PIM VS CMS is essentially not a fair battle as these two help an online store owner grow their business and simplify their operations at different stages of their business. 

While a CMS helps a business create, manage, host, and publish content; a PIM helps with managing product information as your business grows. To better understand these two concepts, let’s take a look at Jane’s journey through CMS and PIM software.

Meet Jane: An ambitious apparel store owner

pim vs cms

Jane owns an apparel brand called “Urban Glam” and wants to have a strong online presence, but here’s the catch: she has no prior coding experience. With CMS systems like Shopify and BigCommerce she can create a stunning online store without needing to write a single line of code. 

PIM VS CMS: The Complete Breakdown

What is a CMS?

The CMS systems make it easy to build your dream website with simple drag and drop features. You can create web pages, manage, host, and publish content.

How does a CMS help an online store with content management?

  • Non-technical users with zero code experience can create and publish content, including product descriptions, blog posts, and landing pages
  • You can involve multiple users to collaborate on content creation, with role-based permissions. You can control who can create, edit, and publish content
  • If you are doing specific marketing campaigns or seasonal promotions, you can schedule content to be published or removed 
  • CMS platforms can be integrated with SEO tools to optimize your content
  • You can store and manage images, videos, and other media files within your CMS
  • With a CMS you can also ensure that your pages are responsive across devices

So, Jane would be benefited in the aspects we just discussed by implementing a CMS. As Jane’s online store takes off, she begins to add a bunch of products to her online catalog – apparel lines for all seasons and accessories like scarves, hats, and shoes.

benefits of pim and cms

The limitations of a CMS

A CMS helps in managing content and creating visually stunning websites. But, they cannot help with managing product data. When a business grows, the number of products and associated product data starts growing exponentially. Managing them on legacy systems and spreadsheets will result in errors and inconsistencies of data. 

When Jane’s product range expands, she starts to encounter the same daunting challenge that we discussed. Managing her product data becomes increasingly chaotic. She finds herself drowning in a sea of spreadsheets, each containing vital product information such as sizes, colors, fabric details, pricing, and availability. 

She struggles to keep track of the multiple variations of each product, the updated stock levels, and removal of discontinued items from her online store. Jane soon realizes that relying solely on a CMS like Shopify or BigCommerce is no longer sufficient for her growing business. 

While these platforms are excellent for creating visually appealing websites and managing content, they lack the capabilities to manage product information that’s her utmost priority. Managing intricate product data and ensuring consistency across various sales channels proves to be an uphill battle.

A CMS cannot:

  • Manage product information from a centralized location
  • Publish products across multiple channels that are compliant with each channel’s guidelines
  • Enable all the key stakeholders collaborate under one space
  • Reduce time to market with channel integrations
  • Reduce product data errors and inconsistencies

What is a PIM?

A PIM system is a product information management platform that helps to centrally store and manage product information. It acts as a central source of truth for all the product information and makes it easy to access, manage, and syndicate products across multiple channels. 

A PIM system will empower Jane to centralize and organize her product data efficiently. With PIM, she can enrich her product listings with detailed descriptions, high-resolution images, and personalized options, all while ensuring consistency and accuracy.

How does a PIM help an online store with product data management?

  • Centrally store and manage all your product data
  • Find a single source of truth for all your product titles, descriptions, pricing information, and more
  • Store and manage all your digital assets (PDFs, images, videos)
  • Take your products to market faster with syndication that ensures your data is published in the right format 
  • Simplify workflows and collaborate with all stakeholders
  • Optimize product content and improve search visibility
  • Enrich product catalogs with automated content enrichment

Jane realizes that PIM is the key to maintaining a seamless shopping experience for her customers, even as her product catalog continues to grow. As she transitions to a PIM solution, Jane can focus on what she does best – curating stunning fashion collections and growing her brand, confident that her product data is well-managed and under control.

PIM VS CMS: The key differences

Data ManagementCentralizes product data like specifications, pricing, and images. Ensures data accuracy and consistency.Manages textual, visual, and multimedia content for websites, blogs, and digital platforms.
E-commerceIdeal for businesses with large product catalogs. Enhances product listings and optimizes e-commerce operations.Powers websites, online stores, and catalogs, making content publishing and updates seamless.
Multi-Channel MarketingSupports the distribution of product information across various sales channels like websites, marketplaces, and print catalogs.Manages content for marketing campaigns, SEO, and social media across multiple platforms.
Data EnrichmentAllows for the enrichment of product data with attributes, classifications, and translations for international markets.Focuses on creating engaging and visually appealing content, including articles, images, and videos.
Workflow ManagementOffers workflow tools for collaboration among teams responsible for product data.Provides role-based permissions and workflows for content creation, review, and approval.

How does PIM + CMS work out for your online store?

Though PIM and CMS are two different concepts, there is still synergy between the two and here are some ways in which eCommerce store owners like Jane can benefit from this:

  • Efficient Data Management: PIM ensures your product data is managed centrally from a single source of truth and as a result your data is always accurate and consistent and the CMS helps in maintaining and managing the content published on your website
  • Rich Content Integration: CMS allows easy creation and publishing of engaging content, complementing your product pages managed by PIM
  • Streamlined Operations: The synergy of PIM and CMS streamlines workflows, improving collaboration and ensuring a seamless shopping experience for customers
  • Scalability: As your product range grows, PIM and CMS accommodate expansion, making it easier to manage more products and content effectively
  • Enhanced SEO: Combined, they boost search engine optimization efforts by offering both well-structured product data and high-quality content
PIM and CMS differences

Final thoughts

Every eCommerce business relies on a bunch of tools and platforms to manage and grow their business – ERPs, CRMs, CMS, PIMs, etc. While we can keep throwing acronyms like these, it is also important to understand the objectives and solutions of each of these tools.

Often businesses mistake CMS and PIM to be the same. While CMS helps in managing, editing, and publishing content; PIMs help in product data management. CMS comes in handy to maintain a website and a PIM helps in managing information and getting your products to market faster.

There are tools like PIMworks that help with managing content and product information. If you are looking for a PIM tool to simplify your product data management, go ahead and book your free demo now.


Is CMS and PIM the same?

PIM and CMS are two different concepts. CMS (Content Management System) helps with content creation and publishing for websites, while PIM (Product Information Management) centralizes and manages product data.

What is PIM vs CMS vs DAM?

PIM helps with managing product data, CMS manages website content, and DAM (Digital Asset Management) helps in managing media assets like images and videos.

What is PIM in content management?

PIM, in the context of content management, refers to centralizing and managing product-related data, ensuring accurate and consistent product listings across channels.

What does PIM stand for in MDM?

In MDM (Master Data Management), PIM stands for “Product Information Management,” focusing on centralizing and governing product data.


Nandhini is a Content Lead who loves writing. Her day is set with a planner and sticky notes. She loves a good dose of Netflix on her time off and enjoys Kindle reading, with the side of hibiscus tea.

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