One of the leading solutions to remain organized and increase content velocity is a digital asset management, or DAM, platform. Read on to learn more about what a DAM platform does and which DAM providers help fashion and apparel companies keep up with content demands for e-commerce.
Why Do You Need a DAM System?
With DAM, you can store all of your brand’s media assets in one place, so that you don’t have competing “sources of truth” when it comes to determining the most current and compliant version of a needed file. It’s your one-stop repository for images, videos, audio files, PDFs, and pretty much any other digital asset imaginable.
As retail has moved to e-commerce, the market for digital asset management has grown exponentially. According to a 2020 Markets and Markets report, DAM market size is slated to grow from $3.4 billion (USD) in 2020 to $6 billion by 2025.
Looking for reasons you need a DAM platform? Well, your competition likely is already, and you need to match not only their pace of content production but the speed at which they’re serving up those assets to potential customers.
What’s the Best DAM for Fashion and Apparel E-commerce?
There are many DAM providers out there (with more and more entering the market every year), and while they have similar standard features, they vary in some important ways, like cloud-storing your file revision history, the ability to present branded content portals available to your external stakeholders or even repurpose assets with built-in creative tools. Some are standalone services, while others are packaged with PIM services and other digital organization tools.
But at their core, DAM platforms simply help you store, preview, and distribute media files from one place, eliminating confusion.
Because we at Creative Force are in the mission of reducing stress and clutter, and helping creatives focus on being creative, we want to point out other types of workflow services, like PIM and DAM, that save you time and stress, and stack well with your Creative Force platform. So we’ve gathered a list of 19 DAM providers that serve e-commerce clients like ours.
Disclaimer: This list (displayed in alphabetical order), has been compiled without bias. We have a partnership with just one DAM service, Bynder, an integration that gives you uninterrupted workflow from point of capture to final asset destination. We otherwise have no financial incentive to make this list or to have you select a particular provider.
1. Adobe Experience Manager
Billed by Adobe as “the only DAM that lets you find, edit, manage, and deliver assets in a single platform,” Adobe Experience Manager allows you to track who uses which asset, govern licensing permissions, and manage workflows. Of course, being an Adobe product, it integrates entirely with Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. Adobe promises to update EM with so-called “microservices,” like third-party integration and bulk asset creation, to continuously improve your user experience.
Relevant customers: Old Navy, LinkedIn, Samsung
Change is generally good, unless you’re scurrying to find an important file in its pre-revised state, before you last saved it. Airtable supplies you with a living history of saved versions for your files, so you can hop back in time to see your projects at several stages, restoring files as needed.
Airtable employs several pricing tiers, including a free version for users who need just base-level features. But to get the most extensive file history, request a quote for Airtable’s Enterprise package, which comes with a dedicated customer success manager and individualized onboarding.
Relevant customers: Everlane, Harry’s, Netflix, TIME, Shopify, Expedia, Medium
Offering DAM along with productivity management and brand planning services, Aprimo helps e-commerce customers achieve agility and gather insights to improve their omnichannel customer experience. “In an industry going through massive digital disruption, ensure your marketing investments are optimized for the future,” Aprimo’s website says.
Relevant customers: ASOS, AT&T, Bank of America
Brandfolder promises retail customers an ability to maintain images, tackle seasonal change-outs, manage campaign assets across all channels worldwide, and streamline rights management for all vendor relationships. “Whether you have five or six thousand products in retail, we have custom fields to match the uniqueness of every SKU,” the Brandfolder website reads.
Relevant customers: L’Oreal, Sears, Slack, Tito’s, BarkBox, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks
One cool feature of Brandworkz is its AI-powered color search, which allows you to identify files in whatever color you need for a given assignment. The system’s AI capabilities extend to its automated metadata creation and suggested search tools.
Brandworkz pledges to keep your files secure, as the platform is compliant with ISO 27001, an international standard for information security.
Relevant customers: Dr. Martens, Mitsubishi Motors, Cambridge University Press
Experienced with global brands but equipped for start-ups, Bynder offers not only DAM services but also brand guideline advice, video and print asset templates, and video production pointers. Whatever your venture, expect Bynder’s team to hear about your goals. “We listen to all of our clients to ensure we understand the business needs of each and every customer, and are united with you in the drive to get the best from your project,” Bynder’s website says. Learn more about our partnership with Bynder here.
Relevant customers: Puma, Scotch & Soda, Spotify, TED, Icelandair
Like Airtable, Canto keeps a detailed, searchable audit trail of your file version histories. But the platform’s reporting goes further, showing you who downloaded what files and when, and which search terms and downloads were your most employed.
