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Anna Mrynska
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Anna Mrynska
Business Analyst at Gepard
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How To Choose A Content Service Provider?

8 min read
Published: May 6, 2022
Updated: May 15, 2023

Content marketing is one of the most efficient marketing tools, which makes content providers a demanded service in the modern business world. With the proper content strategies in place, brands can build conducive relationships with their clientele and drive profits.

There are some interesting statistics that can fully open up the importance of eCommerce content, especially product information:

  1. According to RetailDive, 40% of product returns in 2022 were specifically because of poor product content.
  2. According to Think With Google, 85% of surveyed online buyers say product information and pictures are important to them when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from.
  3. One of the main causes of abandonment carts is poor product descriptions. This accounts for 30% of all cases, based on RetailDive.

This confirms the fact that today retail businesses and brands face multiple challenges related to product data management. Some of the most significant ones include the following:

  • Keeping the vast product catalogs up to date;
  • Providing relevant information that drives sales;
  • Increasing user pastime on a website.

Content service providers (CSP) aim to manage product information for retail companies to make sure that all these challenges are properly addressed. This article discovers what is a CSP, the ways content services platforms can help businesses, and how to select the right vendor in this field.

What Is Content Service Provider?

A content service provider is a company that simplifies eCommerce procedures for businesses by managing and enhancing product data. These experts specialize in creating, updating, and refining merchandise catalogs by filling them with all kinds of rich media, such as descriptions, images, and videos. To ensure unobstructed access to all stakeholders, a content provider can utilize cloud solutions to stock all product data there.

When Should An Organization Use A Content Provider?

Actual and valuable information on the commodities in stock is key to attracting and retaining clients in the modern digital landscape. With the large merchandise volumes and expanding eCommerce businesses, maintaining relevant data on the website can become an ordeal. A competent content services platform can make your sales more effective by streamlining the processes of creation and distribution of quality product information.

Which businesses are most likely to benefit from the services of media content providers? Let’s point out several cases.

  • Online stores and marketplaces which need to continually revamp their merchandise or services;
  • Businesses that require regular development and updates of the written information;
  • Websites that seek optimization for search engines;
  • Small businesses with the need for retailer management;
  • Small businesses seeking compliance of their product data with the retailer standards.

The role of an eCommerce content provider includes ensuring that all product descriptions are up-to-date, relevant, and thoughtfully composed. Effective and accurate information that is compliant with enterprise content management rules and brand identity facilitates brand awareness and recognition, engages customers, and motivates them to make a purchase. As a result, brands gain an extra edge over the competition.

Do I Need Content Provider Services?

How Does A Content Service Provider Work?

Essentially, a content service platform integrates with various kinds of vendors, such as online stores, manufacturers, marketplaces, and others. Then, eCommerce content services platforms perform the following major steps:

  • Aggregating the data into its repository – a place of data storage with the specific UI for working with product information.
  • Enriching the data with additional information, which includes editing characteristics, and adding/managing pictures, videos, and other files.
  • Sharing it with the retailers. At this stage, data is presented to external applications. Retailers become empowered to exchange product marketing content and adapt it in an automated way.
  • Maintaining accurate and relevant product information. The content provider ensures that the data is continually updated.

Before you start selecting a content service provider for your business, you should determine the type of vendor you need. Choose a CSP specialization according to your business priorities, whether they include time to market, SKU count, retailer-specific content, or more.

There are 3 eCommerce content service provider specializations. They are Catalog Creators, Content “Middlemen” and Peer to Peer providers. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

  • Catalog Creators

Catalog Creator type of CSP includes content provider companies that develop their own content catalogs and offer them to partners. Although Catalog Creators provide ready-made standard catalogs, they work independently from brands, therefore feature limited accuracy and depth of information. Gladson is the content provider example in this group.

  • Content “Middlemen”

As the name denotes, these agents come in the middle between brands and retailers to facilitate data exchange. As a rule, they deliver high SKU coverage, yet a relatively low depth of information. Such content provider companies own brand data, still, it has to be adjusted to retailer requirements. The “Middlemen” content provider examples include 1WorldSync, Edgenet, and IceCat.

  • Peer-to-Peer

These media content providers are in the closest relation to brands, since they are, in their essence, the brand’s internal systems. They can transfer brand data directly to retail partners in the proper format. Since these providers introduce the brand’s internal databases, they usually do not have the right to provide brand lists or SKU coverage reports to vendors. Peer-to-peer content provider examples include Tagglo.

Key Considerations When Choosing A Content Service Provider

Although a content services platform can make a significant difference in your eCommerce processes, the wrong choice can lead to the loss of time and money. How to avoid pitfalls and make a reasonable decision? Keep in mind the following factors to assess.

1. Analyze And Identify Your Business Needs

In order to adequately evaluate your needs, you should answer several questions:

  • Which aims would you establish for a CSP?
  • Do you need diverse types of content or a single type?
  • How often does the information need to be refreshed?
  • Would you like to participate in the content generation and publishing processes, or would you rather leave it to a CSP?

The answers to these questions will allow you to secure your goals and pick the agent with the corresponding range of services that meet your requirements.

Essentially, large enterprise solutions will benefit from cooperating with the market enterprise content management leaders, such as Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure and Microsoft’s Azure thanks to their scalability, lower cost, and lesser requirements for application redesign. Startups, on the other hand, can get their needs better addressed by visionaries like GCP or smaller, niche players with narrower sets of services.

