Jon C. Marsella is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Jasper PIM, a leading Product Information Management (PIM) solution provider that predominantly serves Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento merchants. Jasper PIM empowers ecommerce businesses to manage and merchandise their products from a single source of truth, so they can sell faster and work smarter.
Jon began his career as the lead technical architect and solution producer for the Official Canadian Winter Olympics website. Since then, he has held a variety of roles in different industries, from media and entertainment to the Canadian Space Agency. In 2015, Jon shifted Jasper PIM to focus entirely on PIM solutions.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- What exactly is a PIM and why do you need one?
- Jon C. Marsella shares the difference between a PIM and a DAM
- The benefits of adding a PIM when selling on multiple ecommerce platforms
- Jon discusses the various marketplaces that Jasper PIM supports
- How to choose the right PIM for you
- The philosophy behind Jon’s PIM
- How a PIM can help you manage ecommerce stores with multiple languages, currencies, and geographies
- Jasper PIM’s connectors and ERP systems
In this episode of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast
PIMs (or Product Information Management systems) are relatively new pieces of technology with incredible benefits for ecommerce merchants. They solve the product information problems you may be facing by providing one platform to manage all of your information—including descriptions, names, pricing, assets, images, videos, and more.
However, due to their recent popularity, many merchants still don’t know exactly what PIMs do. So, what separates a PIM from similar aggregators and why do smaller businesses need them? And, more importantly, how do you choose the right PIM for your ecommerce store?
In this episode of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast, Guillaume Le Tual interviews Jon C. Marsella, the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Jasper PIM, about the benefits of PIMs for ecommerce merchants. Listen in as Jon discusses exactly what a PIM is, the advantages of using one if you sell on multiple platforms, and how to choose the right PIM for your ecommerce business. You don’t want to miss this!
Resources Mentioned in this episode
Sponsor for this episode...
This episode is brought to you by MageMontreal.
MageMontreal is a Magento-certified ecommerce agency based in Montreal, Canada. MageMontreal specializes in and works exclusively with the Adobe Magento ecommerce platform, and is among only a handful of certified Adobe Magento companies in Canada.
Why Magento? Mage Montreal whole-heartedly believes that Magento is the best open source ecommerce platform on the market–whether you are looking to tweak your current website or build an entirely new website from scratch.
MageMontreal offers a wide range of services, including Magento website design and development, Magento maintenance and support, integration of Magento with third party softwares, and so much more! They have been creating and maintaining top-notch ecommerce stores for over a decade–so you know you can trust their robust expertise, involved support, and efficient methodology.
So, if your business wants to create a powerful ecommerce store that will boost sales, move dormant inventory to free up cash reserves, or automate business processes to gain efficiency and reduce human processing errors, MageMontreal is here to help!
What are you waiting for? Contact MageMontreal today! Visit magemontreal.com or call 450.628.0690 to chat with the MageMontreal team about creating your dream ecommerce store and transforming your business.
Welcome to the E-commerce Wizards Podcast, where we feature top leaders in e-commerce and business to discuss proven strategies and trends from people in the trenches. Now let’s get started with the show.
Guillaume: Hello everyone, Guillaume Le Tual here, host of the E-commerce Wizard Podcast where I feature top leaders in business and e-commerce. Today’s guest is Jon Marsella, CEO and founder of Jasper PIM. So today we’ll be talking about PIM Product Information Management software, what it is, why do you need one, how to select one, what are the benefits and compare also with the DAM Digital Asset Management and other things, what it is. Before we get started, we have a short sponsorship message.
This episode is brought to you by MageMontreal. If a business wants a powerful e-commerce online store that will increase their sales or to move piled up dormant inventory to free up cash reserves or to automate business process to gain efficiency and reduce human processing error or company, MageMontreal can do that. We’ve been helping e-commerce stores for over a decade. Here’s the catch, we are specialized and only work on the Adobe Magento e-commerce platform. We are among only a handful of certified Adobe Magento companies in Canada. We do everything Magento, if you know someone who needs design, development, maintenance, training, support, debugging development, anything we got their back. Email our team [email protected] or go to magemontreal.com.
Alright, Jon I’m with you. Pleasure having you with us.
Jon: Likewise. Thanks for having me.
