Do you need the PIM? The top 5 reasons why would you need it!

Expanding or frequently refreshing your catalogue

You need to add a large number of products and categories to the catalogue or frequently refresh the product range with new products leading to updating (gathering, adding, finding, etc.) a huge amount of information like images, descriptions, attributes, variants, technical details, adaptations to different metric systems, sizings and much more.

You need to translate product data

More and more merchants are selling globally required to translate catalogue and product data to other languages. With Akeneo translating product data becomes much more comfortable and manageable. You can immediately see missing translations, assign translators to work with the particular locale, and switch from one locale to another quickly.

Multiple people or teams managing data enrichment

We have seen large data enrichment teams working with spreadsheets splitting their responsibilities and coloring product data readiness. What progress has been made, which products are new, which products still needed to be enriched, assign the meta tags to the SEO team, how many images are missing, what are the missing attributes that still need to be filled in?

Akeneo PIM allows building a streamlined process allowing collaborative work between multiple teams and/or people having very clear accountability and automated reporting. To audit and have a trail of revisions or changes ensuring that the accurate information gets published or revert back if any error is encountered

Importing data from multiple suppliers

Often our partners receive large product data sets from their suppliers, each in a different format, different data structure and naming. Akeneo allows preparing multiple import profiles, mapping data to required entities and even creating a set of rules/conditions to automate data enrichment eg, automatically fill in attributes, categorize new products, set a default value to an empty attribute, assign values to new products, copy an attribute value to another attribute.

Improving the shopping experience for your customers

Product data not matching expectations? To create an excellent Product Experience the best tool is the Product Information Management (PIM) platform. Enrich the content with original descriptions, combine your technical and emotional data, accurate translations in the languages you need, good resolution images in the right formats, centralize and automate your product data in an intuitive way. You should see an immediate positive impact on your conversion rate and product experience for the customer.

The top 5 things Akeneo PIM does better than the competition

Usability

One of the things Akeneo PIM is superior in is its simple and intuitive interface (UI). It will take no time to learn or train new team members to work with the Akeneo. Inputting translations, descriptions, updates or managing data is extremely fast to get up to speed with. Akeneo has only features built around the PIM eCommerce and does not come with lots of other features, or buttons confusing the user or cluttering the interface.

Furthermore, since Akeno PIM implementations are streamlined compared to some of its competitors the User Manual and how to work with one or another feature is extremely fast to find and is handy. You can quickly google any of the features and will find it.

Complete PIM focus

Akeneo PIM was built entirely with the focus on eCommerce in mind to solve Product Information Management challenges like Product Data centralization, enrichment, product data translations, and data adjustments for multiple channels. It is a productivity tool helping to prepare the product information in different languages and for different purposes. It is not an all-in-one solution to handle stock, prices DAM, CRM or ERP.

Akeneo has grown by adding multiple new modules (essentially products) which are not part of the PIM core offering. They can be added if a merchant requires particular functionality but will add additional fees to licensing as well.

Syndication - data feeds management to tailor and syndicate product catalogues across different channels including public marketplaces, industry marketplaces, and social selling sites

Shared catalogues - a portal where isolated product data can be shared. No need for exported spreadsheets and exporting media assets that quickly become outdated;

Onboarder - a mini PIM where to collect product information directly from suppliers and manufacturers;

Community & Popularity

Akeneo started off in 2013 as an Open Source solution building a strong and large community around the solution. Many agencies quickly picked it up as it was free and open-source allowing complete customizations. Now Akeneo has more than 120 official solution partner agencies, 80k+ community edition downloads, therefore, you should not have a problem finding and switching to a new partner if necessary.

Furthermore, Akeneo has added a long list of technology partners integrating with Adobe Commerce (Magento), BigCommerce, Salesforce, Commerce Tools, Spryker and a lot more services. There are available official connectors to most of mentioned or you can buy connectors created by Partners within the Akeneo marketplace.

It is one of the most popular PIM systems nowadays with various awards and will be on the table if you are looking for a PIM.

Magento/Adobe Commerce's go-to PIM partner

Akeneo is Adobe’s only Premier Technology Partner in the PIM category. In practice, it means that both integrate well enough together with each other supporting features of Akeneo PIM Enterprise Edition and Adobe Commerce, have lots of case studies and if you run into a problem - likely that problem has been already solved. Initially, Akeneo was available mainly for Magento installations, therefore, it is estimated that more than 70,000 companies use the free community edition (CE).

