Comparing 3 leading PIM solutions
By Radcliffe Cole, SVP Consulting Solutions
(The third of a three-part story that compares 3 of the leading PIM solutions. The first outlines the transformative potential of PIM solutions. The second explores the key features of PIM for digital leaders.)
In the evolving landscape of product information management (PIM), the choices are abundant, and the decisions are significant. Selecting the right PIM solution can have a profound impact on your organization’s efficiency, customer satisfaction, and overall success.
In our first article, we provided a view on the core business benefits of implementing a PIM system, from simplifying global expansion to its role in fulfilling an omnichannel strategy. In our second article, we looked at the key PIM features and their business value for digital leaders.
This third and final article will look at three of the leading PIM vendors, exploring and comparing everything from their product overview, target market, and ecosystem to help you make an informed decision about which system best suits your organization’s needs.
The global PIM market was valued at around $12 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.5% until 2030. Retail is expected to hold a significant revenue share over the coming years, with the increasing focus on CX and prevalence of AI major factors.
We understand that the PIM landscape is crowded with strong vendor options. So we’ll shed light on the unique advantages and suitability of these three specific vendors, giving you a clear view of what each one brings to the table.
If you need help analyzing your PIM requirements or want to dive deeper into the PIM vendor landscape, then check out Tryzens’ PIM solutions.
Ultimately, your business requirements should drive your choice of PIM vendor. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three of the most popular PIM systems currently on the market: Akeneo, Pimberly, and Salsify. For each of these platforms, we’ll provide a view on the:
Product overview, vision, and value proposition
App and partner ecosystem
So, let’s dive in and explore the offerings of these selected PIM vendors.
Founded in France in 2013 as an open-source project, Akeneo was initially aimed at offering a superior alternative to Excel for teams managing product information. It has since evolved into a global leader in product information management. At its core, Akeneo is dedicated to offering business users an intuitive, user-friendly interface for product enrichment.
Its suite of tools is designed to enhance collaboration efficiency, ensure data quality and governance, and provide a flexible data model. This adaptability makes it ideal for enterprises expanding internationally and across channels, helping to broaden their customer and partner base.
Akeneo, as an enterprise-scalable platform, emphasizes its core offerings, particularly its Growth and Enterprise editions. The Enterprise SaaS edition, renowned for its advanced features and dedicated support, is the most widely adopted version. At the heart of the application is the PHP Symphony framework, complemented by a robust stack that includes MySQL, MariaDB, and front-end frameworks like React and Bootstrap.
This creates a user-friendly interface while leveraging REST API technology for seamless interconnectivity. All of these components are versionlessly hosted and maintained on the Google Cloud Platform, ensuring reliable performance and scalability.
Product value proposition
Akeneo was a pioneer in recognizing the importance of user experience as a central element of its strategy, leading to the adoption of a Product Experience Management (PXM) approach.
For Akeneo, PXM is “the subtle science of delivering product information in context, adapted and scoped by channel and locale to match the buying experience at every touchpoint.”
The platform places a significant emphasis on usability, featuring a business-friendly user interface and productivity tools. It has workflow automation for streamlined processes, data quality insight tools for enhanced decision-making, and task management workspace tooling for efficient project handling.
Data quality tooling: helping customers solve the product data quality across their supply chain, with modules for onboarding product information from suppliers.
Leveraging AI: to drive automation and efficiency gains for the business user. The acquisition of Unifai, an AI data collection cleansing enrichment platform, strengthens this vision.
Community & education: providing extensive documentation, educational resources, certification programs, and technical enablement resources to help users maximize the benefits of their PIM system.
Partnership first: developing best-in-class partnerships across adjacent software vendors and a strong global ecosystem of implementation partners, from global system integrators to local specialists.
B2B market share: Akeneo appears to be making a big play for B2B market share, signaled by their partnerships with B2B vendors and promotion of B2B educational content.
1. Clean and intuitive user interface, user permissions, and access management
2. Large SKU and strong catalog management
3. Flexible data model ability to manage: multi-domain modelling, complex hierarchies, variants models and attributes
4. Data quality insight tooling
5. Workflow management
6. Ease of implementation (data migration tooling)
7. Connectors to major ecommerce players: Shopify Plus, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, SAP Commerce, Adobe Commerce, and headless platforms.
8. Robust API
Akeneo has been architected to work from the ground up for businesses working with large complex catalogs, empowering merchandising business users to excel in the retail enterprise market. The platform has gained significant adoption in various industries that handle large and complex catalogs.
Its target market: B2C and B2B, particularly in retail, fashion and apparel, home and garden, and consumer electronics.
Assa Abloy, Rexel, Staples, boohoo, Bentley, Novia, Midland Scientific, Stella McCartney, CACEIS Investor Services, Caterpillar.
App and partner ecosystem
Rich implementation partnership network of various sizes and regions
App marketplace is home to around 200 apps with 80+ apps for its Enterprise edition that include translations, ecommerce, syndication, and DAM providers
Strategic relationships with key vendors
Founded in Manchester, England, in 2015, Pimberly quickly evolved from its background in print catalog automation to become a leading PIM vendor. Pimberly set out to leverage their deep product data knowledge to help merchants address the product information and digital assets management challenge.
Today, the organization delivers a quality SaaS PIM solution to their mid-level and lower enterprise-sized customers.
Pimberly is based on AWS and MongoDB (non-relational database) enabling the platform to handle complex logic workflows and product data sets. The system allows seamless data imports from various sources, facilitating rapid onboarding of products with minimal effort. Pimberly centrally oversees product information, attributes, and assets, offering clear completeness insights across ranges and scalable SKU handling.
