Boost Omnichannel Sales with Retail Product Data Management

by | May 29, 2020 | Data Management, Omnichannel, Suppliers

Whether suppliers sell their products in stores or through e-commerce, the right item information and visual assets are essential. From attractive photos to accurate dimensions and vivid descriptions, consumers need product data when shopping on any device or at any location.

So, what are some best practices for retail product data management that will promote online product listings and in-store sales?

  • Photos. Plentiful images, in the latest colors and styles, drive ‘Buy Now’ decisions for consumers and are useful to show merchants new products and line extensions.
  • Videos. How-to videos, one’s showing the product in daily use, and/or those used to compare sizes, colors or styles, provide details a consumer needs to feel confident buying the item.
  • Features/specifications. Consumers need dimensions and other specifications to ensure the right fit and reduce returns.

Chances are your retail customers are already asking you for this item data. It may have taken some time to pull together from across the organization. The good news is that once you provide them with a complete set of product data and digital imagery, they are equipped to list your products on their e-commerce site as well as slot it in their store(s).

Why is sharing item data with retailers so hard?

Gathering and producing product data is an important first step. Once in place, suppliers quickly find that publishing this information to retailers isn’t easy. Every retail channel has unique requirements, they span from a few simple data points and a photo url to a lot of item attributes and a library of digital assets.

Let’s take a common item, Nike TR 9 Shoe, as an example. When searching for it online, here are two listings (one from a marketplace and one from an online retailer):

Boost Omnichannel Sales with Retail Product Data Management Boost Omnichannel Sales with Retail Product Data Management

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll notice that the item data presented in the listings is different. The first listing has multiple photos, a brief product description, a size chart and package dimensions. The other product listing is more robust, with multiple photos, a video, sizing chart, a fit survey and much more.

A supplier’s staff or retail product data management solution must know what item data to deliver to each retailer or e-commerce site. Every retailer will differ on the item data and format they require. Suppliers have two choices. They can learn the nuances of each retailer and create custom data content for each… and maintain it as the product evolves, or they can choose the alternative. A master list or database is developed that contains a supplier’s item details from their internal systems. Then, a service like SPS Commerce Assortment can access this single source and provide retailers with the specific product data needed. As changes are made, only those retail channels using that piece of product information will receive an update.

When asked about the time-consuming task of providing retailers with item data, a home improvement supplier stated:

“The idea was to grow our online sales without increasing our own data management burden, which would require moving away from our time-consuming, spreadsheet-based processes that had to be managed manually for every retailer. We suspected that a cloud-based technology would have the solution we needed, and SPS Commerce ultimately confirmed that suspicion.”

Why is retail product data management important to suppliers?

The answer is simple, more sales. Research continually shows that consumers are more likely to buy products that gain their attention and confidence by supplying more photos, details and reviews than the competition.

It also allows suppliers to boost their value to their supply chain partners. Retailers spend hours trying to track down all this item information, so providing this information in one easy to use tool allows you expand into new markets quickly and efficiently.

A home goods supplier, stated, “It’s important to us that our products look their best online, providing consumers with the latest product details and images. With SPS Assortment, we are hoping to streamline this process for our company and our retail customers.”

Are you thinking about simplifying your retail product data management for retailers? SPS has the solutions to help with retailer compliance and inventory management. Learn more about SPS or contact us today.

Patti Thiel
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