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01 Feb 2024

How to Manage Your Product Data in Ecommerce? – Podcast

How to Manage Your Product Data in Ecommerce? – Podcast

In the context of a redesign or an eCommerce project, it is essential to take into account the management of product data to avoid errors, ensure a smooth user experience and improve the SEO of the site. In this article, we will present you the advantages and tips to manage your product data in eCommerce. 

To learn more about data management and the different methodologies to adopt in B2B and B2C, listen to Pierre-Olivier Brassard, VP of products and technologies at Novatize, on the Commerce Elite Podcast. (French only)

What are The Main Product Data and Their Attributes in Ecommerce?

Product data is the information that describes the products on an eCommerce site. The key product data and its attributes may vary by industry and product type, but in general, the following product data is essential for most eCommerce sites:


1. Product Name: The product name is the name that identifies the item. It must be clear and easy to understand. It must also be optimal for a search engine to reference it. 

2. Product Description: The product description is text that explains the features and benefits of the product. It should be accurate, clear and attractive. The description should include features and facts about the product as well as its benefits and marketing arguments.

3. Product Images: Product images are photos or illustrations that show the product from different angles. They should be of high quality and show important details of the product. Ideally, there are pictures of the product alone and in context of use.

4. Video or educational content: If it is a complex product, it can sometimes be beneficial to add tutorial videos on installation or maintenance or even user guides. 

5. Product Category: The product category is the classification of the product according to its type or function. It helps customers to easily find the product they are looking for. Categories are usually used for search filters. 

6. Product price: The price of the product is the amount that customers must pay to purchase it. It must be accurate and clearly stated.

7. Product Stock: The product stock indicates the quantity of products available in stock. It must be updated regularly to avoid stockout problems.

8. Product Brand: The product brand is the name of the manufacturer or creator of the product. It can help build customer confidence in the product.

9. Product ID (or SKU): The product identifier is a unique number that identifies the product. It is used to track the product in inventory management and order processing systems. In B2B eCommerce, some buyers use this attribute in their search behavior.  

10. SEO Components: Elements of a product’s online presence that are used to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results, such as keywords that describe the product and its features in meta descriptions or otherwise.

To help you create a fast-loading website and effective blog content, check out this list of eCommerce SEO.

11. Other: In addition to this core data, there are also product attributes that can help describe the product’s features and benefits in more detail. For example, for apparel, attributes may include size, colour, material, style or country of manufacture. For electronic devices, attributes may include storage capacity, screen size, resolution and processing power. This data should also be available in your company’s marketing languages. It is important to choose the right attributes for each product to provide customers with all the information they need to make an informed purchase decision. 


What are the benefits of good product data management?

Good product information management is essential for a successful eCommerce business. Here are some key benefits of good management:

1. Improved customer experience: Effective product data management provides accurate and detailed information about each product, enabling customers to make better decisions in their buying journey. This improves their user experience and increases the likelihood that they will come back for more purchases.

2. Search Engine Optimization: Search engines (both on and off site) place a high value on the quality and accuracy of product data on an eCommerce site. A good management of the product data can improve the natural referencing of the site and increase its visibility on search engines.

In fact, 74% of B2B buyers use search in over half of their online purchases. 

The product information will be useful for marketing professionals since it will appear in Google and Facebook product feeds, among others. It will also be an asset for SEO and SEM since we can make dynamic references that will be indexed in search engines.” 

Pierre-Olivier Brassard

VP of Products & Technologies, Novatize -

1. Increase conversion rates: Effective product data management can help increase conversion rates by providing customers with accurate and compelling item information, assisting in product comparison, highlighting unique product features, and providing a consistent shopping experience across all sales channels. 

2. Streamline product management processes: Effective product data management can help streamline product management processes by enabling centralized information, efficient management and improved data quality. This can reduce the costs associated with product management and increase the company’s operational efficiency.

3. Improved decision-making: Good product data management provides accurate and reliable product information. This can help make informed decisions about pricing strategies, promotions, bundling, purchasing, etc.

4. Acceleration of eCommerce projects: In the context of an eCommerce project (redesign or other), if the data is not properly managed, it can be a blocking factor that slows down the project in terms of development and design. 


