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    July 16, 2020
    5 minute read

    PIM vs. PXM: What Are the Differences? | Salsify

    by: Salsify

    Ecommerce executives frequently ask about the differences between product experience management (PXM) and product information management. While the distinctions can be nuanced, brand leaders must understand the letters at the center of each to ensure digital shelf success.

    PIM is a system that aids in centralizing product content and streamlining workflows. PXM is a holistic approach to commerce that incorporates PIM and other tools — such as enhanced content, digital asset management (DAM), insights, syndication, and many others — for increasing consumer engagement and loyalty.

    PXM, which includes PIM, is critical for taking digital content to the level consumers demand today. Meeting these new digital shelf demands is crucial: According to Forrester Research, "By 2023, 58% of U.S. retail sales, roughly $2.9 trillion, will be digitally influenced."

    Consumer journeys are more complex than ever — and will only increase in being unpredictable and individualized. This point is where PXM shines.

    What Is the Digital Shelf?

    The digital shelf is a “collection of diverse and rapidly evolving digital touchpoints used by shoppers to engage with brands and discover, research, and purchase products.”

    The Digital Shelf Changes Constantly

    Consumer habits influence how the digital shelf looks to them. The digital shelf also varies from shopper to shopper because each shopping journey is personalized to the individual — making each course to transaction non-linear, occurring at any time of day and in any place.

    Each step is swayed by the channels the individual consumer shops, as well as outside variables like feed ads, search engine keywords, reviews, and product availability.

    No Room for a 'Set It and Forget It' Approach

    Success requires continuous effort and optimization. Shoppers must be engaged at every touchpoint — especially as retailer requirements and algorithms evolve all the time.

    Your brand might find some selling channels perform better than others for your products and consumers. Content should be analyzed and updated frequently based on consumer preferences. The experience should remain fresh but consistent. In short: Content has become your brand's packaging on the digital shelf.

    What Is PIM?

    The goal of PIM is information organization and accuracy. A PIM system is a "central repository to store, access, and update product information like marketing copy, feature descriptions, and logistics information. It provides the source of data your brand needs to sell across the digital ecosystem."

    Streamline Operational Efficiency

    Rather than relying on manual processes — often including time-consuming, error-laden spreadsheets — a PIM system consolidates product information and digital assets from across your company into one easily accessible, trusted source of truth. With a PIM system in place, teams can focus on enhancing content and assets, instead of endlessly chasing the most accurate version.

    Create a Central Source of Truth

    Once product information and digital assets are loaded into a PIM system, your teams may revise and edit PIM content every day — multiple times a day. With every new catalog update, the PIM will be updated too. Automated schedules can be established to import or export content to relevant internal and external partners such as retailers. 

    Remote product content work is also possible with the Salsify PIM system. Because it is cloud-based, anyone with access rights can view, edit, enter, or export data from anywhere, anytime.

    What Is PXM?

    PXM is “how brands send product content — optimized for every channel, when and where it’s needed — to drive sales, build loyalty, and grow market share.” It utilizes an expanding list of capabilities, including PIM, syndication to deliver winning experiences across shopping platforms, enhanced content for engaging online experiences, comprehensive analytics to ensure continual optimization, and many others.

    Focus on the Entire Consumer Experience — From Start to Finish

    Consumers demand brands meet them where they shop, and that shopping experiences be personalized to their preferences. They want relevant products and information, and convenience and seamlessness are expected.

    Use PXM to Evolve With the Ecommerce Ecosystem

    As the market, consumer buying behaviors, and retailer requirements change, so does PXM. PXM incorporates discovery and conversion analysis and continuously optimizes the consumer experience with brand compliance reports, share of search analysis, and product page assessments, so your brand is informed and equipped to manage digital shifts.

    PXM vs. PIM: Why Is PIM an Important Part of PXM?

    PIM is a foundational component of PXM. Having a PIM system and workflows in place allows your brand to implement a higher form of content creation, optimization, and distribution.

    PXM empowers your brand to frequently and continually enhance your syndicated product experiences. It also drives consumer discoverability through search rank, and increases conversion, engagement, sales, and loyalty. By using the Salsify PXM platform, ShurTech increased its Amazon sales rank by 15%. 

    A PIM-only approach is restrictive and limits your brand's ability to grow on the digital shelf. "Having a PIM-only approach to ecommerce weakens your brand's ability to continually improve upon the product experiences you are syndicating across the digital ecosystem, which, in turn, can negatively affect search rank and — ultimately — conversions," stresses Rob Gonzalez, our co-founder and CMO.

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