Canto offers connectors to Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, WordPress, DropBox, Box, Slack, Facebook, Google Drive, Pinterest, and Twitter, as well as an API that will allow you to custom-build your integration.
Relevant customers: Birkenstock, Aveda, Popsugar, SAAB, Honda, Hyundai, Godiva, NASA
A DAM provider used by several global brands in fashion merchandising, media, and more, Cloudinary refers to itself as “a single source of truth, from creation to consumption.” Its media management API can be used by website developers to deliver optimized media files to your digital properties.
Relevant customers: Levi’s, Under Armour, Bombas, NBC, Peloton, Nintendo, Virgin, StubHub, Apartment Therapy
Used by several leading brands in outdoor recreation merchandise and home improvement, Comosoft’s LAGO platform can be used for DAM, PIM, DIM, as well as creative design for fliers and circular designs.
Relevant customers: Orvis, Bass Pro Shops, Lowe’s, Home Depot
Unique to this list, Extensis combines DAM with font management, helping you find, share, and automate fonts through a cloud-based service. But with Extensis Connect, the company’s DAM platform, emphasizes ease—Extensis calls it easy to launch, easy to learn, and easy to use. While not publicly listing any fashion and apparel clients among its customer base, Extensis has, in our view, functionalities to serve that sector.
Relevant customers: M&C Saatchi, American Museum of Natural History
This cloud-based SaaS platform offers unlimited users at no extra cost. With Filecamp, you can whitelabel the platform to have your logo and branding displayed—a nice feature, especially when clients occasionally view your file system.
Relevant customers: Herschel, Brooks, Bestseller, HBO, Unilever, BMW, The Wall Street Journal
12. Image Relay
A recognized B-Corporation—the designation goes to companies that display responsibility in environmental impact, financial transparency, worker compensation, and so on—Image Relay makes it easy for you to judge the value of its DAM services through its ROI calculator. Per its website, Image Relay promises to “put an end to scattered assets, annoying file requests, frustrating searches, broken sharing tools, and give you back time for your favorite things.”
Relevant customers: O’Neill, Michigan State University, MacArthur Foundation, Remo, NAPA, Rossignol
13. Intelligence Bank
Intelligence Bank promises you’ll soon “kiss your shared drive goodbye and see how easy it is to take control of your creative content,” according to the company’s website. With Intelligence Bank’s DAM platform and its minimalist interface, you can easily track usage rights, audit user engagement of your content, and view ROI relative to the impressions of any piece of content.
Relevant customers: Sodastream, Hyatt, Hertz, KFC, The University of Arizona
A PIM provider as well, Kontainer bundles DAM into its PIM services, making it a natural choice for customers in need of both services. Kontainer’s DAM capabilities are robust, from its ability to preview .eps, .tiff, and more than 100 other files types to its power to find, edit, and post social media content directly from its interface.
Relevant customers: Baum und Pferdgarten, GOSH Copenhagen
15. Lectra Kubix Link
Kubix Link is Lectra’s DAM, PIM, and PLM cloud-based platform specific to the fashion industry. Modern consumers of fashion “are well-informed, looking for constant newness,” Lectra’s website says, and they’re holding “high expectations in terms of product quality, fit, production ethics and delivery times.” The goal of Kubix Link is to help fashion brands boost productivity, reduce lead times, and digitize workflows to meet consumer expectations.
Relevant customers: Corneliani, Pomellato
16. Media Beacon
Counting retail and apparel among industries it serves, Media Beacon helps fashion customers keep media consistently branded and securely stored. With a good sense of the legalities surrounding media rights, Media Beacon allows customers to control multiple tiers of file access, set expiration dates on media to stay compliant with licensing, and make collaborators acknowledge licensing agreements before downloading files.
Relevant customers: Showtime, Guggenheim
17. Media Valet
Another DAM provider with detailed tracking is Media Valet, which allows you to analyze how your distributed media assets perform. Media Valet is also among the DAM services to provide access to past renditions of a file.
Relevant customers: Hello Fresh, Hard Rock Hotel
While Northplains offers all sorts of services—content lifecycle management, brand management, customer loyalty, data analytics—the company has continued to provide DAM, after being among the earliest to do so. “Northplains’ experience in digital asset management goes back decades,” says Gregg Schoonover, CTO. “It was founded in the early 90s. Really at that time the DAM market didn’t exist, and Northplains really helped create that market.”
Through Xinet, Northplains’ DAM platform, you open, edit, and create assets directly within the system. Xinet’s mounted drives and Adobe CC plugin simplify the process of saving files to the platform.
