Why an integrated DAM & PIM is the engine of ecommerce success.
To serve today’s demanding consumer, successful ecommerce requires not just compelling, stand-out content and communications, but also accurate and transparent information. With increasing supply chain volatility and rapidly evolving product trends, ecommerce companies need to be able to provide consumers with quality, up-to-the-minute information to deliver the best experience.
There’s no denying that ecommerce has become a vital part of consumers’ lives, regardless of demographic. In a recent report, Forrester predicted that digital online transactions would make up 21% of US retail sales in 2020. Critically, the report also forecast that digital-influenced transactions in physical retail stores would account for 37% of total US sales. Ecommerce is growing at an unprecedented rate and it’s clear that digital’s influence on retail success – or failure – is huge.
It follows then, that ecommerce companies must have their house in order to be able to compete. Data must be connected, clean and accessible. Content must be agile, easy to access and create while also proving engaging and profitable. Yet data from London Research would suggest that barely a third (37%) of businesses could claim to have a centralized content management hub – a key component to achieving this. As content management specialist, Theresa Regli, writes in her paper, Compellingly Connected, a “lack of content interconnectedness often stalls innovation and slows down time to market”. Time is something ecommerce businesses today simply do not have.
Why, even as an ecommerce pure play, is it important to take an omnichannel view covering both on and offline channels? Quite simply, consumers today are often channel agnostic. They expect to be able to interact with brands on their own terms. One day, they may wish to use search, another preferring to call a contact center. Increasingly, ecommerce brands are seeing the trend of consumers ‘showrooming’ – visiting stores to touch and feel product before ultimately buying online. Even pure-play ecommerce brands such as Made.com have taken the step of creating flagship showrooms where consumers can do just this.
Many brands don’t need to go to the lengths of opening physical stores but the idea of being wherever the customer is still stands. And to be able to do this, ecommerce enterprises need to be able to manage their data and content assets like a conductor manages their orchestra – all in tune with their audience, all in time, and working together to create a magnificent whole.
Frustratingly, getting data and assets to work together in harmony isn’t a given in retail, especially in long-standing organizations with large legacy infrastructure. Often both data and content assets are siloed and fragmented. Instead of spending their time creating compelling communications or releasing the latest product range, employees are preoccupied with hunting information down in disparate databases, reconciling out-of-date assets and emailing each other to complete much-delayed workflows.
This is bad enough, before you consider that in today’s agile and interconnected consumer environment, automation is essential. No human workforce can keep up with the constantly shifting inventories and multiple channels – social, TV, voice, physical and more – consumers can shop through. Fragmented product metadata is also a common challenge that gets in the way of the smooth, connected experience retailers seek. Centralizing and managing this along with the rest of your product information is vital if you want to achieve an accurate real-time omnichannel presence. Without connected assets and product data, ecommerce stores run significant risk of selling out of date or out of stock items, frustrating customers and ultimately losing revenue.
Fortunately, even for legacy-bound ecommerce businesses and omnichannel retailers, deploying the twin strengths of DAM – Digital Asset Management – and PIM – Product Information Management – allows them to centralize the storage and management of product data and digital assets in one system to create a powerful content engine which can serve connected customers’ needs. Using the PIM to power information such as product spec. and technical details, and combining it with marketing content – images, copy and more – from the DAM, marketers can present customers with accurate and detailed information, even in real or near to real time.
Take, for example, home appliance retailer BSH Hausgerate GmbH (BSH). The company has to navigate not just the sale of multiple brands across multiple geographies, it has to make the content relating to each product relevant to the specific culture it is selling to. For example, in Asian markets, it is vital for the company to highlight the wok-burner facet of some of its cooker ranges. But this content is less relevant elsewhere. The company needed to create, store and then deploy the relevant brand stories at the right time, refreshing content when needed and adapting it to relevant consumer channels.
Using the censhare PIM and DAM combined as a central system, the solution was rolled out to more than 3,000 of the retailer’s employees globally, managing more than 11 million assets and creating more than 1,500 user stories to enhance product marketing. This is just one of many such customer success stories available in censhare’s Kowledge Base, including the case of Lands’ End clothing, whose growth and rapid evolution into a global online retailer was fast outpacing the capabilities of its outdated DAM system.
Working with one of its US-based implementation partners,, censhare has enabled Lands’ End to exit its previous system and migrate seamlessly to its new DAM, integrating with other necessary tools such as Adobe InDesign. The company has since expanded its use of censhare DAM, with 700 users currently managing nearly two million assets and is already exploring how it can grow further - including the creation of an online marketplace to showcase multiple third-party brands, and further workflow and process optimizations such as automated translation and page design updates to create an even more efficient, responsive retail organization.
Today’s ecommerce environment can be exciting, but also highly volatile. To succeed, retailers need to be able to react and deliver accurate information where and when it’s needed. DAM and PIM systems allow ecommerce companies to access full omnichannel effectiveness, even starting from a legacy martech base.
Critically, many martech vendors today recognize the power of DAM and PIM to bring together content to deliver a fully omnichannel experience to customers – but they’re not all created equal. Packaged as part of an over-arching ecommerce solution, integrated DAM and PIM may be able to cope with the demands of smaller companies or smaller, less complex product ranges. However, when it comes to managing thousands of SKUs, across multiple channels and even in multiple languages, a dedicated solution like censhare’s is really the only option.
censhare's omnichannel content management platform not only offers great value to your end users throughout various vertical markets, but can also be a very attractive business partner to systems integrators focused on digital transformation services in product marketing and ecommerce. By putting unsiloed content into the heart of your customer’s digital transformation, the censhare platform acts as pivotal element in building great customer engagement; a single source of truth that is constantly available and up to date. At the same time its open nature allows you to develop and offer customer-specific solutions.
As a great addition to your portfolie, censhare allows you to offer software licensing, consultancy and managed services such as user management, support and hosting to your customers.
Interested in adding censhare to your portfolio? Get in touch today.
censhare relaunches the brand to reflect its content leadership in the MarTech landscape.