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The Official PIM Glossary: Marketing Lingo for the Digital Age

New to product information management (PIM) software, or just looking to brush up? Here are all the terms you need to know.

Whether you're just entering the world of digital marketing and e-commerce, or even managing a large product catalog, you may find yourself swimming in acronyms or feeling tongue-tied by digital jargon.

Don’t worry, we got you! Bookmark this handy glossary of words and phrases related to PIM software so you can play the role of the expert at your next meeting.

First, the basics. What is PIM?

Product Information Management (PIM) refers to the systematic process and technology used to centralize, organize, and govern product data throughout its lifecycle, enabling businesses to efficiently manage and distribute accurate, consistent, and up-to-date product information across various channels and touchpoints.

A PIM system encompasses a range of activities, workflows, and tools aimed at enhancing product experience, optimizing sales channels, and streamlining data enrichment. PIM solutions can be integrated with an ecosystem of solutions such as digital asset management (DAM) or product lifecycle management (PLM) to achieve more efficient and robust collaboration between teams enterprise-wide.

Propel PIM helps companies engage customers with accurate, tailored product content in every channel. Explore the solution.

Now without further ado…

Your Handy PIM Glossary

Category management

Category management structures large assortments into discrete groups of similar or related products to more easily define, enrich, and analyze commercial information. Categories and sub-categories can be divided on a range of factors, such as the product function, where it is sold, or business unit strategies.

Channel marketing

Channel marketing provides marketing activities and promotional materials for a manufacturer’s products to channel-selling partners, such as retailers, wholesalers, and distributors. This delivers a more consistent brand experience for end consumers without relying on channel sellers to create their own materials, such as product descriptions, product images, ad campaigns, or use guides. 

Composable commerce

Composable commerce is a modular approach that uses APIs to combine best-of-breed eCommerce components (such as PIM, DAM, MDM, and even PLM or ERP) into an ecosystem customized to a manufacturer’s specific business needs. The composability provides flexibility and scalability but also introduces complexity in managing integrations between multiple vendors.


Content is marketing material about brands, products, or services created to educate and engage buyers in various channels. Content encompasses feature bullets in catalogs, sales presentations, blogs, infographics, images, and much more.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of users who perform a certain action on a website or commerce catalog, such as subscribing to emails or completing a purchase. Conversion is a critical indicator that marketers use to evaluate milestones in the buyer journey.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

Customer relationship management (CRM) is software for managing a company’s interactions with customers or prospects by maintaining connections, streamlining processes, and analyzing sales opportunities to grow the business.

Customer experience (CX)

Customer experience (CX) is the impression customers form of a company or brand based on their cumulative interactions with people and products throughout discovery, purchase, and service. Delivering a superior experience boosts customer loyalty, lifetime value, and revenue.

Data model

A data model represents how data is organized into entities and relationships in a given system, and it provides the structural building blocks for data content to be managed more effectively with specified permissions and preferred metrics. Dynamic data models continuously refine data in real time and scale easier for new products, categories, or business models.

Digital asset management (DAM)

Digital asset management (DAM) or media asset management is a system used to efficiently and securely store, organize, and distribute digital files, such as images, videos, presentations, and documents. A DAM solution helps ensure customers receive accurate, up-to-date information consistently across sales channels.

Digital product passport (DPP)

Digital product passport (DPP) is a European Union (EU) tool to provide end-to-end traceability of a physical product across the entire value chain, including material sourcing, production, and recycling. The DPP aims to improve sustainability and circularity with greater transparency to structured, searchable product information. 

Digital shelf

The digital shelf is the online version of a physical in-store product experience, such as an e-commerce website, encompassing all of the digital touchpoints where shoppers engage with brands to discover, research, and purchase products, including search engines, product pages, reviews, and other online content.


E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods or services online. While it is widely adopted for business-to-consumer (B2C) or direct-to-consumer (DTC) transactions, ecommerce is still growing and evolving as a sales channel for business-to-business (B2B) models. 

Global data synchronization network (GDSN)

Global data synchronization network (GDSN) enables trading partners, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers to securely access and exchange data pools of product information based on the GS1 standards.

