The growth of the digital information ecosystem is one of the consequences of the intensive development of online stores. Do you run a business that is constantly expanding with new assortments or planning to expand to foreign markets? Think about setting up a product data model that will allow you not only to grow your business, but also to streamline the work of your team, increase conversion and, most importantly, avoid chaos and ensure a positive shopping experience for your future customers. PIM is the solution to help you do just that. We write about how to choose an information management system in this guide, where we present the advantages of Akeneo and Pimcore.
PIM systems are gaining popularity. What exactly are they, what are the advantages of using this type of solution and for whom they are especially recommended?
PIM system – the technology of product information management
PIM system, or Product Information Management, is a software dedicated to product information management based on data systems which enable efficient creation, control and dissemination in various channels. Solutions of this type are invaluable in data collection and efficient management, as well as dissemination of information in various channels such as eCommerce systems, websites, mobile applications, catalogs, PDF files, and others. This technology significantly facilitates free and efficient management of product resources and, most importantly, storing them in one place, which affects the process of streamlining work and minimizes information chaos, or the risk of content duplication or errors. PIM systems work multidimensionally, thanks to which they are not only dedicated to eCommerce – due to the fact that it is an external product database, it can be connected to both online store, stationary store, and call center. It can also act as a database for catalogs and brochures. PIM was created with customers in mind, to streamline their work, and as a result, to grow the company and increase conversions, so it is possible to fully customize the system to fit the user’s needs and the specifics of their business – integration with other company’s systems is extremely easy, also through import or export of data, which are available in basic file formats. Another unquestionable advantage is the ability to customize the way the PIM platform is integrated into the company’s infrastructure based on specific requirements and business needs. As a result, the system can be installed both on internal servers and in the cloud, which means that the IT infrastructure is not additionally burdened – this option is most often chosen by large companies that want to allow employees to access resources anywhere and at any time.
Main advantages of PIM systems
- possibility to classify products and all product information necessary for potential customers at the stage of making purchase decisions
- ordering of data obtained from various sources and a possibility of their simultaneous transfer to other channels, together with the option of translation into foreign languages
- streamlining the search for relevant data, its rapid verification and enrichment, and updating product data
- shorter Time to Market, i.e. reduction of the time of adding a new product and the possibility to resign from the manual data entry, and consequently, the possibility of faster growth of the product assortment
- reduced service costs
- higher conversion rate – valuable, coherent and expanded texts have a positive impact on purchasing decisions of customers who, having a full picture of the product or service they are interested in, make the right purchases, thus buying more willingly and returning the goods less often.
Akeneo vs Pimcore – what makes them different?
If your company relies on multiple publication channels, your product range includes many products whose specificity requires a detailed, extensive description, your team consists of many specialists who complement each other in their work, you plan to expand to foreign markets, you need to automate DTP composition or support external classifications, PIM is the solution for you. There are many system options available in the market, which one should you choose? Below are two solutions – Akeneo PIM and Pimcore.
It is an open source system created in France, built on Symfony3 technology. It is characterized by high configurability thanks to the modular design of the platform, which allows to effectively and intuitively map the structure of the company and the internal processes taking place in it. This solution offers three variants:
- Community Edition
- Growth Edition
- Enterprise Edition – this option has two additional variants: Flexibility SaaS and Serenity PaaS
Akeneo PIM allows you to:
- manage content and product data in one place
- Export content and data to various channels
- support for content in multiple languages and currencies
- select data to export, how, when and where
- support for global access to channel sales.
Akeneo offers integration with Shopify Plus, Magento 2, eBay, WooCommerce, Aliexpress, WordPress, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, or Google Shopping, among others, and enables an internal search option enriched with smart rules, i.e. smart search and grouping rules, which is especially helpful for eCommerce beginners and companies that want to automate sales-related processes as much as possible. As we have already mentioned, full personalization is possible in PIM systems. Therefore, in the case of Akeneo, the user gains the ability to group products and give them additional variants according to manually entered rules and categories. This solution is equally helpful when exporting data from the platform. Akeneo has subsidiary companies also in Germany, Israel, England and USA, so users have the possibility to use different suppliers. Another unquestionable advantage is the PXM – Product Experience Management approach, which manifests itself by programming and optimizing features based on the subjective feelings of using the product in such a way as to meet customer needs. Positive shopping experience is also influenced by the editor of text and graphic content and PAM (Product Asset Manager), which uses an extensive library of multimedia, thus making the presentation of the product on the site more attractive, while offering additional options such as, for example, tag management or searching for products based on photos. Helpful for Akeneo PIM users is also Teamwork Assistant module. It is an indicator showing the publication progress of a given product and its current status. This option allows to better plan next actions by assigning responsible persons. The work is also improved by the change history section, thanks to which it is possible to keep track of the actions already implemented. By choosing Akeneo, the user gains the option to import data from Excel and CSV files, connect to the systems of other sites and providers. This translates into a smooth export and import of large quantities of products while maintaining a clear view. By creating workflow and validation rules for data, product catalog management is simplified and navigating the tabs is intuitive.
Like Akeneo, Pimcore is an open source solution. It is the only consolidated system that includes product information management, MDM (Master Data Management), DAM (Digital Asset Management) and eCommerce. The centralized platform connects key applications, eliminating the need for complex integrations. This directly impacts efficient and fast workflows.
Pimcore combines multiple functions that include:
- data modeling
- data management
- workflow management.
These features allow you to seamlessly control product information, including extremely complex information, and send it to multiple sales channels simultaneously. By choosing Pimcore for your business, you can centralize and structure all information – both marketing and technical, that relates to your merchandise and deliver all necessary data to your customer touch points. This PIM system can be integrated among others with Magento 2, Shopify Plus, Amazon, Google Shopping, eBay, Facebook. The unquestionable advantage of this solution is its ease of use and development option – Pimcore includes advanced modules, which include APIs for simple connectivity with CRM, ERP and third-party applications, user permissions, messaging system, Connect Anything architecture that allows integration of any amount of digital data of different types. Thus, Pimcore will meet the requirements of businesses of any size and industry. Built-in editors, Google search engine integration, social media reporting option, QR code management, Google Analytics integration and framework (framework for building eCommerce applications) are features that allow you to build an entire store solely on a platform like Pimcore.
Akeneo vs Pimcore – which information management system to choose?
In terms of technology, Akeneo and Pimcore are similar. So how do you choose a system tailored to your business?
Akeneo is a complete and transparent system with a number of ready-made integrations that extend the functionality that is available in the OOTB version. The software interoperates with popular eCommerce platforms, DAMs and systems for creating marketing materials. The advantage of Pimcore, in turn, is a number of additional tools that positively affect the management of the digital experience of potential customers. However, it is worth noting that the number of functionalities makes the use of Pimcore sometimes complicated, especially at the stage of implementation into the system operation. This, in turn, generates the need to organize training for employees and, consequently, affects the implementation time. Time to Market is definitely longer with this PIM system. Akeneo is a solution that comes with a ready-made product template that can be freely extended as needed. Unlike Akeneo, Pimcore also lacks the functionality of auto-filling missing data via product rule creation.
To make the choice easier, we compare the software on the level of the most important factors, which include flexibility, personalization, ease of integration and scalability:
To better illustrate the advantages of both systems, we have prepared a table with the strengths of both solutions:
PIM systems are invaluable in both a small and large company. If you want to grow your business, streamline the work of your team, reduce costs, the risk of errors and duplicate content, expand to foreign markets and quickly and intuitively expand your product range by providing potential customers with valuable product content and an attractive shopping experience, Product Information Management will undoubtedly make it possible.