What is Product Data Syndication (PDS)?

the software that takes your products to the world

Product data syndication (PDS) delivers rich, compelling, and localized product content to every digital touchpoint.

In modern commerce, the importance of your digital shelf cannot be overstated. From your own website to marketplaces, third-party resellers, and social channels, your digital shelf is more than just an online storefront for your business. It’s a portal that showcases the soul of your brand and invites would-be customers into a world curated to captivate their imagination and ignite their desires for your product.  

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Unfortunately, many digital shelves end up in a chaotic maze of misrepresentations. Product listings can be incomplete, product information can be missing critical details, and visuals like images or technical drawings can be distorted out of usefulness. All this adds up to your potential customers feeling confused, frustrated, and unlikely to hit that buy button. 

How can you avoid this situation for your own digital shelf? With product data syndication technology, also known as PDS. 

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Read the success story of the global cable manufacturer

What is product data syndication?  

Product data syndication is the process of distributing contextualized, reliable, and relevant product information to your digital channels. This includes your own website, as well as marketplaces, resellers, and social media channels. Put simply, it relates to every digital touchpoint where customers engage with your products.  

Manually managing this intricate process can quickly overwhelm even the most adept e-commerce operations, particularly if you’re a brand or manufacturer pursuing an omnichannel marketing strategy. Manual management also risks errors or discrepancies in pricing, product descriptions, or other customer-critical information.  

workers with large cable rolls

PDS software takes the hassle out of this process. It can streamline your internal workflows and ensure accurate, relevant product information is always delivered to your digital channels. Next generation syndication technology goes one step further. This technology is built on API-based connectivity that offers the bi-directional integration methods typical of the largest online resellers and marketplaces.  

To extract the most value from any PDS technology, forward-thinking brands and manufacturers combine their syndication needs with product information management (PIM) software. PIM provides the single source of product data truth needed for an effective syndication process. To meet this need, advanced PIM solutions offer built-in syndication capabilities. This ensures product content that is distributed across the digital shelf stems from the same single source of truth that sits at the heart of the organization.  

How PDS helps you win on the digital shelf 

As brands vie for attention, conversions, and customer loyalty, product data syndication continues to be key to digital shelf domination. Rich, detailed information is the only means by which a customer can feel sufficiently informed and confident in purchasing your product. The omnichannel delivery of that information is only truly achievable through PDS. 

However, to fully succeed on the digital shelf, it’s important to understand that this flow of data is not linear, but circular. The feedback loop of analytics data on the digital shelf performance of your product content is essential if you want to keep your listings optimized.  

By integrating the output of PDS and digital shelf analytics (DSA) technology, brands and manufacturers can close this feedback loop. This lets them maintain optimal product content at every touchpoint with actionable, real-time insights. 

This feedback loop can provide information on when a listing is underperforming or a product has fallen out of stock. This constant feed of syndicated data is critical when selling online. That’s why a growing number of brands are moving towards the new breed of PIM solution. These PIM solutions offer built-in PDS and DSA capabilities to provide the complete solution for digital shelf success.  

How does a syndication solution work?  

A product content syndication solution works by connecting product data to retailers and marketplaces utilizing a variety of means such as: 

Given that each marketplace and channel has varied requirements for product data, a PDS solution acts as the bidirectional liaison that connects your content across these channels, maintaining data integrity and compliance on both ends. Larger marketplaces and resellers, from Amazon to Zalando, accept data via API connectivity, an increasingly important attribute of any future-fit PDS technology. 

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This streamlined functionality of a data syndication solution allows for the mapping of product information across many output formats and file types, including: 

Whether connecting to endpoints via API or email, PDS software transforms your data into whatever it needs to be to reach customers where they shop. 

PIM and product data syndication 

Before brands and manufacturers are ready to utilize PDS for the distribution of product information, it’s crucial that the data behind the information is fundamentally whole and reliable. That’s why so many rely on product information management software. A PIM solution establishes a single, verified data source—a structured framework from which PDS can draw.  

Product data syndication extracts this enriched data from the PIM system and distributes it. This ensures the right information reaches the right destination. Together, PDS works with PIM to streamline the process of data management and distribution. 

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Product data syndication benefits 

Unlike their brick-and-mortar equivalent, the endless possible entrances to a digital shelf rarely make for a linear customer journey. This creates challenges—but also opportunities for forward-thinking companies ready to embrace an omnidirectional market. 

What role does product data syndication play for manufacturers, brands, retailers, and others? When developed with a solid strategy and proper foundation, PDS solutions bring tangible benefits to the digital table. Consider just a few of the following benefits. 

Bridging informational gaps 

The demand for informational transparency continues to escalate, prompting the need for a comprehensive data infrastructure. Product data syndication smooths the transition for brands looking to move towards circularity. It also provides meaningful insights at every link in the supply chain. In turn, organizations can capture and communicate key data points at every step—from search to sold. 

Unified omnichannel presence  

Searchable, enriched product data is the conversion-driving lifeblood for brands, manufacturers, and retailers in the omnichannel space. However, as demand for high-quality and localized content increases, data syndication enables a unified, ubiquitous presence. This ensures consistency and builds trust with consumers. 

Streamlining market adaptability  

PDS software allows businesses to expand into previously untapped markets—or adapt to changing requirements in existing ones. Whether it’s updated vendor requirements or social commerce initiatives, PDS ensures digital-savvy brands remain both agile and compliant, speeding time-to-market in new and existing channels. 

inriver: Using syndication to drive Customer Experience


Want to start syndicating content? Our guide “Building a Syndication Program” can help.

Do I need product data syndication? 

Long-term growth depends on scalability, and with scaling comes increased amounts of data. If you’re a brand, manufacturer, or retailer in the evolving e-commerce environment, you might be missing out on the added value PDS software can bring to your business. 

To determine if your company would benefit from product data syndication, compare your company’s challenges with the following six challenges for single-channel brands:  

Does your company face challenges in one or more of these areas? If so, then adopting a PDS solution will greatly benefit your operations.  

engineer fixing many red cables in single box

How to choose the right syndication solution? 

Unlocking the full potential of product data syndication requires choosing the right solution tailored to your unique needs today and tomorrow. A future-fit PDS solution should encompass several key features to optimize performance and success, including: 

If you’re in the market for PDS software, select a syndication solution that ticks all the boxes. That way, you will be best positioned to handle the challenges—and reap the benefits—of today’s omnichannel marketplace. 

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How do I get started with product data syndication?  

The first step toward integrating PDS is to ensure your PDS and PIM solutions stand up to the demands of today’s e-commerce marketplace. 

Ask these questions when considering a PDS solution:  

Additionally, a proper product-data foundation is also required for a PDS tool to operate at its best.  

To build a truly future-proof strategy that helps your syndication strategy thriver, a PIM solution must underpin the tech stack. Only with a single source of product data truth can a PDS solution most effectively dispense product information—allowing businesses to scale with efficiency, craft consistent branding, and optimize every touchpoint with a single click. 

inriver: The complete PIM and PDS 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 data syndication by delivering accurate and reliable product information to the relevant end-user wherever it’s needed. 

want to see the inriver PIM in action?

Schedule a personalized, guided demo with an inriver expert today to see how the inriver PIM can get more value from your product information.

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