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Enterprise Information Management

Take charge of your content and information with Enterprise Information Management

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Content Creation

Collaborate and create high-quality channel-neutral content

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How one of Germany’s largest news publications increased editorial and production workflow efficiency using WoodWing’s publishing software.

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Streamlined content creation and multichannel publishing solution

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Overcoming retail industry challenges: how to deal with inconsistent branding and other retail pain points

Overcoming retail industry challenges: how to deal with inconsistent branding and other retail pain points

Is your organization ready for NIS2 and the DORA Act?

Is your organization ready for NIS2 and the DORA Act?

Successful data protection and cybersecurity management? Ensure the human dimension

Successful data protection and cybersecurity management? Ensure the human dimension

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Medium Rare

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Home Inspiration Blog | WoodWing

Digital Asset Management

Retail & eCommerce

6 minutes of reading

‘DAM for retail’ buyer's guide: how to choose a digital asset management system

In today's dynamic retail landscape, managing projects and delivering high-quality marketing content can be a complex challenge. So let's delve into how integrating Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems with project management tools can revolutionize your retail operations. Discover how this powerful combination streamlines workflows, enhances collaboration, and ensures consistent branding across all customer touchpoints – both online and offline. Ready to boost your retail marketing efficiency? Read on to learn more about the transformative potential of DAM in retail.

Shape

The many touchpoints of retail marketing...

Today's retail landscape includes a wide range of activities that involve selling goods or services to consumers. Essentially, retail is all about creating and strengthening customer relationships in various touchpoints, to increase customer loyalty and, eventually, sales. These touchpoints can occur both online and offline. In-store experiences, such as browsing of items, using fitting rooms and checkout counters are traditional offline touchpoints where customers engage with products and staff. Digital touchpoints, on the other hand, include experiences and activities, for example on the company’s website, via e-commerce, on social media platforms, or through mobile apps. Marketing efforts such as campaigns, advertisements, and promotional events are touchpoints that can either happen online or offline. Each of these interactions offers an opportunity for the company to strengthen its brand image and foster customer loyalty.

... and how to properly use them

In the fast-paced world of retail, it can seem overwhelming (or even impossible) for the retailer to keep track of all the different types of content that should be created and served to all these different types of customer touchpoints. This is exactly where a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system comes into play! A DAM serves as a centralized repository that streamlines the acquisition, organization, storage, and retrieval of a company’s digital assets (aka 'the content'). Assets might include product images, brand elements and visuals, and marketing materials, which all require their own set of processes from creation to publishing. Unlike other storage systems, a DAM is specifically designed to handle large volumes of multimedia content. This not only improves efficiency by saving valuable time, but also ensures brand consistency and scalability across all the aforementioned touchpoints.

Understanding your business needs

Ok, so if Digital Asset Management is the solution that promises to help your retail business getting it all together – then where are you supposed to start?

The first thing to do when building a case for a DAM investment, is to take a step back and look at the whole company: what types of organizational or business functions that are likely creating or utilizing digital assets does your company employ?

When looking at the big picture, you might find functions like marketing, communications, product sourcing, product information management, e-commerce, or different types of in-store operations (such as in-store advertising and retail media, customer service, collecting products for e-commerce deliveries or pick-up, et cetera). That’s when it’s time to dig deeper: it is vital to understand how each of these functions creates or consumes different types of digital assets, who are involved, and what the processes look like. Even within an area of expertise like marketing, there might be several different types of stakeholders and processes, depending on where the assets will end up being published (print, digital advertising, or social media).

When you know your stakeholders and their respective processes, it should be relatively straightforward to figure out what types of technologies they are using. Perhaps there is streamlining, standardization and scalability of product imagery to be made, by adding a DAM system to the technical environment of product data management? DAM and PIM (Product Information Management) systems often complement each other: DAM could work as the single source for acquiring and publishing product assets from and to any channels, whereas PIM would be the master to manage the product-related data (which DAM in turn could utilize, as it is metadata to really empower searchability and automate the lifecycle management of your assets). In an ecosystem where the number of products and the connected data are constantly growing and updated, it’s vital to keep the processes automated and as real-time as possible.


Find the DAM that suits your company's needs best - use a DAM for retail buyer's guide

Key features for your DAM

When selecting a DAM system, retail companies should prioritize features that streamline their operations and enhance their content-related strategies. One key feature is of course an intuitive user interface that ensures ease of use for all team members, regardless of technical expertise. This will help users focus on and enjoy their work, rather than trying to overcome the frustration of having to work with a complicated system. The system should also offer advanced search capabilities, enabling users to quickly locate assets using taxonomies, metadata and vocabularies, tags, and perhaps even Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered search or metadata tagging functionalities.

