About This Constellation ShortList™

If an organization sells products—and works to engage customers and prospects with information about products being sold—it needs a system that aggregates, organizes and distributes product information. While a product information management (PIM) tool is most often associated with fast-moving e-commerce companies that require organization across hundreds if not thousands of SKUs, a PIM can serve as a foundational tool for any business.

If a customer relationship management (CRM) system is thought as a “source of customer truth” for an organization, a PIM is the source of “product truth” that should be embraced and utilized by the entire organization, deployed across every touch from websites to commerce and sales engines. For every product an organization sells, there are dozens of individual attributes that collectively describe a product across tangible and intangible details, even attributes that may feel subjective.

Product descriptions can often be a collaboration across product, engineering, sales and marketing teams that must catalog and organize everything from product descriptions and details, SKU numbers, item numbers, material lists, colors and dimensions, keyword descriptors, product groupings and classifications. These details are often required in multiple languages to serve global customers. As e-commerce continues to grow, PIM solutions, especially those that seamlessly integrate with enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer engagement and digital asset management solutions will become must-have tools in the stack.

Threshold Criteria

Constellation considers the following criteria for these offerings:

  • Multimedia file storage including images, documents and video
  • Ability to support localized and international sites and content
  • Ease of use for product onboarding, ongoing management, enrichment and governance
  • Flexible data fields to capture technical and use data including specifications, measures, ingredients, material sources, dimensions, descriptions, how-tos and tutorials
  • Capacity to collect, clean and prioritize data across complex landscape of SKUs
  • Robust taxonomy to enable product classification across multiple filters
  • Easy-to-develop workflows and role-based alerts and collaboration
  • Flexible editing including bulk, automated, bulk editing and import/export
  • Life-cycle management and controls, version variation tracking and handling
  • Quickly and easily establish product relationships
  • Distribution and connection across all engagement channels including commerce, social, mobile and web applications
  • Role-based access and cross-functional collaboration
  • Automation tools to improve efficiency and effectiveness, data quality, updates and cross-channel publishing
  • Dynamic product expansion and enrichment
  • Capacity to manage complex catalogs and large volume of products and brands with frequent updates
  • Distribution and content syndication for commerce in both B2B and B2C environments
  • Connectivity and API marketplace for quick, seamless connection to ERP, PLM, CRM, DAM, CDN and DX platforms
  • Capacity to manage large media assets of any format
  • Flexible interface for updates, previews and reporting
  • Workflows for collaboration and cross-organization access and utilization
  • Automated update and ingestion of data from product, partner suppliers, photographers, agencies and procurement

The Constellation ShortList™

Constellation evaluates more than 40 solutions categorized in this market. This Constellation ShortList is determined by client inquiries, partner conversations, customer references, vendor selection projects, market share and internal research. In alphabetical order:

  • Akeneo
  • Catsy
  • inRiver PIM
  • Oracle Product Hub
  • Pimcore
  • Plytix
  • Riversand
  • Salsify
  • Stibo Systems
  • Widen

Frequency of Evaluation

Each Constellation ShortList will be updated once per year. There could be an update after six months, should the analyst deem it necessary.

Evaluation Services

Constellation clients can work with the analyst and research team to conduct a more thorough discussion of this ShortList. Constellation can also provide guidance in vendor selection and contract negotiation.

 

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