How to Leverage Rules to Automate Product Listing Management
When selling online, it’s common to pursue a top channel (like Amazon), but as your business grows, it’s wise to diversity across multiple platforms and marketplaces.
Diversifying is vital for any revenue growth strategy considering you protect yourself from relying on a single channel and expand your reach.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to establish a brand presence across multiple platforms and channels—it requires extra work and additional investment. No matter how many sales platforms you sell on, you must create a unified and consistent customer experience across the board.
If you’ve been following our 7 Stages of Dropship Automation, you now know the significance of automatic email order routing, inventory synchronization, API/EDI order management, and using rules to route orders to your sources.
Once you have all of that figured out, it’s time to move on to rule-based listing management.
Taking this on manually will command tremendous amounts of time and human resources—and you’d never be able to keep up. Instead, use automation software to adopt a rule-based product listing management approach. This will streamline your listings across marketplaces, which helps you stay in control.
What Is Rule-Based Product Listing Management?
We’ll say it again: to create these powerful automation rules, you must have the relevant data. Accurate, timely data is necessary to accomplish both automatic order routing and product listing management.
The type and amount of data you’ll need to automate rule-based listing management varies. The following processes exist in the listing management workflow:
- Pricing products
- Listing new products
- Delisting existing products
You can create dropship automation rules for each of these processes as long as you have access to specific, reliable data points. Let’s take a deeper look at how you can automate each process.
Automatically Pricing Products
Pricing is one of the trickiest things to get right in online retail.
Why? Not only is it hard to get your pricing right the first time, but it’s imperative you ensure that it keeps up with the dynamic market.
If your prices are too high, you’ll drive customers away. If they’re too low, you end up leaving profit on the table—and creating a customer base that expects deep discounts.
So, how do you set the best pricing for your products at any given time?
The answer to this question lies in data.
To automatically price products, you must have the ability to receive accurate cost, MSRP, MAP, and other relevant pricing information from your supplier. How much pricing rules can factor into your ability to scale can vary greatly depending on the supplier.
For example, while some suppliers change their prices daily, others only do so once a quarter—or year. Some brands and suppliers have more strict MAP restrictions than others, so that number may change often.
Example pricing strategies that you can easily automate with the right software include fixed dollar markup, fixed percentage markup, bundling, and more. Then, you can set new rules to manipulate pricing at the listing level and control product pricing across sales channels.
Automatically Listing New Products
With the right software, you can automatically identify new products in your suppliers’ catalogs, modify the product data to fit your ecommerce offering, and list them to your store.
Setting rules to automatically list new products is a more efficient way of getting products to your customers, so you can capitalize on more sales, beat your competitors to market, and establish a brand known for having the latest and greatest product assortment.
However, this again dramatically depends on the amount of product data that your supplier provides.
In most cases, you’ll want to avoid using the exact same product title, description, and attributes that your supplier provides through their data feed. However, having these categories, images, and attributes can speed up the process of adding new products to your store tenfold.
Plus, if your supplier continually adds new products, setting rules to map the incoming product data into a standardized format automatically can save you a substantial amount of time.
For example, you can set a rule to automatically map the supplier’s category “Fishing Gear” to your platform’s “Fishing Accessories” category.
The ideal scenario is leveraging an operations platform that enables you to push new products to your sales channels automatically. Otherwise, you’re required to manually upload them to the channel and then syncing back to your software.
Automatically Delisting Existing Products
When it comes to delisting products, the most common use case is removing products that are out of stock from your store.
Your brand image, sales, future planning efforts, and bottom line can all suffer damage as a result of stockouts. Retailers must do everything in their power to avoid out-of-stocks by thinking about it proactively—which is exactly what automation helps you do.
Here, we’re talking about leveraging product data to delist (or prevent new listings) to specific channels based on your set rules. For example:
- Set a rule to delist any product in your “Trending” category that has a quantity below five (to prevent a stockout)
- Set a rule to delist products from Amazon if your warehouse is out of stock, but your dropship supplier has it in stock
Creating rules surrounding product listing and delisting like these allows you the bandwidth to manage other, more critical aspects of your business.
Streamline Product Listing Management With Dropship Automation Software
The benefits of leveraging rules to automate product listing management are many. Not only can you resolve format and information divergences among sources and across all sales channels, but you can ensure that data is consistent across platforms.
Using the right dropship automation software allows you to save costs and time to invest in new business strategies and expand your geographic footprint by tailoring your product catalogs according to the market.
Are you ready to see what automating your dropship workflows can do for your business? Talk with an expert about the next step today.