerce, ERP, channel marketplace listing software, AI tools, and a wider range of application integrations. Most importantly, the Alumio iPaaS provides a wide range of connectors (pre-configured data) to build faster integrations between PIM systems and popular third-party applications. This way, businesses can easily create a scalable multi-channel or omni-channel ecosystem with a PIM system seamlessly delivering enriched product data across all integrated applications.

Want to get a first-hand industry perspective on how PIM integrations work? Read our interview with Happy Horizon, a renowned digital agency, about how they benefit their customers by creating PIM integrations via the Alumio integration platform. Read the full interview here →

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