PXM vs PIM

eCommerce customer requirements are evolving fast as retailers, distributors and manufacturers move online. Increasingly personalised shopping experiences are becoming the norm and, as such, the role of product data is becoming pivotal in delivering those experiences – the right information about the right product in a timely fashion.

We’ve talked a lot about what a Product Information Management (PIM) is and how it works – a data solution designed and crafted to onboard, integrate, centralise, enrich and syndicate product information content, as well as streamlining internal processes and workflows. Now, PIMs are used in tandem with a Product eXperience Management (PXM) strategy. So, what exactly is PXM and how does it fit into an organisation’s sales strategy? We’ll look at the symbiotic relationship between PIM and PXM and how the former drives the success of the latter. 

Product information is made up of much more than simple technical data. It is about how consumers feel when they experience that data in action. Product Experience Management is an increasingly high-profile business practice. It can be seen as the precise science (or even art) of disseminating contextualised product information, adapted and tailored by channel and locale, to enhance the buying experience at every single touchpoint. So consumers are not only accessing information about their purchasing choice, they are responding emotionally to the overall experience.

Having the necessary data to offer insights into the product experience your target consumers expect is the basis for a quality customer experience. By understanding this, you are able to move forward from simply providing information to crafting and delivering outstanding experiences which generate

How do PIM and PXM work together?

PXM is not a separate system from PIM. To take an analogy, if PXM is the theatrical experience, PIM is the theatre itself. PXM is how you decide to deliver the performance. Of course, PXM also incorporates other tools such as data asset management and CRM, but it is the PIM which ensures that the variety of different channels, platforms, and locales have a scalable way to provide customers with complete, accurate, and memorable product information. It also provides opportunities for scoping product information according to the marketplace; for example, highly technical copy for B2B channels and more emotionally-charged text for B2C. It’s the range of automated PIM processes and workflows which removes the need to manipulate this vast amount of data manually.

What does PIM add to PXM?

Without a PIM system, the effectiveness of a PXM strategy would be diminished. Product information is at the core of PXM and even the base functionalities of a PIM show how a systemised and coherent will enhance the management of product data from start to destination on its journey towards the customer.

  • Collecting raw product data
  • Standardising file formats
  • Enriching the quality of product information
  • Putting product data into context
  • Distributing product information

Time to Market

If you can confidently manage and standardise the complexities of product data, digital assets, you can onboard, enrich and syndicate trusted and quality product information to all channels across all markets. PIM optimisation speeds up time to market for new through greater operational efficiencies powered by automated workflows. This permits the PXM team to make promises it can actually keep.

The use of AI and ML is burgeoning and can help the automation of several phases of content production, and add benefits as the business personalises and contextualises its descriptions, variants and visual enrichment with customers.

Not only retail

B2B distributors and manufacturers are fast realising that simply selling to their customers is no longer sufficient. They see the need to cultivate and drive relationships with them  by delivering engaging digital experiences. For these two business types, relevant content presented at the right time is critical – the customer profile (and requirements) is not that found in retailing. Having readily available and rich product data unlocks better, faster and more effective omnichannel product experiences.

The critical capabilities permitting PIM to support the PXM journey

PIM-enabled workflows means that your source product data, from a multitude of systems, can be imported into the PIM tool for enrichment and translation. Moreover, there is a high degree of governance and control over this information, as a PIM uses automation transparent user rights management and permissions to ensure consistency and reliability of data. This informs the ability of the PXM strategy to leverage this depth of information.

The PIM will enable your marketing teams to move through the PXM journey from disparate product data to dynamic, exhaustive and compelling product experiences across all sales channels. This means;

Once you have contextualised and enriched product catalogs tailored for different markets and channels, they can be spread across whatever (and however many) channels chosen, be they web shops, print materials, mobile apps, online sales channels, or others. Your PIM capabilities allow your business to keep pace with the expectations you set with the PXM strategy.

PIM and PXM – a key partnership

As we travel further and faster into a sophisticated and richly populated eCommerce landscape, the customer journey is becoming increasingly unpredictable and personalised. PXM doesn’t end when a purchase is made. It tracks the entire customer journey by engaging attention, cross-selling, upselling and on and on. Refining PXM processes and product content means the business can keep up with the rapidly evolving patterns of buyer interaction with it.

However, it is only by exploiting the attributes of a PIM system, maintaining and manipulating the deluge of incoming data at increasing scale that a PXM is able to respond to and act on rapid (and often unexpected) change. PIM-enabled workflows free up the brand to implement the next level of content creation, optimisation, and distribution. 

PIM is foundational in its relationship with PXM, as it provides unimpeachable and every more complex content (visuals of various types, descriptions, attribute sets and so on), accurately customised for location, languages, local business norms, sales channels, and more. It is the key enabler for a PXM strategy focusing on the content aspect of the product experience.

If PXM is how you deliver experiences to your customers, PIM is what tools you  can deploy to ensure those experiences lead to greater conversions, customer loyalty, upselling, cross-selling and so on.