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Sergey Shvets
Written by
Sergii Shvets
Founder & CEO at Gepard
CONTENTS
product content product content syndication

Checklist For Retailers’ Product Content Syndication Solution

10 min read
Published: April 2, 2021
Updated: May 23, 2023

Being the CEO at Gepard, the PIM & product content syndication solution, I’m talking frequently with customers about eCommerce challenges with the product data management they want to resolve. And 80% of the challenges are either how to receive the data or how to deliver content.

The big reveal here is that people often don’t know that there is a special term product content syndication invented. And because of that whole omni-thing (read omni-channel, omni-marketing, omni-sales, etc.) the amount of issues caused by the content is multiplied, so it’s becoming quite omni-challenging.

There is no shadow of a doubt the PIM is useful, but there is a bit of concern you might have in order to have the right setup PIM.

What is Product Syndication?

Product syndication or product content syndication PCS is a process that enables automated distribution of product data from suppliers to the retailer, and from the retailer to sales channels. Selling thousands of products made by different manufacturers, you have to take care of the product feed management process, which is becoming very resource-intensive.

Product Syndication: Do Retailers Need It?

Frequently, product data feeds from suppliers are not of sufficiently good quality and always come in a diverse format. Thus, retailers need to spend hours on manual work adapting product content to the internally acceptable format and fixing conversion errors.

If you strive to rank with the big brands and the retail giants, remember that 86% of shoppers are willing to pay for a better customer experience. Product information consistency is one of the criteria that most affect customer loyalty and consumer experience. Some brands & retailers already use syndication software as their primary tool for sharing product data. As a result, they speed up time-to-market, accelerate product sales, and nurture customers with quality data.

Product Syndication Challenges For Retailers

1. Manual Product Data Processing And Validation

According to GetConvey, big retailers can have up to 5,000 suppliers of goods. Considering the diversity of communication channels, a company has to use 7-10 different sources to get well-built product data. Being required to carry out content standardization for their own platforms, most of the work is done manually.

A supplier writes you an email, sends a notification to WhatsApp, then calls back to clarify that some products are coming out in a new weight/color/volume. And then, you should transfer manually all these updates to all of your marketplaces. Sound familiar?

2. Wasted Work Routine Time 

As the Shift survey shows, the monthly average deviation from planned working hours of full-time specialists is, on average, 32%. Just imagine, an average manager has to work a third of his schedule overtime. And the reason for this is mostly routine. The lack of basic automation of product content takes hundreds of working hours. This is the time your content team could have spent bringing on new sales strategies, and generating PR ideas, which instead is being consumed by boring data mapping and syndication strategy.

So, it is 6 pm on the clock, and you get an urgent call that 50 thousand items arrived at the warehouse in another color/fabric/size. To sell them during a high demand on the market, you need to update the information right here and now. Yes, outside working hours. Ugh. Sound familiar?

Challenges With Content Updates

3. Most Syndication Software Doesn’t Offer Data Enrichment

Congrats, you have the PIM. But still, there are bits of additional information here and there about products to enter manually. And only particular solutions provide users with data enrichment and data validation features. This means you can enrich the product content centrally and still keep the original data safe. The product variations feature allows you to define the basic product once and apply the variants of the product only by describing the difference to the basic product, like colors, or client-specific prints.

Working with a supplier for more than 3 years, you have already developed standards for describing the product range and manufacturer’s assortment. But one day, the company will send you plenty of new catalogs, photos, certificates, and price lists. It will definitely help you sell more. But you can’t quickly process all the information and distribute it to the website. Thus, you have to choose which products will go live first and which ones will be delayed. Sound familiar?

Okay, but we still want to have an enjoyable experience with product content, right? So how do we get there? There are several questions you have to ask yourself about the solution.

Benefits Of Product Syndication For Retailers

More turnover thanks to enhanced content

One of the main benefits of product content syndication for retailers is that it can lead to more turnover thanks to enhanced content. When retailers syndicate their product content to multiple channels, they can provide customers with more detailed and engaging product information. This can include high-quality images, videos, and product descriptions that highlight the unique features and benefits of each product.

By providing customers with enhanced content, retailers can improve the customer experience and make it easier for customers to make informed purchase decisions. This can result in higher conversion rates and increased sales. In fact, studies have shown that retailers who provide detailed product information and engaging content can see up to a 30% increase in sales compared to those who do not.

