Are you looking to establish and maintain a more robust ecommerce presence but find yourself struggling with product data?  

You’re not alone. According to a recent NetPlus Alliance Industry Outlook survey, about 31% of NetPlus Alliance distributor members plan to invest in ecommerce this year.  

However, managing product data has been distributors’ biggest hurdle to online success, and rarely gets the attention and prioritization it deserves.  

Top 10 Challenges of Product Data Management for Distributors 

Staying competitive means providing a better customer experience.  

Buyers want a comprehensive customer experience in person and online. They want access to product information they need to make a well-informed decision, day or night. However, in today’s rapidly changing market, it can feel impossible to keep up with online demands, especially when facing common roadblocks to data quality that include:  

  1. Large product catalogs 
  2. Thousands of SKUs 
  3. Multiple data sources 
  4. Data integration 
  5. Data governance  
  6. Technical challenges  
  7. Regulatory compliance 
  8. Market changes 
  9. Out-of-date or inaccurate data 
  10. Inconsistent terminology 

Optimized Product Data Management Best Practices and Benefits 

Clean, accurate, and up-to-date product information can turn your ecommerce website and team into a profit-generating machine. Here’s how:  

Clean and Up-to-Date Product Data Leads to More Informed Buyers 

Product data is paramount for the B2B buyer. You might give it little thought if you ran across outdated product information when making a personal purchase, say on a pair of jeans or tennis shoes. However, in the B2B world, inaccurate or outdated information on a highly technical product used in bridge repair would be more than concerning. It would be downright dangerous.  

Well-sourced, clean, consistent, and up-to-date product data reduces customer confusion and return rates.  

Quality Product Data Improves Customer Experience (and Sales, too)  

Product data is an integral part of your company’s online experience. When customers can access comprehensive and accurate information regarding a potential item, the purchasing process is streamlined and can lead to higher conversion rates. As mentioned, the rate of returns may also decrease as customers can make more informed purchasing decisions for their needs.  

Optimized Product Data Enhances Brand Reputation 

Have you ever visited a seller’s website only to find minimal or non-existent information about their products? Did that experience make you want to purchase from them, or did you exit and look for a seller who offered greater clarity? Investing in product data builds trust with your customer base and demonstrates your commitment to meeting their needs.  

Product Data Improves Greater Online Search Visibility  

Accurate and timely product data on your website improves search engine optimization (SEO), an essential element of ecommerce success. The higher the quality of data found on your site, the higher the chances that search engines will index that page. What does this mean for you? It improves your ranking and visibility when potential customers search for a particular product or solution online. 

eCommerce Product Content Syndication  

Both manufacturers and distributors benefit from single-source product content syndication.  

What is product content syndication?  

Product content syndication refers to creating and distributing product information across various online channels and platforms, such as descriptions, specifications, images, and other relevant details.  

These platforms may include:  

  • ecommerce websites 
  • Online marketplaces 
  • Social media platforms and more 

Product content syndication aims to ensure that accurate and consistent product information reaches potential customers wherever they may be searching for it online. For distributors, product content syndication can offer several benefits: 

  • Increased visibility 
  • Improved SEO 
  • Enhanced brand consistency 
  • Streamlined product updates 
  • Improved internal efficiencies 
  • Better customer experience 
  • Access to new markets 
  • Ability to scale quickly 
  • Higher sales  
  • Reduced returns 

Partner Up for a Product Data Strategy that Works 

Chances are, the content you’ve found in the past is insufficient for your customers’ complex needs. You are looking for a better way to achieve consistent data, a streamlined experience and a more uniform presence on all channels. 

Addressing these challenges requires a combination of technology, processes, and organizational commitment. Implementing robust data management systems, automation tools, and data governance frameworks can help distributors overcome these challenges and ensure that their product data remains accurate, consistent, and current. 

For effective product management, you don’t have to go it alone. 

One-Stop Digital Content Hub from NetPlus Alliance 

Every distributor has extensive collections of diverse product types, each with its own complex product details, and you need a plan to manage that at scale, with the customer in mind. One of the biggest challenges facing distributors is keeping product data like product descriptions, images, part numbers, and names up to date on their websites.  

NetPlus Alliance and DDS (Distributor Data Solutions) have joined forces to bring NetPlus members high-quality ecommerce-ready product content through a cutting-edge delivery system that streamlines the process for distributors and suppliers.  

Our Digital Content Hub serves as a data repository that offers distributor members access to product content and industrial and contractor supplies data from an array of manufacturers.  

Elevate your digital presence with benefits like:  

  • Rich, Complete and Accurate Product Data 
  • Unlimited SKUs 
  • Automated Flow of Product Information 
  • Regular Content Maintenance 
  • Simplified Delivery 

NetPlus distributor members are not the only ones who can benefit from the Digital Content Hub. NetPlus preferred suppliers also have unlimited access to the Digital Content Hub with no licensing constraints.  

Gain a stronger foothold in the industry and compete with up-to-date product data on thousands of industrial supply brands, unlimited SKUs, and automated product information flow. Learn more about our Digital Content Hub, powered by DDS by clicking here 

About NetPlus Alliance

NetPlus Alliance builds relationships and provides opportunities for the advancement of member companies for their long-term success in the supply chain. With more than 100 years of combined industrial distribution experience, NetPlus Alliance negotiates improved pricing, rebates, and terms with more than 200 manufacturers on behalf of 415 industrial and contractor supplies distributor members. Our members drive market growth and profitability through stronger channel partnerships, financial incentives, progressive marketing, joint sales planning, training programs, and business best practices. Learn more about NetPlus Alliance at 

Source: NetPlus Alliance 


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