Furthermore, Akeneo built and maintains the official Adobe Commerce - Akeneo Enterprise Connector integrating the core elements out of the box and even offering support.

eCommerce ready structure

When you start to set up your Akeneo instance you will notice that it comes out of the box ready to be used with eCommerce. As a simple configuration Admin will be able to proceed with adding necessary locales, currencies, channels, category tree, attribute groups, attributes, families, define what types of assets will be managed in PIM and so on.

In other words - categories, products, attributes, and global configurations are going to correspond to the ones you often find in CMS systems setting up e.g Shopify. You will notice that PIM comes ready out-of-the-box to be used in eCommerce and often would not even require customizations.

Want to integrate Akeneo and interested in the timeline and costs?

Reasons to build Akeneo PIM with scandiweb

Akeneo award-winning  partner

Scandiweb Akeneo PIM implementation has been awarded as the TOP 3 in the world at the APS Akeneo summit 2020 competing against 50+ agencies from around the globe.

co-CEO Aigars Pavlovics and business development team lead Maris Skujins receiving Akeneo award

5 years of experience

We like to be early adopters. scandiweb has been working with the Akeneo PIM since 2017 as we started to implement Akeneo even before it had an official connector with Magento delivering more than 15 Akeneo implementations.

We just got our new PIM suggested and implemented by scandiweb. It is comfortable to use compared to Hybris. It looks simple and is easy to work with - importing data, uploading photos, creating attributes and categories
Director of Content Management at Technodom.kz
Ashat Suleymanov

Official Akeneo solutions partner

As an official Akeneo partner, we have the access to extensive support and training directly from Akeneo - this helps solve your complex challenges and get the most out of Akeneo's potential.

We go the extra mile

When implementing a PIM system for a specific project we will go the extra mile to thoroughly map and leverage Akeneo functionality customizing it to the client's needs. We even developed our own Akeneo Connector that significantly extends its functionalities and data exchange speed. In another case, we implemented ACME drop shippers API as a connector to speed up and map product data automatically avoiding any product data management with spreadsheets as it was done before. That allowed to significantly increase the speed with which product data were enriched and launched.

Streamlined discovery and implementation process

In order to mitigate the risks and make sure all requirements are well covered we have created specific Akeneo PIM discovery workshops exploring the project goals, technical & business challenges, product ecosystem, catalogue structure, data management challenges, enrichment workflows arriving at the Akeno PIM concept before we jumping on the implementation itself. Upon finalizing Discovery, we have a precise implementation roadmap and milestones to measure progress against.

Brands building Akeneo PIM with us

What happens when we start the Akeneo implementation project?

Discovery & Consultation

The first step is to identify the needs - what product data management challenges do we want to solve by integrating PIM and what are the expectations. We look into the data enrichment process, what is the interactions between multiple departments, and where the product information comes from (data catalogues, ERP, excel sheets) etc. before it gets to the eCommerce. We identify product data updating/editing workflow.

Furthermore, we determine technical details around the catalogue like languages, number of products, categories, attributes, images per product, etc. Also, what Product types are used (e.g. simple, configurable...) and whether hybrid/customized product types are used as they can be challenging to exchange data with eCommerce because PIM  and the bridge between PIM and eCommerce would be missing the customized product type, is there any Magento/Adobe Commerce custom types of attributes un use!

Usually, we would schedule a video conference call(s) to discuss the above where our experts would assist to gather the necessary details.

Estimate, and agreement

Based on the details gathered within the Discovery & Consultation process we are able to provide the estimate that is part of the agreement. Also, if the Akeneo Enterprise edition is planned to be used we will introduce you to the Akeno representatives to receive the latest Akeneo Cloud offering and learn more about the benefits working directly with the Akeneo team.

Delivery roadmap & development

Once we have agreed on the scope and Akeneo versions we can start the work and plan the implementation roadmap and kick-off development itself. Development milestones are usually as follows:

Akeneo setup and essential configuring (locally, development and staging environments);

Magento/Adobe setup (or target eCommerce system) as we will need to install the bridge, export data from the eCommerce system;

Connector module installation & configuration;

Data preparation and data import/migration to Akeneo (multiple objects - Categories, Attributes, Attribute options, Products, etc.)