Guillaume: Pleasure. Let’s start with the basic, the fundamentals here, what’s a PIM? Why do I need one? What are the benefits?
Jon: Okay, great. First question, what’s a PIM? We get this question asked a lot. PIM is a very new piece of technology. It’s really only about three years old Product Information Management System. If you’re an e-commerce merchant, or you’re aspiring to be one, and you have product information problems, or you’re about to, a PIM is really all about solving those product information problems. So, a little bit less 40,000 feet coming down a little bit. What does that mean? That means that we’re about helping e-commerce merchants accelerate their e-commerce experiences by consolidating all of their product information, descriptions, names, pricing, assets, images, videos, anything they need to sell and list their products, online, either their own stores or maybe in marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart and others.
A PIM is really a tool that is used to be a single central source of truth for your product information. So, you take all of your products and you put them into Jasper PIM, we help you then curate, batch manage your content, set up all your different taxonomies which means your categories, what do I sell? Where do I sell it? When do I sell it? So, I might have a Magento store or maybe I have several for different brands. And I want to manage all my products in an agnostic tool that allows me to have a very focused view of my merchandising, publish out automatically to Magento and also to other channels.
A PIM is really a step back, and it’s a piece of middleware in your overall arson, in your overall e-commerce technology, weaponry, to kind of get a real wrangle in a mold of your life. It is a tool that is used to take spreadsheets, and simplify that process. Many e-commerce merchants spend a lot of time managing many spreadsheets and assets in different file servers and they’ve got different departments doing this and different departments doing that. The PIM allows everybody to come together in a single stream, put everything together in one place, and then power everything through automation. No more redundancy, no more time wasted. Some more, sell faster, work smarter, that’s what a PIM is for.
Who needs one? Every e-commerce merchant. Who can afford one? Well, most e-commerce merchants, especially with Jasper, because we have an ultralight product 99 dollars a month, we want to help all e-commerce merchants big or small. Everybody needs a PIM. And I forget the last question, what was the third part of that question?
Guillaume: Well, the benefits but you already started talking about it.
Jon: Great. Well, we can say we covered some of that then. Awesome.
Guillaume: Yeah, exactly. As a follow up to that again, just to set the table, perhaps your boss may say go shop for a PIM and then you just start learning about it and you might be confused. There’s other acronyms out there who also claims to be like the single source of truth. You have a DAM, a Digital Asset Management software and you have also an MDM and Master Data Management, where does Jasper PIM fit in that and what’s the difference between those things?
Jon: Another great question. A PIM we feel again, as the single source of truth is an aggregator of other types of e-commerce technologies, to be in the middle of all the different business systems you have, and really focused on being the one place you go to merchandise all of your products. Let’s talk about DAM Digital Asset Management for a minute. Digital Asset Management is a component of your overall PIM, your product information management, architecture, your burden. Product Information, in a general sense, covers everything you need to list and sell your products, which includes product descriptions, name, prices, imagery, assets, videos, which are DAM related topics, as well as inventory, which are more like inventory management topics, as well as what you’re selling, where you’re selling, which is more order management topics.
So, PIM connects all these systems together, and is like the glue that binds it all. With a DAM, a Digital Asset Management system, which is an important component, it allows you to get a real handle on all of your assets. And these can be public, private assets. Typically, many businesses have Dropboxes, or they have huge old world file servers. And they have product content, and they have assets like meaning videos, images, 3D models, technical specifications, PDF, word, document, Excel, both old world and linked spreadsheets, which are a new paradigm, like Google Sheets and things like that. All of these things are part of digital assets.
A PIM is an aggregator of that. Our PIM for example, has a small DAM and small inventory management system and small MDM built into it. Because a PIM really kind of connects and consolidates all those things together. For small merchants, you might use a PIM connected to your ERP like QuickBooks or maybe Brightpearl, or other types of ERPs. Sage, for example, and then connect to your Magento store, or other e-commerce platforms. And so, a PIM sits in the middle of those things. Now enter in a DAM, Digital Asset Management System, an enterprise digital asset management system can integrate it with a PIM. The PIM can pull all of the assets out of a DAM, and is then responsible for taking that information in publishing, automating that product content movement across all of your seven channels. So, a PIM is really about listing your content well, connecting your data sources, batch managing your content, deciding what goes where and when, batch managing and pre-managing pricing information and product content in general, and then pushing it onto your different storage channels.
