The increasing role of digital channels for buyers to research and purchase products clearly accelerated in 2020. This trend will only continue in 2021. SKUlibrary is here to help.
With more buyers (both business and consumer) using digital platforms to research and purchase products and more retailers demanding more product information from their suppliers, it is essential to ensure you are maximising your product content strategy for 2021.
This page outlines some of the key and recent measures you can take and ensure you are best placed to realise the opportunities of better product content across your business. These recommendations are aligned to some of the key trends we are seeing including:
- Retailers (and regulators) demanding more product content
- Increasing numbers of digital channels requiring product content
- More stressed teams, required to deliver more sales with less resource
- More go to market channels, which need to be quickly actioned
- Efficient operations being paramount in challenging economic times
To help keep SKUlibrary as the easiest way to create, manage and distribute our clients’ product content, we will continue to invest more than ever in enhancements to SKUlibrary during 2021. Keep up to date with all innovation and how it can support your business here. Check out an infographic summary of how SKUlibrary helps brands drive value from product content.
GIVING RETAILERS THE PRODUCT CONTENT THEY REQUIRE
Retailers are demanding more product content to support functionality they are developing to give consumers an engaging shopping experience. Some key themes include:
- To give their customers the ability to more easily choose healthier products, Woolworths has recently launched “Healthier Options”. The healthier options are based on the product’s Health Star Rating, Ingredients and NIP data, for products within the same category. If a product does not have any values in those attributes, it won’t be suggested as a Healthier Option. Action: Ensure your products have all NIP, ingredients and health star rating populated. This can be selected as part of submitting a photography / render brief, or we can bulk upload it
- Coles has recently launched multiple images with zoom. We have already supplied all our clients images to them and these will be presented on their site in due course. Coles will also shortly be launching minimum standards for product data. Actions: Photography and render briefs ensure full images of your products, or supply images of all sides of the product when submitting a brief. Watch out for the Coles specific rules appearing on SKUlibrary shortly
- Coles Liquor uses SKUlibrary as its PIM for data and images across its sites. Vendor’s attributes from their SKUlibrary catalogue are now mapped across and driving merchandising on Coles Liquor web sites, giving consumers the ability to filter on attributes to find the products they need. There is now a panel on SKUlibrary for Coles Liquor specific attributes. Action: Ensure you populate all alcohol attributes for your products, including those for Coles Liquor, if you range products with them
- More retailers have API feeds of product content to their web sites, with more signing up regularly. It is therefore essential to ensure your full range is available to be transmitted in these feeds. Action: Audit your product range on SKUlibrary to verify that the full range is present, with full product content
- SKUlibrary can separately manage products with the same barcode, but available in different regions. We have an increasing number of retailers using SKUlibrary in New Zealand and these country specific products are now clearly identified with an “NZ” badge on the product list page. NZ versions of the products can be used by retailers by selectively using products with the “world region” flag. Action: If you have NZ specific versions of your products, ensure these are on SKUlibrary
- For regulated products, TGA required attributes can be managed on SKUlibrary. These are now mandated by, and fed to, Woolworths and other retailers. Action: Ensure your TGA attributes are populated on SKUlibrary
Coles has launched multiple images on the product page.
Woolworths has launched “healthier options”, using product data to give consumers healthier alternatives
Display video, 360 spins, and rich content infographics on Chemist Warehouse.
