Catalogue Conversion for Virtual Stock, Part 1

‘How do I generate far a greater volume of sales, increase my margins, and reduce my risk while staying competitive in a dynamic market’

That’s a question that many online retailers would love to have answered. Transforming Data can assist with the problem of how to get data into systems or direct listings for volume sales. Their repeatable data conversion solutions allow Drop Shippers, Stockless Retailers and Online Sellers looking to expand their product listings, while reducing their operational costs (Cost per Listing).

CataloguesTo achieve a more competitive advantage many Sellers have chosen to become stockless and establish relationships with multiple suppliers who provide an array of products.

This approach presents a double edge sword, on one side greater potential of margin for well selected product lines without tying up cash in stock and with no warehousing or delivery costs. However on the reverse, the pitfalls can range from lack of stock visibility (in stock, sold out, on order and deleted), rapid price changes and turning catalogue data into direct listing for marketplaces or imports for webstores and multi-channel systems.

Successfully increasing sales involves selecting products and ranges that yield good returns (high margin), getting products to market quickly, selling in the appropriate channels, competitive pricing, not overselling, delivering goods promptly and getting good customer review to instil confidence with future buyers.

If you decide to go stockless, your emphasis will shift towards the conversion of suppliers’ catalogue data into direct listings for Marketplaces (eBay, Amazon, PlayTrade) or feeds for your WebStore and Multi-Channel system. There are two main routes to achieving this objective

Option 1: Manual Data Inputting

This generally includes using internal staff or an outsourced company to manually creating listings. A time consuming operation that requires a great deal of scheduling or wages and is not beneficial in a time critical situation like listings, where competitors may be selling from the same supplier base and are pushing lucrative product ranges or rapid quantity and price changes occur with suppliers.

Option 2: Automated Conversion

Automated Conversion involves data conversion and advanced data mapping for supplier catalogues ranging from XML, CSV, TAB, TXT Spreadsheets, Semi Colon, Pipe Delimited or EDI to the required format of the Marketplace, WebStore or Multi-Channel System.

Turning Catalogue Data into Listings that Sell

Making product catalogue data usable for generating sales is more than just data entry or data conversion.

The aim of the game is to make sales from the data held in the supplier catalogue. This requires moving beyond data entry and data conversion into data enrichment (filling in missing data/ enhancing data), re-pricing, adding virtual stock levels, metadata / keywords for search optimisation, product classification and html formatting to present the products in an appealing manner to generate sales. This process now has to be repeatable for hundreds, thousand or tens of thousands products per session.

Many Sellers benefiting from this model may choose to upscale their listing requirements by selling more product ranges from more suppliers, broadening their opportunities to create sales across various channels. This leads many Sellers to seek a more integrated approach termed Supplier Catalogue Integration in which multiple catalogues and product update are batch processed from different Suppliers (different formats) and combined into 1 centralised feed for listings, updates or imports.

Part 2 of this series will provide an overview into Supplier Catalogue Integration and its benefits. In the mean time to find out more visit Transforming Data’s website.