In addition to AI in search, it’s good to keep an eye on how extendable the system is when it comes to AI-functionalities in general. AI can significantly help in enhancing and scaling up different recurring processes. AI could, for example, be harnessed to automate editing and harmonization of incoming product assets by automating background removals, color corrections, et cetera.

Scalability is vital: the DAM system must be able to grow with the business, accommodating an increasing volume of assets without compromising performance. DAM integrations, for example with existing marketing tools, or product management or e-commerce platforms are essential for a seamless workflow, allowing for the efficient distribution of assets across various channels. Look for a DAM that provides modern interfaces (API’s) to ensure complex integrations that will carry a lot of data back and forth are properly facilitated.

Additionally, robust security measures (including general information security, data protection, permission controls and audit trails) are crucial to protect intellectual property and comply with data protection regulations.

These features collectively ensure that a DAM system not only meets the current needs of a retail company but also supports its future growth and evolution in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Evaluating your future DAM and the investment involved

When evaluating DAM software vendors for retail, it's crucial to center the assessment around your company’s specific use cases. This means understanding the unique needs of your operations and how a DAM system can support those needs. For instance, if your retail business has a strong online presence, you might want to prioritize vendors that offer robust e-commerce integrations. If, on the other hand, your business is more on the traditional side with a lot of physical printed outputs, it could be a good idea to make sure that your DAM will support the creative toolset and workflows that you already use.

Write down, describe and prioritize each requirement that you expect your DAM system to provide, and explain why you need it. It will make it easier to both evaluate and compare the best match for your specific business needs. Creating user stories for each type of user and their respective processes is a great way to get started here.

It's also wise to test and evaluate the DAM system before committing (‘proof of concept’). Request a trial period or a demo to see how the system performs with your actual assets and processes. This hands-on experience can prevent you from getting caught in the ‘buying a pig in a poke’ scenario, in which you end up with a DAM system that that doesn't meet your needs.

Support from your vendor is another key consideration: look for vendors that provide comprehensive training, responsive customer service, and the necessary technical support to resolve issues. The bigger your operations are, the more important it is to have expert assistance at hand – if and when needed. Also, ensure that the DAM vendors you're considering are future-proof. They should have a track record of updating their systems to support evolving business requirements and be able to scale with your business as it grows.

It is considered best practice to evaluate a business case and calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO) for all of the DAM systems you are comparing in the purchasing process. These include not only the initial purchase price, but also ongoing costs such as licenses, maintenance, upgrades, integrations and additional modules or features that may be necessary in the future. What are the benefits, savings, and efficiency gains you can expect to achieve with each possible vendor? If you can answer and find metrics for these questions, you're amidst a solid decision-making process and on the way to a sensible investment – with an ROI that matches.

By carefully considering these factors, you can find a DAM vendor that doesn't just meet your current needs, but also supports your retail business as it evolves. The right DAM system is an investment in your brand's consistency, efficiency, scale, and, ultimately, also success in the marketplace.


How to choose a DAM system? Use the buyer's guide to find the perfect DAM!

These days, implementing a DAM system in retail is not merely an enhancement, but rather a central investment in your infrastructure. The system must align with the unique operational needs and content strategies of the business. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution, but a growing tool that evolves with the company.

Your DAM system should seamlessly integrate with existing workflows, and scale with and support the growing digital asset repository of the business. It must provide comprehensive and appropriate security features that prevent unauthorized access and protect valuable digital assets.

The justification for the purchase of a DAM system leans on a well-constructed business case and carefully calculated TCO estimations. These financial frameworks highlight the long-term value and cost-saving potential of your proposed DAM system.

In conclusion, a DAM system is an essential component in a retail business environment today, as it is capable of supporting, streamlining, automating, and scaling a vast amount of recurring processes that relate to how a retail business operates. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, the implementation of a DAM system will distinguish proactive businesses from their (less (successfully) proactive) competitors, and at the same time drive efficiency, innovation, and growth.

Shape

Published on July 04, 2024

Sandra Sundbäck

My curiosity drives me to explore new trends and technologies, particularly in content production, management, and delivery. With a Master's degree in Media Management (Digital Asset Management specifically) and a decade of marketing experience under my belt, I shifted focus to MarTech development in 2016, managing numerous technology implementations since then. I have a passion for metadata and retail, striving for seamless content delivery across all channels. Having worked on the two largest DAM environments in the Finnish retail market, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table, so if you need guidance for your DAM initiatives, do reach out.

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