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What Is Product Content Syndication In eCommerce (a.k.a. Product Data Syndication)

6 min read
Published: January 20, 2023
Updated: March 5, 2024

The notion of product content syndication might not sound all that sexy, but if you are looking to expand your presence on a global market and sell on various sales channels, let’s do it. Promise, that you won’t see any overly complicated terms here.

Nowadays, the Internet is full of misconceptions, and the ”syndication of data” notion could be both quite accurate as well as misleading. This article is here to clarify the data syndication definition and all the necessary info on a topic (like challenges retailers are facing; what a consumer expects when shopping; how brands, manufacturers, and retailers can benefit from automated eCommerce content syndication, and more).

What Is Product Content Syndication

Product data syndication or eCommerce syndication  is the distribution of product data feed across multiple eCommerce sales platforms and marketplaces while complying with each of their different requirements. In other words, it is here to synchronize product data across various sales portals and channels.

Let’s play out a scenario to see who needs it and why:

⟨⟨  The Vivienne Westwood fashion brand looks for ways to expand its market presence. Managers decide to sell on five more sales platforms (both British and global ones). So all apparel information (product content) the company has on its website should be transferred to the new channels. However, as each such place has loads of different requirements and standards, it becomes a big challenge. But VW has no intention of sacrificing more time on technical tasks, where they do not have solid expertise ⟩⟩

* this is a fictional example to illustrate catalog syndication

Side note: Be careful not to mix it with a similar term — web content syndication, which is republishing/broadcasting of content such as blogs, articles, photos, audio, and videos across various sites (ex, Medium, Slideshare) to increase exposure.

What else should we clear out when talking about syndicated product information?

What is rich product content?

Rich product content makes a buyer imagine and dream of using a product, while it is about:

  • Comprehensive product info (product names, prices, dimensions, descriptions, functions, competitive advantage, and anything else that would help customers make a decision)
  • Engaging visuals (quality pictures made from different angles, with a possibility to zoom in; 360-degree rotation images; close-ups; videos, any supporting graphics/infographics; tutorials on how to use a product, etc.)
  • Accurate relevant product data (which could be extracted from a CSP, a Content Service Provider). Note: even if you have chosen a content provider, product syndication services are still needed.

Generally, why do we pay attention to the quality of the catalogue syndication? Gartner’s research shows that poor data quality is costing firms an estimated average of $8.8 million per year.

Why To Optimize Product Content

As a customer can’t naturally touch, smell, or experience a product in any way, it is the retailer’s job to convey this information in product content. Rich product content, together with a successful multichannel strategy and accurate on-time syndication for product information, largely impact consumers’ decisions. To better understand what are rich syndicated product descriptions, consider reading a guide on writing product descriptions.

HP Content Syndication For Amazon

What does a consumer expect when shopping?

Nowadays, buyers are exceptionally information-thirsty. The shopping process itself becomes more complex: on a way to find an ultimate product, customers are using various channels & devices. Thus brands & retailers face the challenge of keeping up with such kinds of demands. Failing to meet those puts a threat of just being ignored by the buyers, as well as missing the potential for increasing the company’s sales.

Consumers are looking for flexibility. Brands and retailers have no choice but to be omnipresent. And no, your web store is not enough. What are some other options then? First, take the already established global marketplaces like Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, Walmart, and Google Express (which, in contrast to Amazon, Forex allows a customer to enter the specific brand’s store and search within it). And do not pass by the smaller platforms, like Etsy, and niche-focused ones like Zalando, Bonanza, etc.

What else does a consumer expect from an eCommerce shop? Product information to be accurate and complete? Yes. Data to be consistent throughout different sales channels? Of course. So what does it take to cover these?

Challenges retailers are facing (when going multichannel)

Setting a seamless product content distribution across multiple sales platforms is not a piece of cake even for experienced ecommerce managers.

Product Content Flow In eCommerce

Product data syndication done manually? Let’s see what could go wrong.

a) Conforming to different sales channels’ formats and other specific requirements is a big challenge for manufacturers and brands. Adapting a product catalog to all these specifications and managing hundreds of complex spreadsheets and codings take not even weeks. Even if you do it quickly, it still might cost you in terms of quality. The likelihood of errors is still high.

b) Then, there’s another challenge — keeping up with the constant changes and updates in the requirements of marketplaces. Imagine, if you sell not just on one platform.

c) A possibility of revenue loss should be a good enough reason to think of product content transformation and delivery automation. Any marketplace can reject non-syndicated products not adhering to its standards. And that could be the silliest micro mistake.

d) One might lose a potential gain from the time spent on manual product content transformation and delivery. Instead of exploiting internal human resources that have expertise in more valuable or creative tasks, let the software do the job.

How brands, manufacturers, and retailers can benefit from automated product syndication eCommerce?  (how it solves retailers’ problems)

eCommerce syndication might be a burdensome process if done manually. So, what does it take to create flawless product content syndication?

It takes a minimum effort if you have an automated content syndication eCommerce platform set. Decided to syndicate product content automatically? Firstly, congrats — you still rock in ecom!

Let’s take a look at the challenges automated product content syndication solutions can solve (in the example of Gepard Data Syndication):

1) Transformation of product information

Wherever you publish your product information, you always need to fulfill a wide range of requirements. These requirements differ, and basic mapping capabilities are not enough. eCommerce content syndication software maps content on the taxonomy level, using intelligent transformation algorithms.

2) Data transformation from multiple sources

When you import product content from various channels, it needs to be adjusted. Data sources, either content providers or direct suppliers, use different data models and formats. Content syndication eCommerce software adapts all the required information to your needs automatically, with no effort from your side.

3) Automated product content distribution across multiple channels

If you share your product descriptions with more than one sales channel, adjustments are assumed per each of them. The eCommerce syndication portal transforms the product content into the taxonomy of the retail partners, and syndicates, and keeps it up to date. No coding is needed from the client’s side.

What are the benefits of product content syndication being done automatically?

  • Products are discoverable
  • Product data is always accurate and updated
  • The team can concentrate on solving tasks requiring creativity rather than filling in spreadsheets
  • No need to do coding from the brand’s side
  • Brand consistency and image are retained
  • Faster time-to-market enabled
  • Sales revenue increased
  • Costs for possible mistakes eliminated

A quick guide to how the product data software works

Not to waste your time digging into tech specs, it is always better to rely on the ones, that prove its professionalism in the industry. Though it would be handy to check on the quick scheme.How Gepard Product Content Syndicator Works

Gepard PIM, a product content syndication example, provides an end-to-end product content syndication, meaning that all would be set up and run automatically on behalf of the merchant. Get full support:  the product would be adjusted to the necessary format (whereas product content would be provided by our catalog provider partners Icecat), mapped to meet each of the sales channels’ requirements, and pushed to any amount of sales touchpoints needed.  Besides, we are all flexible.

Now, product information syndication and eCommerce are challenging questions: would you like to have some extra time to evolve your business instead of managing product data manually? Come on by and say hi to Gepard. Also, you could check how we implemented product information syndication in the HP Case Study.

How To Automate Product Data Syndication In eCommerce

Sofia Kondrat - Talented Content Manager At Gepard PIM
Written by Sofia Kondrat
Content Manager at Gepard
Sofiia Kondrat is an experienced content writer and content manager, passionate about creating high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of industry trends, Sofiia is dedicated to producing informative, well-researched content that helps businesses stay ahead of the curve. When she's not writing, you can find her doing music & singing, exploring the great outdoors, or planning her next travel adventure.

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