So that’s kind of damage now MDM quickly, Master Data Management and the notion that is sometimes owned by an ERP, what is the master data structure and a schema look like? That information can often be in ERP. But a PIM, in particularly good PIM allows you to do full product lifecycle management. So master data at the point of inception, ideation. If you’re thinking about a product, put it in a PIM, if you’re designing products, put that information in the PIM. Set a certain status so that it will never get published, because it’s not ready. So, workflow management inside of the PIM is really important. Once all your information is in there, now let’s think about the buying stage. Product is already past approvals, QA testing, everything is ready for sale. Now you have buyers that stock the inventory, those buyers then can use PIM to also incept, bringing products from different systems and connect them. Decide what goes where, merchandise those products, and then automatically list and publish to different channels.
Guillaume: Interesting. And let’s talk about the benefits of adding a PIM for somebody trying to sell on marketplaces. This is very popular, like Amazon now alone is larger than all the other e-commerce sites combined in the world. It’s like Amazon is the sun right now, in this e-commerce system online. And the person that might want to sell on eBay, they might have like different rules and so on. Can you talk to us about the benefits in that kind of scenario?
Jon: It definitely is. Imagine you’re a Magento e-commerce Shopify merchant, you’re already an e-commerce merchant, you have any of these platforms or maybe you have a custom platform, and you’re managing your content, your product data in there right now, today and you don’t have a PIM. Installing a PIM and putting all your data in the PIM allows you to take two or three steps back, investing putting everything in the PIM and go 10 steps forward. So now your products are in the PIM instead of your shopping cart. Now your product data is no longer in an island, which is the shopping cart. Now your product data is in the PIM. Now we can connect you to your Amazon store or stores, maybe you have one, maybe you want one. We’ve had customers that have come to us, and they want to get on Amazon, so we help them or they’re already there and we connect and automate.
The benefit is if you’re a merchant now, and you have multiple stores, and an Amazon store, and many have multiple Amazon marketplaces, you’ve got to copy and paste. More sophisticated, but still not awesome is, export import, and those are all error prone. Those are all human processes, not to mention the fact that there’s no ability to really transform the data when it comes in and transform the data when it goes out. Create all kinds of beautiful business rules that allow you to do things like hey, I’m a Shopify merchant, I have 100% of my catalog assortment that publishes to Shopify.
But you know on Amazon I only want to sell 50% of my product assortment. And I want to sell my high margin movers. So cost plus, and I want to sell certain brands and I don’t want to sell other brands because you know that listing on marketplaces and selling that way is more expensive. But I still want to capture, I want customer capture, I want them to be exposed to my brand. I would love it if they could buy my brand on Amazon and then come to my site later. With a PIM, you put your products and manage it once. You set up all your categorization, your taxonomies, and everything in the PIM and the PIM automates the rest. So, every time you have a new product change, or price change, or description change, or new assets, new imagery, seasonal stuff that happens, any kinds of transactions like that that happen, not to mention day to day, moment by moment inventory quantity changes, the PIM can manage your inventory too.
So as your inventory changes in your distribution centers, your warehouses, it connects with the PIM and then publishes out to the different channels, including Amazon. Imagine you’ve made that investment, now you can spin up multiple Magento stores. Hey, maybe I want to sell on Walmart too, because Walmart is massive up and coming marketplace. A lot of people like Walmart as an option as well. Why not sell there? Maybe you can list your products there too. A PIM will now, it’s one too many, right? You made the investment, you put everything in the PIM, and it can publish the multiple PIM. Many of our customers published it 30 or 40 different channels automatically. Imagine manually managing that. You just can’t do it.
Guillaume: I totally agree with you. And even though some of that data may have been a redundancy, or if we take an example of like the old ERP, like say an old article or an old SAP, well some of those systems will not even have images in those. And they’re so huge that the company who’s running on those old versions sometimes is not there to do the upgrade or the upgrade is extremely expensive so they postpone, they just keep running the old version. I’ve seen those cases where there was only one image allowed per product, and it was a low-resolution image, they’re like not appropriate for web selling. So, then you say, okay, how can I fix this? Because I might fix it just with my e-commerce store, then you can have additional pictures in high res. But the way you optimize, it’s in Amazon, this thing is not the same way that you present the information on your own website. And that’s where really a PIM will shine and the length and description and titles and so on will not be the same on Amazon and on eBay. So, you can fine tune an SEO, Search Engine Optimization for each of the marketplaces you’re selling to, and really like automate all that.
