High-quality data can drive powerful results — both internally for business insights and to deliver compelling commerce experiences. However, it can only do so if your data is accessible in the right place, at the right time.
That’s where Step 3 in Syndigo’s Growth Loop – Syndicate – comes into play.
Syndication is how you publish data and content from your central repository to your targeted systems and recipients. It’s also one of the most misunderstood elements of data management.
So, in this article, we’re exploring a few truths and tips to help you navigate the syndication step.
Why is Syndication Crucial to Commerce Success?
In kicking off our series, we discussed the first two critical steps in closing the loop for digital commerce.
First, with the Ingest step, you pull data from various sources into your central repository. Then, with the Manage step, you leverage PIM capabilities combined with recipient taxonomy to ensure the data is high-quality, trustworthy, and enriched with the right attributes, digital assets and standardization required.
However, these first two steps are not enough to drive your desired outcomes. The real value comes when you share your data — both within your own processes and systems, as well as publishing it downstream to retailers and commerce channels — to achieve your goals.
The Truth About Syndication
There is much misunderstanding about syndication in the commerce market. People often think syndication has an ‘easy’ button — just one click and all your data publishes perfectly to Amazon, Target, Walmart, and beyond.
But the truth is syndication is not the same as simple distribution. There is a significant difference between sending your data and assuming it is accepted versus delivering it to a large retail network in the formats required by each partner.
To navigate these challenges, companies should approach syndication with the following three considerations:
What Type of Content is Accepted?
There are significant differences in the type of content recipients will accept. For example, certain retailers won’t accept data that doesn’t comply with GS1 standards for naming, image dimensions, attributes, etc. Some recipients will reject content that has not been created and verified by Syndigo.
On the other end of the spectrum, some recipients will accept anything and everything. Either way, determining the unique data requirements for each internal and external system is an essential first step.
How Will the Content Get There?
Understanding the types of accepted content is a great start – but how will it actually get there?
Some recipients have highly sophisticated systems on their side, with full API integration that makes the publishing process smooth and seamless. But that’s not always the case. There are some retailers and recipients that may still require an XML feed or a CSV file transfer. You could also encounter a retailer that needs a Microsoft Access database for product content, because that’s how they upload and use it within their platforms.
Clearly, the publishing process is complex — whether you’re dealing with e-catalogs, asset portals, files, or detailed API integration. So, it’s critical to know what content to send and how it gets there.
When Can I Send My Data?
Finally, most recipients also control their own syndication timing. For example, a recipient may only bring in new content once a week on Thursday via a batch process. Your content might be ready on Monday, but because they don’t accept push content, you’ll have to wait.
Other recipients will gladly accept content in real-time, but they still have unique criteria for approvals and workflows. It’s important to understand how each recipient’s process and timing works for receiving new content or updates.
Multiple Syndication Methods in One Platform
As you can see, syndication isn’t as straightforward as many people think. But there are ways to make the process as fast, efficient, and seamless as possible.
Syndigo’s Content Experience Hub (CXH) is a true unified platform that supports the broadest syndication network — ensuring your content is accepted based on industry and recipient-required data formats.
Here are multiple methods for syndication, all handled within the single Syndigo platform:
- Direct Syndigo Technological Connections: Deliver push content directly to a recipient via API/XML. The content requirements are pre-defined based on the recipient’s specifications.
- API: Connect directly with the recipient’s systems, bypassing manual work (e.g., manual searches for items to review and export).
- GDSN + Top Off: Send content via the GDSN data pool — plus provide additional content to “top off” portals where offered.
- Custom Exports: Syndigo enables you to build custom exports within our platform – which allows you to easily configure content for smaller, regional recipients who lack robust syndication capabilities.
CXH is built for today’s varied syndication requirements. Our direct retailer network has over 17,000 recipients and over 23,000 unique requirement sets. And if your recipient has unique needs, we’ve got you covered with custom distributions.
Plus, with features like the Syndigo Marketplace (with verified content for 1.6+ million products), Custom Asset Portals, and the second-largest GDSN data pool in the world, there’s really no limit to where or how you can send your content.
Imagine a Provider for Every Step
In recent years, companies often had to engage a third party to custom build syndication feeds. Gartner spoke about these inefficiencies in a report last year, saying, “Data and analytics leaders struggle to design a business-relevant strategy for product data syndication (PDS) that is both effective and efficient enough to satisfy sell-side B2B and B2C requirements.” 1
This reality changed when Syndigo and Riversand joined forces. We have a vision to solve the missing links and close the gaps — and are now the only true end-to-end provider for every step of the growth loop for digital commerce.
Stay tuned for Step 4 — Engage — in our next blog, as we continue to provide tips for implementing an end-to-end commerce strategy.