Customising product information for different websites, retail partners and marketplaces can be a time-consuming task and error-prone task. Proper management of your product data can be critical to your success, helping you take control of data, expand your business, increase capacity and protect brand equity. We created this blog series to help you understand effective Retail Content Management techniques, along with detailed and practical recommendations to help you improve them. In Part 4, we look at best practices for choosing a provider. (Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 here.)
Let’s face it: It’s a complex task to streamline product data across retailers as a first-party (1P) seller. But that doesn’t mean you have to prepare it all in painstaking detail or hire more staff just to handle product content mapping and optimisation. And you shouldn’t have to hold back on selling products just because it’s too time-consuming to maintain.
With automated multichannel content management, you don’t have to. You can work with an e-commerce provider to create, map and enhance product data to meet the individual requirements of each digital merchandising destination — without having to spend a lot of time or resources on the process. By leveraging a platform, your data can be optimised using retailer-specifical rules to meet the unique requirements of each individual destination, whether that involves the content upload tool, or the retailer API integrations.
The Benefits of Retail Content Management Tools
Many successful brands are already using a retail content management tool to ensure accuracy across retailers and reduce workloads. In addition to reducing errors, this technology can:
- Reduce workload and save time: Managing product data can be a complex and time-consuming task. Instead of compiling data feeds from separate systems, manually creating lookups and compiling checks, you can automate tasks to free up internal resources to tackle other projects.
- Ensure compliance. With optimised content management that’s continually updated, you can be confident your product data will be mapped according to the exact requirements of each channel.
- Time to market. Many brands are able to expand their business and reach more retailers faster by relying on a robust platform to optimise their product data.
- Improve product visibility. Because content is optimised using retailer-specifical rules for each channel, the chances of showing up in the retailer’s site search results increase significantly. Many retailers reward sellers optimised and enhanced content by giving the products added visibility.
- Protect your brand equity. By providing precise and compliant data for each retailer, you’re ensuring a consistent and accurate brand experience for consumers across any channel.
- Reduce errors: By having accurate, centralised product data, you can prevent any impact to your performance by quickly identifying and fixing errors in product data.
Assessing Your Options
You know the benefits of having a retail content management tool, but you have to be confident you’re selecting the right platform for your business. Some things to ask yourself when you’re considering a retail content management provider are:
- Can you automate your data transformation? You want to be confident that you can transform, manipulate and optimise your product data to the specific requirements of retailers. If you can do this transformation at scale, you will save a lot of time. What’s more, if the platform enables you to map your data, each time a product is added and labelled, it will be updated and optimised. The result is that you ensure product content accuracy across your retailers by transforming your content into native retail templates.
- Will my data sit centrally? If your product data sits in separate systems and files, you can’t get as tailored or have insight into what final data output will look like. You want your data to be accessible centrally so you don’t have to pool multiple product file sources together each time you want to send product data.
- Can you streamline the source? Greater efficiencies can be achieved by having a single source of truth for your product content This will save you time by not having to manually change the content to fit the unique requirements of each channel. You also speed up the time to market and improve the product data delivery lead time.
- How can you syndicate out? Each retailer comes with its own product data requirements and also a prefered way of receiving this data. For retailer files, you can map and optimise data to the retailer’s requirement and send in the original format (email, retailer’s portal etc). Additionally, you can look for supported APIs which have direct integrations (like Amazon Vendor Central, Houzz, Overstock, Walmart).
- What service/expertise is on offer? Some retail content management tools offer support through chat or ticketing systems. But working with an e-commerce platform takes this further. For example, ChannelAdvisor has e-commerce consultants who understand the bigger picture of the industry from a brands’ perspective. This means your optimisation strategy, compliance and data enhancements, error resolution and quality assurance can all be outsourced to a team of industry experts who act as an extension of your team.
ChannelAdvisor Retail Content Management
ChannelAdvisor Retail Content Management helps brands to store, optimise and map product data to a retailer’s native product template by leveraging our robust data transformation engine. Through our platform you can save time, scale, protect your brand equity and improve the shopper experience.