The rise of "walled gardens" in ecommerce and how to break through them
May 28, 2019
Digital walls play a very important role in the modern age of technology. From ecommerce to mobile apps to almost everything online, there are digital walls and "walled gardens." These barriers support better customer experiences, safeguard proprietary information, and (in ecommerce) can even power stronger targeting and advertising opportunities. <br> However, these walls can also have a very negative affect—namely on the brands and retailers trying so hard to correctly maneuver them. This is a problem we need to face, sooner rather than later.
Do good walls make good neighbors?
There have been plenty of notable walls throughout history. The Great Wall of China was good for keeping the barbarians out, and it kept everyone insidethe walls safe. It made it easier to collect taxes on and control products (sound familiar, ecommerce?). But, it also made it difficult for new ideas and innovations to get through the walls and into China. It created an economic divide. Those of us located here in Berlin can still see the economic aftermath of our own wall, even though it’s been gone for years. <br> Now, the number of digital walls or “walled gardens” is really on the rise. Countless tech companies use these to build themselves a safe space. It allows them to better support users, advertisers, developers, and nearly everyone else operating inside of the walls. But what about those who are stuck outside of the walls? How do businesses get in and start enjoying the fabulous gardens? <br> <blockquote>For example…
Let’s say I’m a brand manufacturer. I want to start selling products on this great, powerful marketplace. The marketplace is happy to have me on their site, so what’s the problem? Well, I still have to go through a lot of hoops. I have to work with IT to tailor my product catalog to very specific requirements. We may spend hours in calls and emails just to get those requirements. Then, the marketing team needs to get involved, and we need to find a way to regularly upload new product information, and, and, and… this small task has quickly become a massive project. <br> I must complete all these steps just to start listing products on a single marketplace. See the problem?
Crossing the border of walled gardens
Think of this whole process as the “immigrations office” of ecommerce channels. You’re flying into a new country—say, Googleland—and there are going to be certain steps you must fulfill before you’re able to exit the airport and move around the channel. <br> First, there’s the line. Your team has to queue outside of IT for days and days just to be seen. IT then has to assess the target channel’s requirements, tailor your product catalogs, perhaps even liaise with account managers and marketers. During this time, you’re unable to move forward and take advantage of that exciting new channel you’re trying to visit. <br> In short, this system is not agile. It: <ul> <li>Takes weeks to get on new channels or take advantage of new opportunities.</li> <li>Can take just as long to make optimizations that drive sales and performance.</li> <li>Makes growing market share a slow, unreliable, and far-from-automated process.</li> </ul> Digital walls are important, and they aren’t going anywhere just yet. However, we need to make it easier for businesses to get through them.
We need to break through the walls surrounding data silos and make it easy for brands and retailers to become agile. This is the only way to scale in modern ecommerce.
Building a “fast lane” to break through the digital walls
The digital wall model that is the status quo of technology businesses today is not sustainable (without some changes). Omnichannel commerce and marketing is complex enough already, and businesses can’t spend all their time and resources jumping through technical hoops.
Modern businesses need solutions that help them quickly and reliably expand to new channels and markets. They need a system that simplifies and speeds up the process, making it scalable and optimizable. In other words, they need a fast lane. <br> That’s what Productsup is doing. <ul> <li>First, Productsup makes it easy for your product catalogs to reach any channel. Period. This is because we use built-in templates and integrations, so you can simply plug in your data and go. IT doesn’t have to do anything at all.</li> <li>Second, our platform is always being upgraded to take advantage of new opportunities. Dynamic image design, ROI-based tools, and price comparison integration are just some of the tools we can already add to your arsenal. What’s next? We’re excited to find out, too.</li> </ul> These tools don’t just get you on a specific channel. They help you break through those digital walls and into walled gardens. They act as a global channel connector to male you and your data fully agile.
Why now, why Productsup
Board Member & Demand Generation