Even though you can connect your Magento store directly with Amazon, you’re still pushing the same data that you have from your website to Amazon. So, when you have the PIM there, you have the possibility of fine tuning what you’re selling here to a much further degree, which is really interesting. And this other big marketplace called Walmart, you can get there. If you haven’t noticed yet, Walmart is also now a marketplace, it’s selling from other vendors. But it’s different from Amazon that anybody can just click Sign up, pay 30 US dollar and be a vendor. On Walmart, you have to be a large enough vendor and approved by Walmart. But it connects also to Walmart and you guys connect also to other marketplaces?
Jon: We do. Natively, we support about three or four different marketplaces, we’re adding about two or three per quarter. And through one of our partner connections, we support up to 400 different marketplaces. So, there isn’t one that we haven’t counted, and those marketplaces are all what we call final mile, all the way through to the publication. Some of those marketplaces support real time transactional information from a PIM to the marketplace, others are more, believe it or not even somewhat manual in the way that they work. But if there’s automation support, then then we can support that. But that’s that landscape changes week over week, month over month but we support two of the major platforms today, which we identify as like Amazon, Walmart, eBay. A lot of people come to us for Target and others. Those are sort of the major platforms that we are assuming marketplaces that we come up against outside of your typical commerce platforms.
After that, we’d say cross section across customer base, we have a lot of specialty marketplaces, then it becomes more industry focused. And those are often very… I wouldn’t say bespoke, but they can sometimes be. And once again, benefit of a PIM is, all of that stuff is obstructed. One of the things that you brought up that was really good about the whole idea of, hey, architecting your product data into PIM not being limited by your e-commerce platform like Magento, or anybody else. Magento is a very powerful commerce platform. But it’s also one spoke in what is a many omni channel type of scenario for most merchants, or many merchants should think that way. Plan to architect your product information for 10 or 15 years of scale. And then think about your shopping platform as something that might change next year, and probably should refresh itself very frequently to be competitive.
So, put your products architected in the PIM in such a way that it becomes completely agnostic. You can put product information in the PIM that won’t be supported in Magento, or BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, or any of these other platforms natively. But the PIM will expose data, because it’s a cloud-based resource, because it’s backed by a content delivery network, which is Geoware, it will be lightning fast. And so, on your Magento stores, you could pull data from your Jasper PIM that publishers all kinds of rich content. But you’ve already made the investment in Jasper, you don’t need to edit and modify your Magento store as much. And you can simply just take advantage of the content that’s already there, and use the automation that’s already set up.
So, it’s a fantastic architecture, we’ve seen it. Sort of quarter over quarter, I can say, growth is like 45% quarter over quarter in terms of payment option, PIM is absolutely massive, just exploding. It’s a fantastic time to be an e-commerce merchant and to really think about the ways you can be competitive, especially post COVID.
Guillaume: Yeah, I definitely see PIM as a fantastic addition for an e-commerce merchant, that they’re expanding, adding more marketplaces or just improving quality of the content on their site, which is crucial. This is often a neglected fundamental here, that you just put yourself in the shoes of the person making the purchase decision, you need to have a lot of product data, you need to have a spec sheet. And ideally also reviews and everything you need to have high quality picture you can zoom in and make an informed decision because you’re shopping on three websites at the same time in three different tabs and trying to find who you’re going to buy it from. And maybe there’s a slight variation in the product, and to pick the best one for your need that fits best.
And then you need to have quality content, not just like a title and a price. You need quality content to increase the sales online. I would take any time, a catalog 10 times smaller with high quality content over a catalog 10 times bigger and it’s like bare-bone. Because the smaller catalog that’s really high quality will outperform by far in e-commerce sales than this larger catalog, that’s a given.
Jon: Yes, absolutely.
Guillaume: And something else I would like to cover with you, we talked through the benefits, what it is, now how do I choose a PIM? How do I know first of all, that I am there now? I’ve heard about the benefits, but I am due to start this project here of adding a PIM.
