The steady growth in ecommerce sales over the past three decades has been significantly accelerated by the coronavirus crisis.
Research from McKinsey found that since Covid-19, there’s been a 15% to 30% increase in consumers who make purchases online. The trend is supported by Kantar, which found that the share of people who undertake 50% or more of their total purchases online has grown by between 25% and 80% since the virus has developed. Furthermore, six in 10 consumers intend to continue buying as much online once the pandemic has passed as they do now. Digital shopping is here to stay.
As we head towards the festive season, this year, more than ever, the quality of a retailer’s ecommerce offering will be vital to success. For businesses with little or no web presence, digitising business processes in such a tight timeframe is not ideal. However, the lockdown has already provided impetus for many companies to redesign their IT landscape in an attempt to persuade consumers to part with their cash.
Digital assets – photos, videos, graphics – have become a priority as commerce shifts rapidly from bricks to clicks. The problem facing many marketers, however, is the ever-present pressure to amaze everyone with great content while marketing budgets are reduced and teams are increasingly burdened with a growing number of administrative tasks.
How can marketers manage the creative content and assets that fuel a successful ecommerce strategy?
A creative workflow is the process and tools your team uses to complete each creative project. It begins with a brainstorming session to identify what deliverables are needed. Then it consists of any number of additional steps, including (but not limited to) drafting, revising, submitting for approval and, in some cases, even publishing. And throughout this workflow, assets are created – everything from photography and logos to print-ready design files.
Many companies have previously relied on email and hard drives alone to manage the process. When you consider the amount of asset generation that companies are managing, you can see how a dependence on email and hard drives may cause confusion. In the first half of 2020, on average Widen customers received two new creative project requests per week. These generated 15 proofs per week, with three reviewers per proof, and too many emails to count. While the full cycle from request to approval took 21 days, hours were spent just sifting through emails to find the right proof, comment or approval.
Creative asset management should unburden email and reorganise the process in a workflow that makes more sense. A digital asset management (DAM) system is now a core technology for many marketers, helping them develop a range of assets that are easy to search and ready to deploy. When you integrate this with a product information management (PIM) system, it helps you to accelerate product launches and ensure the accuracy of product listings around the web.
How can DAM plus PIM aid creative asset management?
- Quickly find what you’re looking for: all assets are in a centralised location. And using metadata to organise these assets allows you to find files quickly. Say goodbye to hours of sifting through personal files, shared drives, and unorganised cloud storage to find the right assets for each project.
- Easily manage revisions: as your creative team gathers feedback and revisions, how can you make sure everyone is reviewing the most recent draft? DAM plus PIM allows you to use embed codes to automatically link to the newest version wherever the link is used.
- Understand what’s working: DAM plus PIM provides analytics on how users are interacting with each of your assets. These powerful insights can inform future asset needs and campaign decisions.
- Efficiently organise file formats: a DAM system with file conversion options allows users to create the formats they need, on the fly. It eliminates the need to create, save and manage multiple formats, and gives users access to the format they need, when they need it.
- Secure, with 24/7 access: DAM systems with configurable roles and permissions allow creative teams to control the assets that internal and external users can access. This secure, self-service approach eliminates the need for a gatekeeper to manage file requests, and gives global teams access to what they need, when they need it.
The ecommerce marketing team of the future trades technology and process problems for the challenges people actually enjoy. Bring clarity and consistency to your marketing photos, vides, and copy, for better proofs and faster workflows. Be willing to experiment more, knowing that your team can review and approve (or reject) content faster than ever.
To help you learn more about what DAM systems are and what they can do for a business, Widen has produced a whitepaper. It will help you build a business case for investing in DAM and advise how to approach integrating it into the business, so that you don’t become the next victim of a tough retail environment.
Jake Athey is VP of marketing and customer experience at Widen.