Products, categories, variants, warehouses, content families, ..
The product’s data diversity on individual sales channels and their easy management is often a very weak side of classic e-shop solutions and often makes efficient expansion impossible for the companies. The company deals with differences in prices across individual channels, descriptions as well as categories.
Retailys was the first to come up with a philosophy of basic data and multidata. The basic data are entered only once per product and is the same for all sales channels. In practice, basic product data consist of:
- Bar code
- Catalogue number
- Stock availability
However, product multimedia varies per channel for each product. This may in particular be:
- Product name
- Selling price
A similar issue affects product categories of variations. Quite common is a scenario where a company defines different categories, variants or related items for each channel. Let’s imagine a company selling electrical goods, that operates the main e-shop, where products are in general categories (refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, ..), but another e-shop will be focused only on washing machines and the category tree will therefore want to have more detailed (washing machines with upper lid). More complicated are marketplaces and price comparators – there is often an obligation to use the category tree designed directly by the marketplace (e.g. Amazon or Heureka).
Thus, on each sales channel, a product can be placed in different category tree, or it may even not be present on channel at all (e.g. licensing reasons). Understanding the principles of basic data and multidata is thus an important step for effective creation of a multi-channel business strategy.