Marketing that moves people often requires a human connection. That connection was lost as the pandemic reduced in-person experiences with some of your most valuable assets – your people and products. This void forced many brands to accelerate their growth in digital spaces.
But the speed of transformation is overwhelming at times, and the struggle to create meaningful, connected experiences is a very real challenge. Marketing and e-commerce teams have admirably muscled through disconnected, manual-heavy processes and tools. But it’s not sustainable.
As we look into the future, it’s clear that e-commerce continues to gain importance and is quickly becoming the determining factor in a brand’s success. Meeting rising customer expectations across in-person, digital, and print channels requires a more coordinated, automated content supply chain.
In 2020, we introduced our newest app Entries to the Widen CollectiveⓇ platform to help brands achieve this kind of streamlined workflow, by enriching product data with marketing copy and digital assets for channel distribution. We’re excited to share more enhancements to the Collective that not only make it the best digital asset management (DAM) system for product content but also a powerful product information management (PIM) tool.
“DAM and PIM combined together form the universal source of truth for all products in the company. It helps with tracking the life cycle of the products, the features, SKU, and specific details of each product that the company has.”
- Digital asset management specialist at Balsam Brands
Here’s a look at the latest updates with the Widen Collective to help scale your content operations.
Although you may have thousands of individual sellable products, they are often grouped into various “parent products” that share attributes. Manually adding the exact same description, feature list, or digital asset to each individual SKU is a time-consuming and error-prone process. So we've added tools to control and automate this workflow. Now, you can enrich the parent product with attribute assets and values and have them cascade down to all variants. And you can override values that are specific to each variant with unique values.
Product catalogs are frequently organized into multi-level hierarchies – product brand, family, line, etc. We’ve added product categories to Entries to organize your products. This will streamline navigation across your product catalog in the Collective and help users quickly find and update products within a category. You can import an existing master hierarchy from your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or establish one using Entries.
Also, we’ve expanded the category structure in the Assets app so it can accommodate up to nine levels. Asset categories and Product categories are independent of each other but you may choose to mirror your product hierarchy in Asset categories.
Manage 360° spin photography
Brands are using 360° product imagery to showcase their products and increase their online conversions. Not only are 360° images life-like and attention-grabbing, but they free up other valuable page real estate to further communicate the value of your products.
Now, ZIP files of images can be uploaded to the Collective, where you can view and rotate the images and take further action on spinsets from search results and the Asset Digest, or in the Portals and Entries apps. You can even create embed links to put 360° imagery on your website. Plus, you can track how your imagery is used in Insights.
When mistakes happen, you need a record of content updates to identify what went wrong, and possibly address legal consequences. With Entries, you can now track this product history.
Entries allows you to view:
- A timestamp of every change made to a product asset or text
- Before and after values for each change
- The update method (e.g., manual CSV import, API change, in-app change)
- The user that performed each manual update
Bundle in syndication
With the Collective's channel management, you can distribute content across retail, sales, and business channels. But if you're looking for more sophisticated features, you can now add Productsup to your Widen package.
By adding on Productsup syndication to the Widen Collective, you’ll be able to easily tackle feed requirements, transfer product data to a global network of channels, and improve the performance of your product data.
Related assets by product
The Asset Digest provides a streamlined view of an asset, its metadata and any related assets, and asset associations. This view helps your people find assets related by product.
Free, on-demand PIM basics training course
Not sure how to get started with product information management (PIM)? Learn how to centralize your product information with our new free, on-demand PIM basics training course.