Innovation leaders such as AWS can fulfill practically any task, but their features come at a cost. The availability of in-house DevOps and skilled engineers for manual configurations empowers you to reduce vendor involvement while facilitating agility and innovation and cutting expenses.

How To Choose Content Provider?

2. Verify A Content Service Provider

To make an informed decision, you should verify the experience of your potential partner and set up the standards for the quality of their service. The necessary steps for effective and transparent cooperation include the following:

  • Visit the company’s website and social network profiles;
  • Read customer reviews;
  • Research the CSP’s track record;
  • Establish clear deliverables and a timeframe for your project;
  • Communicate quality standards and KPIs.

3. Check Information Needs

Hiring an eCommerce service provider implies cooperation in which both product providers and eCommerce content providers make their inputs. Your input includes the continual delivery of information that is necessary to generate the requested content. Therefore, you should assess:

  • The availability of the corresponding data;
  • The required frequency of providing information and the level of detail;
  • Timely delivery of information on the release of new SKUs.
  • A failure to provide efficient input may impede the work of a content service provider and compromise the fulfillment of your business goals.

4. Measure Impact

Track the performance of your content service provider to make sure that your project moves on in the right direction and at a proper pace. Discuss in advance the parameters and periodicity of the impact assessment measures. Determine the key KPIs, such as page ranking, sales growth, increase in brand recognition, and improved management of product information. This step will enable you to determine how effectively your partner fulfills the job and quickly reveal and remove the arising issues.

How To Distribute Product Data?

Although content service platforms with various specializations are abundant on the market, there is no silver bullet that would ideally suit all businesses. Someone will need an enterprise content management system and someone just a few features from the platform. Every manufacturer, eCommerce website, or marketplace has its exclusive data structure. An excellent way to save costs and raise efficiency is to automate the information delivery process with the help of a content syndication solution. Product content automation will streamline the processes of getting imports for new and updated merchandise in your webstore structure from partners.

How does it work? A content syndication software solution automates the information delivery process. Therefore, the software takes the burden of continual downloading, transforming, and editing information off your plate.

A product data syndication strategy reinforced by product information management systems (PIM) can boost your eCommerce business. PIM solutions automatically optimize the information on your merchandise to the respective requirements of eCommerce platforms. Ultimately, you will stop wasting time on manual data editing.

The benefits of automated product content syndication are convincing:

  • You get accurate and updated data. The information on your website is always relevant, without your interference.
  • The team can switch from routine tasks to more creative and strategic jobs. By getting mundane jobs done automatically, your colleagues can devote their time to driving your business.
  • You don’t need to do the coding yourself. If you are lacking the skills or the IT staff to do the coding, you’ll have this issue resolved.
  • Your brand consistency is retained. All the data will be consistent with your brand identity.
  • The time-to-market is minimized. Unlike manual updates, automatization allows you to speed up the processes and expedite time-to-market.
  • The sales revenue is growing. Relevant and actual descriptions and other related data help enhance conversions.
  • The mistakes are eliminated together with the associated losses. The human factor is always present in manual processes. Automatization removes such risks and the expenses they could induce.

Automated Content Syndication Benefits

Content Provider FAQ

What Are The Kinds Of Product Content?

Some of the major product marketing content types include the following:

  • Videos/photos/audios – a visual/audial explanation of a commodity, its use, or a quick overview of what you offer;
  • Product pages – website pages containing product and service offerings;
  • Case studies – your customer success stories;
  • User reviewscustomer success stories told by themselves.

What Is Content-as-a-Service (CAAS)?

Content-as-a-Service or CAAS is a model where a platform provides structured content to other applications through APIs, allowing businesses to easily integrate content into their eCommerce websites or other digital channels. CAAS enables eCommerce businesses to deliver consistent and engaging content to their customers, helping to drive sales and improve customer engagement.

What Are The Best Content-as-a-Service Providers?

The best Content-as-a-Service provider depends on the specific needs of your business. For example, if you require a robust and customizable platform, Contentful might be the best option. However, if you are looking for a simple and affordable content-as-a-service provider, then Prismic could be the better choice. Other popular CAAS providers include Kentico Kontent, GraphCMS, and ButterCMS, each offering unique features and benefits. It’s important to evaluate each content-as-a-service provider carefully to determine which best suits your specific requirements.

What Is PIM Software?

A product information management system is software that automates the processes of accumulating, managing, and distributing product data and works as a single place to run these procedures. PIM software ensures improved data quality, enhanced brand reliability, and saved resources for your team.

PIM And Content Provider In Tandem For Effective Business

Survival in the fiercely competitive retail environment requires keeping pace with new technologies and embracing the most efficient advancements. Brands are seeking tools that enable scalability and help maximize gains while reducing costs. Managing product information efficiently is one of the largest challenges for modern eCommerce businesses.

Content service providers aim to ease retailers’ jobs by efficiently managing and enhancing product data. However, before hiring a respective vendor, eCommerce organizations should carefully assess their goals and needs, consider the types of content services platforms available on the market, and make a wise choice.

The selection of proper tools is likewise an important step. Implementing a PIM system together with using content provider services makes your merchandise data migration easier and faster. A credible partner like Gepard will offer feasible software solutions and superior quality services intended to help you defeat the competition. Book a free demo call with our specialist to unlock the Gepard PIM capabilities!

How Can I Deliver Content Automatically?

Anna Mrynska
Written by Anna Mrynska
Business Analyst at Gepard
Seasoned and dedicated expert with over 8 years of experience in IT across business domains. Has a proven track record of understanding and translating customer ideas and requirements into actionable project plans.

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