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What is AKENEO?

Akeneo offers a composable approach to product information management. Its impressive PIM capabilities are enough to keep you ahead of competitors in the market. The SaaS platform allows for the seamless import of product details and images, compatibility with multiple web services, and other impressive features.

Written By: Ayoob G
Website:
www.akeneo.com
Founded:
2013
Customer base:
205+ enterprise customers
Company size:
400+ employees worldwide
Last updated: July 25, 2023

What is Akeneo?

Akeneo is a composable enterprise PIM solution. Unlike other platforms, Akeneo offers multiple licensing options, including open-source, licensed, on-prem, and SAAS versions catering to different requirements. Akeneo has pre-built connectors with major eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and more. It supplies internal users with an efficient and reliable PIM platform. With Akeneo, team members can distribute high-quality, accurate product information across many channels. Akeneo is also part of the MACH alliance, which means that the SAAS-based version offers a multi-tenanted, API-first headless PIM which fits perfectly into a composable enterprise architecture.

What is Akeneo Used For?

Akeneo, like other PIM platforms, offers a comprehensive solution for managing product data replacing the traditional spreadsheet. Akeneo is used in various brands, from SMBs to Fortune 500 companies.  For enterprise customers, Akeneo offers the automation, data quality, and governance required for larger organizations. Akeneo is also a strong contender in the Product Experience Management space.

Product experience management refers to the process of delivering high-quality product information that is tailored to specific contexts, channels, and locales, all while doing so in a quick and efficient manner. PXM ensures that your customers have access to the right information at the right time about your products. Whereas other PIM systems, such as Pimcore, offer other functionality, such as MDM/DXP capability via an integrated offering, Akeneo prefers to focus on the PIM-related features and positions itself as a best-of-breed offering.

Who uses Akeneo?

2Global brands like Sephora, Fossil, Staples Canada, and Jabra trust Akeneo. These companies use Akeneo to scale and personalize their omnichannel eCommerce initiatives. Let's look at what some of these companies do:

  • Sephora: Sephora is a French international cosmetics and personal care, retailer. It sells various beauty products, like cosmetics, body lotions, hair care, and many more. 

  • Fossil: Fossil is a fashion design and innovation company. They specialize in creating watches, wearables, and accessories. 

  • Staples Canada: Staples Canada is an office supply retail chain. The company sells office supplies and equipment to businesses and consumers.

  • Jabra: Jabra is a Danish company that specializes in audio equipment and videoconference systems.

Check out Akeneo Customer Stories.

Why is Akeneo a good choice for brands?

  • User-Friendly: Akeneo has a user-friendly user interface that makes it easy for users to find their way around. The web-based PIM boasts of unique design trends and smooth handling, enabling team members to work swiftly and efficiently.

  • Smooth Management of Product Data: Having a business with so many products is challenging, especially when it comes to handling product information. Usually, large catalogs are stored in various ssytems and spreadsheets. This can lead to getting data from two different sources rather than from a single source. This is where Akeneo comes in. Akeneo helps you centralize all your product data and remove duplicate information. This will eliminate the problem of maintaining many data sheets.

  • Seamless Importing of Product Details and Images: Akeneo is a great solution for importing and exporting product data. Especially if you plan on updating your catalog with external sources such as your CMS and ERP.  Not only can you import product data, you can import catalog entities like families, categories, attributes, and more. Akeneo can recognize a duplicate product you added and update the existing entry instead of creating a duplicate. Also, the software enables you to add multiple images at once. You can continue working on the PIM without being stopped by the import process.

  • Compatibility with Multiple Web Services: Akeneo stands out in its ability to transpose data to different web channels. These web channels could range from an ecommerce store to a mobile app and have pre-built connectors with Commercetools / Bigcommerce etc. Akeneo gives you complete control over channel customization via  a REST API. Akeneo offers an API client, a Postman collection as well as an in-depth REST API specification via Swagger which dramatically improves the developer experience. However, it currently lacks support for GraphQL which Pimcore offers out of the box. 

  • Faster Time-to-Market: Akeneo helps companies speed up their time-to-market while removing errors and inconsistencies. Akeneo customers have experienced faster time to market due to improved process management and a more organized flow.  

Myer, a major Australian retailer, had a 400% increase in time to market after adopting Akeneo PIM.

Akeneo has a Teamwork Assistant feature that helps you implement data quality checks for your employees. This is done by tracking product data completion to guarantee that no incomplete data reaches your sales channel. By checking your enrichment procedures, you can set up alerts for your marketing team when a product lacks any necessary attributes. It also lets them know when a product requires translation, is prepared for export in your eCommerce system, or is added to the PIM. This process improvement provides greater agility to your organization.  Increased Conversion Rates: Today's consumers and B2B buyers have higher standards when making decisions about buying. Akeneo PIM is designed to meet and surpass these expectations. With Akeneo, you can deliver dynamic and captivating customer experience across all channels. You can give customized and geographically relevant information and instantly convert visitors into customers.