In addition to increasing sales, enhanced content can also help to build customer loyalty and trust. When customers have access to detailed and accurate product information, they are more likely to trust the retailer and become repeat customers. This can lead to increased customer lifetime value and a stronger overall customer base.

Data quality control

Another key benefit is the ability to maintain control over the quality of their product data. When retailers syndicate their product content to multiple channels, they can ensure that their product information is accurate, consistent, and up-to-date across all channels.

This is particularly important in today’s digital age, where consumers have access to a wealth of information about products from a variety of sources. If a retailer’s product information is inaccurate or inconsistent across different channels, it can lead to confusion and frustration for customers, and ultimately, lost sales.

By using a product content syndication solution, retailers can maintain control over their product data and ensure that it is accurate and consistent across all channels. This can help to build customer trust and improve the customer experience, which can ultimately lead to increased sales and customer loyalty.

This service typically includes tools for data validation and quality control, allowing retailers to ensure that their product data meets a set of predefined standards. The last one can include checking for errors, inconsistencies, and missing information, as well as ensuring that all product data is properly formatted and tagged.

Automated data validation

The last but not less important benefit is the ability to automate the process of data validation. Data validation is the process of ensuring that product data is accurate, consistent, and up-to-date across all channels. This can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, particularly for retailers who need to manage large volumes of product data.

If you decide to use a product content syndication solution, you can automate the process of data validation, saving time and resources while ensuring that their product data is always accurate and up-to-date. These solutions typically include tools for data validation that can check for errors, inconsistencies, and missing information in real time.

Automated data validation can help retailers to ensure that their product data meets a set of predefined standards, which can improve the customer experience and lead to increased sales. For example, by ensuring that product information is consistent across all channels, retailers can avoid confusion and frustration for customers, which can lead to lost sales.

In addition to improving the customer experience, it also helps retailers to comply with industry regulations and standards. This is particularly important in industries such as healthcare and food, where accurate and up-to-date product information is critical for ensuring consumer safety and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Product Content Syndication Flow

A Checklist On How To Choose Product Syndication Platforms That Will Benefit Retailers

1. Is Product Data Validation And Content Delivery Automated?

When choosing a product content syndication platform for your e-commerce business, it’s important to consider the level of automation that the platform provides. This is especially important when it comes to product data validation and content delivery. Automation can help to ensure that the data is accurate, complete and up-to-date, and that it’s delivered to your partners in a timely manner.

When you evaluating a platform’s automation capabilities you need to check the following:

  • Data validation. Look for a platform that automatically checks the data for accuracy, completeness, and consistency, and that alerts you to any issues that need to be addressed.
  • Content delivery. Make sure that the platform automatically delivers the product data to your partners in a timely manner, so that you don’t have to worry about manual updates.
  • Flexibility. Look for a platform that offers flexible content delivery options, such as the ability to schedule deliveries, to send data to different partners at different times, or to send data to different platforms or formats.
  • Scalability. Choose a platform that can scale with your business as it grows, so that you don’t have to worry about managing large volumes of data manually.

By ensuring that your product data validation and content delivery is automated, you can save up to 90% of your content team’s time and resources. Additionally, by having accurate and up-to-date data across all distribution channels, you can improve your customer’s experience and build stronger relationships with your partners.

Consult With Gepard On Integrating The Product Content Syndication Solution Into Your Company’s Flows

2. Can I Integrate This Solution Into An Existing IT Ecosystem?

On average, each retail company uses various systems such as CRM, ERP, CXM, analytics, and other custom platforms. Therefore, it is very important to check product syndication network solutions on the ability to integrate the solution into your existing IT ecosystem. This will help ensure a seamless flow of information between the different systems, minimize errors, and reduce the risk of manual data entry errors.

You should consider the following integration options:

  • API support. Look for a platform that provides an API (Application Programming Interface) that allows you to easily integrate the platform with your existing systems, such as your e-commerce platform, your product information management (PIM) system, or your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
  • Integrations with popular systems. Consider a platform that integrates with popular e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce, to make the integration process smoother.
  • Custom integrations. Some platforms may allow you to create custom integrations to accommodate specific business requirements or to connect to custom systems.
  • Data mapping. Make sure that the platform provides an easy-to-use data mapping tool, so you can map your existing data to the data structure required by the platform.

