101: What is ‘Core Content’?
In today’s consumer-first world, there is a lot of focus on product content. Shoppers look for sites and brands that can provide in-depth product information, easily. The more a shopper can learn about products, the more opportunity there is to build a relationship…and a sale.
Retailers must maintain their presence both online and in-store, while managing content from multiple suppliers. Unfortunately, this means that there are many potential places for cost and inefficiency to creep into the supply chain.
And that’s with good product information. As brands continually update and add new items, there is even greater potential for content to be incorrect, out of date, or missing. Costs grow as well: Suppliers with missing information may not be listed on retailer sites, losing sales; worse, they may be fined by retailers for having inaccurate information.
The consumer goods industry – automotive, foodservice, grocery, hardlines, healthcare – relies heavily on core content for standards and consistency. In this post, we’ll define what core content is and why it’s important to ensure yours is accurate and up to date.
What Makes Up Core Content?
Core content is a component of Master Data Management (MDM) that is focused on the descriptive information and imagery that defines a consumer product. Things like the brand name, the ingredients, nutritional value, and weight and dimensions are all part of the group of core content. However, there is much more.
Most of the product content that a shopper sees in the first screen on a website or mobile app, (sometimes called ‘above the fold’), is considered core content. It’s easy to see why it’s so important; however it fuels much more than upfront shopper information.
Core content provides the backbone of the consumer goods industry. For example, it can be used by foodservice retailers to post FDA-required nutritional information; by eCommerce sites for product images and ingredient lists; on automotive store shelves to identify the product and its UPC code; or in supply chain warehouses to track cases coming in and out. The importance of core content is what has driven digital asset management (DAM) and Product Information Management (PIM) companies to build large (and sometimes expensive) data systems to help manage it all.
The impact of good core content cannot be understated. The top online retail sites require an item’s complete content, plus images, to be delivered in the retailer’s format, or it may not even be listed. Simply having no item photo (or a picture in the wrong format) could cause the item to be banished to the second, third or last page.
The physical world needs this content to be complete and accurate as well. Retailers may fine a brand – sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars – if core product content such as weights and measures are inaccurate. Add to that the potential impact that a mis-labeled or mis-identified ingredient could have on a consumer with allergies or health requirements, and it’s easy to see that accurate core content is imperative.
Examples of Core Content
From Syndigo’s experience working with many of the world’s leading consumer brands and retailers, there are many core data attributes that need to be captured for quality. And although many retailers require their data in varied formats, there are two main ways to think about core content: Online (eCommerce), and in store (space/shelf management, merchandising). With Syndigo’s integrated data capture and distribution platform, this can all be done within a single solution. Even if different departments need to manage or access the data, it can all be housed together.
In store content – in-store purchases (including click-and-collect) still comprise the largest portion of consumers’ overall shopping. Store layouts, warehousing, shelf stocking and merchandising/advertising all require extensive information on products. Some of the important attributes that a brand must include for each of their items in order to be accepted at a retail partner include the name, weight, actual dimensions, nutrition, ingredients and other label attributes. Some retailers may require additional information as well.
eCommerce content – it’s no surprise that online content is booming, and even if consumers buy in-store, most interactions begin online. In addition to the information required in store, eCommerce sites generally require additional attributes that a brand must include for each of their items in order to be submitted to a retailer partner.
Capturing this data and keeping it accurate can be a daunting task for brands, especially with large numbers of items needing to be published across multiple retailers. It may require unplanned resources to manage any item updates and changes, to ensure content remains accurate over time.
Core Content helps you deliver brand consistency and transparency above the fold, while enabling eCommerce and in-store category management programs to drive sales and supply chain efficiency.
Syndigo can help you with your Core Content needs, allowing you to create, collect, audit, enrich and manage your product data content for in-store and eCommerce optimizations, all from an integrated single platform.