Here is our Icecat FAQ (frequently asked questions) for Brands. To use Icecat’s product content to its full potential and syndicate it easily into your channel, we provide you with the below FAQ to answer the most common questions you might have as a Brand Owner.
Icecat is a global syndicator of rich product content and provider of Product Information Management solutions and statistics for multilingual and multimedia content.
Through Icecat you can help your global or local channel partners to easily obtain your product information. Your product content can be immediately accessible to the 10,000s of channel partners that are already in Icecat’s syndication network, or you can decide to limit access only to your authorized resellers. Research shows that investing in content syndication significantly improves your online brand popularity, whereby an open content policy is a powerful element of the content marketing mix.
Manufacturers have two easy ways to add their product content to the Icecat database.
Once our editors have described or changed a product in the Icecat database, you will receive a notification by email, so you can check the products either directly in www.icecat.biz or modify/approve the information in our PIM back office.
Yes. Manufacturers participating in Open Icecat will receive a secure login to the Icecat Product Information Management system (PIM) or Free Vendor Central. As a result, you can directly add or adjust your product information according to your needs.
No, as Icecat does not manage the portfolio and stock of channel partners. More prominent retailers have their warehouses with stock that trigger products’ presence or absence in their webshop. On the other hand, smaller retailers often show virtual stock: they daily import data packs from their preferred distributors. They might use Iceimport for this. These data packs dictate a virtual channel partner’s portfolio. Channel partners only import the (Open) Icecat datasheets of the products listed in their webshop. Therefore, if a product is no longer available at the distributor or warehouse level, the respective channel partner will not list the EOL (End of Life) product anymore. As a result, channel partners don’t import the EOL product datasheet if the EOL product is no longer in their shop.
Usually, this means that a distributor or warehouse still has the product in stock. Another explanation is that the EOL product code is not removed from the data pack of distributors. In this case, we recommend bringing this to the distributor or channel partner’s attention. You can also use Free Vendor Central to see which distributors have the product still listed.
Manufacturers participating in Open Icecat have access to the Icecat Product Information Management system (PIM). You can select the EOL article code in the Icecat PIM or Free Vendor Central and directly see which distributors still offer the EOL product.
These product datasheets are not available through Open Icecat. However, we might help certain advanced retailers, such as Amazon, improve their product database on a project basis. Upon participation in Open Icecat, your product content will automatically be syndicated according to your syndication policy to any of your (authorized) channel partners. They can then access your content free of charge. Please, contact us to discuss the possibilities and your syndication policies.
By participating in Open Icecat, manufacturers can regulate which channel partners can access which product content. We call this, in short, Digital Rights Management (DRM). However, DRM is more time-intensive than open content policies. Further, be careful that DRM policies are not used to unreasonably hamper certain retailers and still conform to laws and regulations.
In general, we follow the syndication policies set by brand owners. At the same time, we are compliant with legal environments such as in the EU and US. In short, according to EU copyrights regulations and the US Fair Use clauses, there are possibilities for retailers to use or link to copyrighted materials that are already published online by your brand. However, the legal environment differs per country and per case.
In essence, the EU copyrights regulation has two cumulative criteria that need to be met to speak of copyright violation. Firstly, the material is used in new communication. Secondly, to a new audience. In the European Court’s jurisprudence, the internet is seen as one audience, i.e., a new communication including copyrighted materials published by you on the internet is not seen as a copyright infringement.
In short, the US Fair Use concept is related to the following arguments:
Yes. All specifications, e.g., spec names and values, are automatically translated into the 60+ locales that Icecat supports. However, marketing texts, leaflets, and other language-specific materials will only be added in the languages agreed upon in your contract with Icecat.
Of course, get in touch with your account manager to discuss the options. We regularly work on adding new locales and languages.
Manufacturers can manage their cross-sell products by filling out a cross-sell template. Once Icecat receives this, we will add the cross-sell items in the Icecat database. Furthermore, to request the template, please contact your account manager at Icecat.
There is no limitation on the frequency of sending new cross-sell lists. It is common for manufacturers to send a new list quarterly.
Yes, Icecat advises manufacturers to integrate these compatibility lists into the Icecat database to increase online visibility and sales conversion. It helps channel partners to develop supplies selectors, for example. Please, contact Icecat to discuss the possibilities.
Icecat supports multilingual product videos. The distribution of multilingual product videos depends on the data integration method the channel partner has chosen: Data or Live. Icecat Data users can find the link to the correct video file depending on the catalog’s language. Icecat Live users receive the datasheet in their chosen language and view the video according to their language setting.
Icecat supports 265 different video formats (e.g., gif, ico, MOV, mp3, mp4, MPEG, wav, etc.). By default, we’ll transform the video to mp4 and distribute the original format as well.
In general, all rich media is provided by a manufacturer. We generate the 3D/360-degree objections from several stills. Further, we can help create such and other rich media assets.
The Icecat taxonomy is set up according to the UNSPSC categorization. Icecat co-operates with standardization bodies like GS1 and toys associations regarding adopting and developing taxonomies for verticals such as DIY, Fashion, Toys, and Games. For all taxonomies, the input from manufacturers and merchants is leading. In short, we strive to include any information that a manufacturer wants to convey about its products in a standardized and multilingual data format.
