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Yuliia Honcharova
Head of Marketing at Gepard
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digital shelf digital shelf analytics product content syndication product data

Digital Shelf Tips: Monitoring Your Product Data Syndication

11 min read
Published: June 3, 2022
Updated: April 18, 2023

A digital shelf is not just one online shop or a Google shopping ad carousel, it’s a number of various online touchpoints that shoppers engage with to explore a particular brand and eventually buy its product. In today’s advanced and diverse eCommerce market, it’s becoming increasingly harder to properly syndicate and update your digital shelf content and requires not just knowledge but relevant tools.

What Is The Digital Shelf?

Essentially any place such as a marketplace, online shop, social media account, etc. where a product is shown makes this a digital shelf. When it comes to a regular mall or a retail store, a visitor goes in and does window shopping before making a buying decision. It’s very much the same with eCommerce: people go online, go through different websites or platforms and eventually make a purchase.

How Product Data Syndication Relates To The Digital Shelf

The smoother the product data distribution process is the stronger is your brand. As an example, when all of your digital shelves are automatically updated with the relevant stock quantity for each SKU of a particular item, the fewer delayed or canceled orders an online shop will have.

For example, if someone buys a sports jacket from an Under Armour online shop the product database gets updated with the relevant quantity. With proper syndication in place, the very same jacket’s quantity is instantaneously updated on Under Armour’s Amazon store and all other third-party marketplaces. The same applies to more complicated data set changes than a simple product quantity update. Moreover, effective management of the digital shelf helps to streamline supply chain operations by providing real-time visibility into product data and inventory levels across multiple channels.

Read more about product data syndication strategy:

What Is Product Data Syndication?
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Alina Virstiuk
Product Data Syndication

End-to-End Product Data Syndication Strategy

Product data syndication strategy solidifies consumer trust in a product and ultimately builds a strong brand. Learn how online businesses can grow with a syndication strategy handled by PIM software.

product content product content syndication product data

Why eCommerce Brand Needs Digital Shelf Strategy and Product Data Syndication Strategy?

Having an online shop or being present in a large marketplace and running simple targeted ads is not enough anymore. As the world of eCommerce grows so does the competition and getting your product “out there” becomes more and more complicated. To succeed today online retailers need a carefully planned out and executed digital shelf strategy.

For someone to buy a product first, they must be aware that it exists. Whether it’s in an Instagram feed, a targeted ad based on browser history, or a current search result, your products, and their value need to be showcased and communicated to the viewer. The core of a strong strategy is raising brand awareness: once that is done conversion will follow.

Of course, it is not all that simple to create a profitable eCommerce strategy and takes a lot more than good digital shelf optimization. Having one will definitely set you on the right track of brand awareness and product recognition, but several other factors carry weight. A product data syndication strategy that goes together with marketing efforts is a second component that brings countless benefits that determine revenue growth.

A digital shelf audit helps monitor synchronized product information across all of your sales channels and improves the quality of the brand experience you are offering. On top of that, it eliminates business expenses, and by cutting costs with the help of PIM automation tools the extra budget can go towards more business development-related expenses. These are just a few benefits a product data syndication strategy can bring from its enormous potential.

Having a robust digital shelf strategy and product data syndication strategy is critical for eCommerce brands to succeed in selling on today’s highly competitive data-driven online marketplaces. With so many channels available to consumers, it’s essential to ensure that your products are visible, accurate, and compelling across all touchpoints. By optimizing your product data syndication efforts, you can drive more traffic to your site, increase conversions, and build brand loyalty.
Sergey Shvets
Sergii Shvets
Founder & CEO at Gepard

Winning Digital Shelf: Best Practices

1. Know Your Customers

For an eCommerce business to win a presence on the digital shelf it’s important to do everything that will pinpoint the exact image of your target audience. This can be done with digital shelf analytics software that helps unpack the raw data collected from the initial advertising campaign and online store launch. Additionally, it will allow you to have strong product data enrichment and simply better targeting.

Tips For Digital Shelf Analytics

2. Revise Customer Journey Maps Regularly

Once there is a clear understanding of who the audience is, digital shelf metrics can help you build other parts of a smooth customer journey map (CJM). However, the key is to constantly audit all of the steps that a shopper does from first contact with an ad to checkout. By reviewing this process you’ll be able to optimize certain steps that will improve your eCommerce digital shelf.

3. Work On Your Product Data Before Syndicating It

  • Add Rich Content

Visual, audible, and other forms of interactive content bring out emotions in people that leave a lasting impression. Besides having the standard product images that do a good demonstration, it’s important to have rich content that will enhance your brand value and win over customers.

Clothing retailer Everlane does a great job of using enhanced content in its product presentation. For example, when a user selects a different shoe color, the outfit the model is wearing in the product images changes to match the style. In addition to images, shoppers can also see a video presentation of how the shoes look when walked in or stepped on a curb.

