If your company has a large number of SKUs, many sales and marketing channels, and product pages available in multiple languages, that’s a lot of product data. It’s also a sure sign that you need help – a product information management solution. The best way to find out exactly how PIM can help you is to book a demo before choosing the right PIM vendor.
During the 1:1 conversation with a PIM specialist, you can discuss your product information needs, get tips on product content, and learn what the product enrichment processes look like. Already booked a product demo? Now is a good time to prepare to get the most out of your conversation with a consultant. Think about your current state and expectations, and write down the most important questions you want to ask.
In case you are a little confused, we have prepared a few guidelines.
Good to ask: 5 questions during a PIM demo
#1 How does your PIM system connect with other systems and IT components?
Implementing a PIM system, you may want to integrate it with existing systems (EPR, CMS), product catalogs, and webshops like Magento (because that’s what PIM is for). During the demo, you should ask how long these integrations can take and how often they will be updated because your product information must always be accurate and up-to-date.
Ask about APIs (Application Programming Interface), a technology that allows two softwares or applications to seamlessly communicate with each other. SaaS PIM systems typically use REST API endpoints or alternative APIs such as GraphQL APIs, Falcor APIs, or JSON-Pure APIS. The PIM system provider should offer a full set of APIs for exchanging information between PIM and other systems. It’s also good to ask for a set of public APIs that are lightning-fast APIs for retrieving product content for real-time use.
#2 How will PIM help me improve the customer experience?
New product catalogs? Amazon store? New social media channel? With API-based interoperability, your business can respond to rapidly changing customer expectations and get to market faster.
According to Ventana Research survey, the top two reasons for using PIM are to improve customer satisfaction and customer service. This is critical for business users of e-commerce companies. The PIM system is designed to provide a solid support for your sales and marketing channels. It easily connects to new sales and marketing channels, allows you to effortlessly distribute product data, and supports omnichannel strategies. This gives your customers access to high-quality and personalized product content at every touchpoint.
What channels are available to your company and what new ones do you want to add to sales and marketing distribution? Provide insight into your plans during the demo meeting.
#3 How does PIM software manage digital assets?
The performance of a PIM system will affect the performance of your e-commerce website. Therefore, it is important to know how many digital assets a particular PIM solution will handle. By digital assets we mean crucial variables such as the number of SKUs, product attributes, locations, and supported languages. These are parameters for calculating data storage, customization capabilities, and scalability. They also determine the price of the PIM solution.
The next issue is how easy and intuitive it is to manage data in PIM. For example, PIM systems have no problem with product content consisting of many product attributes, but there may be big differences in how you can create and manage attributes for products. Demo meetings are the perfect opportunity to see how PIM systems you are considering work in practice in such cases.
#4 How can the PIM system handle a growing amount of product data?
What about an unlimited amount of product data? Be sure to ask the PIM provider about the scalability. Can the system handle a growing number of SKUs or a dramatic increase in traffic, say 100 times more in a week? Certainly, if the PIM system is a cloud-native SaaS. Unfortunately, there are also fake SaaS solutions on the market, but you can identify them.
Cloud providers deliver on-demand compute power, storage services, databases, and other IT resources in a simple “pay-as-you-go” pricing model. In practice, a cloud-based PIM gives you scalability, power reserves for large seasonal sales like Black Friday, and the necessary capacity needed to import one million SKUs for example.
A good product information management solution should grow along with your business data storage.
#5 How should I prepare my company for a PIM implementation?
For many organizations, the implementation of product information management became a real game-changer. It will change the way your company works with product data, and it will impact your team’s workflows.
If PIM is to be implemented quickly and smoothly, this project must be a high priority with proper management and strategy. Ask a PIM specialist where to start and how to model and manage your product data before PIM comes.
More tips before buying
Surely there are other questions about product data that you should consider. Take a look at our knowledge base. On this point, we recommend reading the ebook Before You Buy and more about the features that the PIM system can offer in Product Features Overview 2022.