Check out the download templates available on your account, and request additional templates if needed
GET MORE PRODUCT CONTENT IN MORE PLACES MORE EASILY
Once you have created rich and engaging product content you want to ensure this is in front of as many buyers as possible. Some things to consider include:
- SKUlibrary is adding direct product content API feeds to retailers regularly. This saves those retailers time and effort in keeping product content up to date, and drives sales of our clients’ products. Action: Invite any of your retailer customers to apply for an API feed
- For those retailers that do not have a feed, we can build the upload templates into SKUlibrary so you can easily populate them when downloading product. Action: If you have a retailer template you would like loading into SKUlibrary please provide this to us here
- Get product content to David Jones, Amazon and Myer more easily. It is now possible to download product content with the Amazon and Myer templates populated, and request product content to be fed to David Jones. Action: If you range products in David Jones, Amazon or Myer, please let us know and we will set these options up for you
- Get rich content onto the Chemist Warehouse web sites. Many of our clients are taking advantage of the opportunity of displaying rich, engaging product content to the shoppers on the different Chemist Warehouse web site. Action: Check out the various options and submit a brief if you would like to take advantage of this
- SKUlibrary provides feeds to a diversity of third parties, including Storbie, Shping and MyFoodLink. This helps get client product content in front of as many shoppers as possible. Action: Review the various integration themes and suggest any platform feeds that may benefit your business
DRIVE SALES WITH LESS EFFORT
SKUlibrary has a diversity of functionality to help drive sales with minimal additional effort. Ensure you are across the possibilities, so you and your colleagues are making the most of the services available.
- The health check report is the easiest way to ensure your product content is complete across your brands. This gives product content health score which many of our clients use to measure their completion rates, and drive rapid improvements. Action: Investigate your product content health, and ensure your content is not only complete but up to date
- Use SKUlibrary as a single source of truth Product Information Management (PIM) platform across your business. With all your product content in one place, available to external users, this can also be used internally as a source of truth to feed other systems. This is particularly helpful when you have more than several hundred products as it avoids rekeying, re-uploading, and ensure consistency across your business. A number of our clients have implemented this as a solution, at a much lower cost than alternatives. Action: Investigate if there is merit in using SKUlibrary as a PIM platform for your business
- Increasing numbers of retailers are using SKUcapture to manage the sourcing of products from their suppliers or SKUlibrary as their PIM. Retailers that use our SKUcapture service are provided our clients products directly to their business, avoiding chasing for these products. Retailers that use SKUlibrary as their PIM are shown our clients’ products directly on their product page us using the “EasyShare” solution. By having the full range on SKUlibrary, this avoids having “a gap” of products that retailers then request to be uploaded, and they are also then readily available to non-SKUcapture retailers. Action: Ensure your full range is available for distribution to the retailers that use SKUcapture and SKUlibrary PIM.
- You can easily report any product content issues on retailers’ web sites, and we chase these up. It is our mission to ensure our clients’ product content is presented to as many buyers as possible. Product content is fed to a diversity of retailers, but sometimes things do not go as planned. This is usually caused by delays or issues on the retailer site. Shortly we will also be automating the checking of image accuracy and data completion on the Coles and Woolworths web sites and resending content where it is missing. Action: If you notice product content is not correct on a retailer’s site, you can report it here.
- SKUlibrary has a wealth of functionality, to help you manage and distribute your product content efficiently. More capability is added on a regular basis. The functions and tools are described in the comprehensive help system. This is well worth reviewing. Action: Check out the Help & Chat button (bottom right of the screen) to find a range of tips and help articles
Use the “Health Check report” and other functionality to save time in improving your product content
Use SKUlibrary as a single source of truth across your business, to avoid rekeying, re-uploading, and aligning content in different systems
SKUlibrary can take feeds from ERP to keep product records aligned and feed a diversity of platforms to help realise ecommerce opportunities
Making your product content available to product marketing platforms is a good way to engage directly with consumers
ACT ON NEW GO TO MARKET OPPORTUNITIES QUICKLY
Digital moves fast! By having all your product content up to date, in one place, you can realise new opportunities quickly and efficiently
- Product content is one of the most important parts of pursuing a new opportunity, as this is what is presented to customers to convince them to buy your products. But often it is either forgotten or actioned too late, delaying the launch, or launching sub-optimally. If you have all your product content in one place, it removes product content as a project dependency, meaning you can focus on other elements of your proposition, and delighting your customers. SKUlibrary can be used as a single source of truth, with feeds to new systems such as various eCommerce and brand site platforms able to be set up quickly. Action: Check out the integration possibilities and consider using SKUlibrary to feed your new commercial opportunities
- Aligning the products on SKUlibrary to your ERP saves time and avoids missing products. It also isn’t as hard as you might think. We have numerous clients with a feed from SAP or their master source of truth into SKUlibrary. This ensures that everything they sell is listed in SKUlibrary, making it easy to identify which products are live, but with no product content. Action: Consider setting up a feed from your ERP to SKUlibrary
- Feed product content to marketplaces. A number of our clients are now exploring using marketplaces to sell directly to consumers. Keeping pace with the diversity of marketplace requirements is a huge challenge. Whilst we can support in feeding to Amazon directly, we can also feed to channel partners such as Intelligent Reach who can then distribute your product content to a myriad of marketplaces. Action: If you are selling on marketplaces, get in touch to discuss how we can help you distribute your product content most efficiently.
