A PIM platform plays a huge role in redefining how eCommerce businesses manage their product data. It brings a revolutionary change in reducing the dependencies on manual work, bringing down the excessive use of spreadsheets and legacy systems.
An eCommerce business would want to implement a PIM for various reasons and to accomplish different outcomes. The objectives could vary based on the business priorities, size, and industry.
So, does this impact the cost of PIM? The short answer is yes.
Before looking at the pricing of a PIM, you need to ask yourselves these questions and look at the business fit:
✅Which customer channels do most of your business come from?
✅Which of these channels require specific data templates or guidelines?
✅Do your key channels require complex templates, processes, or guidelines?
✅Are you looking for platforms that give better integrations without manual processes? These platforms can range from $1,000 to $2,000 per month
✅How many integrations does your business need?
✅Do your key channels accept data in standard templates?
✅Are you specifically looking for platforms that give flexible tools to manipulate and export data – These platforms can range from $500 to $800 per month
✅Are you cautious when you choose the platforms to see if they can help you expand and grow in the future? This is because a PIM implementation involves key business change, time, and effort. Choosing a provider who is too cheap or too expensive will hurt your business growth
✅Are you a larger enterprise where there may be a need for some customization and are you looking for platforms that are flexible to accommodate these at a nominal cost?
How much does a PIM cost?
Let’s now understand in-depth the factors affecting the cost of a PIM solution.
9 Key Factors Affecting The PIM Cost
Here are some aspects a business looking to invest in a PIM consider:
1. Number of users of the PIM platform
Some PIM systems charge based on the number of users of the PIM platform. So, before investing in a PIM, understand who would be the end-users of the PIM platform.
It is always a good practice to map the users of the PIM (role) with the objective. This will give you a clear picture of the usage cost.
2. The complexity of integration
A PIM system, when integrated with your existing platforms and marketplaces can do wonders for your business. For instance, if you are selling on Amazon and Walmart online stores, a PIM can help you natively integrate with these platforms.
This integration can benefit you by having a two-way synchronization of all your data. When it comes to the cost factor, the complexity of integrating the PIM system with your existing software and the number of channels can influence the pricing.
If you have multiple software platforms that need to be connected, this can add to the expense.
Some of the PIM platforms charge based on the number of exports. This is because these platforms don’t have native integrations with marketplaces and channels.
Their data syndication is typically cumbersome and involves:
- The data has to be prepared manually to ensure that it complies with the channel or marketplace to which it is syndicated to. On average, preparing one data template for retail takes about 3-4 days and the effort costs around $500
- The mapping of data happens manually. The template is downloaded from the channel and uploaded back to the PIM platform (you cannot copy + paste column to column)
- Once the mapping is done, the template has to be uploaded back to the channel and this is generally not successful in the first go. You get errors, and run into a loop of endless re-work, creating and fixing the data errors losing a lot of time and money
How does PIMworks stand out?
PIMworks’ cost is based on the number of channels you publish your content on and not based on the number of exports. The advantage here is, that unlike a few other players in the market, PIMworks has pre-built templates for all the key channels and marketplaces that make automating and syndicating the product catalog content a breeze.
You don’t have to manually get the templates, it is configured already and ready to go. Your data also goes through a health check before syndication that helps you monitor and track the changes needed.
3. Features and Functionality
This is the most crucial factor that determines the cost of a PIM solution. There are platforms in the market that offer a vast range of features and functionality that can significantly affect the cost. More advanced and comprehensive PIM solutions tend to be more expensive.
If you have multiple stakeholders in the supply chain, like vendors, supplies, retailers, and others involved in contributing to your product information, managing the workflows could get a bit complex. In such scenarios, you need a PIM platform that can help you create seamless workflows and give your stakeholders granular access controls.
Another advanced feature is the integrations that we discussed. If you are looking at robust integrations, that could inflate the cost to a certain extent.
💡Do your syndication channels expect data in a certain way and constantly change the formats?
A lot of eCommerce businesses work with channels that demand data in a specific format. Not just that, these formats are subjected to continuous changes and you have to be assertive and proactive to keep up with these changes.
A platform like PIMworks can help you with data preparation and ensure that you stay compliant with the periodic changes.
4. The level of customization
Every eCommerce business and its needs are different. For instance, an eCommerce business would want specific fields in their product catalog to meet the unique requirements of their business or specific taxonomy classification.
If you need extensive customization to tailor the PIM system to your unique business requirements, this can increase the cost. The more you customize the PIM platform to meet your unique needs, the costlier it could get.
5. The volume of data and the no. of SKUs
An eCommerce giant with huge volumes of product data needs a PIM platform that is scalable. The amount of data (SKUs, product information, media files, etc.) that the PIM system will manage can impact the cost.
Online websites with high data volumes often require more powerful infrastructure that could potentially impact pricing.
6. Support and maintenance
A PIM platform needs ongoing support and maintenance. There are a variety of modules in a PIM that need extensive training, updates, and more.
Some PIM systems offer additional modules or extensions for functionalities like data quality, digital asset management, or workflow automation. Purchasing these modules may increase the overall cost.
7. Pricing models
- Usage-based pricing: Some PIM systems may charge based on the amount of data you store or the number of API calls or data transactions.
- Custom pricing: For larger enterprises or unique requirements, custom pricing may be negotiated with the vendor based on your specific needs.
8. Free and Open Source
Some PIM systems are open-source or have free versions with limited features. However, these may require more in-house development and support.
9. Level of automation and AI
A PIM platform can be modern and advanced with AI features for data enrichment. While a lot of PIM players don’t offer advanced features to create catalogs at speed and with accuracy, the ones that do might offer this feature at a price. How do PIM platforms help you leverage AI:
- Let AI write product descriptions
- Use AI to complete the missing information in your catalogs
- AI-driven language translation tools can help in translating product information into multiple languages
- AI can monitor competitor activities and pricing strategies
- AI can be used to automatically identify and correct data inconsistencies
Hidden Costs of PIM
While investing in a PIM, there could be some additional costs businesses may not have initially thought of that could increase PIM expenses.
Here are a few aspects that could be hidden or unknown at the time of investing in the software:
- Professional Services (consulting, training, customizations)
- Support Services
- Adding new channels
- Data quality management
- Maintenance and scalability costs
Understanding the cost of implementing a Product Information Management (PIM) system is a pivotal step in the journey toward efficient product data management. As we’ve explored, PIM costs can vary significantly based on factors such as the choice of vendor, the specific features and functionality required, the number of users, and the scale of your business needs.
Investment in a PIM system is a long-term strategic decision that can result in substantial benefits. The cost of a PIM system should be weighed against the potential return on investment and the value it brings to your business.
To make an informed decision, consider your specific requirements, budget constraints, and long-term scalability needs.
The cost of a PIM system typically includes software licensing fees, implementation costs, ongoing maintenance, and support fees. Additionally, costs can be influenced by the size and complexity of your organization and the PIM solution you choose.
PIM costs can vary significantly based on the size of the business. Small to mid-sized businesses might opt for a PIM that can just be a single source of truth for all their product data while a large business may choose a PIM with more advanced features like native integrations, syndication capabilities, and more.
Ongoing maintenance costs typically include software updates, technical support, and infrastructure costs.
Yes, there can be hidden costs, such as data migration expenses, integration with other systems, and training for employees.