Innovative augmented reality solutions for eCommerce businesses

Innovative augmented reality solutions for
eCommerce businesses

For a free demo, write to us:

The Product Value Chain: An Essential Ecommerce Tool

The Product Value Chain: An Essential Ecommerce Tool

The essential role that product content plays in sales and buying processes has only grown in importance. Customers increasingly use rich digital content in place of physical material, like brochures, in-store displays, side panels on products, and rich specialty catalogs. Creating a product value chain requires an architectural way of thinking that starts with a clear understanding of the demand side. If you aim to deliver an experience that is something better than one size fits all, you need to treat your content strategy as more than a hand wave. You need to have an architectural approach to your content supply chain. 

With the growing consumer trend of co-shopping, product content may be more important than the physical product in many shopping journeys where comparisons are a crucial influence. Introduction content does not exist in one entity alone. Enterprise content networks comprising the manufacturer brand, the retailer, and often the wholesaler create and enrich content at various stages of the content value chain. 

Understanding the Content Value Chain 

The purpose of supply chain management is to make inventory readily available to fulfill customer demand.  

Businesses must strive to match supply with demand promptly through the most efficient use of cross-chain resources. To optimize resource productivity, develop standardized processes, eliminate duplicate efforts, and minimize inventory levels, supply chain members must work together. These steps reduce waste, drive out costs and achieve efficiency in the supply chain. 

  1. A credible PIM (product info management) system, including onboarding engines that take content in a variety of formats (XML, flat files, spreadsheets, JPG, PDF, etc.) from collaborators and are validated and staged in a content repository.   
  2. A content repository that allows for unlimited user-defined attributes and multiple entitiese.g., product, category, related item 
  3. Relationship-building functions that associate a list of products with taxonomy elements or other entities, such as cross-sells.  
  4. Content enrichment and curation that automates or assists with data maintenance and normalization of unstructured data, like JPGs, and structured product data, like descriptions and attributes.  
  5. Rich data quality features, whether out-of-the-box or user-defined, that analyze data in the repository for ‘cleanliness,’ ‘completeness,’ or alerting users that there are data problems with their changes. 

 Primary Content Supply Chain Stages 

Content supply chain management approaches differ from most organizations in their level of thinking, planning, and professional management that is both required and applied when executing content operations. 

  • Plan: The content supply chain starts with the way you plan for content and how it is created. 
  • Create: The creation process of the supply chain starts with obtaining inputs. Experts in the subjects must be recognized and recorded to provide essential inputs. Original research may be necessary. Many other content sources like quotes, illustrations and pictures, videos, and associated articles are required.   

The creation stage could be a single attempt, for example, a person writing a blog or, it could be a group effort, with different people performing different tasks.  

  • Manage and Deploy: It is important how content is managed and deployed to users, as it defines how re-usable source content is and how often finished assets are used. Today, there are many methods for content delivery. This is an essential factor that increases the complexity of this process, right from the planning stage. 

How Does PIM Impact Your Business?

PIM is the technology that enables more agile and effective product content processes. Its implementation serves as the glue that binds together various content stakeholders.  

  • All product info management providers and consultants recommend addressing governance (which includes organization) as part of a PIM project. 
  • Product data demands to be maintained at the enterprise level.    
  • Product info management providers directionally agree that a shared-services organization, managing and owning the PIM, is best suited to provide the most effective product information to the enterprise. Enterprise type and category impact this decision.  
  • Shared service teams are not just a tactic for cost reduction but are a key organizational strategy as companies move from multichannel to omnichannel. 
  • Modern PIMs with integrated workflow management also allow knowledgeable individuals from merchandising, brands, marketing, channels or suppliers to contribute key product content as needed and required. 

Getting the Best Value from a PIM Investment  

To return the best value from a PIM investment is to use it to engage business partners and automate their contributions to the content value chain. For example, for a retailer who pursues a goal of having a million SKUs online, traditional merchandising item selection and maintenance does not scale to the assortment size.  

Multiple distribution partners are likely required to support the virtual assortment. Each one of these partners typically has proprietary methods for communicating product descriptions, attributes, and associated unstructured product content, like images.  

In such cases, product info management can be a great help. Product info management supports the integrations, onboarding, maintenance, and publication of aisle products sourced from multiple distributors to multiple omnichannel form factors and touchpoints. It supports bulk imports of product data from a variety of formats and methods.   

PIF promotes automatic category assignments based on attribute and description data. It supports automatic data transformations and normalization so that abbreviations such as ‘BLU’ are consistently populated in the content as ‘Blue.’  

PIF is designed for automatic assessments of data in various stages of readiness for publication. It helps in exception-based overrides of transformed data, including supplier access to a portal from which the supplier can maintain and correct attribute data.  

Workflow alerts on data status are generated that help publish in multiple formats that appropriately redeploy content from the repository for a channel or form factor.   

Product info management is designed to support: 

  • Bulk imports of product data 
  • Automatic category assignment  
  • Automatic data quality assessments 
  • Automatic data transformations and normalization 
  • Exception-based overrides of transformed data 
  • Workflow alerts on data status 
  • Publishing in multiple formats 

Support for Large and Diverse Assortments 

The business benefits of enabling large assortments online are real. Automation is key to providing the customer with a great omnichannel experience and to drive new revenue opportunities. Product info management is an important part (along with OMS and other systems) of this stack. The ability of the customer to find and buy an item is obviously dependent on it being visible for purchase in the channel in which the customer is shopping. PIM helps by automating the publication of product content to a variety of selling channels.

An Enterprising System 

Product info management is an enterprising system that acts across the content value chain to manage the decentralized internal and external actors that create differentiating product content. 

Product content artifacts and expectations continue to evolve. Product info management is designed to accommodate today’s requirements. It supports new content sources like social media, analytics, user-generated content, and content effectiveness scoring. Product info management can even be a key component of your personalization initiative on your web or mobile sites. By thoroughly analyzing the major value-creating steps of content production and marketing, the process can be systematically identified and managed.   

A leveraged content supply chain process optimizes content value production without compromising on significant specifications, especially the investment needed and the capability to scale operations and outputs. 

Get in touch with us!

Last Added

How CG Product Visualization Transforms eCommerce Businesses 

CGI Product Visualization

eCommerce Marketing: The Power of 3D Modelling 

3D Product Model - Furniture


Fact Sheets
White Papers
Solution Briefs
3D Glossary
Press Release