Some Tips for Managing Your Product Data

Make an Inventory of Its Product Data

The first step to managing your product data during an eCommerce redesign is to make an inventory of all existing data. It is important to list all product data, such as descriptions, images, prices, variants, etc. This step allows you to identify missing or incomplete data, in order to complete them to improve the quality of the information presented on the site.

“For first-time B2B companies, this is a big challenge. It’s a big transformation for the company using a PDF catalog. The data hasn’t been documented with an eCommerce structure like a company that was born online would have done.”

Pierre-Olivier Brassard

VP of Products & Technologies, Novatize -

Establish a Clear Data Structure

Once the inventory is done, it is time to establish a clear data structure to ensure a homogeneous and coherent presentation of your products on the site. This data structure must be adapted to the needs of your company and your customers. It should be easy to understand and use, so that product data can be easily managed. Shopify and Adobe Commerce offer tools to help structure product data, it can also be managed through your ERP or ideally with a PIM. 

Product data architecture is the most common issue our customers face in a redesign project. The structure of the data will have an impact on all eCommerce components: search, SEO, navigation and even the methodology and duration of the project

Pierre-Olivier Brassard

VP of Products & Technologies, Novatize -

Optimize product data for SEO

Optimizing product data for search engine optimization is a crucial element to improve the visibility of the eCommerce site on search engines. It is important to choose the right keywords, optimize descriptions and titles, and add tags for images and videos. These elements allow search engines to understand the content of your site and to reference it more easily.

Implement product data management processes

Once the data structure is established, it is important to implement product data management processes. These processes ensure the quality of the product data, detect errors and correct them quickly. They also optimize product data management in the long term, ensuring that data is updated regularly and efficiently.

“If the merchant has not thought about their data architecture up front, the time to market for their e-commerce may be much longer .”

Pierre-Olivier Brassard

VP of Products & Technologies, Novatize -

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What is a PIM?

A PIM (Product Information Management) is a product data management system that allows to centralize and manage all the information related to the products of a company. It is a tool that enables the collection, enrichment, standardization, publication and distribution of product data in a coherent and structured manner.

Companies that manage a large number of products with complex and variable information, and need to distribute that data across multiple channels, should use a PIM. This includes companies that sell online, in-store and through other sales channels such as marketplaces, as well as companies that sell customizable products, products with multiple options, products with variants or products with complex technical attributes. This is also the case for distributors who have a variety of suppliers for their products and therefore widely varying structures from one source to another. 

There are several popular PIMs used in eCommerce, including Akeneo, Salsify, Pimcore, InRiver Plytix and more. 

These PIM platforms offer advanced functionality for product data management, such as product variant management, translation management, attribute management, and standards and regulatory compliance management.

In What Context Should a PIM be Used?

Companies that use an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) typically manage broader, enterprise-wide information, such as accounting, logistics, and human resources management. ERPs are not designed to manage product data in a comprehensive and detailed way, so companies that need to manage more complex product information should opt for a PIM instead.

You probably know that omnichannel commerce is a key element in providing a smooth and consistent user experience across different sales channels, both online and offline. In this context, product data management becomes even more important, as it must take into account the specificities of each channel. It is therefore important to define an omnichannel strategy for product data management, taking into account the different requirements of each channel. For example, if you sell your products on Amazon, the information needed to fill out your product data sheet in an optimal way will not be the same as on your Shopify platform for example. 

“E-commerce can be a major change in an organization, affecting all departments: finance, operations, marketing, sales, in short the entire organization. You have to make sure you work as a team to create a unified experience, both online and in-store.”

Pierre-Olivier Brassard

VP of Products & Technologies, Novatize -

In conclusion,

product data management is a crucial element for the success of an eCommerce site. As part of an eCommerce redesign, it’s important to consider product data management from the beginning to ensure a smooth user experience and improve site SEO. By using product data management tools such as those offered by Shopify, Adobe Commerce or via a PIM you can optimize your product data management and improve the performance of your eCommerce site.

To learn more, listen to this episode of the Elite Commerce Podcast. (French only)

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