• Dematerialisation

Product data: becoming more efficient requires dematerialization and standardization

  • Published on 12 April 2019

The "product listing sheet" is a key tool in the exchange of goods between manufacturers and retailers. Its contents include the characteristics specific to a product: general description, logistics data, qualitative characteristics, regulatory and consumer information... Filled in by the manufacturers, the product-listing sheet is then communicated to retailers who reference it in their product catalog by re-keying it.

Traditionally exchanged in paper format, the product-listing sheet continues its development in digital format to remove any re-keying from retailers and other trading partners.

An undeniable performance enabler 

The indisputable success of e-commerce, the strong enthusiasm for social networks and the constant evolution of new technologies have profoundly revolutionized consumer habits. Through a simple web search, the consumer is now accustomed to almost instantaneously access information about a product (characteristics, descriptions ... ).

The indisputable success of e-commerce, the strong enthusiasm for social networks and the constant evolution of new technologies have profoundly revolutionized consumer habits. Through a simple web search, the consumer is now accustomed to almost instantaneously access information about a product (characteristics, descriptions ... ), digitalization proves to be a real performance driver for all parties in the sales chain. The dematerialization of the product sheets and the standardization of their contents is essential today to simplify the exchange of information and ensure a perfect understanding of the product content, from the manufacturer to the consumer through the retailers.

In the same way, standardization makes it possible to overcome the constraints of having to adapt to the multiple requirements of customers for the format of their respective product listing sheets and contents. Gaining efficiency in the creation of product listing sheets (with qualitative data) and their distribution is a key factor in improving the process of updating their content. Having a listed product is good. Have a product sheet devoid of any obsolescence ... it's better!

Shared benefits for all the parties in the sales chain

The standardization of the product data starts by defining the attributes that characterize the products, and this, by sector. The set of product attributes thus retained becomes a standard operated by standards-defining organizations, such as GS1. Dematerialization of product data is applicable to a plethora of sectors and the resulting standards are structured on a global scale, at the rate of the requests by each of the sectors involved.

This digital sheet of product data, which is automatically shared between the information systems of the parties in the sales chain, has many advantages. Among other things, it makes it easier to process information, synchronize changes, and accelerate the listing and negotiation processes with large retailers, significantly reduces litigation, reduces costs and saves time. 

A response to consumer expectations

If electronic exchanges of product data are a great tool for collaboration between manufacturers and retailers, they are nonetheless an essential one to satisfy the information thirst of the end consumer.

Electronic product data makes it possible to integrate the consumer data (DataToConsumer or D2C) that are vital to trigger the purchase decision, in addition to logistical and regulatory data (DataToBusiness or D2B) that were traditionally exchanged. When the consumer is actively looking for a product, he requires immediate access to information such as its features, functionalities and benefits. The consumer also expecting examples of use and reviews from other customers, data that are outside the direct scope of the product data but are nonetheless at the heart of digital information. The dematerialized product data meets consumer expectations for information, thanks to its controlled and reliable content, regardless of the distribution channel.

In an era where digital takes precedence over paper, manufacturers, retailers and the consumers are seeing their exchanges transformed. Dematerialized product data is positioning itself as the norm, as evidenced by the multitude of sectors that are concerned by the need to dematerialize and standardize the flow of information to optimize their data and business exchanges.

And you, when do you start the dematerialization of your product data?

 

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