Relevant customers: none provided
Nuxeo appeals to customers who produce consumer packaged goods. “Traditional marketing DAM systems lack the flexibility and sophistication CPG companies need to manage the full creative lifecycle and they can’t adapt as business needs change,” Nuxeo’s website says.
Want to search for files without your query leading to lag? When Nuxeo’s DAM was put through tests involving file databases of 1 billion assets, it performed file searches in less than one-twentieth of a second.
Relevant customers: LVMH, Revlon, EA Sports, Fox, CVS Health
OpenText offers several different DAM products, making it a complex but robust choice for fashion and apparel clients seeking a provider. OpenText Media Management, the company’s base-level DAM, can support more than 1 billion assets and conduct searches for at least 25 metadata fields in under a second. With OpenText Media Management, you protect your assets either with single sign-on or with custom passwords and two-factor authentication. Utilize the system’s metadata model, selecting from predefined or build-your-own tags, expiry dates, usage rights, and more.
Relevant customers: Carhartt, Swarovski, HSN, Weight Watchers, PBS
Percolate’s content marketing platform includes DAM services along with brand marketing plan builders, campaign tools, and analytics reports. Looking to operate more of your marketing operations through the same platform that stores your media assets? Percolate could be the DAM provider for you.
Relevant customers: L.L. Bean, Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess, L’Occitane en Provence
22. PhotoShelter for Brands
Formerly known as Libris Workspaces For Effortless Collaboration, PhotoShelter is a DAM provider with several clients in athletics and athletic apparel.
With PhotoShelter Brands, you get a DAM platform designed with modern teams and workflows in mind. “Based on the unprecedented needs of remote creative teams, Workspaces offers an unlimited number of projects, collaborators and invited users to PhotoShelter Brands users,” the PhotoShelter website says.
Relevant customers: Adidas, Delta, Associated Press, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers
Choose from a range of plans—tiers are based on your number of SKUs per year—from a provider of both DAM and PIM services. Want a partner that knows fashion e-commerce? Pimberly already counts several fashion retailers and manufacturers among its customer base.
Relevant customers: Gill, Bombinate, Arthouse, Meri Meri, Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports
Don’t let the name mislead you—Pimcore offers not only PIM services but also DAM and MDM functionalities.
Need to reach an international audience? Pimcore is suited for global customers, as the platform supports German, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Chinese, and more.
Relevant customers: Gant, Shoes.com, Burger King, Audi, T-Mobile
Making a list of companies that supply both DAM and PIM? Add Quable, which packages both services within its PXM suite. It includes colorimetry profiles, so you can apply color settings to your files and stay precisely consistent across every image, on every channel.
Relevant customers: Champion, Hanes, Burton of London, Berluti, Wonderbra, Bioderma
Another provider of both DAM and PIM, Salsify bundles the two, along with its Experience Builder, as part of its Product Experience Management suite. “Thousands of brands across all major retail and industrial categories trust Salsify with their digital shelf,” its website says.
Relevant customers: Asics, Rawlings, Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, Bosch
This CMS provider offers a DAM that emphasizes the importance of compliance with permissions and expirations surrounding your digital assets. Sitecore’s DAM integrates with its digital rights management platform—a combination that empowers you to conduct file searches based on usage rights. Speaking of searches, Sitecore’s DAM has a machine-learning program, Image Similarity, that provides a batch of suggested assets based on your past searches and selections.
Relevant customers: Azure Apparel, Canon, Toshiba, Subway
Widen gives creatives, marketers, and IT pros a central place for files as well as a wide array of prebuilt integrations and powerful APIs. Through its DAM platform, Widen pledges to help retail and consumer goods customers “deliver visuals to wherever your customers are,” per Widen’s website.
Relevant customers: New Balance, Citizen Watch, Energizer, Hootsuite, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons
Want a DAM provider trusted by leading ad agencies and media companies? See Wiredrive, which boasts a clean interface that allows you to find your assets quickly and work without visual clutter.
With Wiredrive, you can batch-upload all sorts of files; send large files for playback (downloads optional but not required!) in 4K, 8K, 360, and other large file formats; establish private project rooms, to collaborate on works in progress; and put passwords and expiring links on files for those in-progress projects.
Relevant customers: Nike, Wieden + Kennedy, Ogilvy, 72andSunny, Paramount, FX, ESPN, Lionsgate
With such a deluge of DAM options, you should be able to determine which one meets your needs. Say goodbye to the frustration of never knowing which local or cloud-based folder is housing that media asset your team desperately needs.
At Creative Force, we want your organization and production workflows to be simple and intuitive—through our platform as well as the PIM, DAM, ERP, and other systems in your tech stack—so you can take control of content creation and your creatives can focus energy on what they do best.