The challenges of product content syndication

Tuesday 19 March 2024 
Elsa Benaiche Elsa Benaiche
2 minutes
The challenges of product content syndication

Product content syndication involves sending adapted content towards all distribution channels while adhering to the requirements of each individual distributor: product information structure, industry-related standards, naming rules, codification…

Given the number of distribution channels, the diversity of requirements makes product content syndication complex and time consuming, involving manually adapting and regularly updating data, proofing, and validation…

The only way to properly manage content syndication is to use a PIM solution (Product Information Management).

Read about the difficulties of product content syndication and how PIM can make it easy.

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Product content syndication: the challenges

Organize your product content

To stand out from the competition, distributors are very attentive to the user experience of online shoppers.

This means that they determine their own specific filter criteria: colors, materials, categories, customer reviews, sizes, price range, available options… A powerful filter system allows the distributor to perform well on the Digital Shelf. 57% of shoppers1 use the faceted navigation filters on distributor sites to refine their search.

For a brand, the diversity of requirements makes product content syndication challenging and requires that they structure their product information (SKU, technical specifications, attributes…) precisely. It also involves complying with each distributor's naming rules before transferring product content.

content syndication

Make product content compliant

To sell their products, brands must comply with the rules of each distributor. Some industries have norms to standardize the exchange of information. For example, in the publishing world, the ONIX standard is widely used2 and determines numerous rules for organizing product data: EAN code, weight, size, availability code, shape code, price format… before sending to the various distribution channels.

This means that brands must adapt their product content to predefined structures, which also requires monitoring changes to standards over time (new legislation, standards and/or regulations) and updating product content in consequence.

In many other cases, each distributor, imposes their own product information structure, requiring brands to manage countless variations and conversion rules when transferring data from their product repository to that of each distributor.

PIM: the comprehensive solution for setting up product content syndication

There are several methods available on the market to facilitate quick transmission of product content towards a multitude of distributor websites (flat files, data stream, API…).

To take the adaptation, standardization, and validation of product content even further before sending to the different distribution channels, it is recommended that you use an integrated content syndication solution.

PIM (Product Information Management) solutions integrate seamlessly with your company's Information System enabling you to manage the challenges around product content syndication, including the variety of constraints, changes in norms, diversification of distribution channels…

content syndication - pim

PIM solutions retrieve, centralize, and store all product information in a unique repository: descriptions, categories and subcategories, technical specifications, images, videos, customer reviews… Through this database, Product and Marketing teams can use the PIM's advanced features (calculated fields, multi-user management, digital asset management…) to automatically transform product content depending on the requirements of each distributor.

They can also use the validation workflow to set up an effective inspection process for product information before it is sent to the various distribution channels. Depending on their user rights, each contributor can check the compliance of data with the requirements of distributors: update, proofreading, validation… and ensure that distributors have the best content to list the brand's products accurately.

Some PIM solutions also manage transcoding to guarantee the compliance of product content with the requirements of each distributor and can send content automatically to each distribution channel.

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1 Murgia, N., & Pfeiffer. (2023, June 28). US Consumers Want The Ability To Filter Their Search Results On Retail And Brand Sites. Forrester.
2 Syndicat national de l'édition. (2018, August 22). Métadonnées et livres numériques.

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