Decrease your time to market, build consumer confidence, and increase sales with product information syndication.
The dynamic: before they buy, consumers thoroughly research the product.
Say you are shopping for clothing online. If you landed on a product page that only mentioned the item’s size and color and nothing else, you would navigate away. It’s not enough information to make a decision. Consumers use online sources to thoroughly research a product before purchasing. They want to know what % is cotton, where that cotton was sourced and to see a video of how the skirt sways.
Other industries are not exempt from this need for in-depth, consistent product information. The heating/ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) parts consumer, for instance, wants to know the multiple flow rates of that condensate removal pump and which electrical cord it requires. They want sketches, multiple images, instruction manuals, warranty information, and even video.
As a brand manufacturer, your distributors, retailers and end consumers want the same thing: quality product information.
Manufacturers used to depend on their retailers to merchandize and sell their products. Not anymore. With multiplying channels and partners, brands and manufacturers need to be even more involved in the selling process.
This means syndicating complete product information to your existing and future customer base of distributors and retailers, in the right formats.
The catch: your downstream partners have a variety of needs and realities.
Who are they and what do they need?
1. Big companies/marketplaces: We’re talking the Amazons and the Walmarts. You need the visibility these large players provide. So play by their rules. They are using API calls to get product information. Depending on who you are dealing with, they will have different demands in terms of product image sizes, formats and naming conventions.
Some big players will fine you if your product information does not adhere to their rules. By not being compliant, you also risk not showing up in searches and losing priority placement on these big companies/marketplaces’ digital shelves.
2. Second tier retailers: These companies are large enough to dictate your approach to sharing product information. Since they are a bit smaller and less technically mature, they typically require CSV formatting for files as opposed to running an API call.
3. Small retailers: Not too long ago, these small retailers were gathering their information by phone and email. As a smaller outfit, with less staff, they need the option to come to you on their own time to get product information. That’s why a Content Store is interesting, it gives them access on their own terms, when their people can manage it.
It all starts with Product Information Management (PIM).
There’s little point in sending out bad product information to the three groups listed above. Your first step is to consolidate, create and enrich high quality content. A Product Information Management (PIM) solution does just that. The right PIM solution should provide:
- A collaborative workflow that accommodates several roles in the company like marketing, sales, IT, design (anyone who will be creating, enriching and approving product information).
- Customizable data models (so you can get it into the right format for your partners, be that CSV files or a correctly named image).
- A single source of information (so there aren’t multiple “final” versions out there).
The ability to handle translations as your market expands into other regions or countries.
- Data Asset Management (DAM) functionality for handling images, sketches, videos and other rich media.
- Visibility into planning and level of completion (so you have an overarching view of what is being worked on and what has been completed).
- Analytics on product performance so you can easily see which products consumers are choosing.
Make your product content better, then syndicate.
Syndication automatically exports product content in the right format, to the right place at the right time. PIM and syndication go hand in hand and ideally should be handled in the same place by the same solution.
Use syndication to:
- Get to market faster with rapid SKU introduction.
- Nurture downstream relationships (from the bigger, more demanding partners to the less technically savvy ones).
- Continuously ensure that your products are visible, searchable and desirable to the buyer.
Our choice for PIM and syndication
Absolunet leverages inRiver for our clients. InRiver provides both PIM and syndication. It also includes a Content Store, which helps your smaller partners get the information they need.
By syndicating quality product information, you are meeting the needs of all your different downstream partners and their consumers. Learn more about Absolunet’s inRiver practice or read about how PIM and syndication is at the heart of of the sporting goods industry in “The End of Sporting Goods Retail As We Know It.”