As catalogs grow, taxonomies become complex, sometimes even unwieldly, and need to be managed. There could be a scenario where you need to merge a couple of nodes because they don’t have enough SKUs, and it makes more sense to have them categorized as a single product type. Or, you may want to add new nodes because you are supporting new categories that you weren’t earlier. Over time, multiple additions and deletions may leave you with duplicate nodes, nodes without SKUs, too many categories that overlap, so how do you even categorize a new SKU, and where do you go looking for duplicates?
dataX is here to help.
As a first step, dataX modules will audit your taxonomy. This involves removing any ambiguities, duplicate nodes, as well as identifying new nodes that need to be added based on your product catalog. This done, we will upload the taxonomy with the suggested changes on to our Taxonomy Management Tool for you to review and make further edits as necessary. These edits are not limited to hierarchy, but extend to attribute definitions as well.
You are now ready to make any changes as you see fit. The Taxonomy Management Tool assesses the impact of all these changes on the underlying catalog, and gives you an Impact Score. You will get an idea of how many SKUs are going to be impacted by the changes to the taxonomy, how many SKUs will require editing, and how much effort would be involved in making those edits.
Once you approve these changes, dataX will deploy the Content Enrichment Module to update the catalog.
From this point on, you can always maintain your taxonomy via the dataX tool, and keep making changes as needed, and these changes will always be in sync with the catalog. You never have to worry about a taxonomy change requiring a huge, unknown amount of effort in updating all the affected SKUs.
Retailers and distributors can manage their taxonomy as it evolves, never having to worry about the resources required to carry out a catalog update. The dataX Content Enrichment Module will automatically update your catalog after you make and approve any taxonomy edits via our Taxonomy Management Tool.
If there’s one pain point that is more painful for retailers than all the other pain points put together, it is the fact that they don’t get information on changes to product data on a timely and consistent basis. Suppliers and manufacturers may often change prices of products, or have different pricing based on region, may have made updates to product specifications, may have introduced a new variant of the product, or even deactivated it – but news does not always reach the distributor on time. The impact of this miss can range from inconvenient to disastrous, considering that pricing changes can have significant impact on profit margins.
On similar lines, a second use case exists, which also has the potential to impact margins. Wouldn’t you like to know at what price your competitor sells a product similar to the one in your store? Wouldn’t you like to be updated on this regularly so that you can decide whether you need to make adjustments to your pricing?
dataX deploys 2 algorithms, Price Matching and Supplier Monitoring, to help retailers stay on top of any changes made to product data by suppliers and competitors.
As a first step, we auto-classify the supplier’s (or competitor’s) taxonomy to the retailer’s taxonomy, so that an apples-to-apples comparison can be made. Now, the monitoring can begin.
dataX algorithms scour through competitor websites, picking up all the SKUs that the retailer is also selling. The matches are highly accurate because we use attribute values for comparison, rather than GTIN or MPNs. The prices of these matching SKUs are picked up and presented in report form to the retailer periodically.
On the supplier side, dataX in addition to price monitoring, also flags for changes made to images, titles, descriptions, user manuals, warranties, installation guides, technical specifications and other product related data. We can also notify the retailer if the supplier has delisted a particular SKU, or introduced a new one, or has just released a variant of an existing product.
As a retailer, you can have effortless access to your competitor’s pricing information with the Price Monitoring algorithm. Every time your competitor changes the price of a product that you also sell, you can decide whether or not to make adjustments to your pricing.
An enormous benefit of the Supplier Monitoring module is customer satisfaction. Did your customer ask for a product variant in blue? Are you tired of chasing your supplier for a notification on this? Did your supplier just delist a product? But do you still have that on your ecommerce site? Better update it before your customer places an order! Or worse, exits the website because they didn’t find the blue variant. Worry not, timely dataX reports will keep your data current, making selling efficient and keeping your customers satisfied.
Oftentimes, catalogs are out of sync with the data in the ERP. It could be the result of missing or incorrect Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), leading to duplicate SKUs and missing values. This is a common situation with most retailers and distributors. Their challenge is to find an efficient way of detecting duplicates, combining SKUs where possible, and identifying the correct MPN for each SKU.
dataX algorithms solve this problem in two steps. First, we look at the base product catalog and use the Content Enrichment module to optimize the data to the extent possible. We do this by getting all of the right attributes into the catalog and making sure that there are no missing MPN values, which we obtain from supplier websites or any other sources that are available.
Once the catalog is in order, we use the Product Matching algorithm to look through the entire data, and identify SKUs that have the same attributes, manufacturer and part number. These are considered duplicates and will be combined into a single product. Further, we look at SKUs with the same attributes, but different manufacturer information, and compute a similarity score based on other parameters such as images and text associated with the product. If the similarity score is above a certain percentage, the SKUs are grouped together. We can then de-duplicate these SKUs by merging them, and updating the MPN value. Finally, the ERP information is updated with the catalog information.
At the end of this automated exercise, retailers and distributors will have a clean product catalog, completely in sync with the ERP, with absolutely no duplicates, and with the right MPN values for all the SKUs.
You have a well-defined taxonomy, in which all your SKUs are structured and maintained. You are ready to take your products to your dealers and marketplaces. Should be simple, right? There’s just one small step. You have to map your taxonomy to your dealer’s taxonomy to get started. Again, this should be straightforward, shouldn’t it? There’s no restructuring required, just a mapping, right? Absolutely. Except, when you have multiple dealers selling on channels that are slightly different from each other, and when you want to explore various marketplaces to get the best visibility for your products, and they all have their own ways of structuring their data – it no longer remains a one-time exercise.
dataX has just the solution. With minimal effort and almost complete automation, our modules can map your taxonomy with that of all your dealers and marketplaces.
We start by using our Content Enrichment module to structure your base catalog. We follow this up by deploying the Taxonomy Management module to create multiple taxonomies – one for your own, and several others for each of your dealer and marketplace taxonomies. Then we perform a mapping between your taxonomy and each of these other taxonomies. Now, the mapping rules and configurations are clearly set, and all you have to do is decide where to put up your products. The dataX platform will automatically do the syndication of data in the required format, and you can send it to any of the dealers and marketplaces of your choice.
dataX eliminates the need for manual processes that can be slow and expensive. Especially in a case like this, where it is a straightforward mapping, the cost per SKU can add up to unacceptable amounts if done manually. With near complete automation, we can process thousands of SKUs at a fraction of this cost.
Another significant advantage is adaptability. Business rules change, and no matter how simple the rule, adapting to change takes effort – but only if you are still talking manual processes. Not with dataX. Our Taxonomy Management module takes care of that. Whenever changes happen on any one taxonomy, our module automatically looks at the mapping changes required on other taxonomies, and makes those as well. There is no situation in which you will find these taxonomies out of sync. Whenever you get a new SKU, all you have to do is decide which dealers you want to syndicate it to, and dataX will do it for you. The process is automatic, the price is competitive, and the time saved is enormous. All it takes is doing the simple things well.