By Patrick Weilmerier | AmplifyThis post lists 10 reasons why businesses need DAM software. Before deciding on a solution you need to evaluate how you manage and share digital assets today, the value software will bring your business, and the impact it will[...]
Businesses that sell online must have product images of all their products. When products are updated images must be updated as well. When new products are released product images must also be produced.
The task of creating product images can fall on the manufacturer, distributor, reseller, retailer, or etailer. Although, for the most part (and for the sake of this post), I will assume this responsibility falls on the manufacturer.
The manufacturer has incentive to keep their product images up-to-date and to get them in the hands of their customers as quickly as possible. These include:
- More sales: when the manufacturer’s customers – distributors, retailers, etailers and all other resellers – have complete and up-to-date product images they will sell more products online.
- Lower returns: when the manufacturer’s customers have complete and up-to-date product images displaying on their ecommerce sites, the end customer will be able to ensure that they are purchasing the product they require.
Therefore, if the manufacturer does a good job producing and distributing product images, they will realize higher profits resulting for more online sales and less product returns.
So why are there so many poor or missing product images online? Because the job of creating, QAing, publishing, formatting, sending and managing product images it difficult for manufacturers.
The manufacturer’s most powerful tool for reducing the time and cost associated with sending product images to customers is digital asset management software.
What makes sending product images to customers so difficult?
For large manufacturers, the product image production and distribution process is a very big challenge. Below is a profile of a typical large manufacturer, when you consider all these points together it is easy to understand why sending product images to customers is so difficult.
- Manufacturers have thousands of products
- Manufacturers update their products regularly
- Manufacturers introduce new products often
- Each product has multiple product images
- Manufacturers have hundreds of customers
- Each customer requires images for the products they sell (which will be a unique subset of all the products the manufacturer sells)
- Each customer has unique formatting and delivery specifications for the product images
- File naming convention which could include some combination of brand, customer code or number, product number, product type, image view, digital asset type
- File type – jpg, tiff, gif etc.
- Image dimensions – width and height
- DPI – 72 or 300
- Each customer requires product images sent on a specified frequency and method e.g. immediately when published via FTP or monthly on DVD
5 ways digital asset management software can decrease the cost of sending product images to customers
When it comes to formatting and sending product images to customers, DAM software can automate many manual tasks and decrease the time it takes to get product images into the hands of customers.
1. Direct connection between image production and digital asset management software
Obviously, before images can be sent to customers they have to be created. When DAM software has a direct connection with product image production management software:
- Product images can be automatically imported from the image production system into the DAM system immediately after QA has approved them. This is much more efficient when compared to the standard practice whereby the digital asset manager would copy the images from the image production system and paste them to the appropriate folders in the DAM system.
- Reports can be accessed detailing which product images are in which stage of production e.g. not yet taken, photographed, edited, QAed and ready for publication.
2. Detailed customer profiles managed in digital asset management software
One of the biggest costs associated with sending product images to customers is the time it takes to manage and track which customers get what images and how these images need to be formatted prior to sending them. Digital asset managers will typically manage this process with multiple resources and multiple spreadsheets.
The ability to create detailed profiles for each customer in the digital asset management software allows many aspects of the formatting and sending process to be automated. Customer profiles include the following information:
- Which products does the customer sell
- How does the customer want images named
- How does the customer want images formatted – file type, dpi, height and width, border etc.
- How does the customer want images sent – FTP, DVD
- How often does the customer want images sent – immediately after production, daily, weekly, quarterly etc.
With this information correctly stored in the customer profile, product images for the customer can be automatically formatted, named and delivered.
3. Automated image formatting based on customer profiles in digital asset management software
Manually sorting product images by customer, then running them through Photoshop actions and renaming applications, and QAing them prior to delivery is incredibly time-consuming and unnecessarily costly.
With a built-in image conversion engine, the digital asset management software can format product images according to the details specified in the customer profile automatically, without any human interaction. Product images will be formatted immediately after they are published by the production system and at a fraction of the cost of doing it manually.
4. Automated image delivery based on customer profiles in digital asset management software
Once the product images have been formatted they need to be delivered to the customer. Without software automation, images will need to be manually copied to an FTP server or burned onto a DVD and couriered to the customer.
With the details of the customer’s preferred image delivery method and frequency stored in the customer profile, the digital asset management software can automatically send images to the customer. Obviously automation only works if the delivery method is electronic e.g. FTP. If the customer’s preferred method of delivery is DVD then the client manager will be notified as to the location of the formatted images.
5. Create ‘image status’ reports directly from digital asset management software
A big part of the product image formatting and sending process is understanding exactly what product images have been produced, which have not, which customers have their required images and which have not. Unless this information is in one system it is extremely difficult to create accurate reports.
When the digital asset management software handles the product image formatting and delivery processes it is able to report on:
- What products have images
- What products are missing images
- What product images were sent to customers
- When were product images sent to customers
- What product images need to be sent to which customers
The ability to click on a report and understand exactly where you are at with respect to product images is a big time and money saver.
How do you send product images to your customers?
Please join the conversation – let us know what you do to manage the process of formatting and delivering images to your customers.
If you would like to see how Visual SKUs digital asset management software can help automate this process complete Visual SKUs Book a Demo form and we will contact you to schedule a demo.
Thanks for reading.