PIM vs DAM

Comparing PIM and DAM

Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Product Information Management (PIM) are both cornerstones of any retailer or distributor’s eCommerce strategy. The two systems complement each other in providing the best possible product experience for customers who require extensive, attractive and relevant information to inform their purchasing process.

Essentially, a DAM system manages any electronic assets like images, photos, plans, design files, videos, logos, and marketing materials related to your products. As well as being a form of information management technology, DAM is a business process. Businesses dealing with massive amounts of disparate digital assets across multiple catalogs and product lines need a centralised location to efficiently store, organise, manage, retrieve and distribute them.

The main differences between DAM and PIM

The principal difference is that DAM handles all the digital assets controlled by an organisation, while PIM focuses on all digital information regarding the lifecycle of a product. While a DAM system handles highly valuable product-related assets like images, logos and rich media, a PIM system is a tool for storing, managing and distributing these assets alongside other product information.

The principal objective of DAM is to exploit and utilise the value of a digital asset by allowing an organisation to find, access, extract and deploy digital files. DAM shines alongside a PIM system, especially you need to share (internally and externally) and work with a large number of digital assets across multiple teams and departments.

PIM, on the other hand, is focused on what you are selling. A PIM integrates product data information into a centralised hub to optimise that product’s distribution through sales and marketing channels. The entirety of product-related data needed to market and sell products is dealt with inside the PIM system. For example, if you have a large volume of SKUs with a dynamic and frequently updated product range, a PIM allows you to keep that information up to date and manage the products effectively.

The attributes of a PIM let organisations carry out three key functions;

Collecting

product-related information (such as stock, attributes for SKUs, marketing copy, specifications, delivery details and a range of digital assets (such as assorted media and product knowledge documents). It also gathers exhaustive information about suppliers, external partners and data sources. 

Enriching

Generating enhanced product descriptions, organising product catalogs, and translating information into multiple languages. Automated functions update SKU information in real time to guarantee that sales channels – marketplaces, distributors, retailers, and wholesalers – have timely access to accurate and comprehensive product information. It leverages ownership roles, governance rules, efficiencies in workflow, and collaboration capabilities to enhance data quality and minimise time to market.

Distributing 

Efficiently and rapidly sharing up-to-date product catalogs with all sales channels (marketplaces, resellers, while customising these catalogs to integrate with the multiple types of channels.

 

It is at the enrichment phase where a PIM can extract assets from a DAM system to enhance the quality and range of information for a product. It does so safe in the knowledge that it is deploying the most relevant and latest version of that data asset. 

As such, a DAM system functions as a complementary tool to a PIM, adding value to the set of product information for any given product, variant and catalog reaching the consumer. Without it, these assets may be dispersed among various departments in the organisation, with the consequent risk of distributing outdated or poor-quality digital assets as a part of the overall product information package.

The complementary roles of PIM and DAM

How do PIM and DAM complement each other?

A typical scenario for an omni-channel eCommerce product distribution or retail operation with ambitions to scale their operations would be the following:

If this is the case (or likely to be), having a PIM is a no-brainer. Having a DAM is what helps you to extract the maximum revenue-generating value from that PIM. The trend for customer-facing products is moving more and more towards rich, high-quality and every more sophisticated digital assets. That is what the customer expects (be they B2B, B2C or DTC). Having a DAM tool alongside the wide-ranging functionalities of a PIM system is essential to future-proof your organisation when it comes to the almost limitless potential offered by the use of data assets to take product information to new levels.