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Ecommerce Data as Dynamic as Business

Business is constantly changing. So are B2B ecommerce needs.

Manufacturers and distributors have complex and dynamic business models. Change is a constant as mergers and acquisitions, evolving customer expectations, and new product launches drive growth in ecommerce. These dynamics extend beyond product information to unique contract terms and curated customer experiences. As businesses add channels, the opportunities and challenges multiply.

Jump ahead:

Dynamic Data Beyond Product Information

Product attribution is widely understood in ecommerce. It provides the specifications and data to create a great customer experience that aids B2B buyers in finding the right products.

A B2B ecommerce attribution data model must extend beyond product to support different users, accounts, catalogs, contract terms, and much more.

For example, distributors' and manufacturers' business models have complex customer sales contracts. Legacy agreements often are individual to an account and driven by sales pressures to win the business on a customer’s terms. Often, these contract terms pre-date ecommerce. The data model in B2B ecommerce must account for unlimited variables of contract terms, which can be configured and applied to accounts and segments. This is just one of many examples of complex data demands in B2B ecommerce.

The Limitations of Traditional Ecommerce Platforms

The traditional approach to managing ecommerce and dynamic business models typically requires changes to the database and customization of the ecommerce platform. Of course, this takes time and money. Not terribly dynamic.

This traditional approach has long-term implications. Changing the core database in any ecommerce platform and writing custom code creates upgrade nightmares as new software versions are released and older versions are sunset. It also creates additional maintenance costs. 

Dynamic just came to a dead stop.

Dynamic Business, Meet a Dynamic Schema

To address changing and dynamic business models, Znode has a dynamic schema native to the platform that is different by design. 

Znode’s dynamic schema allows Znode administrators to create unlimited attributes through the admin console without touching the database. When attributes are created, an API endpoint is automatically extended. This saves time and money while improving speed to market in a dynamic business world. No need for developers. Welcome to dynamic schema for B2B ecommerce.

Dynamic Data: Flexibility and Speed-to-Market Solved

Znode applies this dynamic data schema beyond the product catalog, allowing for greater personalization and configuration within the platform and less dependency on a database developer. This is a sustainable approach to managing costs, increasing speed-to-market, and adjusting for the dynamics of business. The following are the different types of attributes that can be applied to Znode entities:

  • Global attributes: serve as the container for custom data points that can be created and assigned to various entities (stores, accounts, and users) allowing for the creation of permissions and management of data by administrators and even customers where appropriate. Global attributes can also be used for creating custom forms and content containers to support unique CMS content visualizations.
  • Product attributes: the building blocks of the product data model, contain information about products for use by customers when searching for products, administrators when organizing and merchandising products, and for dynamic product recommendations in Znode.
  • Category attributes: Znode features many default category attributes for those getting started. Administrators can easily create custom attributes to be used during the category creation process.
  • Media attributes: primarily system defined when media assets are uploaded to the media library. However, administrators can create custom media attributes that can be associated, like metadata, to media assets for quick identification and usage throughout the content management system (CMS).

Replicate Other Business System Data Models

When utilizing Znode’s dynamic ecommerce database schema capabilities, administrators can replicate existing business system database attributes and values. As long as data is passed from the business system, whether an ERP, CRM, third-party PIM, etc., there is no need to change the Znode API to receive the data.

Configure Products from Simple to Complex

Selling complex products online requires significant data to be available and digestible by prospects and customers. Whether classifying product dimension values, adding supporting documentation such as installation guides, or managing color options, ecommerce attribution allows customers to consume the entire breadth of a product offering. Znode’s native ecommerce product information management (PIM) system allows for the creation and management of unlimited product attributes utilizing Znode’s dynamic schema.

Find Products Across Categories via Any Attribute

When B2B buyers land on category landing pages (CLPs), the type of ecommerce attribution data shared for product identification will be considerably different than the product detail page (PDP). The level of flexibility to create category attributes should not be any less dynamic than product attributes. Whether B2B buyers are searching by price, product fit, or inventory availability, serving up the correct data to identify the right products improves the customer experience and conversion rate.

Customer Examples: See Dynamic Schema in Action

Znode’s dynamic ecommerce database schema supports many different use cases and provides the flexibility to manage multiple business models in Znode. Following are a few Znode customer examples of the dynamic ecommerce database schema in action:

  • Bradley Corporation utilized media attributes to identify technical data sheet files and CAD drawings, then associated those media files with products for display on the product detail page (PDP).
  • Drew Shoe utilized Znode’s native PIM system and product attribution to enable PDP filtering of complex products for utilization across multiple storefronts. Product attributes included combinations of color, size, width, and more.
  • Ariat created user and account global attributes to sync Znode with its ERP system records.
  • School Uniforms by Tommy Hilfiger created more than 800 specified catalogs by school, program, grade, gender, and more, and associated those catalogs in a single storefront.
  • Summit Group created numerous global attributes at a web store level to show or hide items on various storefronts, and to change labels on specific storefronts as it creates custom promotional product shopping experiences for B2B customers.

All these examples showcase that the secret to success in B2B ecommerce isn’t a secret at all. It’s leveraging a data schema as dynamic as business.

Ready to drive dynamic results? Request a demo today.

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