In our last post, we looked at some of the reasons a brand/vendor should consider working with a CSP. This time we’ll focus on the end-to-end workflow that CSPs can help with, from getting items live all the way to ensuring that content has gone live and items are for sale.
Here’s a brief rundown on each of these steps:
- Item Setup—This is the data and process that brands and retailers follow to get items live online. Leading CSP platforms have comprehensive item setup validation rules that alert clients to potential issues with their item setup data before they submit it to the retailer. At Content Analytics we have item setup experts who have worked with brands to setup hundreds of thousands of items. We’ve been able to accelerate item setup times from months down to 48 hours or less. A streamlined Item Setup workflow makes it possible to get items for sale faster and sell more as a result.
- Product Information Management (PIM)—This consists of cloud-based software and workflows for managing items on an on-going basis. This provides a place to store items and content, including rich media like videos, 360 views and PDFs.
It also means filtering and search functions to make finding relevant items easy, and integrations, when needed, with existing enterprise systems. One of the biggest wins with a strong PIM system is the ability to store all relevant item data and content in one place—and no longer have to look for it across spreadsheets and desktop folders.
- Content Enrichment & Syndication—This is the process of creating and delivering content to a retailer so it can be displayed on the retailer’s site. Modern PIM systems accomplish this through direct API (Application Programming Interface) integrations as well as automated item template and media file exports.
It also means syndicating and hosting rich media, like that shown below for Pepsi on Walmart.com, including support for marketing content, videos, 360 views and PDFs. For content creation (that is, the generation of images and product copy), some brands prefer to create their own content using in-house resources, while others work with CSPs or agencies.
- Content Auditing—One of the biggest challenges with content syndication is ensuring that content goes live (and stays live) on retailer sites. Due to the volume of content that retailers receive, it's critical to syndicate and verify. Without the right software, the manual auditing process is cumbersome and time-consuming.
Content Analytics addresses this challenge with integrated content auditing functionality. This functionality compares content on a retailer’s site (both copy and images) with content stored in the Product Information Management system to determine whether the content matches.
If the content does match, the system will alert users that it has gone live. Or, after a timeout period, it will alert users that content has not gone live so that the CSP can follow up with the relevant retailers for further action.
Streamlining Your ECommerce Workflow
Now, imagine having to setup, syndicate and audit content for all your items, day in, day out, yourself. That would consume an enormous amount of time and resources.
There’s simply no reason your ECommerce sales should be held back by cumbersome manual processes that take your time away from other valuable activities.
And that’s the ROI on a CSP—a great CSP platform pulls all of these capabilities together. It streamlines the associated workflows, making them repeatable and scalable so you can step on the gas pedal of ECommerce growth.
In our next installment, we’ll take a look at 14 specific capabilities you’ll get with a modern CSP platform—and show you how to escape from tedious spreadsheets and get back to selling more online.