Leveraging the shifting responsibilities in the value chain
Many businesses across the value chain are struggling to keep up with the changes that the marketplace evolution brings. Retailers are struggling to balance between 'owned' stock and third-party resellers, wholesalers are struggling with regional exclusivity and sudden direct-to-consumer deliveries and customer care, while brand-owners need to manage this 'new' channel in their portfolio of online and offline sales channels.
These are strategic issues that warrant their own, separate, deepdives. This article covers the 'how' of connecting to marketplaces, especially when considering product information. The value chain is shifting rapidly however, which leads to a lot of uncertainty while opening up a huge opportunity at the same time.
What data should I connect?
- Product information: images, descriptions, attributes. Though this information is (should be) rather static, making sure your product changes are propagated to all channels (your own website, marketplaces, advertising) is highly preferred.
- Stock and price: since stock (and price, but to a lesser degree) can change quickly, you want this to be as automated as possible. Not having items on stock leads to unhappy customers, lost sales and might lead to being banned from the marketplace.
- Order operations: orders that come in need to be marked 'shipped' (often with T&T) on the marketplace and you want your returns to be managed as automatically as possible as well. Though the latter is not as important (returns require a lot of manual labor anyway), you do want orders to be shipped as soon as possible.
How to connect to marketplaces
- Manual Connections
- PIM Plugins/Customization