Go-To-Market (GTM)

Go-to-market (GTM) refers to the strategies and activities employed by organizations to launch and introduce new products or services into the market successfully. GTM encompasses various elements, such as market research, product positioning, target audience identification, pricing, marketing campaigns, sales enablement, and distribution channel selection. A well-planned GTM strategy ensures that the product is effectively marketed, reaches the intended customer base, and generates demand and sales. By implementing a comprehensive GTM strategy, organizations can maximize the product's market potential, gain a competitive advantage, and accelerate product adoption.

Guided selling

Guided selling actively recommends products or services that best fulfill customers’ needs by tailoring selections based on a series of performance requirements or historical sales data. 

Headless commerce

Headless commerce infrastructure separates the back-end data management and transaction functionality of commerce sites from the customer-facing interface created in a content management system. This allows faster improvements for customer experience without architectural changes, but may also increase system complexity and cost.


Marketplace is an online e-commerce site that connects large groups of independent vendors with buyers. Customer accounts and transactions are processed by the marketplace operator, and sellers are responsible for managing listings for their products or services as well as inventory and fulfillment.

Master data management (MDM)

Master data management (MDM) helps businesses centralize all their data and ensures it is consistent across all departments within an organization. MDM systems are usually used by companies with complex product data to cleanse and improve business operations.


Omnichannel commerce and marketing creates a seamless experience for customers as they interact with companies across many platforms, including social media, websites, marketplaces, and in person. The term is meant to convey an even more complex commercialization system than multichannel marketing.

Product Commercialization

Product commercialization refers to the process of introducing a new product or innovation to the market and making it available for sale to customers. It involves various activities, such as finalizing product design, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and sales. Product commercialization requires coordination and collaboration between different departments and stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition from product development to market launch. Effective product commercialization strategies consider market analysis, competitive positioning, pricing, branding, marketing campaigns, and sales channels to maximize product success and market penetration.

Product experience management (PXM)

Product experience management (PXM) assists in delivering personalized product content to buyers that is contextualized for specific sales channels to boost engagement and conversions.

Product hierarchy

Product hierarchy is a series of ordered groupings that establish parent-child relationships within a product family.

Product Thread

A product thread (sometimes called a digital thread) is a continuous and interconnected flow of information, data, and activities related to a specific product throughout its entire lifecycle. It encompasses various stages, such as product design, development, manufacturing, distribution, sales, customer support, and end-of-life management.


Syndication publishes product information across sales channels, including distribution partners, online retailers, and marketplaces like Amazon using templates to meet the data requirements of each endpoint.

Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)

A Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is a unique identifier or code assigned to a specific product or item within an inventory or product catalog. SKUs are used to differentiate and track individual products, variations, or versions based on attributes such as size, color, packaging, or configuration. SKUs enable accurate inventory management, stock control, and order fulfillment processes. They also facilitate efficient product identification, pricing, and reordering, particularly in retail, e-commerce, and supply chain management contexts.


Variants are the versions or options of a parent product where specific attributes differ, such as size and color. 

Voice of the Customer (VoC)

Voice of the Customer (VoC) refers to a comprehensive and customer-centric marketing approach that involves collecting, analyzing, and leveraging customer feedback and insights to enhance the customer experience and drive business success. It is a strategic initiative aimed at understanding customer needs, expectations, and preferences to optimize products, services, and interactions across all touchpoints.


Workflow defines the series of activities needed to complete a business process. Workflows can be built manually or through automation in systems to expedite pre-defined tasks through notifications and reports and ensure processes are consistently executed.  


As the digital marketplace continues to expand, SaaS PIM providers are offering more and more ways to deliver complex, high-quality content to each of your various sales and commerce channels. That means your ability to manage product information efficiently will be an invaluable asset.

As you navigate the intricate landscape of PIM software, keep this glossary in your back pocket. Whether you're discussing taxonomy with your team, wrestling with the intricacies of data mapping, or trying to decipher the mysteries of data quality, you're now armed with knowledge.

So, go forth, tackle those PIM challenges, and help your business thrive in today’s data-driven market!

Ready for a more advanced lesson? Learn all the technical capabilities and features of modern PIM functionality in The Untapped Power of Next-Gen PIM.

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Post by
Jill Mueller
Director of Product Marketing, Propel

Jill has a passion for bringing brands to life to drive strategic growth. Her experience in both retail and manufacturing provides a strong balance of marketing, development, and production knowledge. Most recently, Jill worked with private-equity-backed firms to identify and execute market growth opportunities, including channel expansion, product category launches, and global supply chain improvements.

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Jill Mueller