GTINs? Automatic Product Data Updates? New Ways the SDC Can Help You Sell More

SEMA News—July 2016

CHRIS KERSTING

GTINs? Automatic Product Data Updates? New Ways the SDC Can Help You Sell More

Chris KerstingA couple of years ago, SEMA rolled out the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) to help SEMA manufacturers and resellers market our industry’s cool products online. Through the SDC, members can easily keep up with a fast-moving marketing environment to get quicker, broader exposure for their products.

In an important development, Google recently announced a deadline for full compliance with its Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN) requirements in order to be part of Google Shopping feeds. The GTIN-12 is used in the United States and Canada and is incorporated in universal product code (UPC) barcodes.

Each barcode functions as a unique identifier for a product in the global marketplace. Not only do barcodes expedite in-store transactions via scanning, but they also ensure exact identification of products in online venues, cementing consumer confidence that they have the right item. According to Google, that results in up to 40% higher click rates.

Starting May 16, 2016, Google required manufacturers to meet the GTIN requirement, or resellers will not be able to continue serving ads for these products through Google.

The items without GTINs will not only be excluded, but also if a certain modest percentage of items don’t comply, the entire data feed can be rejected. It is expected that the Google Shopping standard will be adopted over time by countless retailers, who will follow suit.

An initial look at the industry data repository operated by the SDC shows that roughly 25% of the parts managed and stored in the SDC system are missing GTINs. The fix for this situation is relatively simple—thanks to an outstanding SDC member benefit.

If you are a smaller manufacturer that needs fewer than a couple thousand GTINs, then a unique subscription through GS1 (the official non-profit GTIN supplier since 1974) might prove cost-prohibitive. However, the SDC is now supplying official GTINs free of charge to SDC-member companies, provided they have not previously worked directly with GS1. SDC Supplier members can call the SDC at 888-958-6698 x40 to learn more and get started today.

Another new feature from the SDC is automatic data updates, making it possible for manufacturers to get their products to market faster than ever. Any time a manufacturer publishes new or updated product information, resellers can now automatically and instantly receive the updated data, formatted to their individual requirements.

SDC resellers will be the first to know about new products or data corrections as they happen. Resellers will still be able to regulate the flow of data by date and time, but for those who want their information in real time, it’s now available. This kind of service is more necessary than ever in the fast-moving electronic marketplace.

These programs are examples of the kind of expert customer support and state-of-the-art technology that the industry-owned SDC continues to develop on behalf of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. With more than 450 manufacturers participating in the repository, the SDC is the largest industry product data repository. More than 2.6 million part numbers that account for more than 45 million vehicle applications are currently included, and more are added every day.

To learn how to become part of the SDC, visit www.SEMAdatacoop.org.

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