- Create engaging product descriptions for buyers. Consumers need to be persuaded as to the merits of choosing your product. Often information on product packaging doesn’t do the job, meaning your retailer customers have little to work with when they copy-paste or re-write your descriptions (for SEO purposes). SKUvantage is able to take the product data available and write compelling product descriptions that outline the features and benefits of your products. Whether it is fashion, food, toys or machinery, we have done it all. Action: Consider whether the product descriptions against your products need improvement, and get in touch if you need help.
- Market directly to consumers and support your marketing and operations teams. Various platforms are available which market products directly to consumers on behalf of brands, including the likes of Shping. Field sales tools and B2B platforms used by operations teams are now also using product content to make colleagues roles more efficient and give them the information they need in context. SKUlibrary has existing feeds to these platforms. Action: Investigate if you already use these or similar platforms and we can set up a feed. It might also be worth exploring Shping…
REDUCE TIME, COST & EFFORT FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Little things can make a big difference. There are numerous ways SKUvantage services and SKUlibrary technology can simplify your operations and save you time, money and effort.
- Save money on barcode verification reports at the same time as your brief. Many SKUvantage clients use our barcode verification service and save 40% or more on proving their barcodes meet the right standards. Our BVR’s are accepted by all the major retailers and are delivered very quickly. Action: Contact us for a Free Barcode Verification report to experience our service first hand
- Consider renders instead of photography for great looking products. Renders create great imagery from the artwork used for your packaging. Even if there is internal product visible through transparent packaging, this still produces great results. The costs are the same (though generally a lot cheaper than design agencies), but the result might be something you prefer for your products. Action: When submitting a brief, consider whether you would prefer to use renders rather than photography. And if you are already using a third party for renders, contact us to find out how much money you can save with SKUvantage!
- Feed product content to your brand sites and avoid rekeying. Your own brand site should be the source of truth for consumers, not retailer web sites. To ensure your product is correct and complete, whilst saving time on uploading and rekeying data, SKUlibrary can feed this product content to your site. Platforms we have integrated with include WordPress, BigCommerce and Magento, but all are possible. We can also give you a download template so you can bulk upload data into your site. Action: Check out product content is managed on your brand site and if there are any opportunities to save time and effort loading content into your brand sites
- See all your product content and images in Google Sheets. If your business has access to google sheets, we can provide you with a sheet with your product images and data so that you can use this in calculations and spreadsheets. It can be used as a single source of truth for all products listed in SKUlibrary. It is also updated automatically each day. Action: If this would be a helpful tool, please let us know and we will get it set up for you.
- Suggest features you would like on SKUlibrary. We are always adding new features and improvements to SKUlibrary. You can keep abreast of these here. We are also keen to hear from clients as to what would make their lives easier, or what improvements they would like. Action: If you have any suggestions as to how we can make SKUlibrary better, please tell us using the form below
Our barcode verification service is 40% cheaper and usually faster than the alteratives
Feeding product content to brand sites saves time in ensuring your own site becomes the source of truth for consumers