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Akeneo's interface is easier to understand and relatively more intuitive than other PIMs.
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The REST API is coupled with a Postman collection and an in-depth REST API specification via Swagger, dramatically improving the developer experience. There is also a PHP client service API available
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The highly customizable product data model allows businesses to customize their system to fit their needs.
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Akeneo PIM provides great support for multi-channel data management, making it easy for businesses to manage product data across several channels.
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Akeneo PIM offers powerful search capabilities via ElasticSearch, allowing you to index the product attribute values to search products effectively. Akeneo also allows you to search for products in your language.
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Attribution features are excellent. In Akeneo, attributes are organized into families so that every product in the same family shares the same attributes.
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Users get a comprehensive view of all product data, making it easy to manage the catalogs.
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The transformation rules are quite simple. For instance, you can define transformations for every asset family (attributes, properties, permissions, and more).
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Akeneo’s principle of assets, reference entities, channels, and locales work together to manage content completion and localization in a structured way.
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Akeneo isn't preloaded with import/export templates such as CSV or XLSX files.
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Family selection (if you have more than 1000 families and want to select limited families) Product Sync takes longer to execute. *https://www.getapp.com/operations-management-software/a/akeneo-pim/reviews/fbbe52aa1d/
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No way to disable features from the HTML text editor. https://www.g2.com/products/akeneo-pim/reviews/akeneo-pim-review-5426157
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Changing/editing attributes after they have been created can be daunting.
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No MDM capabilities. This could be an advantage as Akeneo is seen as a best-of-breed PIM. However, if there is other data, this will require another MDM solution.
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Currently, there is no support for GraphQL, unlike its rival, Pimcore.
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Imports in Akeneo are limited to 512 MB per file.
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Akeneo has no out-of-the-box DAM and has partnered with other DAM vendors instead.

Akeneo List of Features

Akeneo PIM is a powerful platform designed to simplify the process of managing product information across multiple channels. Let’s look at Akeneo's features:

User Interface

Akeneo offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface that makes it easy for businesses to manage their product information. The platform's drag-and-drop interface allows users to easily upload and organize product information and images without the need for technical expertise.

Screenshot from 2023-02-21 14-44-46

It includes several sections like products, entities, assets, connect, imports, exports, settings, and systems.

  • Products:

     The products section lets companies add and manage individual product data, including ID, images, labels, status, etc.

  • Connect:

     The Connect section lets you connect your PIM with another application.

  • Import:

     On the import section, you can import two types of files, CSV and XLSX. You can easily import product data and catalog entities like families, categories, attributes, and more. The new import profile allows you to customize product import structure through data mapping.

     Read more.

  • Export:

     Export allows you to provide your product information to third parties, such as a mobile app or your e-commerce platforms. You can export in either CSV or XSLX formats.

  • Settings:

     You can enable locales and currencies on the settings page. You can also create families, attributes, group types, and more.

  • System:

     The system allows you to make configurations, create roles, invite users, and more.

Akeneo Syndication

Akeneo comes equipped with a PXM Studio. This feature allows you to use easy bulk data import with connectors to CSV, Excel, digital asset management systems, and more to access your raw, incomplete product data from its various sources.

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A unique aspect of Akeneo compared to other platforms is its flexible enrichment capabilities, powerful automation, and actionable insights for building and enriching contextualized product catalogs.

Tailored Exports

Tailored exports let you customize your product information exports. This feature in Akeneo is made up of an export profile. Only users on the Enterprise or Growth Edition can have access to the export profile. You can easily export your product information in XLSX, and CSV files using your preferred structure.

Akeneo Shared Catalogs

Akeneo Shared Catalogs lets you create a secure portal to share product catalogs using a self-service model. Using this feature, you can develop and distribute a product selection with specific recipients. The recipients can be internal teams like sales and marketing or external stakeholders like retailers and distributors.

The product selection is only available through a specific read-only portal for your users and not on the PIM platform.

1p Activation

First-party (1p) activation refers to a merchant's ability to sell products directly to a vendor, who sells these products to their customers. Amazon is a good example of an enterprise that supports 1p activation.

As a brand, you sell your products to Amazon. Amazon then sells these products to customers. You only needed to fulfil purchase orders (PO) for Amazon and send your products to them. Amazon now completely controls the products (pricing, shipping, etc..).

