What is CSP?
Defining a Сontent Service Provider

Wonder how to deliver content that drives sales and increase buyers’ pastime on a website? Want to be sure your product catalogs are always up-to-date? Either you’re a manufacturer or a webshop owner, you probably have been already concerned with a range of product data challenges. Therefore you could have heard of Content Service Providers (also known as Content Catalogues Providers). Content Service Providers (CSP) help retailers and brands simplify their e-commerce processes by creating, enhancing and distributing product information. 

Why Consider CSP

CSPs help to ensure that webshops and marketplaces are stocked with relevant and high-quality product descriptions. As a result, customers become more interested in purchasing products. The more accurate information is, the greater are the chances it’ll motivate customers to buy goods. 

How Does CSPs Work?

CSPs mainly integrate with webshops, manufacturers, marketplaces, distributors and all kinds of vendors. The content provider aggregates the product information into its repository, enriches it with the additional information and shares it with the retailers. Since now content provider is responsible for keeping everything accurate and up-to-date. 

After uploading product data into Content Provider’s repository, you (or CSP’s editorial team) are allowed to edit brand characteristics when it’s needed; manage their pictures, videos, and other files. Some CSPs, in addition, provide services in the field of product photography, videography (Newscred, Fashot) which is especially important for start-up brands that need help to promote their product as quickly as possible and bring it to market. 

There are CSPs that implement additional customized tools that tend to contribute to webshops' sales boost. Among these tools are so-called product finders, online advisors, tools for product comparisons or even interactive product demonstrations in 360-degree mode.

Which CSP To Choose?

There are several types of content providers, that slightly differ from each other in their services and other characteristics. Here comes a big question to answer: which one of the existing CSPs would suit best for your company? 

To determine which one is more applicable to your business, you need to be conscious of your priorities and pain points. You should also ask yourself questions like: how high is the rate of sales conversion of your products? How fast is the process of a new product’s entry into the market? How many verticals and product categories are there on your webshop? Are you in need of content editorial services?

Content networks, such as Edgenet, 1WorldSync, and Shotfarm are one of the common ways to exchange product data between brands and retailers. They offer rather a high percentage of product coverage, but the quality of content is quite average. So if you’re seeking high-quality content, you should refer to content catalogs: IceCat, CNET, GFK Etilize or Gladson.

The most popular worldwide content providers are IceCat and CNet. Below, here’s a comparison between them based on key aspects, so that you have the opportunity to choose the most suitable Content Service Provider for your business. While making a choice, I recommend focussing on the product coverage of your portfolio to get the most out of the cooperation.

 

icecat-catalogs-provider

Languages
supported

40

23

Free
version

Limited*

No

Coverage

24,165 brands

176 product categories

 

*Open Icecat distributes the product data of their partners for free

IceCat’s product catalog includes the following categories: Computers & Electronics, TVs & Monitors, Health & Beauty, Toys & Accessories, Pet Care, Fashion & Lifestyle, Domestic and Home Appliances, Baby & Children, Office supplies, Sporting and Entertainment goods. CNet, in its turn, has a slightly different list of categories, including Printers & Scanners, Displays & Projectors, Networking, Displays & Projectors, Applications & Games, Optical equipment & Cameras, Home & Kitchen Appliances, Office Products.

But another challenge appears here.

How to distribute this data to all resellers you deal with? 

Every manufacturer, every webshop and every marketplace has its own unique data structure. Moreover, there is no one-size-fits-all content provider. How can you get automated imports for new and updated products in your webshop structure from partners?

Usually, this process occurs the following way: retailers/brands either spend their own resources or hire a third-party organization to constantly download, transform and edit content. A lot of manual work is involved here, which can be quite expensive both in terms of budget and time. Moreover, a human factor can play its role here — a person may be mistaken and edit information incorrectly.  

Optimizing product content syndication

Generally the most cost-effective option is to get content delivery processes automated with the help of a content syndication solution. Gepard platform makes all of the above-mentioned processes occur automatically. Commonly it works as middleware between content providers and channel partners. Gepard Syndicator imports product data from content providers and then applies mappings for product categories between CSP and channel partner’s catalog taxonomy. Then Syndicator delivers real-time updates of product data via REST API. 

If you’re interested in knowing more information about Gepard, feel free to fill the contact form here.

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