Industrial manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers are facing increasing pressure to go digital, as B2B buyers are looking for more D2C-like experiences while researching and buying products. Digitizing the way product content is created and shared is top of the digital transformation agenda.
In the past, product data exports were managed by PIM systems, IT departments, highly technical tools, and a great deal of manual labor. All of this led to slow turnaround, a lack of agility, difficulty in creating new exports or variants, and large and unpredictable IT project fees. This also created friction between the teams that need data exports and the teams that produce them.
Industrial manufacturers can no longer only sell through a few major distributors. The landscape is way more complex, and the route to market is more multichannel. Manufacturers need to manage relationships with increasing numbers of digital channels, and deliver product data – quickly, accurately, and in a way that’s compliant with their unique, and changeable, specifications.
There are several solutions out there to help companies like yours organize their product data. But not all of them are optimized for customizing and syndicating content for external channels, from wholesalers to marketplaces.
If you’re exporting product content to distributors, external databases, retailers, or even to direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels, you want certainty that you have the agility to efficiently tailor your data for each recipient’s needs.
There are a whole host of considerations you should make when choosing software for efficient and agile product content syndication. Here are the most important ones:
Does the solution cover all, or a vast majority of, data exports and channels that you need?
In order for your organization to centralize your capabilities and simplify the go-to-market process for product data, ideally your tool will already support the channels you need. Look for templates for standard channels, like Amazon and Rexel, as well as on-demand mapping, customization, and distribution of product content in a full range of formats.
Is it a business-user-focused, self-service tool?
Ask your prospective providers to give you a demo of the software. Check that it’s easy and flexible enough to allow users to create simple data exports on the fly within minutes, as this is what’s going to empower your teams to shorten time-to-market while sending error-free product data. Also find out whether it’s fit for users with no coding experience and able to support multiple users across different locations, if that’s what you need.
Can it meet your unknown future demands around new channels?
It’s not always possible to predict the new kinds of exports you might need to carry out in the future. You should look for a product content syndication solution that’s able to meet your demands moving forward. To determine whether a tool is future-proof, check that it offers the basic building blocks needed to build any kind of data export. For example, can you select a certain assortment of products, rename a bunch of attributes, map some values, and export everything in BMEcat? Or populate the same data into an excel sheet? You want to be able to pick and choose what data you export and in what format – this means you will be able to create any kind of export you may need in the future.
Does it offer good connectivity options to all the systems that hold your product data?
The interoperability of a solution really matters. Find out whether, and how, it would connect with your PIM and any other systems holding your core product data, such as your ERP. Your tool should ideally offer good connectivity to your other software.
To learn more about product content syndication in industrial manufacturing, download our guide.