Manufacturers are no strangers to the ramifications of the new data economy and how it has changed consumer expectations. Now, more than ever, consumers expect an exceptional experience, whether shopping online or in-store. Online research has become commonplace, making it critical for product information to be displayed accurately across both the physical and digital shelves alike. This has resulted in retailers pressuring manufacturers to meet specific data requirements to get products to market faster. And unfortunately, each retailer, data pool and marketplace has different conditions.
For many manufacturing companies, meeting these specific data requirements has become a manual, cumbersome and inaccurate process. What’s needed is a simple, cost-effective way for brands to share new and updated product data with the various channels through which they sell.
Whether you’re an IT leader responsible for data tools, a national sales rep tasked with syndicating products or a product manager charged with creating product information, there’s an easier way to supply your trading partners with complete, accurate and timely data. Product data syndication (PDS) provides companies with a fast, efficient method to share and update data with retailers, distributors, content service providers (CSPs), internal staff and others. By transmitting trusted product data from the manufacturer to the retailer to the consumer, PDS ensures shoppers have access to the information they need before making a purchase. It gives businesses a competitive advantage that ultimately drives revenue.
More data requirements. More problems.
Thanks to a world gone digital, manufacturers must be able to manage an increasing surplus of data as part of their continued efforts to accelerate time to market without reducing product quality. They face increased demand from their many retail channel partners for quality information that describes their products in a manner that enhances consumers’ shopping experiences. The challenge lies in the many ways each retailer, vendor or distributor wants the data delivered, with each partner requesting different categorization, marketing, supply chain and compliance attributes per channel.
Based on retailer requirements, manufacturers are forced to use many methods to deliver information, including spreadsheets, data portals, data pools and more. In addition to adhering to these product data mandates, manufacturers need to be able to build and provide product information that accurately represents the brand and its positioning. Moreover, transparency is an issue. For many, it’s a challenge to track where products are in the onboarding process because different retailers have different ways to communicate the information back to the manufacturer if they communicate it at all.
A single way to reach many vendors
PDS overcomes the multitude of challenges manufacturers face by integrating and standardizing data into a single, trusted source that’s easily sharable. It eliminates disconnected systems, integrates siloed teams and supplants manual entry with a smooth, seamless process for data exchange. PDS makes it easy for businesses to address their trading partners’ many different format requirements. It also offers visibility into the product information exchange process, providing status updates on items in the initiation phase, as well as new data requirements for products already onboarded.
Gathering specifications, creating imagery and writing copy is time-intensive and costly. PDS makes it easy for manufacturers to maximize their investment in generating product data. For instance, a manufacturer may have 500 or more channels and vendors. Their product data is managed in a variety of systems that contain data needed for export and delivery to many target channels. Because of the diversity of products and systems involved, this is done in an ad hoc fashion that often includes spreadsheets, APIs, data pools and CSPs based on the individual channel requirements. PDS delivers a consistent process to gather information internally, standardize it for each channel and push it out based on retailer needs, as well as the manufacturer’s quality standards. It can automatically map manufacturer attributes to channel attributes and immediately identify where gaps exist (or where data needs to be transformed), fill in those gaps and directly publish where required.
PDS provides a platform for manufacturers to communicate faster and more efficiently with their retail channels. By leveraging a platform approach, they can easily manage the many different external solutions used by retailers. They can supply information faster, reduce risk and enhance agility. This is because PDS works seamlessly with the existing systems and tools to produce converted, mapped and tailored product data, ensuring it’s ready for use the moment it’s delivered.
Supply better data faster
PDS offers a truly powerful capability that supplants multiple costly, manual and inefficient processes. It provides a unified solution that connects product experts, marketers and sales staff with retailers, data pools and marketplaces. Companies can easily adhere to multiple data requirements and validations to deliver the right data to multiple channels, whether through a data pool, portal or direct connection.
Ultimately, manufacturers reduce effort while improving the quality of product information. They also enhance their branding and create better experiences for consumers. This lowers costs, accelerates time to market and increases revenue.