What is product content syndication?

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As the world of e-commerce continues to evolve, brands and manufacturers need accurate syndication of product content across all online channels.

If you’re operating a business today, the digital shelf isn’t just a commodity for the technologically advanced. It’s an essential component of any business’s success and growth. When you put your products on the digital shelf, you expose your brand to thousands (if not millions) of new customers eager to experience all you have to offer. 

Product content syndication (PCS) makes a compelling presence on the digital shelf possible. Product content syndication is the process of distributing rich content—like photos, videos, customer reviews, and other media—from your PIM to each digital shelf touchpoint. There are many benefits of product content syndication, but is it right for you? Let’s unpack the question and find out.

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What is product content?

Product content is any media, asset, or information that enriches your raw product data. It helps tell buyers the full story of the product to make informed decisions at digital shelf touchpoints. 

Product content can also differ based on the touchpoint with which the shopper is interacting. Contextually relevant product content helps ensure a curated shopping customer experience for every channel. For example, you may syndicate this type of product content for the following digital shelf touchpoints: 

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What does product content syndication involve?

Product content syndication is about strategically distributing crucial product information, like descriptions, specifications, images, videos, and reviews. Ideally originating from a unified source like a PIM, this content flows to e-commerce channels including: 

A product content syndication system ensures that wherever a customer interacts with your brand, the product information is consistent and accurate. This reinforces your brand’s credibility and builds consumer trust.

Syndication to marketplaces

Top online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Bol.com sold over $3.25 trillion in goods in 2022, with 77.5% of those sales coming from third-party sellers. Demand is growing—and with it, the competition.

Product content syndication does more than solidify your position in existing marketplaces. PCS systems also streamline the technicalities of scaling into new ones. This helps you get in front of new customers faster and keeps you compliant on every new channel. 

Product content syndication helps brands, manufacturers, and retailers expand their visibility, optimize their presence, and increase sales.

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Syndication to third-party resellers

When syndicating product content to resellers, your product content needs to be thorough. In a reseller scenario, the reseller often handles fulfillment, returns, customer service, and pricing. Product content syndication can enable brands, manufacturers, and retailers to convey captivating messages about their products on a platform they have less control over. 

Syndication to social commerce

Social commerce is an exciting new frontier for brands and manufacturers, with sales projected to reach $1.3 billion in 2023. With users spending several hours per day on channels like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, it presents a huge opportunity to sell your products and promote your company. 

Social media was largely born from visual media. Therefore, this aspect is the key when it comes to the type of content you syndicate there. The more videos, photos, and interactive content you have, the more engaged your audience will be. This is especially true if the content is tailored to each social channel’s experience. 

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What is the difference between product content syndication and product data syndication?

When researching either of these technologies, you’ll likely see these two terms used interchangeably when talking about the distribution of product information across digital channels. However, there is a small distinction between product content syndication and product data syndication. This distinction hinges on the difference between product data and product content

However, in practice, these two terms are often used interchangeably due to their similar outputs. Read our guide for more information on product data syndication

Why is product content syndication essential?

Three decades ago, e-commerce as a concept was speculative. Yet the meteoric rise of online shopping revolutionized retail and significantly hit traditional brick-and-mortar buying—a global disruption dubbed the “Amazon Effect.”

As e-commerce channels are predicted to accelerate to a 38.9% growth from 2024 to 2027, it is clear that brands without a forward-thinking e-commerce strategy will start to fall behind their competitors. That’s why so many are turning to product content syndication technology. 

Product content syndication can help brands and manufacturers bridge the gap between the physical store and their digital shelves. Without the touch and feel of a product available in a brick-and-mortar outlet, online shoppers become reliant on rich and reliable product content to understand their potential purchase.

From written descriptions to product images and other visuals, product content enables brands to connect more deeply with their customers. As well as the product stories themselves, this content also helps create brand stories that make lasting impressions on consumers.

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What are the benefits of product content syndication?

As businesses navigate the digital shelf, product content syndication ensures that brands remain visible and viable in the eyes of discerning consumers. Here are the pivotal benefits of harnessing product content syndication technology:

By weaving syndication into your operational tapestry, you can ensure that your brand remains relevant, resonates with your audience, and reaps the rewards of enhanced reach and retention in an ever-evolving marketplace.

The role of PIM in product content syndication

The right product content syndication technology can have a significant impact on any digital shelf strategy. However, to fully exploit the many benefits of this technology, it’s essential to have a single source of product data truth to power correct and accurate syndication.

That’s why so many brands and manufacturers rely on product information management (PIM) software with built-in syndication capabilities to meet their digital shelf needs. PIM stores, organizes, and enriches product data onboarded from across the value chain into a single, scalable source of truth – essential for any successful e-commerce strategy. 

With the right PIM and syndication in place, brands can avoid the tedious manual processes typically associated with distributing product content to online channels. This frees up resources and automates the syndication process. Content only needs to be updated once in the centralized PIM platform. All digital shelf touchpoints are then automatically updated to reflect these changes.

When integrated with the right PIM solution, the advantages of product content syndication tools multiply exponentially, delivering greater ROI and time-to-value.

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Product content syndication and digital shelf analytics

To ensure a successful digital shelf strategy, it’s not enough to simply syndicate content across all your touchpoints. You also need to know how this content performs, and what you need to do if it’s not performing. That’s why a growing number of brands are moving to a PIM solution that combines syndication with Digital Shelf Analytics (DSA)

Combining the two technologies enables you to ‘close the loop’ on the digital shelf. If you are alerted to issues on any of your product listings, you can respond in real-time. This ensures your product content is always optimized for conversions on every channel. 

inriver: The ultimate PIM and syndication solution 

As digital shelf expectations grow, so does the need for an agile, scalable solution that can meet diverse demands and drive revenue for even the most complex omnichannel strategy. To meet these evolving expectations, inriver offers the complete PIM solution for modern commerce that has market-leading API-based syndication built-in. In addition to Syndicate Plus, the inriver PIM also has built-in digital shelf analytics capabilities, letting you ‘close the loop’ on your digital shelf and curate every byte of your omnichannel output. 

The composable inriver PIM goes beyond e-commerce. Our multi-tenant SaaS solution turns raw data into rich, valuable product information for every digital and in-person touchpoint. From sourcing and manufacturing to sales and recycling, the inriver PIM supports your entire product journey. This ensures you can extract the greatest value out of your product content syndication by delivering accurate and reliable product information to the relevant end-user wherever it’s needed.

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frequently asked questions

how do you automate product content syndication?

To automate your product content syndication, a robust PIM solution like inriver is required. By consolidating and enhancing product information in a single hub, inriver eliminates tedious manual updates across channels, making syndication efficient and automated.

where can you syndicate product content to?  

With inriver’s Syndicate Plus capabilities, you can disseminate product content virtually anywhere. Whether marketplaces like Amazon, direct API connections, or retailers and internal databases, inriver ensures your products reach every desired touchpoint.