Syndication for Product Information: Dos & Don’ts
Prior to the rapid growth of eCommerce that started in the 2000s, the product-to-consumer consumption chain looked a lot different from what it will be in 2022. Today, online retailers sell their products in multiple marketplaces. However, when selling on different platforms, businesses face new challenges, one of the main ones being product syndication-related processes.
If not automated, providing syndicated data to linked services and third-party selling points can be a meticulous task that consumes a lot of resources. If done using the correct tools, eCommerce businesses can correlate product data across a variety of sales platforms and channels and run disruption-free. Additionally, PDX automation (Product Data Exchange) allows employees to focus on higher-value tasks.
What Does Syndication Mean?
For example, if an online shop that sells computers wishes to additionally sell them on external platforms like Amazon and AliExpress, it has to upload all of the product data to the two platforms. Both of the marketplaces have different rules for product descriptions, different product taxonomy requirements, different product specification rules, and other details. This can be challenging for businesses, especially when it comes to the complex descriptions that computers have. There are various dos and don’ts to consider if you want to know how to syndicate content properly.
DO #1: Pick The Channels For Your Sales Growth
After spending time searching for an item online on a variety of platforms, it is important that the potential buyer finds listings of factual product content information that is straightforward and concise. In order to successfully achieve this, a business owner (or whoever is responsible for this activity) should carefully choose the correct channel for product content syndication.
The customers tend to purchase the brand’s products not from all the sales channels, but from certain ones, specific for the exact brand or its goods. Certain sales channels are more comfortable for customers than others, which is why it is important to analyze them and choose the right syndication channels, to maximize the chances for purchase.
When choosing the route on how to syndicate product content, it’s always best to consider the following points:
- Lengthier and more diverse channels may be required for lasting and regulated items, such as fire extinguishing products, car parts, diving equipment, climbing gear, etc. Companies like eBay even have their own Regulatory Portal that allows authorities from around the globe to monitor products for safety.
- It is necessary to conduct a market survey prior to taking action.
- Adding additional data such as reviews, custom labels and analytics will improve the quality of the information no matter the channel.
DO #2: Collaborate With The Chosen Retailers/Marketplaces
An effective digital retail strategy incorporates the use of a variety of sales channels. However, each marketplace or merchant has its own set of requirements and restrictions when it comes to product data. This is the reason why maintaining compliance within the content syndication process is crucial and oftentimes can be a resource-intensive tedious task.
One way for brands is to communicate with each of the retailers to find out their requirements and then manually adjust their product content to these product data conditions. Another option is choosing a PIM vendor and delegating this task to a software and PIM supplier. This way is preferable for manufacturers having 1K+ items in their store.
DO #3: Select the Right Syndication Software or Partner
Syndication tools differ from one software to another and from the requirements your business has. It’s especially challenging to find a one-feature software that only performs data syndication, so it’s reasonable to go with a full PIM solution that will have that as one of its features.
The occurrence of syndicated data across all possible digital touchpoints is important for the success of your business, and going with a PIM system is often the right solution for many online retailers who face product catalog syndication obstacles. Implementing a PIM solution into your operations will allow keeping track of all information in one location and a seamless updating process.
When choosing a PIM vendor, it’s important to look up the following software features:
A multi-tenant PIM architecture lets you create customization levels of product information management. In such a way, each client can use a core system with customized configurations. You can set the data access rules, defined by the role of each tenant of the system.
2. Flawless integration.
The easier integration of PIM with your existing ecosystem, the better. Harmonized coexisting of PIM with your organization applications simplifies all the data-related processes, including data syndication.
3. Data transformation.
Converting data from one format to another, to comply with the requirements of various sales channels, standardizing the data in accordance with retailers’ demands, should be at the core of the PIM system, as this feature is the one that provides seamless data syndication.
4. Data validation.
The data errors are usually costly for businesses and lead to sales drops and a poor customer experience. If a PIM has a data validation module, you can ensure data consistency and the high quality of your product content. It simplifies the process of data syndication, as the retailers will receive compliant error-free product data from you.
