After launching an online ecommerce store, you should know that you are going to manage a large amount of data ranging from your customer management to managing your inventory, and it is really arduous and time-consuming work. However, using a PIM software would be really helpful for you as it makes managing the online ecommerce store data quite easy with a centralized system to manage all the product data in a highly efficient way.
What is PIM?
PIM stands for “Product Information Management”. It gives you a single or a central place where you can collect, manage, and update the information of products, creating a catalog, etc. You can use a PIM for distributing the data to the different ecommerce platforms where you have listed your products. It comes with synchronizing print catalog, POS, marketplaces, and ecommerce channels. It has become inevitable for successful B2B and B2C ecommerce platforms. Using a PIM solution, you can manage the product data such as product attributes, media files, attribute family, product categories, category details, etc.
Why you need a PIM solution for your online ecommerce store?
Once integrated, a PIM solution would be highly faithful for your ecommerce store. It has been designed to manage everyday pursuits as streamlined and easy as possible. These solutions will reduce the managing time, expenses, difficulty, and struggles linked with running an ecommerce store. Here are some of the reasons why you need a PIM solution for your online ecommerce store:
Reduce Product Lead Times
The foremost benefit of PIM software is that it will reduce the product lead times to a great extent. You can allow your team to manage and edit all the product information at once for go-to-market faster and more streamlined. There is an adage “Time is money”. Reducing the product lead times will help you in saving money ultimately, along with preserving valuable resources of your company.
Manage Cross-Channel Product Information
Without using a PIM solution you may have come across the scenarios where you find really difficult to create cross-channel product information without any erroneous and full consistency.
However, with a PIM solution, it’s possible to create, edit, and manage your product information all at once. If your products have been listed on multiple platforms, a PIM system will help you in eliminating the mistakes you can make while updating the numbers, references, catalogs, SKU data, etc.
Gives a better customer experience
Well, it can be a little far-sighted but you also provide a better customer experience by using a PIM solution. As the customers come across products with a proper description it reduces the chances of returns or complaints. Also, the customer can reach new products much faster even in normal circumstances. The buyers can also check how much stock is available, which is highly important for B2B buyers.
Better SEO results
You would be surprised to know that popular search engines such as Google or Bing disapprove the unrelated content which results in the lower ranking of your website. But a Product Management tool will help you in providing unique product content, an increase in page density, page richness which is appealing to the search engines. When your products are properly categorized and have comprehensive product descriptions, it is easier for the users to find the product they are looking for.
Increase Cross Sales & Up Sales
If the cross-sales & up sales are low on your ecommerce store and you are looking for ways to increase them up, then a PIM solution really helps for you. As a PIM solution will reduce your time to focus on product, you can use this time to improve your sales strategy. Once you’ve identified items you want to focus on, a PIM system allows you to come up with ways to orchestrate cross-sales. What’s more, PIM solutions help you link products and boost sales that can help you grow your business.
Who needs a PIM solution?
There are many factors that decide who exactly requires a PIM solution for his/her online ecommerce business. You can ask yourself these questions to know:
- Does your company manage complex product content and relationships?
- Are you offering a very number of SKUs to your customers?
- Does your company rely on multiple channels to sell products?
- Do you collect data from multiple suppliers?
- Do you need accurate product information available for multiple teams?
- Are there a lot of manual processes involved in your company?
If you have positive answers for the above questions then you definitely require a PIM solution. In short, a PIM solution is made for:
- Retailers, manufacturers, distributors or retailers having huge merchandise
- Companies with frequent SKUs transition
- Businesses struggling with poor product data
- Companies selling their products internationally with different languages product descriptions
- Businesses who want to avoid product information inconsistency between different channels.
Akeneo PIM was developed in 2013 by a Franco – American team in Nantes. It is an open-source PIM solution and comes among the most used open-source PIM solution in the world. You wouldn’t believe that there are more than 60 thousand companies that are using Akeneo for managing the product information.
Apart from the open-source edition, there is also an enterprise edition of the Akeneo solution. There are various functionalities that Akeneo a standalone solution. Some of them are:
- Data Centralization
- Management of Workflow
- Multi-Channel Configuration
- Multilingual Data
- Product Experiment Management
- Data Consistency
Akeneo PIM is highly easy to use PIM which optimizes all your processes. It will centralize all the product information and makes fluent the process of collecting, spreading, and enriching the product data. It can easily integrate into other systems and tools. Akeneo is perfectly customizable for meeting your organization’s needs. It is built to support all types of catalogs whether simple to complex.
Akeneo PIM solution is built with integrating all necessary features & functionalities. Here are a few of them…
1. Advanced Rights Management
With the Advanced Rights Management feature in the Akeneo solution, you have the ability for creating different user types with different levels of access. This will result in a hierarchy of users, with less or no access to junior members and allowing authorization to amendments and solutions to the experienced ones.
2. Publication and Versioning
As there are multiple users involved in a project, auditing and having a trail of revisions or changes is highly important for both the team members as well as to end-users for ensuring that the accurate gets published.
