About This Constellation ShortList™
If a customer relationship management (CRM) system is thought as a “source of customer truth” for an organization, a product information management (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, aggregating, organizing and distributing real-time product information.
For every productan organization sells, there are dozens of individual attributes that collectively describe a product across tangible and intangible details, even subjective attributes. Product descriptions can often be a collaboration across multiple teams, highlighting the need for a single repository 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, often 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), sales enablement tools like configure-price-quote (CPQ), and digital asset management (DAM) will become must-have tools in the stack.
It is important to note that a PIM may overlap with (but not replace) other systems like product lifecycle management (PLM) tools that focus on both product information and the processes at every stage of a product’s lifecycle.
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-tosand 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, CPQ, DAM, CMS, 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 ShortListis determined by client inquiries, partner conversations, customer references, vendor selection projects, market share and internal research. In alphabetical order:
Frequency of Evaluation
Each Constellation ShortList will be updated at least once per year. There could be an update after six months, should the analyst deem it necessary.
Constellation clients may 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.