The platform prioritizes enrichment and optimization, ensuring accurate and compelling product data through detailed descriptions and media assets. With multi-channel publishing, Pimberly enables quick data dissemination to ecommerce, mobile apps, resellers, marketplaces, and in-store technology.
Product value proposition
Pimberly’s product strategy is focused on engaging with the customer directly and addressing the core product realm challenges: product and image management and integration.
Pimberly ships a robust PIM that can provide the core PIM requirements along with a digital asset management (DAM) solution for production ready images. It contains a content delivery network (CDN) for image resizing, file format changes, and descriptions of images). It includes an integration middleware solution and has recently added a vendor portal that allows their customers to manage supplier product data onboarding with strong data validation governance features.
Drive to AI: Pimberly has placed a strong foot forward in utilizing artificial intelligence, with a specific focus on relevance for the user and generating higher productivity. With an emphasis on innovation, it uses image AI to deconstruct visuals and create attributes and metadata for enriched catalogs.
Content enrichment: the platform’s Copy AI, based on Davinci Language Model (LLM), elevates content enrichment by intelligently crafting product descriptions and uses it for automatic content number (ACN) and European article number (EAN) enrichment, ensuring precise and dynamically enriched product specifications.
1. Supports all core PIM features including a visual workflow builder
2. DAM for production-ready images
3. Vendor portal
4. Deep integration with BigCommerce
5. Clear and transparent pricing, which is a differentiator in the PIM space
There is a strong focus on medium to lower enterprise businesses that have light DAM requirements and are looking to replace spreadsheets with an affordable yet powerful PIM solution. Its current install base is predominantly in the UK with a growing base in Europe. It is putting strong emphasis on scaling its US presence.
It’s target market: B2C and B2B across retail manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, construction, fashion, and homeware.
Bosen, Freeman Grattan Holdings, Cotton Trader, Regatta, Card Factory, Draper Tools, Furniture Box, Oakhouse Foods, Half Moon Bay, Pet Drugs Online.
App and partner ecosystem
Developing their ecosystem to focus on providing clients with a suite of capabilities
The main strategic vendor relationship is with Big Commerce with a connector in place
They have an agnostic middleware approach
Building agency relationships but implementations and support are managed in-house
Project consultants support implementations, technical support teams for post-build, and technical account management to support adoption
Founded in 2012, Salsify is a cloud-based PIM platform that helps manufacturers, distributors, and retailers manage and share their product content. The solution was designed to tackle the complexities and data quality challenges that have evolved in digital retail.
Salsify streamlines product enrichment processes and empowers businesses to effectively handle the essential product content needed for digital commerce.
Salsify is a cloud-native SaaS application that offers a unified platform to manage real-time data internationally. Its product information management solution is ProductXM, which is hosted on AWS and integrates with all leading ecommerce platforms, ERPs, and DAM systems.
It is designed to help both brands and retailers efficiently manage product information across multiple digital channels, enhancing their digital presence. Its centralized system features automated workflows and native collaboration tools to boost productivity.
Product value proposition
Salsify holds a key focus on product syndication, with strong capabilities in their global data synchronization network (GDSN) and its data pool module. This allows organizations to register with GS1 Global Registry to synchronize product data across suppliers, distributors, and retailers around the world.
In a move to strengthen its supplier onboarding capabilities, Salsify acquired Alkemics in 2021. The collaborative commerce platform for retailers and distributors helps organizations share product information.
Scalability: Salsify’s product vision is rooted in the growing need for scalable, efficient digital systems to centralize, manage, and streamline product data.
Interoperability: this emphasis centers on employing an extensible, microservices-based architecture for agility and interoperability.
Syndication: to cater to the evolving needs of businesses. Given its core focus on syndication, Salsify strongly aligns with organizations that have a need for product syndication within their PIM capabilities.
Seamless management: by envisioning a digital landscape where product data is seamlessly managed and distributed, Salsify aims to empower businesses with the tools needed to thrive in an increasingly dynamic and interconnected marketplace.
1. Syndication and GDSN
2. Automation via the visual workflow builder with an out-of-the-box library based on best practices
3. Supports core PIM capabilities and data governance
4. Provides DAM capabilities
5. Broad API capabilities, allowing for the creation of extensions and custom apps
6. Strong integrations with retailers and marketplaces, including Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot
7. Suite of add-on solutions that extend beyond PIM to create an all-in-one solution
8. Connectors to major ecommerce platforms, including Adobe Commerce, BigCommerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, SAP Commerce, and Shopify Plus
Salsify is popular with organizations that require high frequency product data updates, a need for standards compliance, and syndication across networks of resellers, distributors, and buyers. Its install base is predominantly in North American and Europe.
Its target market: B2C with a strong presence in the fashion, food and beverage, and home and furniture industries. Also, enterprise retailers with a complex array of product information management needs.
Coca-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline, Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Heinz, L’Oreal, Mars, Nestle.
App and partner ecosystem
36 agency partners with a mix of global systems integrators as well as niche specialists with a focus on North America
Technology partnerships with most of the leading ecommerce platforms, translation companies, digital experience platforms like Optimizely, and fulfillment and marketing platforms.
As you navigate the increasing complexities of product data and product management, much of your future success pivots on the choice of a PIM solution. In our three-part series, we’ve delved into PIM’s core benefits, key features, and three of the leading solutions currently on the market.
For a tailored approach to discovering, implementing, and optimizing your PIM platform, connect with Tryzens. We’ll help you analyze your specific PIM requirements and implement the right PIM solution to support your business strategy.
Share on social