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Venzee has flexible solutions for retail’s content distribution challenges. In this post, we talk about how our technology meets the needs of an industry in transition, focusing on the first step to product content distribution with Venzee, content ingestion, and the three ways users can add content to our platform.

The industry’s growing problem

Inefficient product content management costs companies a lot. For some perspective on retail’s growing data challenges, read this interview with Riversand’s Director of Product Management, Data Syndication and Strategic Alliances Sudu Gupta. As retailers evolve to be more competitive, a major change we’re seeing is that they’re requiring more product content from suppliers to meet growing consumer demand for information. Today, the retail industry predominantly relies on linear digital supply chains to get product content from origin to consumer, but these systems and processes aren’t built to handle the exponentially increasing demand for content.

Venzee is fixing the problem with technology that facilitates digital supply networks–where trading partners are interconnected and data flows freely from endpoint to endpoint. With API-powered integrations and Mesh, our powerful transformation engine, Venzee is relieving the expensive burden of product content distribution and delivering complete, accurate product content to retailers.

Basics of what Venzee does

To put it simply, Venzee improves content handling and automates content distribution through better-connected supply networks. Venzee simplifies the process of product submissions with technology that sits in between the product information management platforms that brands and manufacturers use to manage their content and the retailers and sales channels they sell to. The process can be broken down into three essential steps:

  1. Content ingestion – Product content from the source is added to the platform.
  2. Content transformation – Venzee’s transformation engine converts product content to meet channel requirements.
  3. Content distribution – Product content is distributed out to retailer channels.

In this post, we’ll go into the details of step one, the content ingestion step.

The first step: Getting data into Venzee

Streamlining content distribution starts with getting quality product content into Venzee. Venzee works with brands and suppliers that manage their products in content management solutions, like PIM, DAM, ERP, MDM, or EDI systems.

Commerce is an industry in transition, so we’ve built Venzee to be flexible. Venzee can work with any content management platform, process, or data format. We have growing partnerships with several content management solutions, including leading PIM, DAM, MDM, ERP, and EDI providers, so the 100,000+ suppliers they serve can take advantage of Venzee’s integrated content distribution, or content syndication, capabilities.

While these systems can export product content that is structured, clean, standardized and up-to-date, our team still sees considerable variation in format from client to client. To handle the range, we have multiple methods of receiving client data and customize solutions based on data format, time, and resources. Venzee supports content ingestion via API integration, email, Cloud drive, FTP, and manual file upload.

Method 1 – API integration (Mesh API)

Channel partners can integrate directly with Venzee’s intelligent content distribution platform. Mesh API is a fully documented REST API that facilitates system-to-system connections, providing sophisticated, secure, end-to-end integration and messaging to facilitate complete, continuous workflow automation between a client (e.g., manufacturer, brand, supplier) and their content destinations. Mesh features include the following:

  • Integrated product content distribution
  • Product content transformation and validation
  • Live channel requirement monitoring
  • Blackbox ready
  • Product content status feedback
  • Writes to traditional databases and distributed blockchain networks
  • Supports complex distribution requirements

Method 2 – Files from FTP, Cloud drive, and email (Autopilot)

Users can import product content into Venzee by configuring workflows that automatically fetch and process product data files. Autopilot, Venzee’s plug-and-play integration tool, fetches data files (e.g., CSV, XLS, and XLSx) as they are detected on FTP or supported Cloud Drive, storing them in Venzee’s File Manager, and imports the product content to ready it for transformation and distribution. Users can also send data files as email attachments to the account’s assigned Venzee email address. All received files are stored in File Manager. During the workflow configuration step, users enter import settings per file set. When Autopilot detects a new file match, it initiates the corresponding import automation workflow, which readies the imported product content for the transformation phase. Autopilot enables clients to leverage content distribution solutions when they lack developer resources or the time or desire to invest in an API integration. Autopilot can be deployed quickly and is an automated content distribution solution for partners that don’t require in-platform feedback for clients. Autopilot features include the following:

  • Automatic imports from email, FTP, or Cloud drive
  • File handling for CSV, XLS, and XLSx
  • Scheduled status notifications
  • No developer resources required

Method 3 – File upload (Studio)

Users can import product content by manually uploading data files in Venzee’s Web app, Studio. Uploaded files are stored in File Manager. Users complete the steps to import product content to ready it for the transformation phase. Studio is a low-resource way for suppliers to satisfy the “endless aisle” demands of major retailers. It is a valuable tool for suppliers that require content automation to scale efforts but lack the developer resources to integrate to Mesh.

Studio features include the following:

  • Supports CSV, XLS, and XLSx imports
  • View list of attributes per product category
  • Edit product category mapping with real-time attribute validation
  • View all attributes and images for a single product
  • File manager

Flexible ingestion enables immediate solutions

Trading partners at all points in digital supply networks are seeing an increased need for accurate, timely cross-organizational data, and Venzee helps them meet this need in the short- and long-term. While the ideal scenario of seamless, automated content distribution requires a full integration with Venzee’s Mesh API to flow client product content into Venzee, most partners require intermediate and immediately deployable solutions. Venzee solves this by offering semi-automated and manual content ingestion in addition to full API integration.

Beyond automation’s inherent benefit of speed, there are several advantages to Venzee’s content distribution. It eliminates manual steps, reduces errors in content, streamlines how retailers roll out changes to their content requirements to their suppliers, enables supply chains to optimize product content workflows, gets products in front of customers faster, and maximizes sales opportunities.

Ultimately, Venzee builds solutions that optimize content distribution for a client’s currently available resources and systems and adapts solutions as content management technologies evolve.

Learn how Venzee streamlines product content distribution to retailers for content management platforms.

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