By integrating your product content syndication platform into your existing IT ecosystem, you can streamline your workflows, improve the accuracy of your data and reduce the risk of manual errors. This will help you to focus on growing your business and delighting your customers.

3. Does It Help You With Product Data Standardization & Enrichment Flows?

Exporting and importing information is an essential task for syndication systems, but it is even more important that such software helps create new standards for providing information that can be more useful for the buyer.

What To Check In Product Content Syndication Solution

4. Can I Take Advantage Of Industry Standards Like GDSN With Product Data Syndication Capabilities?

The global data network using GDSN standards allows access to reliable information about the supplier’s assortment, which guarantees 100% relevance and freshness of the data. That is why it is important to consider the ability to synchronize with GDSN pools when choosing syndication systems. Or one can think of ETIM or mainstream content providers like Icecat or Etilize.

5. Do These Product Content Syndication Solutions Have Advanced PIM Features?

Advanced product information management features are tailored to the individual needs of retailers to centralize, enrich, and deliver product content to meet buyers’ demands. Сontent syndication services via the PIM system will allow you to store product data in a single source of truth, and manage and enrich basic product data (images, marketing texts, its translations) with bullet points, reasons to buy, videos, and rich media.

6. How Does Product Information Management With Product Content Syndication Platforms’ Features Improve Product Content?

With the PIM solution content services, you can define your own standard of product information or use existing internationally accepted standards such as GS1ETIMBMEcat, etc. Mind that your vision and your competitive advantages need to extend into the content area and the way you define the content. So it’s an unusual case and you will need something different from what standard data pools may offer, but they are still a great data source. And the standardization simplifies content exchange between you, your suppliers, and sales partners, and keeps the data clean. The input data still needs to be transformed and validated according to your taxonomy and requirements.

How Does Product Data Syndication Help To Deal With Challenges?

Challenge Solution PIM / Product data syndication solution
Manual Product Data Processing and Validation
  • Using data entry templates.
  • Implementing a data validation process.
  • Training staff on best practices for data processing and validation.
  • Assigning dedicated resources to manage product data processing and validation.
A PIM solution can help by automating tasks such as data entry and validation, improving data accuracy and consistency, and providing robust data governance and quality control features.
Wasted Routine Time
  • Automating data processing and validation tasks using PIM solutions or other automation tools.
  • Implementing a workflow management system.
  • Leveraging AI and machine learning tools.
  • Using a data mapping and transformation tool.
A PIM solution can help by automating data processing and validation tasks, streamlining workflows, and reducing the need for manual data entry and maintenance.

 

Most Syndication Software Doesn’t Offer Data Enrichment
  • Integrating a PIM solution with the syndication software
  • Using third-party data validation and enrichment tools
  • Building custom data validation and enrichment workflows using APIs and other development tools.
  • Working with syndication software providers
A PIM solution can help by providing robust data governance and quality control features, enabling the creation and management of enriched product data, and integrating with third-party tools for additional enrichment capabilities.

As you can see, there are plenty of challenges down the road.

Managing product information and syndicating up-to-date assortment data is a routine that takes at least 30% of working time every day. You can increase the productivity of your eCommerce department and improve the user experience with consistent product information, Gepard is happy to help you in this journey!

Our team of 150 developers and marketers has been working daily for 15 years to improve product information management PIM and product data syndication PDS to meet the changing demands of the EMEA market. We have already proven the effectiveness of our Gepard PIM Platform & Syndication solution, nearly doubling the operational efficiency for our customers: Elkjop, HPLazadaGS1Amazon, and many other market leaders.

We are eager to help your business to save time on product data and adapt all the required product information to your taxonomy using intelligent data mapping algorithms. Fill in the contact form, and our eCommerce expert will reach out to you immediately.

How To Integrate Product Content Syndication Software

Sergey Shvets
Written by Sergii Shvets
Founder & CEO at Gepard
IT entrepreneur with a deep technical background. Founder & CEO at Gepard, the product information management & delivery platform, helping to centralize diverse product data and deliver complying content to sales channels. Director Of Technology at Icecat, the global open catalog with more than 27K brands onboard. Sergii Shvets is an expert in the field of product data management and optimization, who has set up product content delivery across multiple platforms for a wide range of companies, including HP, MIGROS, and more.

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