Jon: Sure. Objectively, we’re a PIM company, we’d love every customer to buy from my own PIM. But objectively, what you should look for in a PIM starting with is, it is a complex topic. The right PIM for each merchant is going to be different. We start with fundamental philosophy around, do you want to be managing and have a lot of high degree of control of your own internal IT systems? Yes, or no? If you do, you’re typically a company that has an internal IT department, you have an on-premise system. And you’re very likely to favor a product that you can customize, you can tweak it, you can manage it that way. And that’s fine. Consider that because there’s a real sort of divide between, I guess you’d call them the software as a service PIMs and the older world on-prem, download it and install it and connect it with the rest of your business systems.
We encounter customers that have all kinds of needs. And some really want the older world on-prem, they want a high degree of control over the product, we would then recommend first start with those on-prem PIMs versus a SaaS PIM. So, once you’ve decided that you’ve called the field in half or maybe even more so. So now if you want software as a service PIM, you’re going to want flexibility, you’re going to want strong service level agreement from that PIM, you’re going to want a really good intuitive interface, you’re going to want a PIM that pivots quickly and reacts and responds quickly. So has really good roadmap turnover. So, in other words, hey, new features come out, I’m paying a single license.
With Software as a Service, I have no control of what these guys give me. In Jasper PIM, we put all these beautiful new features, you as a merchant have no control over that. So hopefully, we’re putting out really great features. And we’re doing it frequently so that you’re constantly getting new value. Whereas on-prem, it’s more controlled situation. With software as a service, if you’re onboarding with a PIM, I would start with a PIM that offers you the ability to try before you buy, very, very quickly pivot and prototype. Even big businesses and some of our very big companies are multi-billion-dollar businesses, they install our PIM, they try with our light product, 299 dollars a month for one month. And they try it out and the risk is ridiculously mitigated. Everyone can afford that.
So, they try it for four weeks and they’re like, this is great. Now we’re ready for the 24-month contract and let’s go through our three months of diligence on new guys and all the rest of that stuff. So, definitely do try a PIM. Try a PIM that will let you experiment. Try a PIM that is cost effective but importantly, because of how sticky a PIM is, how much time and energy it takes, when you find your favorite PIM, it could take weeks, months, or even longer to get your products in and perfected and rearchitected, three steps back 20 steps forward. Make sure that the 20 steps forward, your provider, your partner is going to be there for you for several years to come and service you well that way.
Now on the on-prem side of the market. Well, it’s less of a wild west, you download the software, what you get is what you see. Be prepared though, not a lot of people are used to this. Take a free PIM or a download PIM, total cost of ownership can be extremely elusive. You don’t know what that is until you talk to your consultants. Now to be fair, a software as a service enterprise PIM, that competes apples to apples is going to be the kind of product that will very much still have a total cost of ownership footprint to it.
Big businesses should expect to invest a lot of money in this category. Because frankly, either way, whether you have the software as a service, or you have on-premise, the investment in getting things done properly, is not something to be cheap about. This is not a place where you’re looking for, for squeezing out some extra bucks. This is a place to invest, invest heavily. Prototype, try it out. Don’t invest too much in that phase, when you found the right product, then go fast and go hard because your competitors will.
Guillaume: That’s one really strong competitive advantage for Jasper PIM. And we can talk maybe about your philosophy as a PIM, what do you guys focus on? What do you value? Because what you value will change your decision in building a software that will lead you to a different product. Let’s say, we hear a lot in the Magento ecosystem about like Akeneo and inRiver and sometimes PIM core, the cost difference is gigantic here. You guys have a Magento connector already built so the merchant does not need to bring up that money by himself and pay 20, 30, 50k of custom integration, you guys provide the connector?
Guillaume: Wonderful. Then the cost, let’s say like Akeneo we’re typically talking over 20k of implementation costs in the smallest implementation plus like a 24k and up yearly license in USD. And that’s not even the expensive one, that’s a small implementation. And then you have the inRiver, like 50, 60k and 100k, 200k, 300k. And the yearly the license 60, 80k and stuff like that also. You guys have really compelling offers here. You want to perhaps condition a bit of your software here.
Jon: Philosophically, what we believe a PIM should be, is a very focused merchandising utility. And I find that many of our competitive platforms are trying to do a little bit too much. It’s almost like they’re overlapping into inventory and overlapping into shopping cart and OMS to the extent that, hey, why don’t they just put a shopping cart on there and call themselves a Magento competitor? Because at some point, there’s a wide spectrum of what they’re trying to cover. And I think that lack of focus is starting to create very, very slow product roadmaps.
On the on the total cost of ownership side. The benefit of a really strong enterprise software as a service PIM is that you get the power of the network effect, right? If we spin up an instance of our product it costs us very little to do that. And so, as a result, we can charge exceptionally good rates for e-commerce merchants that are on board, because we’re an enterprise PIM that also serves down market, we’re concerning ourselves with usability. And many of the big PIMs are not as worried about that because they see PIM as the big boys’ playground and we see PIM as truly PIM for all, like truly PIM for all in the city. And not to steal our competitor’s tagline, it’s trademarked by them or something, I don’t know. That’s not our trademark, just want to just want to say that.
But what is what does that mean? It means your small Shopify merchant, who might find our ultralight product at 99 dollars a month, potentially expensive. How do they feel about onboarding some of these other platforms, it’s not feasible for them. So, we want to introduce our PIM to everyone, truly, and make it simple, straightforward, easy to go, and then grow up with us as you grow. But that’s easy. You’re not hosting yourself, not managing yourself. Philosophically, we’re trying to turn merchants into merchants, instead of turning them into IT departments that want to run their own websites, because most of those merchants suck at doing that and they think they can do it, and they hire teams to do it. And some of them succeed, very few do. And then the ones that are more successful, decide, hey, I’m not that, I’m going to hire an agency and agencies and systems integrators are absolutely awesome and have their place.
We love working with agencies, we love to work with systems integrators, such as what you guys do, because we don’t do that service work. So, this is where a PIM really comes into its own, because the agency represents the customer and knows about all the other business systems. And we’re a PIM, and we have a fantastic API and so that’s important. You can’t see our source code and download anything and hack it all together with us. But you can if you want to extend our product, you can do so by building your own applications around our API. So now you’re not a PIM competitor or trying to build your own and accurate PIM together. Now, what you’re doing is maybe you’re building little things over here, and little things over there, or connectors are system bridges. And this is where many really great agencies come into play.
I would encourage a merchant, hey, don’t let your own IT department do that stuff, they’ve already got enough things to do. Bring in an agency that knows PIM and knows e-commerce, super focused on e-commerce, super focused on a single platform and get them to integrate your systems together and work with really great deal DSPs Digital Service Providers like Jasper.
Guillaume: That’s awesome. And we’ve covered a lot multi-channel to some degree but omni channel here. Some other applications, the PIM of course, it’s multilingual. If you have all those translations, if you’re a large brand, or you just operate in many countries, obviously, that’s tremendous benefits here of having a PIM to manage all in one place.
Jon: Well, 100%
Guillaume: Same is true also for multi currencies, because then you can have both languages and the prices in all the currency and split per country and so on. And then you sync that to your e-commerce store, you sync that your multiple marketplace, maybe amazon.ca, amazon.us and so on.
Jon: That’s a fantastic call. One of our customers, and there are many customers like this not specific just to Jasper. One of our customers is Skullcandy, a typical consumer brand, everybody’s very familiar with the kinds of products they sell. They put up all their products in Jasper’s PIM and they have multiple stores in different languages, different currencies in different geographies, they’re all powered by the PIM. But here’s the important part is that you put your master products in one master language, it’s not always English. European countries will pick whatever their master language is, put your products in your master language. And then you have child languages that inherit from the master. So there are many, many product specifications that are not language specific. Skew is an example that transcends all languages. There’s other pieces of data that you do not need to repeat.
So, we have an inheritance model in our version. Skullcandy does languages English, French, German, Japanese, all languages all over the world are fully international sport. You could put all that into one place at one PIM. Normally, for most businesses, that content is managed everywhere. It’s a mess, it’s a disaster. And by the time they get themselves organized, they’ve lost all kinds of sales opportunities. Never mind, forget about promotions, they’re barely even managing what they have, because they’re doing it all manually.
