This is the age of Ubiquitous E-commerce. It is hard to believe, but Master Data Management can make or break your organizations E-commerce performance. The pandemic has accelerated customer adoption of ubiquitous e-commerce and amplified the advantage for organizations that are better prepared to support ubiquitous e-commerce. And the ability to effectively support Master Data needs of all these channels is central to the ability to support commerce in these channels.
Much of E-commerce and Digital Marketing is geared towards promoting and selling products and product like services. As a result, a product and SKU oriented master data strategy and elements are good starting points for achieving excellence in Master Data Management for E-commerce and related Digital Marketing.
Our recommendation is that established organizations should first look at the types of master data elements that Amazon supports and recommends. These recommendations apply regardless of whether your organization is a vendor to Amazon and/or 3rd party seller on Amazon. Most other E-commerce channels support similar master data elements with slightly different names.
When it comes to product descriptions your audience is people as well as search engine bots/algorithms. If you take a look at the product description below clearly the merchant here threw the kitchen sink at the description. While not Shakespearean, the description includes a number of key words consumers likely type when searching for massagers.
Bullet points are unique to Amazon listings and are primarily used to highlight product benefits and in some cases key features. Amazon’s search engine does index bullet points and uses them for search optimization.
Pricing is of course the single most important master data element for E-commerce. The importance varies depending upon the type of relationship (vendor vs. third party seller on E-commerce channels).
Images and Multi-media
Outside of price, images (and videos) tend to be the most important master data elements of E-commerce master data. Established E-commerce channels like Amazon have guidelines on image formats, sizes, placement with in the listing, and naming conventions.
Product and Item Category Related Information
Established E-commerce channels emphasize and often require detailed product and item category related information so that it can be used to enrich information to support faceted searches, filters and inform customers so that they can make better purchasing decisions.
Technical information of the product/SKU can include additional attributes that help better communicate quality and key characteristics of the products. Discerning buyers use Technical Information to make more informed purchasing decisions.
Variant management is one of the more intricate aspect of E-commerce master data management. The picture below show the 2 variant dimensions (Size, Color) of Levi’s jeans. Variant dimensions and possible values introduce complexity to not only master data management aspects, but also to supply chain planning and downstream manufacturing and logistics.