Technical insight: data management in e-commerce – SAP Commerce Cloud
Digital conversion stops when the system stops growing. When data volumes and system requirements exceed a critical mass, a modern e-commerce solution can quickly reach its limits. Data management can fail due to principles such as the database technology used or simply due to usability when dealing with the data volumes.
SAP Commerce provides companies with multiple ways to face the challenges of growing data volumes and increasing e-commerce requests. In the first part of our series “Scalability in SAP Commerce”, we introduce you to the concept of catalogues and catalogue versions that enable SAP Commerce to scale your shop platform.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF DATA MANAGEMENT IN SAP COMMERCE USING CATALOGUES?
It is well known that products are the linchpin of online commerce. But not only is their procurement and enrichment in today’s market very complex, but the balancing act between broad ranges and target group-orientated product segmentation must also be achieved. For some systems, the only way to illustrate these challenges is a costly distraction. In addition, many systems reach their limits when the amount of data exceeds certain quantities.
The problem here is not the underlying hardware, but the fact that the software itself is not architecturally prepared for the quantitative challenges:
- There may be two different suppliers of product data, as well as an ERP system that contributes prices on a regular basis.
- At the same time, the product range must be made ready for several distribution channels according to certain rules.
- There may be several clients with completely separate product worlds, which may even use different ERP systems.
With the concept of catalogues and catalogue versions , SAP Commerce offers companies an expandable and, above all, flexible approach to meeting such requirements in e-commerce data management. By using multiple catalogues for the imports, the problem of the different data suppliers can be solved. The quality and quantity of the data can be ensured by means of independent test mechanisms. The data from these source catalogues can then be combined into a common „master“ catalogue. This brings together, for example:
- pictures from A, texts from B and prices from C, or
- the product worlds of supplier X and supplier Y
If a bundled database was found to be good, it can be converted to an “online” version and is thus protected against unwanted overwriting.
WHAT OTHER CHALLENGES ARE THERE IN EFFICIENT DATA MANAGEMENT?
Various other target catalogues can be filled in from the master catalogue using distribution rules. If only new products are shown in print media, they can be transferred to a dedicated catalogue and be optimised for printing there. If products are only permitted or available to a limited extent in some regions based on their manufacturers, the placement of their ads can be clearly controlled via catalogues. If different product ranges are intended for target groups, an individual product range can be made available for your customers for different stores.
In each of these catalogues, product data can be re-tuned to the distribution channel and by using attribute restrictions, they can be protected from overwriting when synchronising from the source catalogues.
Thanks to the structure of this model, it is also possible to use customisations to adapt how the catalogues are handled even more precisely to the specific use case and customer journey of your customers. As in many areas of SAP Commerce, this creates an architecturally flexible foundation that can be expanded and adapted to the needs of your customers and end customers, and ensures a perfect customer experience.
Handling data is not just the job of your company’s administrators and IT staff. By using the integrated Product Content Management (PCM) of the SAP Commerce Suite, you can establish quality metrics, workflows, and data maintenance processes, and integrate product data enrichment and control processes that are tailored to your business. This also allows employees with lower IT capabilities, for example in marketing, to actively participate in data maintenance without workarounds. This video demonstrates the maintenance and use of workflows in the back office and PCM:
It is important that companies are assisted by an experienced partner who knows about the problems – such as data volumes and performance requirements for hosting – and can reliably handle complications – such as error rates and runtime conflicts when synchronising data assets. As experienced SAP Commerce experts, we are happy to assist you with our knowledge of establishing a future-orientated data management strategy.
OUR SERVICES IN ONLINE MARKETING FOR MARKETPLACES
To ensure success on online marketplaces, Medienwerft offers various services. When properly bundled, this results in a holistic solution that will make your business fit for future challenges.
- UX/UI & conversions
- Keyword set creation
- Analysis of potential
- Amazon shop + ads
- eBay stores hub
- Zalando marketing service
The topic of online marketplaces offers promising prospects for e-commerce companies.
Online marketplaces have evolved significantly over the past ten years: in addition to marketplaces that focus on B2C business, numerous B2B platforms have emerged too. Your company is ready for future challenges thanks to the integration of FIS/TradeFlex for connecting to online marketplaces with the support of the FIS experts and following on from that, marketing measures supported by Medienwerft’s extensive expertise.
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