5 Key Qualities to Look for in Product Content Providers
Building and maintaining a webstore, and marketing your brand is just one item on your agenda. If you’re involved in the ongoing e-Commerce initiative, you may be in IT, Marketing and Sales. When it comes to choosing content services, your entire organization is a stakeholder. As we’ll see later, the product data, images and documents will be touched by virtually every internal team as the content is also used in daily operations.
Did you Know: “Poor product descriptions are the #1 reason for product returns. -Entrepreneur Magazine-
Let’s not forget long-form content like white papers, technical specs and even blog posts positioning you as a subject matter expert. That’s a topic for a different article, however these detailed assets do make up part of the “content code”.
5 Qualities to Look For
Ask if the provider’s staff who are collecting and reviewing your content have any experience in your business and the industry’s landscape. This may include distributors, OEM’s, customers and products you sell.
Is their staff multi-disciplined with IT, Marketing and Sales staff led by someone who knows the Industrial/Industrial business. If this isn’t the case, you can expect to be doing a lot of hand-holding.
Are they “Platform Agnostic” If their services don’t extend beyond providing the commerce platform they are , you’ll be locked into their proprietary platform and high-priced tech support.
Can they accurately organize the product data into Categories and Sub-categories needed for easy navigation and product selection? This not only makes for easy navigation, it improves sales order and shipping document accuracy. Ultimately, this means more sales conversions and fewer product returns.
Have they previously prepared product data for a web catalog database with thousands or even a million SKU’s? Web inventory databases tend to grow, not shrink. The content provider should have on-staff database experts to work with your IT staff seamlessly to populate the ERP or PIM systems with the new information.
1. Industry Knowledge2. Skillset3. Platform4. Staffing5. Database
Content provider should know the products. Working exclusively in the Industrial/Electrical sector populating ecommerce platforms with thousands of products. Working previously as staff members with an end user, distributor or OEM ensures they understand your culture, customers and products.
Their staff should be cross-discipline. This includes IT, Digital Marketing expertise and familiarity with Industrial Sales and the customer. These skillsets include database management, internal operations and the sales funnel. Remember, the data is not only used on the web, but also populates ERP’s and PIM’s your organization uses.[ /su_tab]
If their staff experience and testimonials include recognition by industry associations, full line distributors, OEM’s or end users, that’s a huge plus.
You’ll likely be committed to your e-Business platform for years. If your content provider is also delivering your e-Commerce platform, reserve the right to shop around for your product content anytime (data, images). Make sure you have support populating your web content platform no matter who provides the content.
You’ll want to be sure the provider can work as a team and communicate clearly with your staff. The goal is to extend your staffing bandwidth without needing a lot of hand holding that consumes huge chunks of your time and disrupts progress. A content provider must be familiar with your products.
Have they previously prepared product data for a web catalog database with thousands or even a million SKU’s? Web inventory databases tend to grow, not shrink. The content provider should have on-staff database experts to work with your IT staff. Your database administrator should have a high level of confidence in the provider’s handling of your data and digital assets.
WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT
- Help with categorizing your product for easy navigation and user experience
- Added product listings that create more web traffic and store sales.
- Data Enrichment Service that fills gaps in your existing data.
- Product images, spec sheets that build confidence in your listings
- Clean, accurate data in your ERP for internal operations