Recently, we kicked off a blog series on why Gartner says a “closed loop” is essential for today’s businesses to keep pace with the rapid pace of commerce. We also explored why ingesting data is a necessary first step (and how to accomplish it) as one of the five steps to ensure a continual loop for product content optimization.
Data cannot simply live in a database, static and ungoverned. And to support customer trust and product experiences, you need to take the next step to operationalize your data.
Today, we’re unpacking Step 2 in the Commerce Growth Loop — Manage — and how to ensure your data is ready for digital commerce success.
How Does Managing Your Data Affect Growth?
Nearly every business has felt the effects of data quality blunders. Gartner reports that organizations are losing on average $9.7 million each year due to poor quality data.2 Clearly, bad data hinders growth.
Accuracy is one part of the equation. We’ve all heard the horror stories — like when Amazon accidentally sold a $13,000 camera for $95 due to a Prime Day error.3
In digital commerce, trust and transparency are equally as important to earning customer loyalty. You want shoppers to have the best possible experience — and content must be ready to display to help them continue on their journey.
For example, if your data is in the wrong format or doesn’t meet the retailer’s requirements, you risk hurting your vendor relationship—as well as having your product listed lower in the rankings. For shoppers, if they can’t find what they need or the product details are incorrect, you’ll tarnish your brand sentiment, increase costs with returns, or risk losing them to a competitor.
So, how do you overcome these challenges? Once you ingest your data, it must be well-managed.
Five Factors to Consider When Managing Your Data
The process of managing your data can be complex, and many companies attempt to tackle it through a disjointed approach.
That’s why we’ve created the only company in the market that delivers an end-to-end commerce ecosystem, helping retailers and brands manage their data in the most agile, efficient, and comprehensive way.
With market-leading technology from Syndigo and Riversand, our current and future clients can handle all crucial aspects of the Manage step, including:
1. Data Quality
Regular quality checks guarantee completeness, readiness, and accuracy of your data. For example, our multi-domain Master Data Management (MDM) platform includes over a million data validation checks every day in key areas, including:
- Custom Dictionary
- Real-Time Readiness Scores
- Custom Audit Rules
- Comprehensive Validation Ruleset
This also powers our Product Information Management (PIM) capabilities, meaning that product content can be ready for syndication to recipient standards, as well as link back to the original golden record.
Riversand — recognized as a Leader in the Forrester PIM Wave — as providing “best-in-class data onboarding and creation, with references crediting it as a ‘very elegant’ solution for complex data aggregation.”4
(What is PIM? Download our eBook to learn more)
Product attributes are continually changing, and it is important to ensure your data is enriched to meet your global and multilingual requirements.
Attributes often include information like label content, dimensions, packaging information, health and safety claims, SEO, and everything else you need for the supply chain. In addition, our platform enables clients to create custom attributes specific to their business needs. In fact, Syndigo has built-in attributes for over 25,000 product categories.
Your product content is complex, but there is another layer—the way retailers classify and categorize products. For example, a carbonated fruit beverage may be considered a juice drink by a brand, but a soft drink by a retailer. The way to reconcile this data categorization across your data recipients is through taxonomies. It’s critically important that the content is classified appropriately according to their different taxonomies in order for your product data to be listed where it needs to be on sites and marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Target, and more.
Syndigo — updated daily and reflected in real-time so brands can remain agile and adapt. On average, there are 15,000 changes per month. By using Syndigo, customers get alerted to changes taking place, so they don’t have to manage individual retailer updates.
As listed above, both product attributes and retailer requirements can change frequently. An important factor of overall data management is checking to ensure you don’t have missing content or critical product errors. Readiness refers to monitoring these issues — by verifying against retailer requirements or global standards like the GDSN network — through feedback from retailers or data recipients requesting changes.
Syndigo’s Content Experience Hub (CXH) provides readiness scorecards directly within the platform. For example, do you have critical errors on some products? Or missing information? Is there feedback from the GDSN network or a retailer that must be addressed? The Readiness Scorecard provides an actionable to-do list for users to view at a glance.
5. Standardization (including Digital Assets)
Managing data also requires looking at specific standards. For example, in the automotive industry, parts manufacturers must comply with standards such as ACES and PIES. Healthcare manufacturers have GUDID in the US or EUDAMED in Europe.
Our clients benefit from Riversand PIM to leverage business rules that help them meet standards and industry requirements in a simpler, faster way.
Digital assets are also an essential element, including how you manage and map your branded imagery to product content and data. Our platform includes integrated DAM, which helps companies associate images with the right product records and can also help clients create capabilities for transformation.
For example, if a brand uploads an image, we would know the specifications that a particular retailer requires for the image on their site — and our services handle that process automatically. Or, we’d know which set of lifestyle images should be used for multiple product variations within a single brand.
These specifications could also extend to whether a retailer requires images with a light vs. dark background, or a filename with a specific format. Syndigo can store all these business rules plus ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) transformation rules, so that images can be transformed to the particular format that is needed—when, where, and how they’re needed. In fact, Riversand manages more than 200 million digital assets and asset transformations with automated rules.
Are You Prepared to Close the Loop?
Manage is a crucial step in closing the digital commerce loop. Once you have master data in one place with automated rules and transformations, you are ready to move to the next step in the Growth Loop.
In bringing together Syndigo and Riversand, enterprises can benefit from a single commerce ecosystem encompassing the leaders in multi-domain MDM, PIM, DAM, Syndication, Enhanced Content, and Digital Shelf Analytics (DSA).
Read about Step 3: Syndication in our next blog in the series. Throughout this five-part series, we’ll provide tips and best practices for implementing an end-to-end commerce strategy.
4 LeClair, Amanda, The Forrester Wave™: Product Information Management, Q2 2021