Brands face an increasing demand for information about their products. Consumers spend more time researching and reviewing product content, leading to increased scrutiny of product data through all steps of the fulfillment process. In fact, for a significant online purchase, more than 50% of consumers research at least four products and nearly 90% visit multiple websites.
As a brand’s supply chain data responsibility evolves, so do the possibilities for content to provide value. Siloed data or a lack of clarity about changes to content expectations, regulations or business processes make it challenging to maximize profits efficiently.
Access to accurate and streamlined supply chain data simplifies how brands aggregate, validate and distribute the information to partners from one secure place. Implementing these four crucial ingredients for supply chain data synchronization strengthens an e-commerce network.
1. GDSN-Certified Data Pool
Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) — an internet-based network enabling trading partners to exchange product data in a standardized way in real-time — bridges the gap between suppliers and retailers. Through the GDSN, brands upload, maintain and automatically share their product content. Brands access a deep community of e-commerce vendors and peers while expanding their customer base by delivering accurate, reliable product content in every market.
To capitalize on the access the GDSN allows, brands must practice data standardization and validation through a quality data pool provider. Data pools enable trading partners to send and receive product content through the GDSN. By inputting data directly through the data pool, brands drastically reduce data entry, edit errors and time-to-market both in-store and online.
2. Content Acceleration
A frictionless, real-time exchange of enriched product content between manufacturers and retailers is critical to a brand’s success. Brands must enhance, automate and accelerate their content sourcing, enrichment, management and distribution.
When they streamline the content capture and creation process, brands can reduce product time-to-market by up to 75%. Missed deadlines equal missed revenue. To avoid product content becoming their bottleneck, brands should use a content acceleration service to produce high-quality images matching retailer style guides, product description generation, specs and dimensions.
Seven in 10 shoppers say they often decide not to buy a product when a website lacks product content — or the content is poor. Brands need a content acceleration service that provides content designed to educate and help customers make smart purchasing decisions while also creating effective e-commerce and supply chain exposure.
3. Data Loading and Maintenance
Taking the time to communicate product information is necessary but can pull resources from other activities critical to growing a business. A data loading and maintenance service solves this challenge by offering:
- Speed: Once a brand provides product information gathered during the content capture and creation process, data experts format, load and publish the data to retail sites and business partners.
- Expert review: Data experts use their understanding of retailers’ synchronization requirements and product attributes to manage product information seamlessly.
- Compliance: Data experts can identify all data requirements for each trading partner and determine what’s missing by keeping items up-to-date against emerging regulations.
By managing a brand’s product information and synchronization processes, data experts increase the efficiency of data syndication to retailer trading partners.
4. Product Information Management
The Product Information Management (PIM) market is growing swiftly and will top $68.1 billion by 2030. A PIM solution influences how a brand markets and sells goods through various distribution channels and allows brands to aggregate, validate and communicate product content across all of their systems.
In short, this solution determines a brand’s success in today’s retail spaces. Product content across the e-commerce landscape requires consistency. A failure to meet industry needs and expectations creates inefficiencies among trading partners, an inconsistent web presence and leads to retailer/regulatory fines.
A PIM system drives sales, increases brand loyalty and customer satisfaction and protects brands by:
- Integrating existing internal systems into a single source of master data.
- Ensuring product content exchanged between trading partners aligns with regional and regulatory GS1 standards.
- Communicating data to trading partners in any format they require.
- Providing real-time validations and automated workflows that inspire brands to feel confident in the quality of their product content and increase the speed-to-market of those products.
In a retail market where omnichannel sales remain popular, PIM systems provide a competitive advantage that helps businesses thrive. Product content quality remains one of the most critical factors impacting omnichannel success. Over 80% of consumers believe product content carries more influence than brand recognition.
As a brand’s supply chain data responsibility evolves, so do the possibilities for content to provide value. By implementing any of the above solutions, brands create a recipe for successfully achieving accurate, seamless supply chain data sharing.
About the Author
Randy Mercer is VP of Global Products for 1WorldSync. He is an omnichannel product content expert with over 15 years of industry experience. He leads 1WorldSync’s global product management and solution architecture teams, aligning the company’s portfolio with current customer needs and emerging market trends. A frequent commentator for national and trade media outlets covering retail and ecommerce news, Randy leverages his extensive background in item data and content alignment, e-commerce application development and solution design to guide 1WorldSync’s strategic product roadmap and vision.
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