Marketplaces have to receive product data. The resulting complexity may differ per platform. In general platforms tend to require a uniform product presentation across sellers. This results in requirements for the selling parties like:
- The number of product characteristics that can or must be described
- The way products are photographed
- The data format in which information has to be delivered
This can be done manually, for example in Microsoft Excel, but this is time-consuming and error prone. A better way to do this is by having a product information management (PIM) system (see also the topic Product Information Management).
The PIM system generally supports multiple geographic locations, multi-lingual data and maintenance and modification of product information within a centralized catalogue. All this is needed to make sure the right data is offered in the right format to the right channel (in this case marketplaces).
Each marketplace has its own format in which it likes to receive product data. Often stock and price information has to be send by separate files as this information changes much more often than the basic product information. Depending on the PIM system of the retailer and the marketplace chosen, setting up an interface may take a day up to several weeks.