You’re now embarked on a handy guide for brands & retailers who want to share their product content across various ecommerce channels. Let’s get that ducks in a row.

These days brands & retailers can’t afford to sell just on one sales channel. To feel like a fish in the water (here we’d better say at Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress, Google Shopping, etc.) and not be eaten by the sharks —

..educate yourself on the basic notions of the ecommerce ocean. 

Read. Revise. Use on practice. Repeat. 

1. Product data (Product content). Product content is the data on a particular product. The content of a particular product covers the data on this product's brand, category, feature, units of measure, and other data in all the available locales.

2. CSP (Content Service Provider), also known as Content Catalog Provider is a company, enhancing and creating product catalogs with product descriptions, images, videos, and other rich media content. CSP provides a cloud-based platform where the product content becomes available for retailers and distributors. It does really make the process of embarking on an ecom journey easier, being a good base for further product content manipulations. We prepared a comparison table with the most popular content providers. Save and use this CSP guide. 

3. Product feed. A product feed or product data feed is a CSV, TXT, JSON or XML file with certain products’ info, like SKU, name, price, colour, dimensions, meaning all the possible items’ attributes. It includes quality pictures and videos, in all possible angles, with an ability to rotate, zoom, and see how it would look/feel like for a customer to already have an item. Product feeds provide the content presented on various e-commerce websites (search engines, price comparison sites, sales channels). Product feed files are used by such essential sales-driven channels as Amazon, Google, and Facebook, so it’s gonna be helpful to know the basics.

4. Product Feed Management/Catalog Management/PIM (Product Information Management)? A process that makes sure your product data feed flows in the right direction, ensuring product feed performs its main functions — draws new sales targets, drives ROI, optimizes product data, meets data feed requirements, catches customers’ attention and solves his queries. In other words, It’s a process of improving data in the product feed so that the recipient gets the information they need in the required format (note that each marketplace has different requirements). It also ensures the data is up-to-date. 

Generally, it complies with organization, standardization, and publication of the product data across sales channels. And it can be hosted either by a supplier or a buyer.

Which basic features are covered with an average product feed management/catalog management/PIM tool? 

  • Creation and edition of product images, information, and multimedia;
  • Product data storage (descriptions, prices, delivery time, units of measure, supplier, product filter, etc.);
  • Adjusting languages and locations; 
  • Automatically prices updatings, and other necessary corrections;
  • Integration with social channels;
  • Competitors’ pricing/stock comparison;

5. Product content syndication or product data syndication is the distribution of product data feed across multiple ecommerce sales platforms and marketplaces while complying with each of their different requirements. In other words, it is here to synchronize product data across various sales portals and channels. 

As a result: 

  • Products are discoverable
  • Product data is always accurate and updated
  • Team can concentrate on solving tasks requiring creativity rather than filling in spreadsheets
  • No need to do coding from the brand’s side
  • Brand consistency and image is retained 
  • Faster time-to-market enabled 
  • Sales revenue increased 
  • Costs for possible mistakes eliminated

Read more on the importance of product content syndication for brands, manufacturers & retailers in our recent article What is Product Content Syndication

6. Product content transformation. A process of product content conversion from one digital format to another (ex, JSON, XML, CSV, etc.). The aim of product content transformation is to ensure the information is of a high quality, up-to-date and conforming with the standards of a sales channel it is present at. 

7. Taxonomy. A large set of strictly structured and interrelated data that describes products. The main entities that make up a data taxonomy are Category and Feature. The taxonomy data can be available in one or more languages (locales).

a) Taxonomy (external) aka. channel partners' taxonomy. A set of structured and interrelated data delivered by the client (a retailer, owner or developer of an online marketplace, etc.). The external taxonomy is a data taxonomy of an endpoint (e.g., an online marketplace) where a product feed file in a particular format must be delivered with a particular transport method.

b) Taxonomy (internal) aka. content provider's taxonomy. A set of structured and interrelated data of the system that is used to create product descriptions within the platform. The internal taxonomy is created and managed manually by the Gepard team or the assigned user (e.g., the Gepard client).

8. Product data mapping. A process of matching the content provider taxonomy data with the external taxonomy data. 

9. Mapping rules. A set of conditions for matching particular external taxonomy data with particular content provider data. If the conditions are fulfilled, the rule will be executed, and the mapping will be performed. Under the set conditions, syndication of data on the selected products is performed, and the syndicated data are output to a product feed.

Still foggy? No worries. Gepard is here to sort the process of product content transformation & syndication to any shopping place for you :)  

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