A Better Way for Brands to Manage Retail Content, Part 1: The Challenges of Multichannel Management

January 22, 2021

ChannelAdvisor Michele Maginty By Michele Maginty

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 1, we look at the Retail Content Management landscape. 

Has this ever happened to you? 

Your team has spent hours filling out fields, emailing product data files or uploading them. And yet, you’re still getting chargebacks on orders generated from error-ridden product listings.

It’s a common occurrence when having to manually create or fill in the product data files required by retailers, and one that virtually every brand has faced. Ensuring product content is accurate when you’re selling to dozens or hundreds of online retailers is no easy feat.

However, with the right technology, there is a way out of this dilemma.

The challenges of multichannel content management

If there’s one persistent challenge all brands face when selling products online, it’s managing to provide optimised and compliant product data to a retailer’s native product template.

On the one hand, it’s important to get your products in front of as many online shoppers as possible. After all, 73% of consumers shop across multiple channels and most consider themselves to be “channel agnostic.” If you want to make sure consumers will discover your products during their shopping journeys, it’s imperative that they are visible. 

And that means you’ll need to have highly detailed, accurate and optimized content — on every retailer site.

This can be a big issue, since maintaining hundreds of SKUs across numerous retailers comes with all kinds of complexities.

For example, let’s say you’re optimizing content for Target, Walmart and Wayfair. To start, you’d need to make sure your product content meets a very specific set of requirements for each individual channel: 

You’d be listing the exact same product — but with very different specifications for each channel. And even if there are common data points, such as title or description, the structure of that data point can be widely different depending on the retailer. And each time you expand to a new site, there’s yet another template to follow.

You could map your product data manually. But with so many sources to pull from — ERPs, local storage, Product Information Management (PIM) solutions and so on — the risks are high. 

You could end up with all kinds of errors.

You could face frustrating chargebacks as erroneous orders are generated. 

You might miss mission-critical advertising opportunities.

And all the while, your team would be devoting a lot of time to uploading content instead of spending those hours on higher-value tasks.

If any of these challenges sound familiar, you’re far from alone. When it comes to product content management, confusion and errors are common.

The question is: What can you do about it? The answer lies in Retail Content Management.

Interested in learning more about Retail Content Management? Stay tuned! In part two of this blog series we’ll look at five strategies to streamline your content optimization for retail destinations. Subscribe to the ChannelAdvisor blog, and we’ll be sure to update you as new content becomes available.

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