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Friday, December 3, 2021

Get rid of your spreadsheets before they let you down

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Do you still use spreadsheets to work with your product information?

How many spreadsheets do you have for Google Merchant, Facebook Ads, Amazon, and other marketplaces? Maybe you also have a separate spreadsheet for each specific category?

Here you can find just a few of the important tasks that spreadsheets don’t do well:

  • Working with many sources of information (if you have multiple suppliers, it won’t be easy for you to put everything together in one spreadsheet)
  • Difference between various versions of images and product descriptions (if you have multiple people working on the same spreadsheet, it will be difficult to put it all together)
  • Ensure separate changes, approvals, and publications
  • Version control and content rollback

So why are you using spreadsheets for a job they shouldn’t be doing?

E-commerce catalog management software is commonly referred to as product information management, or PIM for short. PIM solves all the problems that spreadsheets can’t handle as it is built specifically for managing product information on websites, e-commerce platforms, print catalogs, retail outlets, etc.

How PIM affects your income

PIM can increase your productivity when it comes to managing and cataloging product information. Therefore, some people tend to view it only as a tool to save time or money. However, in our experience, very few customers use it to directly save on labor costs. They prefer to use the time savings and efficiency to expand their business.

Channel multiplexing has become practical

It is no secret that any business that needs to expand opportunities to increase income and sell assets through various channels is one of them. However, as with many other things, it’s easier to talk about moving to channel multiplexing than getting it.

A successful multichannel strategy is more than just offering your products everywhere and to everyone. You need to customize the customer experience depending on where and how they shop. Many companies lack the resources to develop at the speed they want, delivering excellent product data across multiple channels.

Low-cost multi-channel support

When product information becomes available, PIM can automatically upload it to various channels. In addition, it can automatically check the data quality and load information only when it is fully usable for a specific channel.

Shorter product launch time

For many industries such as apparel, electronics, toy manufacturing and others, product launch time is critical to success. Increase your sales by reducing the time it takes to compile all product information, which will then be distributed through various channels.

In other words, quitting spreadsheets and adopting PIM isn’t just a matter of day-to-day efficiency. It’s more like a transformational opportunity. Sounds good? Let’s find out how it works.

Simplify your work

1. Import your data

Automatically import data from any third party system including ERP, spreadsheets and files from your vendor. Start by evaluating your sources of product information. Does it come from ERP, database or spreadsheet by email? Automate this flow of integrating your PIM with ERP and other sources.

Don’t waste your team’s time manually exporting information from data sources. PIM may collect updated information on a regular basis. These import automation efforts require some investment, but pay off quickly.

2. Organize and classify product information

  • Organize and classify your products at your discretion. Organize your workflow and use any logical grouping of products. A well-designed graphical interface can eliminate hundreds of useless spreadsheets.
  • You can set up automation rules to classify your products into the right categories and forget about manual labor.
  • You can define the structure of the product in order to avoid duplication of data, for example all T-shirts of the same SKU, but of different sizes and colors, will contain identical information about the product, except for the fields that need to be changed.
  • Just like in product grouping, some fields require updating for different channels, but others may remain the same for some or all channels.

3. Add, edit and translate

Enrich information about your products, add multimedia content in any format and translate only the descriptions you need.

As a catalog, product, or ecommerce manager, you can focus on what’s really important. And now, thanks to PIM, you can:

  • Keep product information up to date;
  • Work with colors, sizes and specifications;
  • Enrich your products with photos, videos and other files;
  • Personalize your product information for each channel.

4. Use built-in quality tests

Provide automated tests to make sure all required fields are always filled in, formatted correctly, and contain the correct data. This incomplete or inaccurate prevents the publication of the product records.

5. Publish your data.

Export any product data to any sales channel: online store, marketplace, mobile app, etc. The point of managing product information is to provide your prospects with the most complete, accurate, and compelling product information possible, wherever they search. This means that product information may differ across channels, platforms, or region to region.

Focus on your real job.

The best part of automation is that it allows you and your team to focus on your real job – effective merchandising to increase sales.

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