  • Elaborate Product Attributes

The visuals play an important part in attracting interest and once shoppers are seriously considering making the purchase they will dive into the details of the product. The description should not be mistaken for a technical list of measurements and components, it’s very much a part of the written sales pitch that will close the deal. This is where creative and elaborate product attributes should be written to persuade the reader to buy.

As an example, this Weber grill product description doesn’t just have its product attributes written in a bulleted product listing. The text in a storytelling manner connects to the reader and includes product features. The carefully crafted description uses phrases like “everyday grilling”, “compact open-cart design” and “fit even in small spaces”. These details are cleverly placed in sentences that are aimed at an audience that needs a professional grill but doesn’t have much space.

  • Enhance Product Descriptions

Product attributes motivate people to buy and the last thing before clicking on that “add to cart” button, visitors will want to see technical specs to make sure it’s a “fit”. This is why a powerful and accurate product description is no less important than any other element on the digital shelf.

For instance, furniture giant IKEA doesn’t simply write down the length or height of each side of a closet or a shelf. Instead for users’ convenience, the product description is presented in a form of a model drawing of that particular item and each side has an arrow with the length, height, and so on next to it.

  • Employ A Multidimensional Approach

Product descriptions are technical but no one said they should be boring. Having a multidimensional approach to how you list out the details of your products is the finishing touch. Using visual hierarchy, color alteration, interactive description with animated pointers to certain parts of the product, and so on are the types of things that a digital shelf manager can and should add.

For example, Apple, in the landing page presentation of their latest iPhone 14 Pro, implements a lazy-load method of the product description. When a user scrolls down the product pages, the part where the camera specifications are listed, lines slowly appear, with each one leading to the lens in the image on one end and description text on the other. The important parts in the text are highlighted and instantly draw one’s attention.

Product Data Tips

How To Syndicate Product Data

Product data syndication is a critical element of digital shelf eCommerce development and just like any other business process should be automated with the help of digital tools, in this case, it would be a powerful PIM software. Using such a solution simplifies how online retailers deliver product content across different sales channels, significantly improves man-hours, and ultimately accelerates the time it takes to have a product ready for sale.

An effective PIM software is capable of reading any imported file whether it’s a simple CSV or a more complex JSON and anything in between. Once the file is analyzed its content is displayed on a user-friendly interface where with the help of mapping tools data structuring can be done.

Read more about Data Syndication Tips:

How To Syndicate Your Data
7 min read
Alina Virstiuk
Product Data Syndication

Syndication for Product Information: Dos & Don’ts

How can syndicated data fit into your long-term strategy and boost your sales? Learn more about the key pillars of how to syndicate content.

product content product content syndication product data product information management

Common Product Data Syndication Errors And How To Fix Them

The following table provides a quick reference guide for common product data syndication errors and their potential impact, as well as actionable tips for how to fix them.

Error Type Description Potential Impact Fix
Incomplete data Missing product information, such as descriptions, images, or pricing details. Low product visibility, decreased conversions, and frustrated customers. Conduct a comprehensive audit of your data feed and fill in any missing information, using data validation tool.
Inaccurate data Incorrect or outdated product information, such as incorrect pricing or outdated product descriptions. Decreased conversions, negative customer reviews, decreased trust in your brand. Regularly review and update your data feed to ensure accuracy and timeliness, and use data validation tools.
Duplicate data Multiple versions of the same product appearing in different channels. Confusion for customers, cannibalization of sales, decreased customer trust. Implement a product identification system to prevent duplicates from appearing in your data feed, use data validation tools.
Incorrect formatting Issues with data formatting or syntax, such as incorrect use of data fields or improper data normalization. Decreased product visibility, low search engine rankings, inaccurate analytics digital shelf data, declining eСommerce performance. Conduct regular formatting checks to ensure proper data normalization and formatting, and use data validation tools.
Syndication errors Issues with data syndication, such as incomplete or partial data feeds or technical issues with the syndication process. Incomplete or inaccurate product information appearing on channels, decreased product visibility, decreased conversions. Regularly monitor your data feed performance and work with your syndication partner to address any technical issues.

How To Choose A Product Data Syndication Partner?

When it comes to product data syndication, choosing the right partner can make all the difference. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a partner to help you optimize product data syndication efforts.

  • Comprehensive coverage

Look for a product data syndication partner that can syndicate your product information across a wide range of channels, including popular online marketplaces, search engines, and social media platforms. Make sure they cover the channels that are relevant to your business and target audience.

  • Accuracy and consistency

Accuracy and consistency are crucial when it comes to product data syndication. Choose a partner that has a strong track record of delivering accurate and consistent content compliance across all channels. Ask for examples of their work and case studies to see how they have handled similar products or industries.

