April 15, 2020
The increasing number of business customers are turning to B2B marketplaces instead of corporate websites to purchase goods and services. A global B2B marketplace provides them with a wide choice in one place and displays products from different vendors. Buyers could easily compare products and prices.
However, such an online B2B marketplace also requires vendors to integrate and display their products in the best possible way. B2B platforms such as Uppler usually provide various methods to create product categories and add products while the entire product catalog is connected to and managed by a system of Product Information Management (PIM).
But how such a marketplace software works and what advantages it offers to vendors on a B2B platform?
After a vendor opens an account on a B2B marketplace, he usually needs to set up its products and will have a number of different options to do that: manually or upload them in bulk.
The first option is to add products one by one manually using the built-in form on the B2B platform. This is the most basic and fundamental method to add new products but it is suitable mostly for vendors that have a relatively small number of products, as it requires adding all the product properties manually.
The second method is for the vendors to connect to the FTP server (File Transfer Protocol) of the B2B marketplace and to upload their entire product range at once. After the upload, a solution such as Uppler will automatically extract all the product data.
The third method, which is most suitable to import products, is to fill in an Excel file with all the product information in it and then import it into the marketplace software. The two most widely used file formats for importing lists of products/services to a B2B platform are .csv and .xls. Microsoft Excel sheets create files with .xls extension. A CSV is a comma-separated values file that saves data in a tabular format and works with most spreadsheet programs, including Microsoft Excel and Google Spreadsheets.
The Uppler marketplace solution supports all the three methods for vendors to integrate their products into a global B2B marketplace. Furthermore, all the product catalogs are connected to a PIM system that works within the framework of our SaaS marketplace solution.
Product information management, or PIM, makes possible for marketplaces to gather, manage and distribute product information from every vendor in the context of product lists and product catalogs.
A B2B marketplace that supports all the three methods to add and import data – manually, FTP and tabular-data import – offers multiple advantages to vendors when a PIM system is in place.
PIM system’s ability to classify all your products and services by categories, properties, delivery methods, taxes or other product data, gives marketplaces a powerful tool to edit and manage product data in bulk and achieve consistency.
Furthermore, if you have a spreadsheet with many data fields containing various product information, you can easily select only the right product data categories you want for your specific marketplace and then import them to the marketplace for the PIM system to classify them.
A B2B platform with PIM functionality enables vendors to make sure their customers and prospects can find their products or services easily, even when customers are not looking for the specific brand of the vendor. It is very important as a growing number of customers do not search for a specific brand but want to compare prices and offerings from multiple vendors and suppliers.
The ability to import multiple products in bulk is also a business-critical functionality for a reliable B2B online marketplace as many B2B vendors have product listings in the range of hundreds of products varying by size, color, and other product properties.
Thus, when you are looking for a reliable B2B platform, you should always check what methods you can use to create and add products to your marketplace and whether the platform features a reliable PIM system.
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