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Product Information Management from the Customer Perspective

We talk about the benefits of PIM software for marketing teams all the time. But how does it impact the true end users—the customers?

Product information management is all around us. When we shop online we are using a component of the product information management (PIM) puzzle. When we shop at Lowe's or any other brick-and-mortar store we are also benefiting from product information management.

But how exactly?

When you shop on Amazon or any other online store you're using the data that was collected through a PIM platform (or PIM methods — more on that later) to make your purchasing decision. Everything is PIM data, from the shoe size, product photos, the SKU numbers, color options, pricing, related products, etc.


When you visit your neighborhood Lowe's to purchase a new faucet for the downstairs bathroom you're benefiting from the PIM data that was pushed to Lowe's from their partner portals.

Take Delta for example. They offer many of their products at physical and online Lowe's stores. Delta is responsible for giving Lowe's the data needed to help customers buy the products. Delta will provide product photos, SKU numbers, stock availability, manufacturer notes, packaging specs, and more all within their supplier portals so Lowe's can sell their products.

Does everyone use partner portals?

Unfortunately, not everyone uses partner portals. In this case, we are giving Delta the benefit of the doubt and hoping they don't send Lowe's mounds of spreadsheets and DropBox folders of assets. I call these "other PIM methods" and they are not recommended for a great product experience. They can lead to errors, inaccurate product data, missing information, and decreased productivity.

But for those that do use partner portals they are reaping the benefits of a seamless product experience. Their product and marketing teams can streamline their business processes by updating the product photos and specs as needed and pushing them to their multichannel partner portals so partners such as Lowe's can have the most accurate and updated product data for their physical and online stores.

See how PIM works in action. Get a demo now.

Accurate product data leads to more sales

Here's a real-world example of product data gone wrong. I was shopping on Amazon for a new pair of workout pants. I was browsing through the options and stopped on Champion's Women's Jersey Pocket Pant. I was looking at the available product options and noticed a pretty big misstep on their part. Their "granite heather" option had the wrong product photo. Not just the wrong color but a completely wrong photo altogether. It was a photo of a Halloween costume.


In my case I didn't buy the pants, err the Halloween costume.

I found it quite amusing and content for this blog post but any other person would just move on to the next option. In that situation, the sale is definitely lost.

When you have the right product data in the right spots you're able to drive sales. If I am in an organization that is using a product information management software solution I'm able to ensure the right data is available for my partners, distributors, and customers thus increasing the odds of a sale.

Let's say you're shopping at Best Buy for a new washing machine and you see very limited information on the product you are looking to buy. Chances are that you will not be informed enough to buy it. More or less you could forgive the wrong photo but you can't make a purchasing decision if you don't know the information that is vital to making the purchase. Such as the dimensions, washer capacity, energy consumption, etc.


If that information is nowhere to be found, onto the next product you go! That's potentially another sale lost because of PIM errors.

So product information is just a bunch of product data?

Sort of.

Now that we've discussed how we interact with and benefit from product information management, we need to understand what it is in the context of software options and how to avoid these kinds of hiccups.

Product information management as it stands is the process of managing product assets, data, SKUs, media, and any other related content all within a unified platform and then pushing that data to the correct portals, distributors, channels, markets, regions, and partners.

PIM systems offer a single source of truth for product information, ensuring data quality and consistency across all sales channels. This unified approach is crucial for businesses operating in an omnichannel environment, where customer touchpoints span across multiple digital and physical platforms. By centralizing product data, companies can optimize their workflows, making it easier to update product descriptions, specifications, and pricing in real time. This real-time capability is vital for maintaining up-to-date product catalogs across e-commerce platforms, marketplaces, and print catalogs, ensuring that customers always have access to accurate information.

Moreover, integrating PIM with other business systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems enhances the overall functionality of the data management ecosystem. This integration allows for a more efficient flow of information throughout the supply chain, from product lifecycle management (PLM) to end-user engagement, creating a cohesive ecosystem that supports not just product information management but also product content management and product data management.

Quality and consistency of product data across all channels is the dream. You want the latest product data available at every channel so purchasers can make informed purchasing decisions.

By utilizing one centralized PIM platform you can rest assured that the Amazon and Best Buy episodes do not happen. You can also be confident that your partners and ecommerce providers have the most up-to-date product data, the sales team has the right assets needed to sell the product(s), your eCommerce presence is accurate, you get to ditch the spreadsheets and Google Drive folders, and best of all, increase revenue and productivity.

Using data to improve customer experiences

The role of PIM extends beyond data management to include digital commerce strategy. A robust PIM solution facilitates better SEO performance by ensuring product content is optimized for search engines, enhancing visibility, and driving more traffic to e-commerce sites. It also supports effective syndication of product data to various distribution channels and marketplaces, automating the distribution process and reducing the time to market for new products. This automation is crucial for retailers and e-commerce managers who manage vast arrays of products across diverse platforms.

PIM tools also play a pivotal role in product experience management (PXM), focusing on how product information is presented and consumed across different channels. High-quality, consistent product content improves the user experience, helping customers make informed purchasing decisions. By enabling seamless management of digital assets, such as images and videos, in various formats, PIM systems ensure that marketing teams can create compelling product stories and descriptions that resonate with customers.

The adoption of SaaS-based PIM solutions offers scalability and accessibility, catering to the dynamic needs of digital commerce. These cloud-based platforms provide an agile and flexible approach to product information management, supporting the ever-evolving ecosystem of e-commerce platforms, apps, and open-source tools. The API-first nature of modern PIM software facilitates integration with existing business processes and systems, including CRM, ERP, and more, enabling a more streamlined and efficient operational workflow.

Data governance is another critical aspect addressed by PIM systems. They establish a framework for data quality, consistency, and security, ensuring that all product information adheres to the company's standards and compliance requirements. This governance is essential for maintaining the integrity of product data across multiple channels and platforms.

How companies can up their game with PIM

Product information management (PIM) is not just about managing product data; it's about leveraging that data to optimize business processes, enhance customer experiences, and drive sales across multiple channels. By providing a solution that integrates seamlessly with other business systems, supports digital commerce strategies, and ensures high-quality product content, PIM systems are indispensable tools for retailers, e-commerce managers, and marketing teams looking to thrive in the competitive digital marketplace.

Propel Software’ PIM solution can do all of this and more all while being built on the world's most secure cloud platform with a notoriously friendly user interface. See it all first-hand with a demo of our PIM offering and experience product information management on Propel.  

Get a demo today.

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Post by
Anna Troiano
Editor in Chief, Converged

Anna has spent her content marketing career honing in on the critical keys for successful consumer & industry-driven marketing. Before joining Propel, she developed and executed content strategy for TodayTix, Stella & Dot, Atlantic Theater Company, and Theatre Communications Group.

Fun Fact: Anna's birthday is Valentine's Day.

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Anna Troiano