The Publication and Versioning feature allows the team to regulate all the changes or reverting them back if any error is encountered and provides the ability for users to work on editing product data whilst the current version remains published.
3. Validation Workflows
The users can create or edit information of products using the Validation workflows. It gives users a high level of access rights to check, change, and finalize the changes before publishing. It streamlines the overall process as teams can work remotely using the cloud-based system and reviewers can edit or suggest news changes to product information without the need to reject and wait for the users to submit all over again.
4. Product Asset Manager
Managing images of the product are one of the most strenuous tasks for data managers and they can’t even use any loophole or shortcut as images play a crucial role in product details.
However, with the Akeneo solution, the product asset manager can upload the assets directly into the application & can make changes automatically whether it is automatic resizing, thumbnail generation, image resolution, scaling, or colour amendments.
5. Teamwork Assistant
Using the Teamwork Assistant, you can create new product enrichment projects, and the admin can assign specific users to work & collaborate on them. There is a “Project Completeness” widget by which the progress of the project can be tracked. It appears on the dashboard & gives you insights into individual contributions from the team.
You can also identify the size of the project using Teamwork Assistant, therefore you can restrict the team members from adding or creating projects which are too large in size.
Top Brands Using Akeneo
Here are some of the top-notch companies using Akeneo as their PIM solution:
- Schuler Shoes
- Forever New
How to connect Akeneo to your ecommerce store?
There are a lot of PIM integrations that allow the businesses to seamlessly integrate with the ecommerce solutions whatever you are using.
1. Akeneo integration with Magento
For Magento, there are multiple PIM integrations offered by different partners available in the marketplace. You can easily manage the product information and give modifications between your Magento ecommerce store and Akeneo PIM solution. The type of PIM integration that you will require depends on the Magento version you are using for your application, and what features you require for your business.
Learn More: Best PIM Software To Integrate With Magento 2 Store
2. Akeneo integration with WooCommerce
If your business has a huge catalog of your business and is using the WooCommerce platform, then you can use the WooCommerce Akeneo Connector. This PIM solution will make it easy to import and export the product data between your WooCommerce store and the Akeneo PIM solution. You can import the product data by using CSV or XLSX into Akeneo and thereafter pushing into the channels. This PIM solution is made for the ecommerce stores with thousands of products in their stock and is using the WooCommerce platform.
3. Akeneo integration with Shopify
By using the Shopify Akeneo Connector you will not get a simplified way of importing and exporting the catalog data onto your Shopify store but it will also help you in managing & enriching product information. You can handle all the product data using this solution such as product variation, collection, image exporting, and multiple store synchronization.
Learn: How To Create A Shopify App Using PHP?
4. Akeneo integration with Shopware
The Akeneo Shopware Connector is an ideal solution for your large Shopware ecommerce store. It will eradicate the requirement of complex, time-consuming manual edits of your product information while import and export. In fact, it will automate the overall process so that your data is up-to-date at all channels. Using this PIM integration, you can provide accurate product data with personalized content, targeted marketing campaigns, and Shopware’s “Perfect Product Streams.”
Also Read: A Complete Guide To Shopware Migration
5. Akeneo integration with BigCommerce
If you have a BigCommerce store with thousands of products then the BigCommerce Akeneo Connector is a perfect solution for you. You can manage simple, configurable, and virtual types of products for easy exporting and importing the product information. You can also export the product categories, custom field mapping solution, exporting multiple product images, SEO information, etc.
Also Read: Magento vs WooCommerce vs Shopify vs Opencart: Best Ecommerce Platforms 2020
6. Akeneo integration with Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Integrating Akeneo PIM solution into your ecommerce store built on Salesforce Commerce Cloud will allow you to seamlessly push your product catalog to the Salesforce Business Manager. It will convert the Akeneo API data to Salesforce Commerce Cloud XML format for products, categories, attributes, associations, price books, and media. It works with both Community and Enterprise Editions and is compliant with the latest Salesforce Storefront Reference Architecture.
Also Read: Benefits of Salesforce Commerce Cloud For eCommerce Business
Do It Yourself or Ask An Expert
After knowing all the advantages of a PIM solution for ecommerce you must be now wondering how to integrate it. Well, it is not highly technical rocket science for integrating Akeneo PIM solution into your ecommerce website. However, if you are not tech-savvy you can definitely hire an expert ecommerce development team who are having previous experience of integrating PIM solution in an online ecommerce store.
At Emizentech, we are having expert developers who can integrate the Akeneo PIM solution into whatever ecommerce platform you are using.
Maintaining product data is complex, lengthy, and represents a bottleneck for companies. Product Information Management systems (PIM) significantly simplify the administration and maintenance of product data. PIM systems increase efficiency, data quality, and offer new sales opportunities. With Akeneo PIM, companies can centrally manage, synchronize, enrich, and distribute product data from different sources and in different formats across a broad number of channels. Akeneo significantly simplifies product data management.