  • PIM + syndication in one tool

When you have these 2 tools in one place you get several benefits, including streamlined management of product information, centralized content storage, and easy distribution of product data across multiple channels. This combination can also help businesses to improve the accuracy and consistency of their product information and increase their speed to market.

  • Timeliness

The speed at which your product information is syndicated can have a significant impact on your sales and marketing efforts. Make sure that your future partner can provide timely and efficient syndication services, with a focus on quick turnaround times and proactive communication.

  • Customization options

Your business has unique needs, so it’s important to choose a data syndication company that offers customization options. Look for a partner that can tailor their services to meet your specific requirements, whether it’s customizing the data feed or providing additional support for special promotions or product launches.

  • Analytics and Reporting

To optimize your product data syndication efforts, you need access to accurate and detailed analytics data. Ensure that your partner offers comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities, including real-time monitoring of your data feed performance and actionable insights from digital shelves. It will help you to improve your syndication efforts.

  • Scalability

As your business grows, so will your product data syndication needs. We recommend giving preference to those vendors that can scale their services to meet your evolving needs, with the ability to handle large volumes of data and adapt to new channels and platforms.

  • Technical expertise

Product data syndication can be a complex and technical process, so it’s important to choose a partner with the technical expertise to handle all aspects of the process, from data normalization and transformation to digital shelf optimization and troubleshooting. Look for a partner with experience working with eCommerce platforms, APIs, and other technical tools and systems.

The Life After Product Content Syndication: How To Monitor Efficiency

  • Challenges And Expectations When Syndicating Product Data

When unpacking the digital shelf product syndication process, brands often cooperate with content providers. The result is always better when a professional is involved rather than you on your own doing this through trial and error. Additionally, this way it is easier to make sure that everything from product database updates to punctual content publication is in tip-top condition.

But in reality, things often are not all that simple when it comes to outsourcing the syndication of product data. Tracking the efficiency of a content provider requires digital shelf software that does analytical scans and reports them. This only adds an additional task of reviewing the report and in case of anything is not updated on one of the platforms you need to spend time communicating this and figuring out why and how it happened. All of this leads to inefficient business processes within your company that prevent it from generating income.

  • Ensure Data Quality & Integrity

A reliable digital shelf solution like Gepard PIM software is capable of establishing stable data handling and monitoring procedures. Since most eCommerce businesses operate on multiple platforms, there is a strong need to get analytical reports that can help find errors. With a comprehensive dashboard that Gepard PIM has you can easily read all insights from all of the sales channels where your product data is syndicated.

Using data validation methods, Gepard PIM’s digital shelf analytics platform allows checking the accuracy of your product data and its transparency. This can all be done without any extra technical knowledge but through our easy-to-use tools that give you to be in charge of your product information.

How To Validate Data?

Full control means easily updating product descriptions that are changed in one place and not having to worry that they will be changed in all other marketplaces that you sell. But what is even better is that retailer channels that sell your product and choose to be connected to the same database will get updated as well.

Features like these make manual product checks for bugs a thing of the past. If any data errors are found and something doesn’t match the digital shelf analysis will pick it up and alarm the online store manager.

Digital Shelf FAQ

What Is Digital Shelf Excellence Or How To Win On The Digital Shelf?

Since eCommerce is so multilayered there is no one clear solution to overcoming all of the industry challenges and winning on the digital shelf. However, by implementing digital tools that help you win time, analyze product performance, increase sales, increase engagement, and adapt to market changes there is no reason why any business can’t stay ahead of the competition.

Does PIM Software Help With Digital Shelf Monitoring?

This is exactly what a good PIM solution is supposed to do. In today’s advanced technological world digital product consumers want multiple features and any sophisticated product information management software meets that need and offers beyond a standard data syndication feature.

How Gepard’s Advanced PIM Solution Helps With Digital Shelf Performance

With the eCommerce boom of the last few years, syndicating product information often started to be viewed as a relatively easy task that all online retail businesses do.

However, when an online store has 1000s of products in multiple marketplaces where it sells its items, issues with digital shelf monitoring always come up. Especially if there are licensed resellers of your product and their sales channels are outside of yours.

An advanced PIM software and the tools that Gepard offers make product information management and syndication what they seem to be. Simple. With rapid syndication brands that sell multiple products can seamlessly enrich their product information in all sales channels with a few clicks of a button.

Book a 45-minute call and find out how Gepard can help you win the digital shelf.

How To Monitor My Digital Shelf?

 

Yuliia Honcharova
Written by Yuliia Honcharova
Head of Marketing at Gepard
18+ years in Digital Marketing, SEO, SEM. Driving the strategy, planning, and execution of the company's marketing initiatives to achieve its international business objectives. Created and implemented Digital marketing and SEO strategies for businesses in varied domains including eCommerce.

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