PimCore or Akeneo. Which PIM to choose and why?

Wondering which PIM platform will work better for your business? Take a look at our comparison of two of the most popular platforms on the market: Pimcore and Akeneo.

At a time when e-commerce is growing rapidly and sales channels are intertwining, the effectiveness of operations increasingly depends on the shopping experience of customers. Therefore, it is very important to provide rich, detailed and coherent information on offered products in all sales channels, i.e. a consistent omnichannel experience.

The Product Information Management System (PIM) turns out to be helpful. It is a tool that will significantly improve the processes in the company.

Currently, there are more than 50 providers of this type of solution on the market, so choosing the one that works best for your business is not easy. The dominant and most popular in the industry are PimCore and Akeneo. To help you determine which one is better for your business, here is their comparison.
 

PimCore vs. Akeneo

The mentioned PIM platforms have many similarities, but there are also a lot of differences between them, especially in terms of their features. To best systematize the knowledge about them we present a comparison of the various parameters of the systems.

PimCore or Akeneo - General information
PimCore or Akeneo - Data management exchange
PimCore or Akeneo - Product management
PimCore or Akeneo - User interface (UI)
PimCore or Akeneo - Data modelling
PimCore or Akeneo - Collaboration
PimCore or Akeneo - System User and Right Management
PimCore or Akeneo - Other features
 

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Pimcore
There are 3 different versions available:

  • Community Edition
  • Enterprise Subscription
  • Unlimited Subscription

Details of the plans and the differences between them are compiled by the manufacturer in a readable table.
 

Akeneo
There are 3 platform versions to choose from:

  • Community
  • Growth
  • Enterprise

The manufacturer has also prepared clear summary of information about the functionality in each version. There is also a subversion Serenity in SaaS model, which allows you to get the latest updates almost as soon as they are published. This package is available for GE and EE version users.
 

Technological background

In terms of technology, the systems are very similar to each other. Both are Open Source solutions, therefore they are easily accessible to anyone and, with proper programming skills, can be developed according to one's needs.

Pimcore
The latest version is PimCore X and it is based on the Symfony 5 framework.

Akeneo
Akeneo PIM 5.0 is also based on Symfony Framework, but supports version 4.4.
 

Demo availability

PIM vendors provide opportunities to get to know the platforms by actively testing the features offered.

Pimcore
The vendor gives us the opportunity to test ad-hoc most of the available functionalities in a publicly available Demo. We can also try how PIM functions work in combination with MDM, DAM, Digital Commerce, Digital Experience Management or Customer Data Platform. The system also offers a guided "digital product tour". All you have to do is fill in a short form and choose the topic you are interested in.

Akeneo
We will get access to the Demo from the manufacturer after submitting a request using the form.
 

Product catalog structure

Pimcore
Flexibility with respect to data modeling is a special feature of PimCore software. All stored data can be freely structured here, extended with additional information and imported or exported using standard APIs, e.g. blogs and articles in the form of content as a service (CaaS).

Moreover, PimCore has a built-in MDM (Master Data Management) mechanism, which makes it much easier to control a wide range of data resources related to offer descriptions, media, statistical attributes, as well as customer, product or supplier information.

With its tree-like structure, it supports multiple levels of product hierarchy. It allows to define unlimited number of variants for a product, both its key features and unique attributes. The entire configuration of data modeling is carried out through an extensive user interface.
 

Akeneo
The Entity Attribute Value (EAV) model, a type of data structuring, allows only product data to be managed. Instead of multi-level hierarchies - as in PimCore - single-level hierarchies are supported here, e.g. for product families.

We have the ability to create product variants, but we can define a maximum of 2 attributes - product attributes. While looking at the product variants, it is worth noting that in order to create one variant, we can select up to two product attributes. Unfortunately, Akeneo also does not offer access to data model configuration from the GUI (Graphic User Interface) level, which seems to be an important issue for potential e-commerce platform users.
 

Built-in CMS/WCM and more

Pimcore
The tool offers much more than a PIM system alone. It also provides WCM (Web Content Management) feature, which is one of the varieties of content management system. This makes it possible to easily modify product data and the layout of content or resources on a product page. The MDM (Master data management) system, on the other hand, makes it much easier to manage and cheat any product files.

PimCore is also equipped with:

  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) – enables digital content processing for products (multiple file types, cropping, conversion, interactive product presentations),
  • DXP / CXM (Digital Experience Platform) – features to manage the customer experience at any POS, regardless of the type of sales channel,
  • Omni-channel Enablement – provides a tremendous opportunity to optimize workflow when updating information and digital assets for products in real time. At the same time, it supports maintaining a consistent digital experience for customers.

