How to choose the best product & content management system or outsourced content creation service to improve the management and syndication of product information to your trading partners and eCommerce platforms.
Scaling an eCommerce business can be highly challenging!
eCommerce-focused businesses who sell products online (either direct via their website) or indirect through retail chains and digital sales channels like Catch, eBay, Google Shop, Amazon have a myriad of data formats and standards to support.
Sales data, website traffic reports, and Google Analytics are collected by a business to support its online strategies and identify areas for improvement.
In addition, product data, including images, product codes, technical specifications, packaging, size and weight, price, warehousing, health & well-being information, language, and much more are needed to support today’s online product catalogues.
This product data you’re presenting helps shoppers to decide whether your product fits their needs, making the data quality and completeness crucial to your bottom-line sales.
The REAL problem arises when you need to
• Make changes to the information scattered across the business stored in different locations.
• Load NEW products that require hundreds of product attributes to be populated, validated, and approved.
• Support new digital sales channels e.g. Catch, eBay, Google Shop, and Amazon and their unique data format requirements.
• Control your stock levels and 3rd party distribution partners with integration to back-office systems.
• Support destination-specific formats of digital assets such as images, graphics, videos, technical sheets, and documents.
PIM, MDM, DAM, and CMS – What is the Difference?
Scalability, Security, Flexibility, Governance, Integrated, Agile, Adaptable, and Control are all words you would associate with eCommerce software such as CMS, PIM, MDM, and DAM applications. But what does each system do?
PIM (Product Information Management) systems store and enrich product catalogue content, making it ready for syndication to your desired sales channels e.g. product catalogues, online stores, and customer inventory systems.
MDM (Master Data Management) systems manage all forms of master data, including products, customers and vendors, providing you with a central view that can streamline and centralise your data management.
DAM (Digital Asset Management) are speciality systems that focus on managing and distributing digital assets such as images, videos, and documents.
CMS (Content Management System) is a software application that allows users to create, manage, modify, and publish website content in a user-friendly interface e.g. graphics, images, page designs, banners, and logos.
For smaller companies not looking for a software system, there are agencies who can provide content creation and syndication ‘as a service’.
Protecting your Brand with MDM, PIM, DAM, and CMS Systems
More and more companies are rapidly expanding into the omnichannel eCommerce segment and need to improve the current management of their product content.
NOT using a PIM, MDM or CMS system to centralise the management and storage of your content is putting your brand reputation at risk from…
• Out-of-date product data being supplied to retailer partners.
• Missing metadata and links within online content.
• A potential data breach caused by cybercrime.
• Legal consequences leading from a person’s death or injury linked to inaccurate product content.
These minor issues can quickly scale out of control and cause brand erosion. Protect your brand by implementing a robust product and content information management system and process.
Where do you put all that content?
What system do you use to publish it?
How do we control governance?
Having suitable systems and processes in place will allow your business to centralise the storage, review, management, and syndication of your digital content, thus protecting your brand assets and removing unnecessary risks.
Accessibility, governance, and transparency are vital to preventing inconsistent branding.
A lack of clarity around which version is the final version can lead to confusion, delays, inaccuracy, and potentially legal consequences.
Ensuring you choose the RIGHT system that meets your specific needs and functionality is crucial to your success.
Content Management for eCommerce Businesses
Traditionally, most brand marketers would adopt a simple B2B sales model, selling their products through bricks and mortar retail distributors e.g. Coles, Woolworths, Chemist Warehouse, Bunnings, Mitre 10, Myer, JB-HiFi etc.
The domestic eCommerce market continues to swell beyond just internet-only businesses and technology companies.
Today, around three-quarters of Australian businesses now earn part of their revenue through eCommerce channels such as website shops, marketplaces, and retailers’ eCommerce stores.
As such, product catalogues content will continue to grow, digital sales channels will keep expanding, and it will become increasingly more challenging to keep control and support your product content.
Over time, things like GTINs and product code references, customer price lists, images and videos, translations, localisations, documentation, custom attributes, languages, currencies, and B2B and B2C promotions will become mandatory.
Within the New Product Development and Ideation process, multiple stakeholders from across your business, as well as external 3rd party providers (graphic designers, packaging companies), will each play a part in the creating and maintaining of this information.
Brand and Product Managers are now desperately looking towards agencies who offer PIM, MDM, DAM, CMS software OR services to provide a more efficient way to manage their product master data content creation and syndication process.
Utilise the Expertise of Content Creation Partners
You don’t need to do everything yourself (internally).
Companies like SKUvantage (Part of Salsify) provide a one-stop solution for product content, including product photography, management, capture and storage services. Their services and software systems allow you easily store, manage and syndicate content with your trading partners and digital channels.
Learn More >>>
Understand your Industry Requirements
In the Australian and New Zealand food and beverage segment, organisations such as GS1 Australia facilitate industry standards in numbering and barcoding, data synchronisation, and electronic trading.
Understanding the trading requirements of your specific industry channel and trading partners will ensure that the systems and processes you have can support these needs.
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Implement an eCommerce Marketing Strategy
It’s one thing to have your products online, but another to invest in paid-search eCommerce marketing programs that target and engage shoppers (in real time).