5. Data enrichment.
Rich product content helps you boost your business by enhancing an overall product experience. Search for PIM options that allow you to optimize your product data for your online shop and various retailers, enhance your SEO and create a compelling customer experience.
6. Product data governance.
When choosing PIM, try to pick the one where you can define and control roles and responsibilities related to data processes inside your organization. Setting data asset ownership helps to increase the security across your enterprise. It also allows a certain level of customization, gives you the power to decide what data to syndicate and ensures the success of the syndication.
DO #4: Make The Most Of The Chosen PIM Functionality
Most businesses have a positive experience using a PIM platform and find it to be a great factor in reducing time on certain operations. Using PIM software will change at what speed you can offer merchandise to the market in different outlets. To make the most of the system you chose, consider the following points.
- Add product specs and attributes.
Each product has its own attribute and only you as an online shop owner know what attribute is best to demonstrate to your customers. Think carefully about what you are trying to sell the product for. Whether it’s quality, longevity, or a specific feature, always parallel the message with your target audience and perform product catalog syndication accordingly.
- Enrich – add rich content (images, videos, 360 images, tutorials, infographics, etc.)
Give confidence to your customers by providing the product features and their benefits with visual content that gives all of the necessary details to secure the sale. Imagine you are selling a bag that has multiple bag pocket sections. If consumers can see a video presentation or even a 360 image of this, there will be an element of interaction with the product. The clearer that item details can be shown, the better. A study done by Etsy, a giant eCommerce platform specializing in the handmade niche, found that 90% of its shoppers are influenced to make a purchase based on the quality of the product image.
- Transform product data to comply with the chosen retailer/marketplace requirements.
Product data should be prepared to match the demands of the platform you are planning to upload it to. Advertisements and user-generated content can all be included in the product information. It’s important not to forget that each marketplace has specific requirements for the information that retailers need to list and this often becomes a challenge that drains resources but can easily be solved with automation.
- Validate product data and double-check data accuracy.
Data errors can have severe effects on the results a business wants to achieve. Spend a lot of time double-checking the information that is listed. Consider implementing a PIM solution that will allow you to automate the process.
DON’T #1: Don’t Try To Syndicate Everywhere
Increasing the number of channels covered is not always a wise strategy. A single sales channel might restrict your capacity to interact with customers across several platforms. Nonetheless, there are some disadvantages to using multiple channels in eCommerce.
Uploading merchandise information in multiple sales channels will result in the need to make constant adjustments for all of them individually. This is exactly the reason why businesses choose to work with PIM solutions that can help you perform automatic product content syndication.
DON’T #2: Don’t Copy-Paste The Same Product Data For Different Channels
Don’t use the same data across several channels and don’t standardize the product description. This method carries several risks, the most serious of which is the spread of defects due to product misuse. Additionally, unique descriptions consistently score higher in search engines and appear on top of the results.
Furthermore, most merchants and platforms demand that brands/manufacturers provide unique specifications for their items. The more detailed and well-structured information you provide, the higher chance that a sale will be made. In a study done five years ago and that is still relevant today, 30% of consumers abandoned their shopping carts due to poor information describing features of what they planned to buy.
How Gepard Solves The Challenges Brands & Retailers Face With Syndication
Gepard provides an end-to-end product content syndication, allowing for everything to be set up and run automatically on behalf of the merchant. By getting full support, your online business can benefit from product adjustments to the necessary formats. Additionally, one of the features of the Gepard PIM solution is data validation. This feature allows your data output to be clean, consistent and can generate reports demonstrating where errors were made.
Here at Gepard, we believe in being flexible and we will go the extra mile to make sure that everything is mapped out to adhere to the requirements of each sales channel and pushed to any amount of sales touch points needed.
Our team of professionals, with over a decade of industry experience, will be thrilled to help you solve any active challenges your online business is facing when it comes to content syndication. Simply send us a quick message and one of our specialists will get back to you within one business day.
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