Akeneo: the must-have product management solution for webshops

By Hipex | 17 januari 2020 |
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  3. Akeneo: the must-have product management solution for webshops

You undoubtedly know it. You have a webshop with thousands of products, each product containing its own product information.

Usually, the product information is maintained in the backend of the e-commerce store, in Excel files or in an ERP system.

Not very useful, because when your product information is spread over multiple systems, there is a big chance the product information is not displayed consistently in the webshops (in different languages), your product catalogs, documents to suppliers etc.

Enriching product data in this way takes a lot of time. And then the question is whether all product data has been copied correctly.

The solution?

  • One location to manage all your product data
  • Stop typing product data manually
  • Stop maintaining multiple databases (waste of time)
  • Start managing your product data from one system

This is where Akeneo can help you. In this article, you will read more about Akeneo and where you can use it for.

Blog content:

  • What is Akeneo?
  • The advantages of Akeneo PIM
  • Implementing Akeneo
  • Akeneo for Magento
  • Akeneo 3.2
  • Akeneo in the Netherlands
  • Akeneo Hosting

What is Akeneo?

Akeneo is a Product Import Management SaaS-solution for websites and brands. It helps them to enrich product information and keep it consistent over the various sales channels, for example e-commerce, mobile, print and offline sales.

Akeneo’s product information management (PIM) is created to speed up and simplify catalog management while maintaining the quality and accuracy of it.

This way you centralize your product information and you can easily add new products and categories.

Akeneo (established in 2013) has more than 60,000 installations, more than 100 partners and over 180 employees spread across France, the UK, USA, Germany, Spain and Israel.

Big companies such as Staples, Fossil, Kurt Geiger and Frankfurt Airport make use of the Akeneo solution.

It may be clear that Akeneo is hot and here to stay.

The advantages of Akeneo PIM

As mentioned before, Akeneo ensures that your product data remains consistent and organized in one place.

Let’s dive into the most important advantages of Akeneo PIM and why you should use it.

Central managing of product information

With Akeneo PIM, you collect all the product information efficiently and you enrich yourself with data before sending it to external systems.

Time-saving / working more efficiently

Because you collect all the information in one place, you work way more efficiently. You easily push the data through your sales channels, without doing this manually with exports.

Fewer plugins needed

Many e-commerce webshops which make use of open-source software, often install extra plugins to make connections with external systems. Akeneo takes away the need for a connection from these external systems, so you need fewer plugins to make everything work. This saves you money, it's better for security and it boosts the performance of your webshop.

Collaboration

Your sales channels such as the retailer, the wholesalers, distributors and market places expect you, as a shop owner, to hand over product information.

Akeneo PIM offers features for different roles, rules, workflows and collaborations to help you manage this process easier and ensure that your product information is accurate and complete.

Improved time-to-market

With Akeneo you process product information faster and more efficiently. This way you publish this data to your sales channels faster.

As a result, you can sell your products sooner!

Improved onboarding of suppliers

By offering and managing your product information in one way, suppliers know where they stand. No difficult Excel spreadsheets anymore, just only one method and one environment where you can manage everything.

More Sales

Up to date and consistent product information ensures more sales and less returns.

Implementing Akeneo

Before starting with Akeneo, you have to choose between Akeneo Cloud, Akeneo Enterprise and Akeneo Community.

In most cases, the Community edition complies with the requirements you set. The Enterprise and Cloud versions can also be applicable, but they are a bigger investment.

The main difference between those versions is that the Enterprise edition is available on-premise and the Cloud edition is available in the cloud.

Curious about all the differences? Akeneo has a handy comparison on their website.

Implementing Akeno is relatively easy. You ensure a link between your webshop and ERP system with Akeneo.

When the connection is made, you can start with the synchronization of all the data from your external systems to the central Akeneo system.

When all the data is synchronized, you can start enriching product information.

You can add any item, store product images centrally, videos, translated texts, etc. Every element that contains information about your product is stored centrally in Akeneo.

Do you need help with implementing Akeneo? No problem, Hipex has a couple of reliable partners (WeProvide, MediaCT, Madia) who can help.

Akeneo for Magento

Akeneo cannot be missed for Magento Webshops either. Akeneo and Magento work very well together. There is a special API on the market with which you can easily connect both open source platforms.

The previous PIMGento 2 API is re-named as ‘‘Akeneo Connector for Magento 2’’

There are two editions of this connector available:

  1. For the Community edition: open source, free, but not supported by Akeneo
  2. For the Enterprise edition: a subscription license and supported by Akeneo

The main difference between those connectors is the support of certain functionalities of the Enterprise Edition, namely Productassets and Reference Entities and the technical support by Akeneo.

The connection between Magento and Akeneo with the Akeneo premium Connector for Magento 2 ensures that the systems will synchronize with each other.

You can do this manually, but also automated. Automatic synchronization with Akeneo is sometimes 15 times faster than the manual export & import functionality of Magento.

The price of the Magento 2 Akeneo Connector is $399 and can be ordered on the official site of Akeneo. More information about the connection between Magento and Akeneo can be found here as well.

Akeneo 3.2

At the moment we wrote this article, Akeneo 3.2 is the most recent version. This version is built on the successful launch of Akeneo 3.0.

In the Akeneo 3.0 major release, a couple of important features were added to the Akeneo platform.

Managing the reference entities (only for the Enterprise Edition), Single Sign-On options and powerful performance improvements.

Also, the innovative Franklin Insight born at that moment. This product data intelligence assistant is at this moment only available in the USA.

In Akeneo 3.2, in addition to the above functionalities, Workflows, the Export and the API have been optimized.

Akeneo Hosting

You will have to arrange hosting yourself for most Akeneo packages. A good partner in the field of Akeneo Hosting is therefore crucial for a successful implementation of Akeneo.

We are proud that we are one of the only hosters in the Netherlands to offer Akeneo optimized hosting. The hosting for Akeneo at Hipex is scalable, extremely fast and contains high-quality security measures.