Working with proven eCommerce agencies like rev™ Branding who can help you to build a multichannel eCommerce marketing program to support Cartology (Woolworths & Endeavour Drinks), CitrusAd (Coles), Google Shop, eBay, and Amazon, to name a few.
Their eCommerce marketing programs help companies with campaign strategy, set-up and configuration, budgets, search keywords, and monthly campaign management.
Learn More >>>
Choosing the Right PIM, MDM, DAM, or CMS Solution
We’ve yet to answer the question that every reader is waiting to find out “do we buy a PIM, MDM, DAM or CMS solution?
There isn’t an easy answer to this question because it does come down to your specific requirements.
Sure, most PIM and MDM software vendors will each say they can do everything we’ve discussed, and some just might (maybe).
rev™ Branding has been providing data management services for more than 20 years, and over this time, we’ve seen the evolution of software design and functionality that now caters to the rapidly changing needs of companies to manage their product content.
Each software option will vastly improve how you currently manage and syndicate product content, but some systems will do some things better than the other…
The future of eCommerce and product content is an amalgamation of all these solutions. The rapid advancement in web technology e.g. AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Voice Recognition will continue to expand the amount of information you’ll need to support for future digital sales and marketing programs.
As such, here are our best tips for choosing content management solution are:
1. Don’t try and be an expert and purchase a system yourself. Work with independent agencies like rev™ Branding, who have many years of experience in this field and can guide you through the pitfalls of planning, purchasing, and implementing a content management system.
2. Have a clear and accurate set of requirements. Ensure that as part of your project planning, you have a well-documented and agreed set of business requirements to ensure you can more easily validate the system that best fits your need e.g. attributes, integration touchpoints, business rules, workflows, governance, syndication messaging etc.
3. Validate the technology to fit your business needs. One of the value-add items of working with an experienced digital agency is that they can quickly shortlist the vendors and act as a mediator through the negotiation piece.
4. Choose the right implementation team and internal resources. Don’t try and save a buck by handling the project management and implementation yourself (or using an unproven vendor). Get this piece right, and it will save you 10s of thousands.
5. Understand the business value. It’s critical that the business clearly understands the investment and return value before you begin the project. Doing this right will ensure you have preapproved budgets for the project.
6. Have a business/project owner. Without the right project owner in the business who has the authority to push this project and process changes throughout your company, it will inevitably stall or fail.
7. Build achievable timeframes. Having agreed and achievable milestones embedded within your project plan will ensure that the project runs well, team members remain positive, and the management team stays confident.
Planning for a Future in eCommerce!
It is a proven fact (many times over) that many businesses forget to implement a plan to support their omnichannel transformation and eCommerce growth.
In some cases, people underestimate the need for such a plan and believe that it is still actually possible to do everything manually.
While it can be exhilarating to see your business grow, it also calls for more powerful infrastructure and processes to support a more efficient way of managing and synchronising your product content.
If your business doesn’t have an efficient way to publish accurate product information to each sales channel, you’ll be wasting time, money, and manpower, and it will quickly erode your brand value and trust in the eyes of the shopper.
According to research completed by eMarketer and Statista, online retail sales will reach $6.51 trillion by 2023, with eCommerce websites taking up 22.3% of total retail sales.
Adaptation of new technology, personalisation, policy evolution, cybersecurity, and smart integration will be the systems that will ultimately lead the eCommerce industry into the future.
Future eCommerce Trends
• Omnichannel: combining online and offline selling.
• Growth in mobile shopping.
• B2B eCommerce will outperform B2C eCommerce.
• Multichannel Personalisation.
• Voice Shopping will continue to grow.
• Social Media merges into online shopping.
• Increased use of AI (Artificial Intelligence).
• Headless eCommerce will dominate the technology landscape.
• Augmented Reality will keep improving shopping experiences.
• Subscription Models will increase in popularity.
• Image recognition technology is used for product recognition.
• Sustainable business practices – green and environmental marketing.
• eCommerce Marketing: greater investment in ‘paid search’ campaigns.
Meet rev™ Branding
rev™ Branding is NOT a Software Vendor!
We are a specialist digital agency that has helped some of the world’s leading brands to integrate digital Technology with their marketing and sales programs.
Over the last 30 years, we’ve worked with 70 of the top 100 Global FMCG / CPG brands to radically change how they market and sell products and connect their brands with today’s consumers.
We can help you with the following:
• eCommerce & Digital Sales Strategy
• PIM / MDM / DAM / CMS solution audit
• PIM project requirements and planning
• Vendor selection and RFP
• Data requirements analysis
• Data flow designs and integration architecture
• Data quality audits
• Data governance
• Workflow management
• Specialty content e.g. webpage graphics, banners and artwork
• eCommerce content creation and syndication (GS1 / SKUvantage)
• Digital Asset Management
• Change management and process documentation.
Take the Next Step?
Learn how to design and implement a product and content information management project.
Book a call with Robert Durrant.
With more than 30+ years of experience, Rob has helped companies such as Fonterra, San Remo, Diageo, Bostik, Bickfords, Patties Foods, General Mills, Colgate, Getinge, Care Pharmaceuticals, and Schweppes to improve aspects of their Product Information Management, Master Data Management, Content Management, and Workflow Approval Management & Governance.
Contact Rob on +61 3 9863-7444 or [email protected]
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