You may have heard the adage “Good data in, good data out. Bad data in, bad data out.” This couldn’t be more true (and sometimes painful) in the automotive industry. Good catalog data is the heart and soul of selling auto parts online. Having worked with many distributors across the country, we’ve seen firsthand the struggle it takes to clean up and maintain a catalog of high-quality product data. Warehouse distributors (and sometimes manufacturers) often don’t have the internal resources to give the needed attention to the quality of the product data. And even if the distributor is well-equipped with a data team, manufacturers are constantly updating their product data and offerings, adding new part numbers and making old part numbers obsolete.
When we talk about “good data” there are 3 top areas that encapsulate a quality catalog.
How do we solve this issue of keeping up with the data? If internal resources are an issue, most often a 3rd party company is the best way to manage the data processing and mining that is needed. Whether a specialized freelancer is hired to help clean up your data or a 3rd party company is used, the cleanliness of your data is affecting your bottom line. If customers can’t find the products they are looking for in your catalog, there’s a chance they may find another supplier whose catalog is easier and more user-friendly to search.
Good data is directly connected to your online sales. Help your customers by keeping your data up-to-date and high quality.
FROM TRUCKPARTSANDSERVICE.COM – Brent Benbow, Cox Automotive Mobility Fleet Service’s fleet service director of operations, received some diesel education in a technical school before joining the Army. In the service, he was assigned to the Army’s Old Guard, the official escort of the president of the United States and who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, among other ceremonial duties.
He served at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, spending a total of 10 years in active duty and in the reserves. “When I was in the reserves, I changed over to a mechanic,” Benbow explains. He used the GI Bill to finish his education at Indiana Tech and resumed his career in the heavy-duty industry.
By Claudio Disano, CEO Solenium Group
Success in the Automotive Aftermarket depends on having quality products offered at competitive prices, and having these products located in the right place at the right time throughout all your distribution channels. But that’s not where it ends … not by a long shot…
In order to maximize the sales of these products, the very nature of the parts and accessories business requires that the ‘data’ associated with these products must flow alongside (and slightly ahead of) the products throughout the supply chain. This ‘data’ is comprised of detailed fitment information, product specifications, part interchanges, product images and other digital assets, and much more. This ‘rich content’ is more important than ever in today’s business landscape which has increasingly become internet-search-based and E-commerce-driven.
Without ‘data’, products simply won’t sell because they won’t be ‘found’. It’s a proven fact that brands that offer complete, accurate, and timely product information far outsell competitive products that have inferior data that is inaccurate, incomplete, or late to market.
Another compelling benefit of providing superior, timely data is that it significantly reduces product returns by helping to sell the right products, the first time. The North American automotive aftermarket mandates that data must be provided in accordance with the Auto Care Association’s (ACA) standards (ACES and PIES). These standards specify how product information and fitment information is to be exchanged at every level of the supply chain. Simply put, if you’re in the auto parts and accessories business, having a Product Information Management (PIM) system that is compliant with ACA standards is a key and necessary element for your success.
PIM systems allow users to create, aggregate, enrich, and distribute product information. A PIM system is the key foundation to realizing increased sales, reducing product returns, and reducing costs while gaining operational efficiencies. The many advantages and benefits, along with the high ROI of implementing a PIM within your organization is a key strategic investment for your business.
With over 40 years of experience, Solenium Group has been a pioneer and leader in developing Automotive Aftermarket PIM systems. Today, Solenium provides the industry’s most advanced, feature-rich Product Information Management System (PIM). Solenium is trusted by companies of all types and sizes and is the chosen PIM partner for many of the world’s premier brands.
Sound Press and Solenium have partnered to maximize E-Commerce success for their clients.
Manufacturers have products. Those products have assets. Those assets are used in marketing. This may sound simple, but how easy is it to get those assets in play for marketing? Surprisingly, not many manufacturers have their act together when it comes to best practices for equipping the marketing of their products. There are two main components to this conversation, the PIM and the DAM.
One of the factors in the success of this is a good Product Information Management, or PIM system. This system can hold the info, but also allow access to other entities to get to, download, and use that information.
Differences between a PIM (Product Information Management) and DAM (Digital Asset Management) are indeed wide, but the most important overlap is the product assets, images, videos, and marketing information – that can live in either a PIM or a DAM.
A PIM usually consists of:
-Channels marketed in
-And Assets like photos and videos
A DAM usually consists of:
-Marketing and Brand assets
-Authorization of access
-And Meta Data
At Sound Press, we help a lot of Manufacturers get their data into eComm use in B2B and B2C, and we help Distributors and online sellers manage their data. Data comes from MANY different places. It can be licensed, set up in feeds, and obtained direct from manufacturers in various formats (PIES/ACES in the USA), but at the end of the day, not every seller and user needs or uses all the information related to a product. Being able to export or share what is needed from a PIM is critical to success. And data received often needs to be “normalized” for use. No one wants to wade thru 100s of data attributes looking for what matters to them.
So, Manufacturers, get serious about organizing and sharing your data for use in your digital channels for selling. Distributors want good data from you on this, and marketers must have good data. Don’t make distributors get the white box out and take photos of your products. Control your brand and provide pictures and accompanying value proposition marketing language we can all use. If you need help with this, reach out, we’d like to see you looking good in this area.
Rob Boyd – Sound Press Director of Digital Marketing
Rob launched his career in digital after acquiring his Master of Science in Digital Marketing from Full Sail University. While specializing in eCommerce, having previously worked directly for eComm giants Sweetwater.com and Discountfilters.com, most recently serving as VP of Marketing for National Trade Supply (discountfilters.com), he has extensive lead generation experience as well. In particular, Rob has worked heavily in the educational space having worked with Orbis Education, Career Education Corporation, Defiance College, and Good Samaritan College. He also has served clients such as Cook Medical, Cook Pharmica, AutoPlus, Valicor, Solar is Freedom, and At Your Service Roofing. Rob was a multi-time recipient of the Inc. 500/5000 award while having ownership of revenue for discountfilters.com. When Rob and his wife Misty aren’t working from the road while traveling, they live in Indianapolis, IN, where they just celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary.