Managing product information is key to satisfy today’s mobile and online-first consumers. A Content Solution Provider (CSP) like Icecat helps brands to manage their data feeds efficiently. To determine which CSP to chose answering the following questions will help:
Taxonomy is an essential, often overlooked part of product data. A great CSP harmonizes the input from manufacturers, merchants, consumers, and regulators into a multilingual taxonomy. For classification standards like UNSPSC are popular. But, classification is only one element of a taxonomy. It is just the start. It is also about the definition of a data model per category, the definition of units and measures, support of rich media objects, correct translations, and quality assurance. Great taxonomies incorporate the standards of, for example, GS1 or other industry-specific associations. Thus, taxonomy management ensures that a PIM talks with the PIM of all channel partners.
A CSP needs to allow for easy upload of product content. For example through a free online PIM interface for vendors. But, it is also important to understand whether channel partners can accept that content. Additionally, ensuring that a brand’s corporate message is aligned with the product messaging in the online channel. To enable this, a good CSP will work closely with both ends of the sales channel to publish branded product information in the format required by the channel partner. This includes content readiness and a sufficient completeness score. A high completeness score differentiates successful brand syndication policies from unsuccessful ones.
A great CSP connects to all big marketplaces like AliExpress, Amazon, and Google Manufacturing Center. By also automating data input via a Push-API a brand owner’s product information can flow directly from the source to its e-commerce destinations. In short, the idea of the Push-API is to make it easy to push product content to the CSP’s PIM system and integrate its multilingual and global content publication functionalities within a brand owner’s workflows and master data management processes. The main requirement is maintaining mappings to the CSPs taxonomy.
Syndication is like a two-way street. Suppliers can send their product content, but they may also want to know what happens with their content. Authorized resellers sometimes have access to special digital assets. And, brands might have certain requirements for partners to qualify. Sharing insights in which digital assets or messaging perform better is one of those. The placement of enhanced product stories another. On the other hand, retailers might sometimes dictate their own content requirements: the minimum resolution for images, mandatory specs, mappings to their own internal taxonomy. To harmonize all these needs and requirements, it is often handy to be able to easily connect to multiple PIM platforms: reseller PIMs and Brand PIMs.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce accelerated. Both brands and channel partners want to create an engaging online shopping experience on the digital shelf. Brands are adding rich content, like Product Stories, every day. This rich content can exist in different containers, for example, video, 360 images, and hero images with hotspots.
A CSP captures data that is valuable for brands. Brands utilize this data to gain insights about their products, their relative market position, trends, and market dynamics. A variety of information should be available in a dashboard. For example, downloads, page views, review scores, price, and stock information. All specified for various dimensions such as language, country, categories, and users. The usage of this data gives a perspective of the reach of a brand’s products and their attractiveness to its channel partners and consumers. Together with sales out dynamics, it helps to understand how to invest in further e-commerce growth.
Read further: News, data standardization, product content, product story, rich content, syndication, taxonomy
Digital Marketing Manager at Icecat N.V.
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