How to effectively manage your product information across all sales channels
Ecommerce is in the forefront of consumers’ minds today, making your digital channels more lucrative than ever and primed for customer engagement. In a competitive space like ecommerce, retailers can differentiate themselves and get found easier by enhancing their online product information and integrating their data across multiple sales channels and marketplaces. Effective product information management (PIM) and data integration are key to this strategic approach.
If you are a Merchant selling on various channels, whether it’s your eCommerce store, third-party marketplaces, in-store or over the phone, it’s crucial that your business can effectively unify its data across all channels, systems and applications. Rich product content can be a valuable differentiator when it comes to customer experience and loyalty. The more a customer can learn about your product and trust their purchase decision, the likelier they are to convert.
Let’s dive into how data integration and product information management can help your business grow.
What is data integration?
In a nutshell, data integration connects different applications together, allowing for consistent automated movement and delivery of data to create business processes across a wide range of applications.
Data integration plays an important role in the world of ecommerce because it provides users with a real-time outlook of business performance and transforms data into valuable, usable information by combining it from different sources.
Overall, data integration benefits your business, but it isn’t the only ingredient for success. Automating data movement is a strategic initiative that can either foster growth or constrain your business over time.
Data integration approaches
Creating operational efficiencies within your business starts with a strategic goal in mind as data integration is not a one-size-fits all solution. In fact, there are several approaches to integration based on business needs, channel complexity, technology and brand size. Your business can delve into the world of possibilities under the umbrella of data integration by looking at the five most common approaches to data integration.
For businesses with complexity in their systems and requiring some level of configuration for the integration to fit their business needs, iPaaS solutions like VL OMNI are the right fit. iPaaS solutions are able to apply business rules directly to the integration without the need for manual configuration after post-automated data movement.
Just like your business, your data is unique to you
Through automation and data-powered software, brands are taking new steps in integrating their supply chain data to create operational efficiencies. Integration can create seamless systems integration and centralize data in a single point of access, delivering data automatically to all your team members, and ultimately ensuring reliable order fulfillment and efficient communication with customers.
In addition, having a strategic integration approach in mind can inform whether you add, remove, upgrade your ecommerce technology stack, a key factor for long-term growth.
No matter what your business sells, whether your products are seasonal, perishable, or customizable, not having an effective data integration could be all that stands between your brand and unlimited scalability.
Why ecommerce needs Product Information Management (PIM)
As fast-fashion retailers know best, product lines can change frequently. Product assortments, seasonality of clothing and shoe lines often flip every 4 to 6 weeks. Those multichannel ecommerce merchants who have extremely large product volumes are often dealing with a massive pain point. Many merchants are unfortunately managing this manually across each channel without the proper systems and connections in place.
This process of manually updating products and all their descriptions, images, etc is a slow, expensive, cumbersome process prone to data errors. However, it can be solved by using a PIM solution.
What is PIM software?
Product Information Management (PIM) ensures your business can easily manage product data across all of your channels, from ecommerce platforms, marketplaces such as Amazon, social media platforms, and many more. PIM is an extension of your ERP, enabling you to manage many more dimensions to your products without the need for complex ERP customizations.
With ever-expanding digital channels retailers can sell on, juggling the different product data requirements of each platform become nearly impossible. PIMs like Dynamicweb allow for the minutiae of this control for each channel, and partnering with VL OMNI to automate the PIM data delivery to sales channels and your ERP solves the pain point of manual product data management.
Let data inform your new product strategy
If you’re not already using a PIM system, it may be time to start. When you’re able to set up a PIM and ecommerce platform fully-integrated from the start, any future growth, product changes, or channel adjustments will be easier to manage.
Unlimited integration possiblities for PIM
Integration platforms like VL OMNI can help your business create an integrated technical ecosystem between your PIM and other applications so that your business never has to worry about real-time accurate product information, shipment details, inventory and prices.
For instance, multichannel merchants in the retail or wholesale industry with extensive product catalogues can consistently push accurate product information to all channels automatically without restriction on the number of SKUs, product variants, or item entries, ensuring all products are listed accurately, quickly, and are ready for purchase by customers as soon as the new product line is pushed to the designated channel.
Along with the application of key business rules for true, 100% data integration, Merchants can also track orders throughout their entire post-purchase journey as well as effectively manage their product information in a centralized location, then pushed out to all their channels.
Enriching your ecommerce product data with PIM integration
Customer expectations are evolving as consumers spend more time researching product purchases online. This means it is paramount for Merchants to embrace a PIM solution to display high quality product content on their site to enrich the customer experience and ensure conversions.
That being said, keep your digital and product strategy top of mind. Gear up with the right technology that allows your business to grow, scale and expand in an effective way. PIM solutions like Dynamicweb enable the augmentation of ERP product data to enrich products with pictures, logos, text and other data much more efficiently. Ultimately, this allows your business to create a great customer experience in the front end, while your back-end is fully integrated across your business.
About VL OMNI (Dynamicweb Partner)
VL OMNI is a Dynamicweb partner that provides agile and scalable SaaS data integration to fast-growing global businesses across a number of sectors, including omnichannel retail. The VL OMNI platform opens up further integrations to other applications. With over 300+ Connectors live in the VL OMNI library, Dynamicweb and VL OMNI’s mutual customers have the ability to experience seamless, real-time automated data flow across their entire technology stack. Ultimately, product information can be seamlessly integrated across your different applications.