Product Data Management + Catalog Functionality: The Heart of eCommerce
The product data management and catalog functionality are the heart of any eCommerce solution, as they define what can be sold to customers and how quickly new products can be brought to market across different channels. Plus, it's likely that many different teams at an organization, from engineering to merchandising, will be involved in managing products and catalogs. All of this together makes the technology you choose to use for this piece of your eCommerce strategy extremely important.
But, the majority of eCommerce platforms, built their catalog functionality 10-20 years ago when the digital needs of brands were simpler than what they are today. At the time of their creation, being online with a simple site was enough to drive revenue growth. Brands didn’t need to power experiences across multiple geos, business models, touchpoints and more – all requiring their own unique catalogs. Plus, product assortments did not change as rapidly and continuously, meaning that speed to launch and optimize products and catalogs was not crucial to an eCommerce team’s success.
This dated functionality is often extremely rigid, both in terms of product data and catalog management. Often these solutions impose their own data structures on the application owner making it time-consuming and cumbersome to upload product data from external sources such as PIM, ERP, or even just spreadsheets. In addition, these solutions often tightly link price books and products meaning that entire catalogs need to be duplicated and customized in order to support a brand’s unique requirements. For brands who need to support multiple catalogs across geos, accounts, business models, brands, and touchpoints the lack of flexibility in these traditional commerce platforms results in time-consuming and expensive workarounds needing to be built, resulting in duplicative efforts, expensive rework, and delayed time to market and revenue.
At Elastic Path, we heard these pain points from our customers and committed to finding an alternative way to manage product data and easily create the unique catalogs you need to drive business growth across multiple routes to market. That’s exactly why we have reinvented product and catalog management, with EP Product Experience Manager (PXM).
This new addition to our composable, API-first, microservices-based platform, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, was created to make the daily lives of teams responsible for managing products, pricing, and catalogs at branded manufacturers easier. Product Content Management along with Catalog Composer provide the flexibility to use your existing data structure to rapidly compose and continuously optimize products and pricing into unlimited, unique catalogs across all your routes-to-market such as multiple brands, accounts, geographies, touchpoints, business models, and loyalty tiers.
This empowers brands to reduce catalog management time by 5X resulting in more consistent user experiences and faster time to market.
- Import and enhance product data using their existing data schema, decreasing the time it takes to get new products live.
- Create hierarchies, such as multi-level categories or lines, based on their unique internal structures instead of having to create expensive customizations.
- Manage products and pricing separately allowing for the flexibility to support unique catalogs without custom extensions or manual catalog management.
- Compose hierarchies (products) and prices into the unlimited catalogs that meet business needs across geographies, customer accounts, touchpoints, brands and beyond.
- Assign rules to catalogs so that they are dynamically surfaced for the right customers at the right time.
WithCommerce PIM and Catalog Composer, branded manufacturers have the unlimited flexibility to seamlessly create, customize, and manage the products and catalogs they need to support unique business requirements, including: multiple geographies, business models (B2B, B2C, etc.), customer/account types (rewards customers, tiered customers), brands, touchpoints (kiosk, pop-up, web, etc.), etc. These two features put the control back in the hands of branded manufacturers so they can confidently support and sell their unique products at the correct price and in the proper experience, decreasing time to market, and powering revenue.