Don’t Settle for Spreadsheets: PXM Is the Answer
Ask any supplier how they’ve managed product content over the years, and you’ll notice a common answer: spreadsheets. Makes sense, right?
Electronic spreadsheets have been around since 1969 when LANguage for Programming Arrays at Random (LANPAR) was introduced on mainframe and time sharing computers. And their evolution into standard applications on any Microsoft or Apple computer has made them an automatic “go-to” for business professionals who need to organize and analyze just about any type of data.
In the supplier world, spreadsheets are typically used in tandem with multiple IT systems to store, organize, and share product content with recipients. These systems tend to have outdated interfaces and require several workarounds to get the job done.
It’s an unreliable approach that’s just not cutting it anymore, especially as suppliers look to deliver true product experiences in which customers have access to valuable information they can use to make purchasing decisions. Moving beyond spreadsheets and antiquated technology is essential for making these experiences a reality.
Stop Working in Slow-Mo
Most enterprises have some relationship with Microsoft products. Whether Word, Skype, or Excel, millennials and Gen X professionals have never known life without these tools, which is helpful when it comes to basic data management functions.
But, that’s not the case when managing and sharing product content between suppliers and retailers. This content is complex and dynamic, making manual processes in spreadsheets cumbersome, time-consuming and vulnerable to error.
Here’s why spreadsheets are holding you back:
- Product content has multiple facets: In the eCommerce era, suppliers need to provide more than simple product descriptions and pricing information. Digital assets, such as videos and images, are necessary for creating dynamic digital product experiences and driving conversions. In fact, Shopify found that 85% of consumers name color as the main reason they purchase a product.If you’re managing product content in spreadsheets, you likely have to use a separate digital asset management system, which gets clunky and disjointed. That’s why Edgenet partnered with Snap 36 to store and share 360° product images from our platform. This allows suppliers to maintain control over digital assets and deliver the kind of content customers expect in shopping experiences. According to Snap 36, 360°degree product images can increase conversions by as much as 47%, meaning this kind of integration can have a real impact on business growth.
- They’re error-prone: Although you may know how to make your Excel files dance, you still have to have the right parameters in place to prevent errors from making it into your product information spreadsheet. These extra steps can be easily overlooked, meaning one misplaced dash or a zero in place of an “O,” and you can end up sharing inaccurate, unreliable content with your recipients.
- Consistency gets lost: Retailer requirements for accepted data types vary across your network. With multiple content editors, your spreadsheets can take on a life of their own, becoming the Frankenstein’s monster of product content management. This means you end up sharing files that are inconsistent with your branding and difficult for retailers to decipher. It’s time to rein the monster in and take back control.
PXM Shuts the Door on Spreadsheets
The issues around managing product content with spreadsheets and scattered, outdated systems are compounded when it matters most: scaling data for growth. Speed and capacity mean everything for suppliers, as retailers and customers expect to receive detailed content, exactly when and where they want it.
That’s where product experience management (PXM) comes into play. By combining product content management, digital asset management, and GDSN, a PXM platform allows suppliers to centrally manage content and automate distribution from one place. There’s no need for working in multiple files across failing technology just to get your product content where it needs to go. PXM eliminates guesswork, increases speed-to-market, and drives sales conversions.
A robust PXM platform allows you to:
- Set parameters around product content to maintain consistency
- Organize users to ensure collaboration and continued fidelity
- Provide management of digital assets, side by side the product content
- Easily and quickly allow for content updates—at scale