Unlike manufacturers and retailers, distributors typically handle large volumes of products and product content. They have been slower to go digital, and are struggling to keep pace with changing B2B buyer preferences. Significant product content related challenges, lack of in-house skills, and traditionally high costs of deploying customized content and commerce solutions continue to be problematic.
StrikeTru’s industry-specific product content for commerce solution packages save valuable time and money. With an industry leading PIM tool, connectors to trusted content sources and commerce solutions, pre-built data structures, workflows, and ERP/eCommerce/DAM system integration best practices, these solution packages can handle your content processes with little to no customization.
- Support for distribution industry specific data and business processes
- Multiple solution configurations, including one without a PIM, to match client specific needs
- Affordable cloud solution options compared to big box vendor solutions
- Support for B2B and B2C commerce
- Support for multi-channel commerce and product feed management
- Seamless acquisition of trusted partner content – AD, ORS, Essendant, Orgill, and SMO
- Powered by Akeneo, the industry leading open source PIM solution
- Seamless content sync to multiple eCommerce platforms – Magento, Oro, Big Commerce, Shopify, Prestashop, WooCommerce, Reaction Commerce, etc.
- Expert deployment and customer support services from StrikeTru
- Faster time to market, months instead of years for e-commerce implementations
1. Aggregate ERP & Content Partner SKUs via Data Layer + Sync to eCommerce
The various components of this solution are explained below.
- Content Partners
- Affiliated Distributors (AD)
- ORS Nasco
Rich product content (product details, tech specs, images) from these trusted partners can be seamlessly onboarded for your e-commerce site. If using one or more partner content sources, our connectors help map incoming product data structures (categories, attributes, dropdown lists) into the company’s common enterprise data structures. Duplicate SKUs will be matched and merged.
- ERPs may include Prophet21, Sage, Magnatron, or other systems
- ERP typically supplies core product data including identifiers and supply chain data – Item Number, Product Name, Description, Dimensions, Price, etc.
- Spreadsheets typically include vendor price sheets, internally created price sheets, marketing data sheets, etc.
- Image Drives
- Product images, spec sheets, videos, etc. are typically sourced from supplier sites and sometimes stored on internal or cloud storage drives.
StrikeTru Data Layer
This core solution component aggregates content (including rich selling content) from all data sources, transforms it, creates a harmonized data set, and synchronizes all content to the eCommerce system. It supports content synchronization both in terms of product mix and completeness, and format of data needed by the eCommerce system.
This data layer consists of the following elements:
Exclusion List: Exclude product sets from being aggregated based on manufacturer, brand, product category, and other criteria.
Category Mapper: Maps incoming categories assigned by a data source to the distributor’s web category structure. Often times, the distributor creates a custom web taxonomy for product presentation based on an understanding of its product categories and customer search preferences. This mapper will also reconcile differences in product categories (or classifications) that vary by data source.
Attribute Mapper: Maps incoming attribute names assigned by a data source to the distributor’s eCommerce system attribute names. This will reconcile differences in attribute naming conventions that vary by data source.
Data Enrichment Rules: Content rules automatically create key SEO optimized data elements including product titles & descriptions, meta titles & descriptions, URL keys, and selling features. In some cases, missing or bad data is replaced with pre-designated default values.
Data Transformer: Applies the data source to target (eCommerce) system mappings and creates product feeds (categories, attributes, dropdowns, data, images, documents) in the formats needed by the ecommerce system.
Image Loader: Packages images and other digital assets for synchronization to the eCommerce system. Optionally, renames image and other files to meet SEO or eCommerce platform naming standards.
This component automatically synchronizes product content into the eCommerce platform. It includes a scheduler, and can handle intra-day syncs in addition to a daily sync. It does not handle real-time price (including customer specific prices) and inventory data, which are best synchronized by the ERP system.
The StrikeTru Sync component can handle full data sets or delta data sets (i.e. only changed products since the last sync).
This can be either an existing eCommerce solution or a new one that StrikeTru can deploy. All product content including data, meta-data, and digital assets will be systematically fed to this platform on a regular basis to deliver an optimal eCommerce environment for your customers.
You have multiple options when it comes to which eCommerce platform you choose. This includes Magento, Reaction Commerce, Oro Commerce, Big Commerce, Woo Commerce, Shopify, CIMM2 etc.
2. Aggregate ERP & Content Partner SKUs via Data Connectors + Manage in PIM + Sync to eCommerce
In this option, the StrikeTru Data Layer is replaced by a combination of StrikeTru Cloud PIM (based on Akeneo PIM) and one or more StrikeTru Data Connectors.
StrikeTru Cloud PIM
The Cloud PIM and Data Connectors dramatically simplify an end user’s life by facilitating content aggregation from multiple data sources, data normalization, automated and manual data enrichment, content curation and approvals, version tracking, digital asset management, and data synchronization to eCommerce. End users have a great deal of visibility and control over product content and content flows.
Our affordable subscription-based cloud PIM solution packages combine fully managed hosting, powerful Akeneo Open Source PIM features, and expert deployment and customer support services from StrikeTru.
StrikeTru Data Connector
Aggregating product content from external sources to refresh and augment data in your internal systems (PIM, ERP, eCommerce) and then providing you a tool to repair and prepare that content for publishing is a big task. Our data connectors will make that an easy and repeatable process. StrikeTru data connectors can source content from Affiliated Distributors eContent Services, SMO, ORS/Nasco, Essendant, and Orgill.
3. Aggregate ERP & Content Partner SKUs + Manage in PIM + Sync to eCommerce & Other Channels, & Marketing Platforms
In this case, PIM is also leveraged to provide robust support for multi-channel publishing and omni-channel processes. PIM can be used to synchronize product content to POS, mobile, and print catalog channels, marketplaces, search and social media, and other digital marketing platforms.
PIM can be used to effectively manage multi-channel product feed requirements (in terms of both product mix and data formats). StrikeTru can setup scheduled product data syncs to keep content, price, and inventory data current on multiple channels. If necessary, multi-channel order orchestration (order entry into ERP, order status and tracking data sync to channels) can also be implemented.
In some cases (Print and Google Shopping for example), pre-build connectors will be leveraged.
4. Aggregate ERP & Content Partner SKUs + Manage in PIM + Sync to eCommerce & Multi-Channel Product Feed Management Platform
In this solution configuration, a product feed (or multi-channel commerce) tool can be used to provide more visibility, automation, and control over multi-channel commerce data, specifically product and order data management. This configuration will be optimal for companies that are either already selling on multiple channels or intend to invest in an infrastructure that helps them sell effectively on multiple channels.
StrikeTru’s trusted partners for product feed management are ProductsUp and Zentail.
For more information or to discuss how we can help, please contact us.