What's the Difference Between PIM and DAM

An important factor in improving the user's digital shopping experience is PIM, which allows marketers and sellers to publish relevant content from suppliers/manufacturers in a matter of minutes.

We often mean the classic PIM system when we talk about product content repositories for e-commerce and marketplaces. It is perfect for publishing data of the same type (images, videos, and others) in a multichannel mode, i.e., on several resources simultaneously. But it is not responsible for storing and processing multimedia, documents, and other elements.

Earlier, these files were located on multiple drives united into one system. Of course, it caused problems like complicated search and a small number of indexing parameters. DAM systems have solved this problem by creating a single space where content is stored and processed using meta tags, catalogs, categories, filters, and other features. PIM and DAM are not competitors for integration into the e-commerce business. They are associates. Why? Let's figure it out.

PIM and DAM: differences and similarities

PIM means Product Information Management. The main purpose of the system is to manage data on several resources simultaneously. In e-commerce, manufacturers and suppliers often use it to update information about their products. Text, audio, video content, and images are transmitted from their databases to other participants in the sales chain: intermediaries, distributors, store owners, and marketplaces. So, PIM only solves the problem of distribution, storing information in a simple but structured way.

DAM means Digital Asset Management. The main purpose of the system is to store and process any graphic content. Images, logos, and videos are stored in a single catalog, where they receive tags, attributes, and descriptions. All this is indexed by an internal database, responsible for the relevance of information and its quick search.

DAM is not a competitor to PIM but a mandatory part of it. Or, as a last resort, an auxiliary system. Let's take a closer look at the functionality of both solutions.
The task of PIM is to optimize uploading information about products to several resources at the same time, updating the data, and providing users with the most relevant descriptions and characteristics, regardless of where the product is published. Positions are automatically filled after the corresponding fields are linked to the database cells. So, updating products takes a few seconds, spent on synchronization between the supplier's system and the product item card.

DAM uses meta tags to describe the content, making it easier to find and track. By creating localized catalogs with flexible filtering and categorization, the system indexes the repository's contents, accelerating finding an item among thousands of similar files. Companies use DAM to organize promising creatives and store documents, materials, and other digital objects.

DAM: 3 development levels

Digital Asset Management is gradually developing, acquiring new functionality and additional capabilities. To understand what kind of functionality you need, let's look at the four maturity levels of the system for working with multimedia files by analysts. Four stages your company might be in:
No centralized data storage in the organization's IT resources. Files are stored on multiple physical drives connected to a shared LAN.
An array of information is structured and moved to a single repository with local or remote access (server). All employees access content with limited rights: viewing, copying, editing, creating, or deleting.
In addition to clear structuring, data is integrated with the company's third-party tools and systems, providing a seamless information exchange in all operations. The second version is an analog of cloud storage with a complete introduction of employees into programs.
The and most advanced version of the DAM system today. Includes all functions of past generations. The innovations are two-way connection with files, creating directories and groups with the same tags, and advanced indexing and restrictions. There is a "parental link" between content and protection against unauthorized access. Some essential processes are automated as well.
Although most ordinary companies still use version 1.0 or do not connect DAM at all, online retailers with integrated PIM have already realized the benefits of the synchronized operation of these two products. They are massively implementing them into their systems.

DAM as a Component of a Perfect PIM System

These IT systems complement each other to optimize e-commerce businesses. PIM and DAM form a tandem that compensates for their weaknesses. For example, PIM may be connected to an online store where managers update content semi-automatic without any problems. However, they may face difficulties finding the necessary images or videos in their repositories without DAM, which solves this problem because meta tags and file descriptions are also indexed and loaded in PIM.

The result is a semi-automatic system with shared storage and seamless access. Remarkably, it optimizes uploading information to a resource, and built-in tools allow working with assets without installing additional applications.

Tandem of PIM and DAM is the perfect IT system for any e-commerce professional. Flexible settings and a synchronized base automate business workflows and redirect resources to priority tasks.
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