UAT and in-depth end-to-end journey testing

Go live planning and Akeneo testing scenarios validation

Weekly progress reporting & demo

Within the Akeneo PIM implementation process, it is essential to work with real data from the start and replicate the envisioned process (try import with real data, data sync and exchange).

Every week or every two weeks we will invite you to the demo and receive a sprint report summarizing results achieved and updating the point where we are on the overall project roadmap.

Go-live process

We select a go-live date and time that is suitable for everyone to ensure post-go-live monitoring and adjustments if necessary. Furthermore, since go-live will require an eCommerce site to be unavailable we suggest doing it when there are least users online

Maintenance page set up;

Enabling Akeneo connector configuration on production that already has the mapping of websites, products, attributes, etc.;

Execute SQL scripts with mapped categories and families (in Magento Attribute sets);

Run the full data import;

Run full reindex;

Data integrity and scenarios validation tests;

Maintenance flag/page removal;

Monitor & celebrate;

FAQ

Can I use Akeneo for multiple websites?

Yes, absolutely! Akeneo supports multiple organizations and/or websites! So if a vendor has multiple online stores, they can manage product information under the same roof. With Akeneo PIM you can define a notion of organizations and storefront sites implementing multiple category tree structures one for each Business Unit.

How much does the Akeneo PIM cost?

The paid version of Akeneo Enterprise Edition is going to start from at least EUR 30k+ per year. The licence fee is determined directly by each merchant based on multiple variables. The free Open Source version of the Akeneo Community Edition is very limited in terms of functionality. It will be great to start with the PIM and for smaller organisations yet you will face multiple limitations hence Enterprise Edition is suggested.

How do you exchange data between M2  and Akeneo?

You would need to install and setup the connector/bridge that takes care and helps with data maping, data sync.

There are available official connectors to most of mentioned or you can buy connectors created by Partners within the Akeneo marketplace.

Can I use Akeneo for Shopify, BigCommerce or other eCommerce systems?

Yes, Akeneo PIM can be used with any other eCommerce system! It will be easier and faster to integrate it with the eCommerce systems that has avaialble connecotr / bridge.

Akeneo versions. Which one do you suggest?

Akeneo PIM Community Edition

Free! An open-source Akeneo version that is free to use. It’s a great choice for smaller companies that want to try a PIM solution. Various key features that make Akeneo great won't be available within the free edition eg workflows, assets (manage images, files, assets), manage publishing with restoring a previous product version, projects, and reference entities. You will need to find hosting where to host Akenoe as well (and of course set it up/install).

Akeneo PIM Growth Edition

The Growth edition essentially is a SaaS-based Community Edition (hosted by Akeneo) that sits between the free Akeneo PIM Community Edition and annual-subscription-based Enterprise Edition (Flexible & Serenity) categories. Akeneo will be looking to add additional features to the Growth Edition to differentiate it further from the Community Edition, actually, they have already added Table Attribute and Tailored Exports.

Akeneo PIM Enterprise Edition

Enterprise-grade PIM solution with all the nice features you would need from eCommerce PIM hosted by Akeneo themselves with SaaS/PaaS options. Comes with SLA-backed support and a Customer Success Manager. Fantastic solution except for its annual price tag that many might find hefty. Nevertheless, this is the most suitable edition for larger or extensieve product data organizations.

Updates

Another interesting factor to consider is the frequency of avaialble updates:

Flexibility: Updates once a year (annually). Additional patches can be made available individually on an as-needed basis;

Serenity: Updates monthly, with the updates automatically being deployed as they become available. However, Serenity does support any customisations, you would need to use it as it is;

What is under the Akeneo PIM technology hood?

In order to mitigate the risks and make sure all requirements are well covered we have created specific Akeneo PIM discovery workshops exploring the project goals, technical & business challenges, product ecosystem, catalogue structure, data management challenges, enrichment workflows arriving at the Akeno PIM concept before we jumping on the implementation itself. Upon finalizing Discovery, we have a precise implementation roadmap and milestones to measure progress against.