Are you constantly struggling with producing digital assets for your online store? Is your creative team complaining about problems with finding and managing their files?
If so, then, you need a digital asset management (DAM) solution for your ecommerce channels.
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So, What is DAM for Ecommerce?
In general, the term – digital asset management (DAM, for short) – refers to a standardised process that allows companies, ecommerce stores included, to store, manage, and share digital assets from one, single location.
Now, I admit that the definition sounds a bit cryptic, so let’s take it apart and understand how the concept works in practice.
Your store has to deal with – and by this I mean anything from uploading to modifying to publishing – hundreds if not thousands of digital assets every day.
- You have to upload photos of every new product you add to the catalogue.
- You also have to publish relevant product descriptions.
- There might be videos that you need to add to product pages too.
- Then, there are marketing assets – from digital ads and banners to other visuals you post on social media and other places online.
In other words, it’s a lot.
And to do this, you need to have constant, and easy, access to those digital assets. Your web and creative teams need to find relevant files to upload or to use in other creative projects, and so on.
That’s where digital asset management for ecommerce comes in.
With a DAM system, all your store’s digital assets – product images, documentation, sales sheets, product information, product videos, brand assets, and more – reside in a single location.
All those assets are also neatly organised into folders and collections, meaning that creative teams have little trouble finding the right file they need.
Furthermore, DAM metadata makes searching for relevant assets simple, and your teams never waste time trying to locate the exact asset they need.
Next, with DAM’s routing capabilities, you can quickly upload or distribute relevant assets to wherever you need them – be it your online store, social media accounts, or other marketing channels.
Lastly, you can use the content supply chain extended functionalities to create customised content and analyse it to engage your target audiences.
FURTHER READING: Check out our complete guide to digital asset management to learn more about the process.
That covers how DAM works. And here’s what you get from using it.
How do Ecommerce businesses use DAM, typically?
Digital asset management can seem quite complex. One reason for that is that DAM encompasses several significant areas – digital asset storage and management, creative collaboration, online proofing, and more. Because of that, it might be hard to see how an ecommerce brand could actually use DAM to drive its success.
So, to help you understand that better, let’s go through some typical use cases for DAM in ecommerce. In other words, let’s see what online stores use DAM for.
#1. Getting assets to the market quicker
We’ve mentioned this briefly already – At any point, you need to publish and manage an insane amount of digital assets.
Let’s take a simple product page, for example. Every time you create such a page, you need to populate it with:
- Product images.
- Product data like descriptions, product specifications, and more.
- Downloadable product specifications.
- Manuals or user guides.
- Product videos.
- Brand assets like your logos, and many other types of digital assets.
Some of these assets come directly from manufacturers, of course. You might be creating others – like product videos or overviews – in-house.
Overall, a single page might require tens of different digital assets that your teams need to locate, optimise, tweak, get signed off, and then, upload.
The story is no different from any marketing campaigns you’re running. These campaigns will require you to create or optimise a whole range of digital assets too.
DAM helps ecommerce stores like yours to organise those assets, and make them easy to find and use. On top of that, with DAM, your creative teams can collaborate on each project, get it signed off, and distribute it to relevant channels.
And they can do it faster than ever before.
#2. Creating a better product library
Here’s another problem you’re, most likely, facing regularly. Every time you start a new content project, you face sifting through a stack of shared hard drives or shared folders to locate all the necessary assets.
DAM solves that problem by bringing all your digital assets, and that includes video and other file types, into a single location.
What’s more, with DAM, you can organise those assets into folders, collections, but also, specify metadata for each item, making every file easy to find.
#3. Faster project completion
For most online stores, creating a new content asset requires far more than giving the creative a brief and receiving a completed project.
There’s briefing, ideation, planning, and the actual content production. Then, each draft needs to be revised, reviewed, commented on, and revised again and again, until it’s signed off for production.
The feedback and approvals process alone can take a significant amount of time. This is particularly true if you don’t have a system in place to manage online proofing.
Digital asset management tools like CELUM feature complete online proofing capabilities to allow you and your team to get projects reviewed and approved faster.
With CELUM, you can even set up a complete review and approval workflow to ensure that you never miss a single step in the process
#4. Brand management across all marketing channels
Customers should experience your ecommerce brand the same, regardless of where customers find out about your store or products. A product page should match the ad they first saw and clicked on Instagram, and so on. But such consistency is hard to achieve if your teams constantly use different brand assets and product images.
