Until 2017 Italian domestic appliance manufacturer De’Longhi transmitted product data to retailers using a solution from an international brand. The process involved a content manager and a designer, e-commerce managers also spent some of their working time (up to 10%) on data transfer. As a result, monthly costs could be as high as $30 000.
De’Longhi used 30 online sales channels, and each retailer had its own requirements for the design of product registration cards for the online store, including quantity and quality of the photos uploaded, product description and other parameters.
E-commerce needs and Google Drive
After De’Longhi abandoned an expensive foreign solution for managing product data, the company’s product information has been stored on computers of e-commerce managers and in Google Drive. It was a temporary solution and had many drawbacks: not all employees knew how to properly work with such a product database. At first, data was accumulated in one folder, but later it had to be adapted to the requirements of online stores. The information in the folder was updated manually, that is why it was not always relevant.
As a result, description cards of the same product looked different in various online stores, and customers could come across outdated information. It was virtually impossible to manage the process of replacing such content.
In 2018, the company management decided they needed a system that would allow for the:
– content management and use of only relevant images;
– open access to a single timely database for all interested employees;
– automatic transfer of product data to Russian retailers.
The previous foreign solution was expensive and did not provide all the necessary functions, and developing an in-house system was also pricey, so a decision was made to engage a local contractor.
50 instead of 300: PIM implementation
De’Longhi chose Brandquad as a PIM system supplier for its Russian division. The company developed a custom electronic catalog integrated with an AI-based analytical module; it took several months to implement the Brandquad PIM solution. Verification and transfer of disparate data from previous sources into a single directory turned out to be the most time-consuming steps of the process.
During the transfer process, De’Longhi staff finalized and rethought the content of product cards. The new system only accumulates information on the most necessary 50 attributes — instead of 300 characteristics in the old PIM, some of which were previously needed only for several products. Besides, these attributes are applicable to all product items. This solution has accelerated and simplified the collection and updating of data in the system.
With the introduction of PIM, the company has a unified database of relevant data on products and goods, to which all employees working in e-commerce have access.
Comprehensive information on each product, such as logistic data — weight, dimensions and more, can now be found in its card in the PIM system in the desired section. Previously, employees had to look for logistic information for goods in separate databases in order to go through the listing procedure with online retailers. Now all data for logistics is stored in one place.
Moreover, files are added to product profiles in the PIM system — quality certificates, certificates of compliance with standards, instructions, photos, clips, and other materials. All of them are systematized as a catalog.
In addition, the PIM system is integrated with the analytics module, which triggers an alert if one of the retailers is using irrelevant information and allows managers to automatically send them a new version to replace the content.
The improvement of processes in retailers
8 online stores independently “pick up” the updated product information from De’Longhi’s PIM system to their supplier’s account. For another 20 retailers, De’Longhi employees unload files from PIM in the desired format and send them via e-mail. This means that the company managed to dispense with the time-consuming, manual labor of filling out product cards. Both the number of errors in them and the time required for data transmission have decreased.
As a result, the time of product online listing has fallen by 4 times, and the monthly cost of data management — by 10 times, from $30 000 to $3 000.
Photo credits: Brandstand / Flickr