One major challenge of 1p activation is the dependent vendor's change of your product information.

With Akeneo activation for retail commerce, you can access the error reporting feature to monitor any missing or altered product information. You can develop full product records that can be shared directly and customized with each retail partner by managing and enhancing core product information in Akeneo PIM and utilizing Akeneo's Asset Manager.

3p Marketplace Experiences

A third-party (3P) model gives you more product control. Here, your products are sold directly to the customers using a vendor's marketplace. Here, you can build and publish product detail pages, check the status of orders, keep an eye on your inventory levels, and more. You also have control over product pricing.

Akeneo PIM’s Data Quality Insights ensures customers get high-quality, complete, and accurate product data in your catalogs. In Akeneo, every product has a quality score ranging from A (high-quality)-E (low-quality). Products with a score lower than B need improving using the Data Quality Insight Feature. With this feature, you can check for enrichment and consistency recommendations to help improve product quality scores. You don't have to worry about delivering customers poor-quality and error-filled product information.

Akeneo 3p marketplace offers a syndication add-on and pre-built API-based connectors. This lets brands quickly deliver accurate product data to top eCommerce platforms and marketplaces.

World-class enterprises like Myer, Zodio, SLV, Rural King, and more use Akeneo to achieve their 3P Activation Requirements.

Akeneo Product Cloud

Akeneo Product Cloud is a single platform built for managing, orchestrating, activating, and optimizing the entire product experience. This is because it is challenging to predict a typical customer shopping journey. Customers are naturally omnichannel, and no matter where they find your product (social media page, mobile app, and more), it should maintain a level of consistency.

Akeneo product cloud provides a set of studios to manage core product components natively integrated with a powerful and scalable product data platform.

Complying with Regulations

With strict product information regulations like The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, and The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, it is important for a brand to comply with necessary regulations. With Akeneo, your regulatory requirements are taken care of. You don’t have to worry about lawsuits and levies.

Validation Workflows

Users can collaboratively create or edit product information using the validation workflow. This allows users with higher access levels to review, modify, and approve changes made before publishing.

The entire approval process is smoother because teams can work remotely.  Reviewers can make new changes to product information without having to reject it and wait for the users to submit it again.

Versioning and Publication

Several users can work on a product/category simultaneously. Thus, team members and end users must establish an audit trail of amendments and revisions. This can ensure that the correct data is published.

The Versioning and Publication feature enables users to work on modifying product data. While the current version is still published. It also enables team members to return to earlier revisions of the same data set if necessary, especially when a mistake occurs.

Advanced Rights Management

Advanced rights management establishes a collaborative approach to produce richer product information. This feature provides the data governance required to reduce the risk of publishing incorrect product data.

This feature enables project owners to create various user types with different levels of access rights. As a result, access to more inexperienced users is restricted. At the same time, people with more experience are given the authority to approve changes and suggestions.

Support

Screenshot from 2023-02-21 17-52-31

Akeneo has great support for users. The Akeneo team is fast to respond to questions, help users solve a problem, or start using the platform. You can easily contact the sales and support team on the support page. There is also the help center that helps users answer all possible questions.

A Slack channel is available for users to join and connect with the Akeneo community. The resources section has a blog and resource library, so users can quickly access relevant information related to Akeneo.

According to a G2 reviewer, “The support from Akeneo's helpdesk, Customer Success Manager, and Product Team are instrumental in helping resolve any day-to-day issues that might arise from our Akeneo PIM.” This makes Akeneo support stand out among other top PIM systems.

Pricing

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Akeneo’s pricing is divided into three editions, the Community Edition, Growth Edition, and Enterprise Edition. The platform starts on a free plan that allows brands of all sizes to get started easily. Next is the growth edition, which starts at $25k annually. Finally, for the enterprise edition, you will need to speak to an enterprise account executive for a quote.

WHAT DO USERS SAY?

The UI is clear, nicely designed and easy to understand at first glance, but the longer you get to grips with the system, the more complex it becomes. The scope of the system allows you to display products as you wish and finally get a golden record for all product information.
Maik. B,
PIM Manager, Amann Girrbach
Akeneo is an easy-to-learn PIM system with useful features that is continuously iterated on through releases on the Serenity SaaS version. We have opened a number of bug/question/enhancement tickets and they are always quick to respond and solve the issue at hand. We have even seen a couple of our enhancements added to the product. Akeneo remains responsive and snappy with product queries and bulk updates, even with 2.5M skus loaded in the system. We have no major complaints about this PIM system and would recommend it to others based on experience over the last two years.
Mitch. B,
Product Data Specialist, RDO Equipment Co.

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