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PIM or DAM: which is right for my business?

PIM or DAM: which is right for my business?Photo from Unsplash

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Files, images, presentations, videos… the average business handles a lot of information!

According to a 2020 survey by 1Path, the average SME manages nearly 48 terabytes of data – that’s 48,000 gigabytes. And now that we’re in 2023, this figure will be much larger.

When you’re responsible for an eCommerce store, a file management system can help you keep track of your information and make changes with the click of a button. The most commonly used solutions are Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM).

While PIM and DAM may seem identical at first glance, they are two entirely different systems. Let’s look at how the two management solutions compare, and which is the right option for your eCommerce business.

What is PIM?

A PIM system is a centralised platform that manages all your product information in one place. So rather than relying on multiple spreadsheets and folders to manage SKUs, technical specifications, prices, and product descriptions, you can keep everything in one database.

(PIM shouldn’t be confused with PXM , which is something different!)

As well as making it easy for everyone to view the most up-to-date product information, PIM means you can push any changes out to all your sales and marketing channels.

For example, let’s say you need to change the price of one of your products. By changing it once in your PIM system, you can automatically update it on your website, datasheets, catalogues, and price lists too. In addition, if you’re migrating your eCommerce site to another platform, PIM means you don’t have to reinput all your product data.

What is DAM?

A DAM system is also a centralised repository, but instead of product information, it manages digital files and assets. By this, we mean photos, images, videos, presentations, and other documents.

For example, let’s say you work in the marketing team for a large eCommerce organisation. You can upload images, photos and other creative files to a DAM system for other departments to use. You can collaborate with other team members, update old files, and add expiration dates for any time-sensitive media.

Third-party agencies can also take advantage of a DAM system to share assets with clients for feedback, approval, and use.

What are the benefits of PIM and DAM?

1. You can always see the correct information

PIM and DAM systems are ideal if you have data and files that frequently change. Having everything available in one place ensures everyone has the most recent and accurate version of a document or image.

Many PIM and DAM systems are cloud-based too, meaning your team can access the information they need whether they’re in the office, working from home, or out on the road.

It’s important to remember that consistency is a massive trust signal for customers – it shows that you’re reliable and provide a high-quality service. According to Lucidpress, consistent branding can increase revenue by up to a third.

A good PIM or DAM system will work seamlessly alongside your content management system, customer relationship management system, and social media schedulers, meaning everything is always up to date.

2. You eliminate data silos

PIM and DAM systems can help get rid of data silos in a business – this is when information is only available to one part of a business and is unavailable to everyone else that needs it. With PIM and DAM systems, information is readily available to everyone (although you can set permissions on restricted data if you need to.)

Dismantling data silos can save employees nearly 12 hours a week, meaning your team have more time to spend on more productive tasks.

3. You keep customers (and staff!) happy

Finally, PIM and DAM systems mean less incorrect and out-of-date information. As changes can be easily pushed to different marketing channels, you have peace of mind that everything is accurate.

For example, let’s say a member of your team makes a pricing error online, causing a £300 pair of noise-cancelling headphones to be sold for £30. This can lead to negative publicity, as well as complaints from customers demanding that the lower price be honoured. A PIM system makes this less likely to happen and easier to put right if it does.

Which system do I need for my business?

Firstly, it depends on the size of your business. If you’re a small business that doesn’t handle a lot of product data or creative assets, you’ll probably not see the benefits that a PIM or DAM system can provide. However if you have many files to manage as well as a large team, these systems can help you save time and money.

If you need to manage a lot of product information, PIM is the best choice for your business. However, if you need to administer and control thousands of digital assets, then DAM is the better option.

There will be circumstances where you can benefit from both PIM and DAM. Let’s say you operate an eCommerce website for a large fashion retailer. You can use PIM to manage product information seamlessly on your website, and DAM to manage images, videos, and documents in your marketing and advertising campaigns.

You can even link your PIM and DAM systems together to ensure your product information always has the right and most up-to-date imagery and creative content.

Xigen: information and asset management done right

Whether you use PIM, DAM, or a combination of the two, it’s vital to make sure all your content is managed efficiently. This doesn’t just ensure consistency and accuracy, but means everyone in your organisation can access the right information and that there are no data silos.

If you want to implement a new PIM or DAM system for your eCommerce business, Xigen is here to help. We’ll review your existing assets and implement the right system for your needs, giving you peace of mind and saving your team time.

Contact us today for a no-obligation chat.

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