Because DAM brings all those files in one place, it ensures that your marketing teams always use the right brand assets when creating content.
#5. Asset optimisation
Finally, many online stores use DAM’s automation features to quickly optimise assets and get them ready to go live on the website.
Digital asset management solutions like CELUM, for example, will help you automatically resize, crop or compress images to ensure that the resulting files are small, do not increase the page load time, and enhance the overall user experience.
What does a typical DAM workflow look like in ecommerce
We’ve discussed what digital asset management is in ecommerce. We also discussed the benefits of using DAM for online stores, and what aspects of the content creation process these stores streamline with DAM.
So now, let’s see how it all happens in practice – How online stores and ecommerce brands utilise different DAM functionalities combined with related Content Supply Chain Management capabilities to drive their success.
And it all starts with this:
Bulk product image upload
Most online stores receive whole image catalogue from producers. These catalogue, at minimum, include several images per product, if not more.
In total, there could be hundreds, if not thousands, of product images and other files that you need to store somewhere for easy retrieval when you need to.
One solution is to upload all these images to Dropbox or a similar online storage solution. The challenge with doing so is that a) it’s going to take time, and b) you’ll have only a limited number of ways to organise those assets.
DAM systems like CELUM allow you to bulk upload or fetch those catalogues automatically from any connected source with a powerful content ingest service.
Mapping metadata allows you to automatically assign information from one source to another, and ensure that all equivalent metadata fields are mapped out correctly.
As a result of this process, you ensure that files are organised logically, retain all their information, and can be easily found and used in other tools.
FURTHER READING: Learn more from this guide to metadata mapping for DAM users.
Further asset organisation
Metadata mapping happens automatically as you upload (or bulk upload) files to DAM. But once there, you can organise them further into folders or collections. You can define relationships between them, add more metadata, specify their categories, and more.
All this will ensure that your assets are easier to find, and that marketing teams always know which file to use in relevant projects.
Project collaboration set up
With all files in one place, you can, then, begin setting up new creative projects. Be it working on a completely new set of product visuals or optimising existing assets, platforms like CELUM provide you with tools and capabilities to manage all creative work.
Set up tasks per project. Define clear responsibilities and deadlines. Assign users to single tasks or make them responsible for all tasks in a list. Set due dates and see all your assignments in a personalised cockpit, and more.
FURTHER READING: Learn more about CELUM’S collaboration features.
Every new asset needs to be reviewed and revised. Online proofing capabilities let you streamline the entire process to get to the final signoff faster.
Use markup tools to provide feedback directly on the draft. Bring everyone to the table – whether it’s colleagues, agencies, freelancers or decision makers. Define roles and responsibilities for each phase of your proofing process and move your projects forward with full accountability. Finally, create a consistent proofing workflow and make sure each file goes through the necessary stages.
FURTHER READING: Learn more about CELUM’s advanced online proofing capabilities for ecommerce.
Naturally, you don’t create marketing assets just for the sake of having them. So, any completed assets need to be routed to their respective marketing channels – the website, social media accounts, digital advertising platform, and others.
With CELUM’s industry-leading integrations, you can distribute content to other creative tools, marketing channels, PIM’s, content management systems, and more to put those assets into action.
But simply sharing assets is not enough these days. To be successful, you need to engage and inspire your audiences with personalised content that is perfectly tailored to the needs of each target group.
You can achieve this with CELUM Portals. With these portals, you can place your brand assets precisely where they are needed. This gives your target groups easy access to the content you have put together. They can easily browse content, select the size they want if necessary, and download it, while you maintain control over who has access to what content.
For any online shop, an exceptional user experience is of immense importance – no matter where or when customers view the content.
FURTHER READING: Learn more about the new CELUM Portals.
After having published your content on the various channels and in your shop, you naturally want to know how it performs.
To do this, CELUM’s analysis function supports you. Through comprehensive analyses of content performance, you gain insights into who has visited your portals. You learn which content was downloaded most frequently and which search terms were used the most, and so on. This information allows you to evaluate which strategies are most successful. You can make adjustments and improvements to achieve your goals more effectively.
The final step of the process revolves around archiving and storing completed projects for potential further reuse. This step looks quite similar to what you did at the start, although in this case, you’re not uploading new files but organising newly created assets into relevant folders, and categories, and describing them with metadata.
And that’s it.
That’s how a typical digital asset management process looks like in ecommerce.