April 15, 2021 7:49 PM

Freemium vs. Entry-Level PIM: Which Business Model Works Best for Your Business


As companies increasingly become more data-driven in their operations, they also need to invest in the right product information or PIM tools.

This is especially critical since traditional, outdated, on-premise software products are becoming more of a liability to operations and costs – and cloud-native SaaS solutions are becoming the safer bet for performance and constantly maintain the latest functionality without unpredictable downtime.

That’s where choosing cloud-native, SaaS Product Information Management (PIM) technology can prove to be a game-changer, offering numerous competitive advantages like cost savings, scalability, and top-of-the-line security measures and updates.

However, there are many SaaS PIM business models where platforms offer freemium and paid versions of their products.

It isn’t easy to know where to start. But, as you think about your sales and software needs, consider a balance of value, costs, and revenue to achieve your growth goals.

A freemium PIM software will basically cost you nothing as it is a stripped-back product to fulfill your basic needs. On the other hand, an entry-level PIM tool is a subscription or pay-as-you-go-model. You have access to the software and do not have to worry about maintenance, updates, security, or scalability.

Let’s go through the pros and cons of freemium vs. entry-level PIM models.

What is Freemium PIM

A freemium PIM model is an entry-point towards improving one part of your business and discovering how much that would be worth to you.

In other words, you can try out a few features before switching to the personalized services provided by an entry-level PIM product. Most freemium products involve certain restrictions that can be either time-bound or have limited features.

When does the freemium model work best

A free-to-use PIM product’s essential features help analyze your business needs using various use-cases, capacity, speed, and visualizations and supplemented by additional paid packages. For your freemium model to work effectively, you’ll first want to consider your scale of operations and production, both financial and infrastructural.


  • A foot in the door: Freemium PIM is beneficial for initial user adoption to get started with the product. The PIM software introduces a much simpler exchange of information with a low entry barrier.
  • Set workflows: Freemium PIM services are suitable for businesses that do not require personalized updates and have developed workflows.
  • No commitment: By dividing the pricing structure in terms of feature limitations, usage, or tiered pricing in freemium PIM, you get to experiment more with your needs. This trial can clarify your understanding of evolving expectations.
  • Discover what matters most: With freemium versions, you can understand your current enterprise-level sophistication (or lack thereof), the features and integrations that matter most to your business, and how to empower your teams around the tool.


  • Revenue killer: Freemium PIM has limited features that don’t generate any actual revenue or the necessary elements. The real payoff is often placed in the premium category.
  • Low capacity: Data import/export and limited server usage are restrictively set on the free versions of most freemium PIM products. And thus, the actual strength of its premium version remains unknown. This limitation leaves many businesses at a loss of realizing the true potential of their PIM product.
  • Limited support: There is little support when it comes to freemium PIM. Freemium models carve out a singular feature palette for all businesses without understanding their personalized needs.
  • Inadequate collaboration: Collaborations with different environments that onboard, create, and manage product information are often missing in a freemium PIM tool. Poor contextualization aggravates hurdles in smooth onboardings for businesses.

As a business strategy, a freemium model binds a business within feature limits and converts them into paying customers as soon as the full capacity of features is reached. This often devalues your core service and impedes a good user experience.

What’s an Entry-level PIM

An entry-level PIM is a minimum viable commitment that delivers quick (and full) value to your business needs. As a paid service, it provides all the essential features for use cases, capacity, speed, time, etc., without any tiered differentiation. This helps you experience a real PIM without fear of knowing it may be later turn out as a rip-out-and-replace option.

An entry-level PIM solution can also be implemented rapidly to target an immediate ROI, which helps create better user experiences.

When does an entry-level PIM work best

An entry-level PIM works best when you are looking for eCommerce sales growth and need a scalable plan. As a go-live, fast-to-implement solution, you can sell and manage product data online immediately. Your product information strategy becomes more manageable, controlled, and you scale and sell on more platforms without any compromises.


  • Predictable solution: An entry-level PIM application gives you an easy, predictable, and inexpensive solution. You can promote and display products on Amazon to Etsy and other marketplaces, and with more up-to-date and tested APIs. With no user risk, you can build personalized product media adapted to each platform’s regulations.
  • Organize digital assets: Manage and stay organized around a large assortment size while make scaling simple. The point is, your digital assets keep up with your growth as you add and sell on more platforms.
  • Optimize and localize: Make your user’s experience memorable. Easily create enriched content that appeals to multiple personas and upsell it through various commerce channels.
  • Insights and visualizations: Entry-level PIM systems include powerful data visualization tools that can draw smart insights for easy decision-making. This could involve analyzing the previous data generated for monitoring current market needs and preparing for future expansions.
  • Immediate value: It is a common misconception that entry-level PIM products are too costly. An entry-level PIM project’s cost is much closer to what the premium versions in freemium services carry. Yet, the quality of features and personalization have a remarkable difference.
  • Collaborative: An entry-level PIM ensures successful collaborations and integrations with third-party platforms and users essential for the growth of businesses.


  • Since an entry-level PIM tool provides everything a freemium PIM version does and more, the only consideration would be your business readiness. For younger businesses or businesses with low user adoption, an entry-level PIM can initially seem like a considerable investment.

Which Business Model Should You Choose: Freemium or Entry-Level PIM

While freemium PIM solutions attract users with their free-to-start services, implementing and personalizing its features ends up creating a higher investment than what an entry-level PIM requires.

So, for organizations that need an intelligent and optimized solution, an entry-level PIM comprises a distinct advantage in managing attributes, creating complex taxonomy easily, creating necessary business rules/conditions, integrating profiles, and separating business process flows.

The value delivery also includes access to smart training and self-help, easier system integration, and visualizations and insights module.

With an inherently faster process execution, all these features make an entry-level PIM a smart choice in generating a fast-paced return of investment that accelerates brand visibility and returns.

Riversand Ascend provides an enterprise-grade PIM with hassle-free customization which enables businesses to rethink their implementation and value delivery. Built to go-live in a matter of 4 to 6 weeks at a low and predictable cost this PIM solution provides great value, offers complete functionality, and easy accessibility across the organization.

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