The last ten years has seen tremendous changes in the retail landscape. Retail space that was once dominated by Brick and Mortar retailers has seen the advent of internet only retailers. Traditional Brick and Mortar retailers are adapting to this change by starting their own online retail operations. Multi-channel retailing is the name of the game: brick and mortar, online, telephone sales are some of the options available. The big challenge for retailers is to keep their product information consistent across their enterprise and their various sales and marketing channels. Ensuring that new/updated products and promotions are reflected simultaneously across their channels is a big challenge. Retailers are also utilising the power of web Commerce by personalizing and customizing information based on different customer segments. This brings up the need to have a Centralized system to manage all processes pertaining to product information.
A frequent debate that is heard within the business user community and the IT departments is that there is no compelling need for a PIM system. The rationale is that other enterprise applications such as ERP, Web Catalog Engine etc. can meet their needs. While it can be argued that other enterprise applications can meet some of the needs, a dedicated PIM system is needed to handle product information and all of the associated processes.