Easing the Content Burden for Distributors

people on field

Matt Christensen

Vice President

July 13, 2018

Distributors, does your product content provider create scheduled, customized file exports that import directly into your e-commerce platform, without the need for you to post-manipulate the data or the file?

Or—do they give you a login to a portal and make you create a report, wait for the report to run, download the report, then change column header names, add or delete unnecessary columns and their values, normalize values, manipulate product content, then import the new file, import the documents and images, categorize the products, normalize the drill-downs, and so on and so forth?

At DDS, we speak to a lot of distributors who are dealing with the latter.

And if you ask us, it seems like some content providers might be more difficult to work with than need be.

  • Maybe they don’t have the technology to offer anything other than a one-size-fits-all product?
  • Maybe they don’t consider that every distributor is different and has different needs, especially when it comes to e-commerce?
  • Maybe they don’t understand that “syndication” isn’t complete until the product information is live on your site?
  • If distributors were all on the same platform with the same content, it might be different. You would only need a single file format to import into your platform. But that’s just not realistic as distributors are choosing from a broad range of e-commerce and ERP providers.
  • What if you need an import file of transactional content for your ERP and a separate import of more e-commerce-ready content for your website catalog?

At DDS, we recognized the need—and developed the technology and the talent—to view content delivery and syndication differently. Our customers are the ones who benefit.

The challenge for many is that e-commerce is new, and it requires new investments. In light of this, distributors should look to their service providers as subject matter experts and should even expect their help by way of processes that are not complicated, as well as value-added services from those providers that enable the distributor to focus on their business.

One specific issue for distributors in integrating commerce-enabled product content into an e-commerce platform—as well as maintaining that content—is a seamless import of the data from the provider into the distributor’s system. This should be the case for the first import, as well as regularly (hopefully scheduled) feeds thereafter.

This is where there is a disconnect, and a problem, for most content providers. Due to their use of today’s (a.k.a. current or older) technologies, most choose to offer a legacy self-serve model or send a file to all of their customers in what they perceive is a one-size-fits-all format, regardless of the distributor’s e-commerce platform needs. Additionally, for the initial load they prefer to let the distributor try to figure out how to match to his or her unique internal part number. More on that in a later blog.

At DDS, we have a different philosophy.

We come from distribution, so we understand your pain. We’ve been through it ourselves, and we’ve come up with a better way. And since we’ve hired the brightest tech minds in the business, recognizing the need for a next-generation content solution, we’ve designed our system from day one to be technology agnostic, and custom-formatted for each individual distributor. You choose the platform that is best for your business, and we will create a file export to match to it.

No more manipulation of files. (…Every time you receive them.) No more unnecessary man-hours required. We think you should be spending the time focusing on your business, and not doing the work of your content provider. Imagine how a quicker time-to-market for this vital information could benefit your customers.

It’s content syndication with custom exports.

It’s just a smarter, more customer-friendly approach.

And it’s just one of the many differences in working with DDS.


Matt Christensen
Vice President