Yes, Icecat does distribute original vendor product specifications. This way, your channel partners can also use/import your original data. But, be aware that channel partners prefer to have standardized product specs for product filters and product comparison tables.
No, the Icecat model is flexible and applicable to multiple business segments. However, itt might also happen that we suppress a brand because of its syndication policy. Please, contact your account manager for more information.
Icecat provides rich product content information primarily. Through additional services such as Iceimport, Icecat can help channel partners connect to their suppliers and automatically receive their reseller pricing. Finally, we also gather and display end-user pricing. A link can be found on each product datasheet.
Icecat.biz also supports price comparison, although this is not our business model. Channel partners upload all listed prices for free. Icecat does not influence these prices. All leads they receive via the www.icecat.biz comparison website are free. The price monitor is also helpful for brands and channel partners because it helps Icecat editors focus their energy on popularity and the market.
Icecat connects to thousands of channel partners worldwide. In addition, we help manufacturers with marketing and sales activities. Thus, this includes increasing online brand awareness and developing a new channel (e-tailers and distributors). Further, the Iceshop Vendor Network helps vendors reach out to connected resellers in their target markets.
Icecat generates insights based on the use of product data, its reviews, and other data sources. A few of the core metrics in the expanding brand popularity rank dashboard are Brand Rank, Data Health, Portfolio and Review Score.
You will automatically receive the download reports on the first day of the month. The reports contain the figures for the previous month. It is also possible to receive the reports weekly or quarterly. Please, contact your account manager to discuss the possibilities.
Only anonymized download figures per product are accessible to competitors. So, we don’t show a brand’s privacy or user-specific data to competitors. We have a brand dashboard to show aggregated figures. These are public, but user-specific data is treated as private and confidential. Anyway, we will not provide privacy-sensitive or confidential data regarding the downloads per channel partner to your competitors.
This is not strictly possible. But, of course, we will not share privacy-sensitive or user-specific data. By aggregating data, we’ll take care to be discrete regarding brand-retailer relations, and we’ll avoid sharing data that is marked as confidential.
This is possible. Please contact your account manager at Icecat to discuss the options.
Yes, we can provide a report of users per period, brand, country, or region.
Delivering product content correctly is important for easy addition to the Icecat catalog.Therefore, whenn the available product content from a manufacturer is to be included in the Open Icecat database, Icecat editors are involved. For example, in the large-scale production of standardized and localized product datasheets (PDSs) on behalf of brands participating in Open Icecat. Icecat editors take care of the taxonomy and update the data by hand via copy and paste.
Firstly, manufacturers or Icecat import all available product data to the Icecat database. Next, Icecat editors will take care of the standardization and completeness of product datasheets. Finally, Icecat will automatically distribute or syndicate the product content to tens of thousands of users. Or to a limited distribution list conforming to the syndication policies of the respective brand owner.
The syndication can either be direct or indirect. To clarify, direct syndication is towards registered Icecat users, typically directly connected channel partners, distributors, or platforms. Indirect syndication is towards channel partners that receive Open Icecat data via distributors and other international e-business platforms and who may not be registered at Icecat as a user.
Via the Brand Rank Monitor, brands can track several statistics. For example, the score is calculated based on the number of requests. Furthermore, the breakdown per country is visible. In the future, new features like the download statistics er Authorized reseller, the performance of individual product pages, and stock-based sales automation.
We separate the commercial from editorial issues. To avoid miscommunication and keep the process clear, Icecat appoints a single point of contact regarding product content delivery. And, we ask the same from the brand owner towards Icecat.
You can contact Icecat in case of adding new, updating, or existing product datasheets. But also in the case of PIM, reviews data, integration needs, content production questions, and ETAs (Expected Time of Arrival).
Icecat prefers to receive content in one of the following formats:
The following preferred formats for multimedia objects are possible to deliver:
Documents like manuals, leaflets, or others can only be delivered in one format:
Please note that the available content can be sent by email *** or uploaded to an FTP server. The editorial process starts as soon as all information becomes available. Alternatively, the manufacturer can share sources from where Icecat editors can get high-quality content. For example, partner pages and media hubs.
The following brand information is mandatory; firstly, a brand logo is mandatory. The logo must be on a white background—secondly, high-resolution product pictures of 200 x 200 pixels minimum size. Thirdly, indicate if a product belongs to a product family or series, and give the respective logos, if applicable. Additionally, provide access to partner pages, media hubs, and press release sources. Finally, provide a contact person for editorial questions during the whole production process.
To sum up, all the logistical information that an Icecat product datasheet contains:
In short, the messaging elements per language are:
The following technical information is applicable in an Icecat datasheet:
In short, the documents that you can deliver to Icecat are:
Rich content to further optimize visitor experience are:
Please keep in mind that the Icecat product content promotes your products and optimizes various processes. For example, purchasing, after-sales, warranty, logistical fulfillment, comparison, and product selection.
* request the template via Icecat;** if files are updatable, the process can be automated;***max 5 MB per email
Read further: Manuals, News, Free Vendor Central, Icecat, PIM, syndication
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