WebCollage Integrates Content on Demand

Management Center allows instant deployment and syndica-tion of product data.

WebCollage, which offers content exchange services for manufacturers and their retail partners, is releasing WebCollage Management Center, a self-service information syndication platform.

Announced May 27, the hosted solution integrates content between manufacturers and retailers on demand.

"WebCollage Management Center is an on-demand solution that works with manufacturers and retailers to optimize how they jointly market goods," said Jed Alpert, vice president of marketing for WebCollage. "It gives retailers the ability to have the most up-to-date product information, customized to their online look and feel."

Alpert said Management Center provides a pipeline between manufacturers and retailers' Web sites, extracting information from the manufacturer's marketing sites and injecting it directly into retailers' e-commerce sites.

"Customers of those sites have complete access to product demos, overviews, FAQs and other information," he said.

As a result, Alpert said retailers are able to get complete marketing content on the products they supply from the manufacturers, updated on a regular basis. He said manufacturers can update product information in real time, allowing them to stay on top of short product lifecycles.

"Since it's a hosted solution, there is no software to install or maintain," he said. "Retailers just need a single line of HTML code on their site, and we can then flip a switch. There is no additional work for them. Through browser-based access to manufacturers' sites, we create an ongoing extract of information that we inject seamlessly to the retailers' sites on an automated basis."

Lauren Freedman, president of e-commerce consulting firm the e-tailing group inc., said the WebCollage network provides an efficiency model for both manufacturers and retailers.

"From a manufacturer perspective, they gain a controlled and consistent experience across their retail partners," Freedman said. "They get the opportunity to be current with the information being shown and deliver extensive content. It's powerful."

For retailers, she said WebCollage helps create a "more robust destination" for the products they sell. It's a more comprehensive experience. Today's consumers expect all [product] information to be everywhere, and WebCollage provides a conduit to make that happen."

Alpert said retailers pay nothing for Management Center, with manufacturers funding it. He said smaller manufacturers can effectively use the solution, since it works the same for any number of SKUs. According to Alpert, testing has shown that the availability of Management Center-generated product information in the retail channel increases sales on those products from 6 to 15 percent.

Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news, check out eWEEK.com's Retail Site.