PIM or MDM: which system is better for retail?

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PIM or MDM: which system is better for retail?

PIM or MDM: which system is better for retail?

November 10, 2022 0 Comments

Ever wonder how retailers manage and use their data?  All businesses interact with an abundance of data from their company, including data about budget and finance, employees and HR, customers, and products and services. Retailers also must deliver information about products and services in a way that accurately reflects what will be delivered to the customer.  This improves customer satisfaction and can boost sales and profitability. 

Two “big-shot” software solutions in the industry are PIM and MDM.  Learn about each and the benefits each offer the retail industry.  

What is Master Data Management (MDM)? 

Master Data Management, or MDM, is a broad-scope system for collecting, enhancing, and aggregating many different types of business data.  This is especially helpful when many versions of the data exist, often originating in different data management systems.  This can breed inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the information. An MDM allows those to be “cleaned up” so the data can be delivered to support business systems across departments and domains.  The data hub created offers the most accurate and detailed information for the overall business enterprise.  MDM can involve an investment of resources and time to manage, maintain, and implement over time. 

What is Product Information Management (PIM)?

Product Information Management, also known as PIM, is a subset of Master Data Management.  And helps in managing and centralizing all product information and details, both internal and external, into one single source. This makes it easy to aggregate all the data, images, and descriptions of a product in one place so that no matter where the information on the product is used, product representation will be accurate in real-time.   

This type of software solution can help your business accomplish three tasks: 

  • Collect data. Data can be pulled from multiple sources and different characteristics can be prioritized so that it can be effectively used in catalog integration. 
  • Enrich data.  Marketing teams can then pull the data and enrich it by supplying more details, specifications so it is complete and ready to be utilized in the organizations marketing approach.  It can also be tailored for different reasons, like to address differences for geographic regions, stock levels, or sales channels. 
  • Publish data.   Once the data is deemed to be complete and accurate, it can be funneled through the various sales channels identified by the organization. Some PIM software has AI capabilities that allow integration to happen more efficiently.  

Both offer a way to streamline your capabilities that can serve the retail industry well by offering aggregated and organized data housed in one single source that you can be confident is accurate.  This helps your company make the best-informed business decisions. Your specific retail goals will help you decide if PIM or MDM is better for your retail business.  But here are some benefits of each to help you decide.  

Advantages of MDM 

• Allows you to aggregate data across multiple sources, multiple domains, and multiple details.  This is better for internal data and managers of multiples domains and helps to meet compliance regulations and standards for your industry.  

• Helps ensure clean, organized, detail in your business, and can ensure proper data governance and better data analysis for company use in identifying strengths and weaknesses 

• Because the data is centralized, it can be modified easily so it is accurate in real-time, so it is consistently accurate everywhere it is used 

Advantages of PIMs 

• Is dedicated and business centric and keeps product information up to date in order to to effectively market and sell your products. This boost collaboration and management as well as productivity of your team.  

• As a subset of MDM, is specialized to offer faster deployment and ROI, allowing your teams to focus on providing an excellent online experience for the customer.  Because you can be assured your information is accurate, you can create carefully designed product descriptions to improve SEO. 

• Easily utilized for eCommerce, print, digital and mobile platforms, and works well with POS Systems.  

• good for product data, allowing you to enrich tailored data to address the needs of all sales channels, existing and new. 

• When coupled with a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), allows for all collaborators to have eyes on the screen and the ability to track all stages of the products lifecycle 

• helps make catalog integration seamless and tailored for a variety of reasons (e.g., region, pricing, sizing, markets, stock levels, etc.), improving time to market and maintaining brand identity 

• Incorporates automate for sales, campaign planning, and management processes.  

• Create rich product descriptions to improve SEO while also improving customer experience. 

• Automate department workflows via no-code automation engines and open API architecture to integrate your entire tech stack.  

• Reduce the risk of mission-critical data errors and unauthorized changes to product information. 


Whether to use an MDM, PMI or both really depends on your retail businesses purposes and goals.  Additionally, you need to weigh if your business has enough resources to support an MDM, as they require more financial and infrastructure support to make the most of its implementation.  If your focus is solely on the product side, a PIM might be a better option.   

Akeneo.com https://pimberly.com/blog/the-key-differences-between-a-plm-and-pim/ 

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