Forrester’s 2021 Wave on the Product Information Management vendor landscape is here. It’s not often that a first-time appearance in a market analysis such as this would come with such a strong performer rating, so we’re proud of this recognition!
TL;DR – if you need to quickly mobilize your marketing teams with an easy-to-use and quick-to-adopt solution; easily integrate with your existing tech stack; and get your product catalog organized, enriched, and published on traditional channels and on the digital shelf, Akeneo is a very strong choice.
Read on for highlights from Forrester’s analysis of Akeneo PIM and what to take away from their points of view.
The Forrester Wave analyzed the top 10 vendors in PIM along a set of 15 criteria. Akeneo received the highest score possible in the User Experience criterion. Specifically, Forrester states “Akeneo is one of a small handful of “born digital” PIM players; its user experience is a particular strength, with the company’s offering providing an intuitive and modern user interface. Reference customers praised Akeneo for its ease of use, describing its hierarchy management as “totally user friendly…”
In our view, ease of use is the gateway to user adoption. If your PIM is too difficult for your catalog management teams to use, or requires too much IT intervention, user adoption will suffer. Because Akeneo is designed for easy adoption, it means you can take your complex catalog hierarchies, high volume, multi-dimensional, multi-language, multi-geography product catalog and output simplicity for your users. In fact, some of our customers have 300+ users collaborating and contributing to PXM in Akeneo. Which makes sense when you consider that some individual Akeneo customers are managing 60MM+ products with us! The result is faster time to market, increased sales, decreased returns, and reduction in cost.
A best-of-breed PIM
In the Wave, Forrester notes that “While Akeneo positions as a platform to support product experience management, unlike many of its peers, the company strategy and innovation roadmap doubles down on optimizing product data for that goal as opposed to expanding into adjacent areas like DAM or commerce.”
Powering your business from one vendor with an all-in-one solution is a tempting vision: that you’ll get PIM, DAM, eCommerce, SEO, OMS, MDM, et al, in one vendor’s offering. Very often, what you’ll get is something that’s not actually great at any of the individual pieces. It’s very often an overpromise. Which is why we believe Forrester has a Wave for DAM, a Wave for MDM, two Waves for eCommerce (B2B & B2C), a Wave for SEO, and a Wave for OMS. If your priority is tackling your product information, it’s best if you hone in on a vendor that is obsessed with making you successful there.
Akeneo has always been squarely focused on PIM and the practice of PXM (Product Experience Management). Best-of-breed also means avoiding the dreaded “vendor lock-in.” With Akeneo, there’s no need to also rip out your eCommerce solution or your DAM solution or your ERP or your OMS. Instead, a best-of-breed solution relies on tight integrations with surrounding tools in your ecosystem. That’s why you’ll find that some of our customers are leveraging our powerful APIs to the tune of 10 million calls per week! And why some of our customers are managing over 1TB of digital assets in Akeneo PIM, either alongside a dedicated DAM that manages other non-product assets, or not. The Forrester report states that reference customers describe Akeneo’s integrations as “one of the strongest parts of the platform.”
No one wants to be oversold when investing in mission-critical tools like PIM. Akeneo’s vision for your company is to leverage PIM in a similar way that you leverage CRM. PIM is to product information as a CRM is to customer information. With that in mind, your requirements to manage product information well, require a PIM solution that is focused on solving core PIM use cases and ensuring sophisticated integrations into other specialized systems.
Merchants with Any Business Model
Forrester notes that “Akeneo targets both B2C and B2B enterprises, with retail, construction, and food and beverage as top industries” and further summarizes that “Akeneo is a good fit for companies that need a PIM built for marketers with minimal IT support needed.”
With over 500 customers on our Enterprise Edition — and over 80,000 on our free-forever Community Edition — Akeneo is well-represented across many other industries too, spanning both B2B manufacturers and distributors, and B2C brands and retailers. The Akeneo PXM Studio includes dedicated offerings designed to enable internal and external contributors who participate in delivering great product experiences that drive growth, all oriented around Akeneo PIM.
Akeneo’s ability to meet the demands of each of these types of business models means that when you choose Akeneo, you choose a future-proof offering for your growth needs. Akeneo PIM was the critical centerpiece for many customers during Covid to enable a quick pivot of their business models from B2B to B2C (or vice versa) because Akeneo supported an easy adaptation of their catalog, quick time to market with new product lines, and ease in integrating to new channels and routes to market. The “phygital” buying experience is here to stay; in fact, a full 50% of Akeneo’s customers are selling in offline channels, in addition to the digital shelf. Who knows what channels your business will need tomorrow or what routes to market your CEO will demand? So you can rest assured, that regardless of your business model, Akeneo will be able to support you.
How to use the Forrester Wave for PIM
Industry analyst reports serve a valuable purpose by doing the initial triage of solutions in the market for you. The Forrester Wave for Product Information Management Q2 2021 presents Forrester’s view of the top 10 solutions, in effect creating a “short-list” of PIM vendors. Next, do some serious reflection on your use cases, business challenges, and priorities. We know there’s a lot of pain when it comes to managing product catalogs and potentially a lot of organizational silos and process challenges to overcome.
If you’re a marketer or catalog management professional and are seeking an easy-to-use solution that integrates with your current technology stack, and have the sense of urgency to rapidly deliver great product experiences to grow your business, contact us for more information. We’d love to help you out!
How ready are you to improve your Product Experience Management practices with PIM? Assess your organization’s maturity in terms of people, process, and technology with our PXM Maturity Assessment – 14 short questions and a personalized report with recommendations to improve are just a click away.