Akeneo
Akeneo in the free version only offers a PIM solution to manage product information. However, it is worth mentioning that Akeneo has its own Marketplace, where we can find plugins or overlays directly from the manufacturer, as well as strategic partners. They allow you to freely extend the capabilities of the platform. Each of them has a list of functions and information about compatibility with the software version.
 

Personalization

Pimcore
The system provides the ability to personalize content based on user behavior analysis. It therefore increases customer engagement with attractive, individually tailored messages that are based on behavioral targeting, user profiling and data collection through web analytics and business analytics.

Akeneo
The system is limited to product information management only and therefore has no personalization mechanisms for the end user. However, it recommends online retailers to personalize content using some external tools such as recommendation engines (Avail, RichRelevance, Prediggo itp.) or search tools (Endeca, Fredhopper itp.)
 

Integrations

Pimcore
The platform offers a „connect everything” architecture and is able to integrate any number and any type of digital data for businesses of any size and any industry.

Thanks to its API-based approach, it also enables connectivity to CRM, ERP, ESB, BI or third-party applications, as well as systems like Magento, Adobe Experience Manager and SAP. We can say that it is ready for any integration.

Considering importing or exporting, file format is by no means a limitation. Integration endpoint support for any type of connection is also provided.

Worth a look at Pimcore Marketplace, Where we find additional PIM expansion capabilities.
 

Akeneo
Until recently, the ability to integrate (and manage connections) between Akeneo and other tools was severely limited. The REST API was already available in Akeneo version 1.7, with it you could, for example, add a new product or digital resource associated with a product. However, the features available didn't offer much. Importing and exporting to and from Akeneo was mainly based on Excel and CSV files, containing only product data.

The list of features offered by platform version grew as the platform evolved. The full list can be found in REST API reference cheat sheet.

It is also worth mentioning Events API, which became available in the basic version of Akeneo 5.0. When properly configured, it allows us to monitor, but also to manage data transfer between Akeneo itself and, for example, ERP system.
 


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Business scalability

Manufacturers meet the expectations of entrepreneurs and offer modern solutions to facilitate both the management of the platform and millions of records.

Pimcore
It is a highly scalable enterprise platform that adapts to agile global environments, including massive amounts of product data and digital assets.

A noteworthy tool in version X is the modern Data Importer. It can easily handle hundreds of editors and millions of users visiting the platform in a month. The use of leading technologies has contributed to PimCore's unlimited scalability.
 

Akeneo
The vendor also cares about ensuring high scalability and is increasingly developing the platform's capabilities in this regard, enabling easy management of complex product catalogs. However, it should be noted that it has some limitations in terms of modeling and data processing.

When importing over 250,000 products (in version 2.0), memory consumption issues were reported, which directly affected the performance of the platform. The manufacturer assures that Akeneo can handle more than 5 million products.
 

Workflow and authorisation system

Mechanisms for managing platform settings from the administrative side are also an important aspect for PIM producers. On the one hand it allows to protect data against modification thanks to a system of roles and permissions, and on the other hand it helps to create an effective scheme of cooperation by defining workflows.

Pimcore
Already in the basic version, it has many advanced modules: the messaging system, the ability to manage user rights or to define the information flow (workflow).
 

Akeneo
Only since version 5.0, Akeneo has provided users with some powerful features for Data Quality Insights.

Process Tracker, which has been implemented as a new function, makes it possible to control the progress of the product data sheet completion. The progress is marked as % and additionally the number of uncompleted elements in the card is visible. Another improvement is the assessment of the quality of product information, here there is a rating system from A to F.
 

Platform cost

Both of the presented solutions are open source software, which means that in their basic version they are free.

However, it should be noted that in the case of Akeneo this only applies to the community version, as the EE version due to the additional functionality is already paid.

PimCore instead makes money by selling optional service level agreements (SLAs), training and professional services such as consulting and implementation.
 


Summary

PimCore is a comprehensive solution, providing many tools in one solution: PIM, CMS, MDM, DAM, e-commerce. It enables management of product information, digital assets, content and e-commerce.

It is a highly scalable application that enables efficient workflow management as well as data integration. However, due to its large capabilities, it is much more complicated to implement and manage.
 

Akeneo is a system focused solely on product information management (PIM). It is designed primarily for retailers and addresses their multi-channel needs with a simple and intuitive interface for easy implementation and configuration.

 


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