E-commerce channels and platforms are proliferating wildly, especially as more social media apps step into social commerce every day. As retailers scale globally, the complexity only increases. Not only do you have to worry about publishing content in new languages and transacting in new currencies, but most countries have popular, regional e-commerce platforms in addition to the global ones. And each of those platforms has its own requirements for technology integration and content uploads.
If you want your retail business to achieve global scale, managing operations separately for each of the dozens of relevant platforms is no longer an option. You must streamline and centralize operations to not only make day-to-day feed management easier, but also accelerate onboarding to new platforms and rollouts of new campaigns. With COVID-19 driving new consumer habits for shopping online, there’s no time to wait and see: The time to optimize your global e-commerce operation is now.
Departmental and regional silos lead to inefficiency
Too often, digital transformation takes place in silos, which can hold retailers back from effectively addressing the problem of content optimization for e-commerce. For example, it’s not efficient for a company’s marketing department to optimize its product feed management while a second, different business unit works on an onboarding solution to acquire product data from vendors — a situation I’ve seen in many organizations.
Maintaining separate regional operations also leads to redundancy. Because integration with all these platforms is so complex, it doesn’t make economic sense to have multiple teams implementing the same API integration. If you need the ability to implement dynamic pricing, frequently update availability or perform other advanced tasks, doing this once across multiple platforms and countries is much more cost-efficient.
On the surface, managing product data at the local level may seem like a way to ensure agility, because regional teams can respond quickly to local needs. However, in the long term, a lack of centralization and standardization will hold your company back.
The importance of centralization for global expansion
To successfully scale up globally, you must break through digital walls by unifying product data management across departments and regions. With a single technology stack in place, you can roll out new campaigns and initiatives quickly across the globe, without the need to tweak or alter your plans to accommodate different departments’ or regions’ technical capabilities.
You’ll also be able to deploy innovations more swiftly. For example, if you find a way to increase click-through rates by optimizing an image with a template that puts the price on the image, rolling out that template to all your regions and platforms may take no more than a few clicks of a button.
Finally, a good centralized product data management system won’t keep you from connecting to important local platforms or running local campaigns. It will enable local agility and local ownership, while increasing efficiency and enabling you to keep operations running smoothly as you expand your reach.
-Vincent Peters, chief revenue officer,Productsup