Managing & Distributing Product Content: A Supplier Checklist
Content management and syndication is the core to your connection with shoppers, and ultimately sales. By creating, sending and receiving accurate product information in proper formats, the entire ecosystem operates more efficiently. As you consider the content syndication partner you want to work with, be sure to ask these questions:
1. “What options do I have for product capture, validation and content creation?”
When some vendors give you the ability to upload your content to their platform, the burden is on you to ensure proper syntax, formatting and follow-up for item updates. Many vendors do not validate the data once you upload it, and if it is rejected by a recipient, you rarely know why. For your convenience and accuracy, your vendor should also be able to take in physical products to capture the information, including dimensions and attributes.
Syndigo has client relationships with both suppliers and recipients, ensuring you know what product characteristics they need, in the data formats they need. And we can accept the data in any format you wish – including collecting it ourselves.
2. “How can you enrich my core product content and add next level attributes?”
No matter how clean your information is, it likely needs to be enriched or validated against retailer requirements. If a syndication partner simply passes along your information, there is a greater possibility of your data not being accepted. Plus, as shoppers look more to non-label wellness characteristics (such as clean label, keto-friendly), it becomes more important for your content partner to be able to identify the attributes that allow your products to be classified as such.
Syndigo validates your content completeness and accuracy and can work on your behalf to validate and update your information if it needs to be. We also go “beyond the label” to provide deep nutritional content to drive wellness initiatives.
3. “Can you also host and distribute Enhanced Content such as rich media?”
Accurate core product content – label attributes, measurements and ingredient lists – is the beginning. Most of the top retail sites (Walmart, Costco, Amazon, Target, Google) will favor additional Enhanced content such as comparison charts, usage videos, marketing content or recipe ideas, ranking your products higher.
Syndigo gives you the ability to host all your Enhanced content along with Core content, on the same platform. This gives you the same direct distribution to your retailer partners, in the formats they require. Plus, you can provide access for you marketing / agency vendors to ensure brand consistency by managing all your assets in one location.
4. “What type of platform or portal is available to access, manage and syndicate my content?”
Not all portals are created equal. The Syndigo Content Experience Hub (CXH) gives you access to your product information from anywhere, as long as you have WiFi or an Internet connection. Syndigo also gives you peace of mind because we fully manage CXH – we do not pass your data to another vendor for platform management.
We also know that your content can change often. Syndigo allows for unlimited updates to your products hosted on CXH, with no hidden costs. And since updates are implemented in near real-time, your retailer recipients don’t have to wait for new content to be populated based on a vendor scheduled update.
5. “What is the size of your available retailer syndication network?”
While having an accessible platform is important, it is equally important to have a large network to distribute your content. Syndigo connects to a global network of brands and retailers, enabling efficient and accurate transfer of information across more than 1,400 retailers worldwide.
6. “Can you send direct feeds to Amazon and Google?”
Many content providers can deliver data to the large platforms. However, the definition of “direct feed” may vary from supplier to supplier.
Syndigo has preferred partnerships with both Amazon and Google, which means that we comply with all their data submission requirements. When Syndigo sends direct feeds, it means that we have worked together with the retailer to ensure your content matches their delivery needs, and the data is fed directly into their systems – no manual uploads or file transfers are required. This ensures that the content contained in CXH is identical to what is delivered to Amazon and Google, in the proper formats, directly.
7. “Are you part of the Walmart Connected Content Partner program?”
Walmart developed its Connected Content Partners to help simplify the requirements for providing product information to them. Of the 11 suppliers named to the program, Syndigo is the only supplier partner who is approved for three categories: Syndication, Enriched core content and Rich Media.
This means you can have a Connected Partner, regardless of whether you need assistance collecting, enriching or syndicating your core content to connect to Walmart’s online platform.
8. “How many paying retailer clients do you have?”
Some suppliers tout a large retailer network, but in reality they are simply distributing your content to retailers for free. This provides very little incentive to ensure retailer needs are met and your content is in the format required.
At Syndigo, our retailers are also our clients, which means they are invested in you having the specific content requirements needed for their systems. You can feel confident that your content has been validated to be in the precise formats they require.
9. “How does your system provide feedback and quality scoring of my content?”
By understanding your data quality within the platform, you can have the opportunity to update your content before it’s released to your retailer partners, ensuring better listing compliance. Syndigo CXH provides a data quality score for each item and your data overall, to ensure you are providing the most accurate and complete content to your retailers.
Plus, Syndigo provides suggested fixes for items that are not validated, and if there are critical elements that the retailer needs addressed, that feedback will be provided directly in the CXH platform so you can take action quickly.
10. “Can other areas of my organization use this content?”
As the world of product content is being disrupted, brands and retailers are evolving too. However, it is still the case in many organizations that the department responsible for eCommerce content is different than the one using content for category management or merchandising, and a completely different group uses GDSN data thorough the supply chain.
When considering how to make the most of your product content it may be worth considering others across your organization that can also benefit from a partnership with a content provider like Syndigo. This simplifies the number of data sources needing to be managed, and also ensures a greater consistency across your data management programs.