And the currency thing is extremely powerful because again, you can have automated currency. Or imagine in our PIM, imagine if you connect with a translation provider as some of our customers do. Smartlink is an example. Getting go another example. It’s automated translation, but it’s human translation. So, imagine you put your master language in English, and your contents ready. And you simply press a button or you move it into a workflow state, it automatically send your content to a language translation provider, who goes through and manually translates it. Humans translate it, so it’s good quality, press a button on their side, it comes back into your PIM, it’s already there, somebody reviews it, presses a button, boom! Up it goes to all your French channels.
Maybe I have 17 different French stores across the world for whatever reason, different brands different whatever. It’s not just for big businesses, even small businesses can benefit from this too.
Guillaume: Pretty awesome. And we’ve already covered that your PIM comes with a Magento e-commerce connector, so we can connect a PIM with the e-commerce stores, a little bit of labor related, but the bridge is already built. There’s no cost and no project risks. We have connectors for marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and a bunch of other partnerships and Walmart. What about ERPs? Is there connectors pre-made for that, or is it a custom job for each year?
Jon: I love that question too. This is typically the phase two or phase three portion of where PIM really comes into its own as if there isn’t enough value in the beginning with just connecting and listing your products. We have worked with many different ERP systems, Oracle, Dynamics Great Plains, NetSuite Division, Sage Brightpearl, QuickBooks. There’s a number of different ones that we’ve worked with, JD Edwards, AS400. We even can help big merchants do bespoke integrations, just by building some connector bridges between our API and their system.
Connected with an ERP is where PIM gets really exciting, because now it’s a full 360 loop. Your ERP can push your item master data into your PIM so that only your merchandisers are actually enriching your content. And they’re not deciding how much pricing and what the skew level data is, and what are some of the core fundamental specification data looks like. They’re merchandising it, they’re deciding which categories putting in, if there’s different titles and descriptions, SEO content, marketing content, imagery, acids, videos. All that stuff, they’re definitely doing that in the PIM. And then the system pushes everything to your outbound channels.
Now, on the outbound side, Jasper’s already connected to all of your stores and your marketplaces. When orders come in, we connect and bring all those orders back in, flow them through the PIM, we’re not an order management system, I’ll get to that in a second, we pull all the orders back to your ERP. Imagine you have 17 different stores like many of our customers do, like 20, 30, 50 stores or even one, but it’s all done through automation. It all flows right back from your store into your ERP. And now your sales are processing, your transactions are all sorted, your inventory is all corrected and coordinated.
So now your ERP decides, okay, it decrements the inventory, pushes the inventory to the PIM, the PIM then pushes to your channels, and you’ve got a full sort of beautiful 360 loop happening. I would say probably 60%, 70% of our customers either have or have aspirations to have an ERP integration. And it’s not always the first phase because it’s a big project. But once you have that going, you’ve got an architecture for scale there. And that is your 10, 15-year lifecycle, hopefully on all of that and modern as well. Many people are re-platforming or thinking about it. Now’s a great time to do that. Now’s a fantastic time to do that.
Guillaume: Is there any last point that you’d like to cover about PIMs in general?
Jon: Our PIM, we were calling it a product control system. And the market only started calling it a PIM about three or four years ago. And at first, it was very much like, you brought up something about executives asking about a PIM, saying, we call that airline magazine design, the CEO or VP will say we need PIM. I don’t know what a PIM is, but we need it. Before, it was like, what is this PIM thing? We don’t need that. That’s just another expense. And so, the paradigm, the shift has happened. As I said, for us, we observed August 2018. Really, the fall of 2018 is when more and more merchants started saying, this PIM thing’s got legs, I like it. And now post COVID especially this past quarter, coming off Christmas holidays, goodness, the demand is crazy.
I’m an evangelist for PIM, I obviously love it. I’m completely biased and partial, so please buy our PIM. We love our PIM, please buy any PIM. Any PIM at all will do, and then maybe we’ll see you later. But take some chances, take some risks, invest a small amount, test it out and then go hard on the stuff that works for you. Outside of that, I don’t have anything else to suggest.
Guillaume: Yeah, I can confirm what you’re saying here on our end. We’ve received a lot of requests for PIM, it’s increasing, we see the market and the demand increasing the e-commerce ratio with the PIM. Alright, thank you Jon for being here with us today.
Jon: You’re welcome. It’s been great, appreciate it very much. Thanks for having me.
Thanks for listening to the E-commerce Wizards Podcast. We’ll see you again next time. And be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes and contact us at magemontreal.com