What is DAM? Guide to Digital Asset Management

Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Product Information Management (PIM) are quickly becoming common phrases in the world of eCommerce. The definition of Digital Asset Management (DAM) is the process of streamlining the collection, storage, enrichment, and distribution of media assets. Similarly, Product Information Management (PIM) streamlines all aspects of product data management. Having an integrated DAM within your PIM platform saves you heaps of time and brings a bunch of business benefits.

With Pimberly, you get the power of PIM and rich product information combined with totally streamlined Digital Asset Management capabilities. As such, you can leverage all aspects of your data to create powerful product experiences that keep customers coming back.

As the saying goes – a picture (or video!) is worth a thousand words, and that couldn’t be truer in eCommerce. Quality media assets will help you convert more browsers to buyers. They help drive discovery, give your customers a full view of your products and bring your product pages to life.

They’re relevant at each stage of the buyer journey, from discovery right through to post-purchase. Overall, Digital Asset Management forms the backbone of amazing customer experiences. We process images and videos 60,000 times faster than we do text. Therefore, it’s no wonder digital assets are a great way of instantly engaging customers, wherever they find your products.

In this hyper-visual day and age, having a powerful system to manage large volumes of media files is crucial. In this guide, you’ll find out what a Digital Asset Management system is, how it benefits your business, and how you can boost your team’s productivity with powerful media asset management capabilities.

Sit back, get comfortable and find out everything you need to know about Digital Asset Management (DAM) software!

What is a digital asset?

A digital asset is any kind of file you store digitally, is uniquely identifiable, and creates value in online shopping experiences. Here’s a breakdown of the types of digital assets that can be managed within a DAM system:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Animations
  • Logos
  • GIFs
  • PDFs
  • Audio files
  • Presentations
  • Sizing charts
  • 3D images
  • 360 images
  • CAD files

All these assets inform your customers buying decisions, enrich the online experience, and guarantee the best possible satisfaction, even after a customer has completed their online purchase.

As well as enhancing your eCommerce strategy, many of these assets will also drive digital marketing initiatives. As such, you need to make sure your teams can access everything they need quickly and easily to drive performance.

DAM – what, how, and why?

What is DAM?

Digital Asset Management solutions offer a central hub where you can gather, store, and enrich all branded assets, rich media files relating to your products, and any other type of digital content you want to use to enrich the customer journey. You can distribute all media files across unlimited sales channels and physical stores. It also serves as a centralized location for different departments that will need to access your assets. From a DAM, they can find all the assets they need to market and sell products online.

So, whether your marketing team needs access to imagery for an upcoming campaign or your customer support team needs your PDF sizing charts, you can manage all of this within your DAM.

How does it work?

import-assets

Import: Your DAM platform will enable you to import multiple formats of rich digital assets from unlimited internal and external data sources, centralizing them in one single location.

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Manage: You can easily set up rules to automate the allocation of your assets to your product listings, saving you heaps of time.

Enrich: You can add all relevant metadata such as  Alt and title tags to your digital assets within your DAM, meaning you can optimize for search and offer accessibility to all customers.

distribute-assets

Distribute: Publishing your digital assets across unlimited sales channels and internal departments can be done in a few simple clicks.

Why use DAM?

Because digital assets play such a crucial role at every stage of the buyer journey, you need to ensure you’re delivering high-quality digital content start to finish. DAM solutions present the perfect tool for teams to collaborate and ensure every asset is fully optimized before being published.

So, let’s dive into who it benefits, and some digital asset management use cases.

Who benefits from using a DAM?

Studio teams

Studio teams, either internal or external, will be working on creating all the product imagery, videos, and other assets. Having direct access to your Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform means they can quickly upload everything they’ve been working on.

As a result, other teams can get to work on them in the context of their respective areas of expertise. Version control tools will enable you to see who uploaded the assets, and when they were uploaded, so you always know which is the most up-to-date version. This is especially useful if there are any amends made to assets, which can be uploaded quickly and reflected across all sales channels in good time.

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Product managers

Product managers are the ones responsible for delivering products right from design through to them being ready to sell online, from start to finish. Depending on your industry, you may be dealing with the PLM aspect. Any powerful Digital Asset Management tool will support file formats such as those generated from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) systems or Adobe Illustration software, as well as JPEG, PNG, PDF formats, etc., so it’s easy to track the product as it moves through its lifecycle.

Product managers also curate product stories that need to be clearly communicated in the style of product imagery and video. Having access to all the assets uploaded by the studio team means product managers can ensure there’s consistency between the product vision and the final digital assets.

eCommerce teams

In eCommerce, the primary focus is to create amazing online experiences that keep customers coming back. With the rise of omnichannel and multichannel strategies, mobile and social shopping, and personalization, eCommerce teams are increasingly dealing with larger, more complex digital assets.

DAM tools have powerful capabilities that enable eCommerce teams to ensure all digital assets are of the highest quality and tailored for different use cases. For instance, when selling across multiple channels, there are specific rules you can set up within DAM to ensure all assets meet the specific requirements of each channel. Moreover, when it comes to personalization, eCommerce teams can display tailored imagery depending on location, demographics, or buyer intent to deliver the best possible experience.

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dam-for-seo

SEO teams

Increasingly, consumers are discovering products on platforms like Google image search and YouTube. Therefore, you need to ensure your products get surfaced in search results with fully optimized digital assets.

SEO teams can ensure the relevant metadata with the right keywords are allocated to all digital assets within the DAM. This gives your products the best chance of appearing on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).  This will also apply to other images related to your products, such as care instructions, certifications, and Product Data Sheets.

With powerful storage capabilities, SEO teams can also store and optimize video transcripts against product listings. Again, this will give your products the best possible chance of being surfaced in search results.

Sales and marketing

Sales and marketing teams will have a variety of uses for digital assets. For instance, the marketing team will need access to digital assets when planning and running product promotions. They’ll need to see what the products look like when writing the descriptions to ensure they’re as accurate and detailed as possible.

Marketing departments will also need to ensure all assets comply with brand guidelines to ensure consistency across all channels. When it comes to your sales team, they’ll need access to digital assets associated with products, like accreditations or sizing charts to provide totally the correct information if a customer has a query.

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The business benefits of Digital Asset Management

Digital Asset Management software brings a bunch of benefits to your business, all while enabling you to create stand-out product experiences your customers will love!

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1.  Save time and speed time to market

Working across disparate systems often means you have to spend a lot of time searching for the digital assets you need. When it comes to digital storytelling to engage with customers, you need to make sure you’re providing lots of variety. This includes image, video, 360 views, and zoom capability to guarantee the best possible experience. It’s always recommended you use the highest possible resolution version of your assets to ensure they’re suitable for all uses i.e., on your site, in print, and when customers use zoom view.

The more digital assets you have in multiple formats, the more time you spend gathering, optimizing, and publishing across sales channels. You can make massive time savings by storing everything in a centralized DAM system. Moreover, you can set up rules to auto-link your assets to their associated products. Pimberly does this automatically as it reads and write meta data for your digital assets. Consequently, you can use rules to automatically assign digital assets to their associated products. This will save hours of valuable time in what would otherwise be a highly manual and labor-intensive task.

The Pimberly DAM also harnesses the power of AWS Rekognition AI image engine to auto-tag your digital assets as they’re uploaded. This will save significant time, and the more you use it, the more powerful it becomes. The Pimberly DAM also has a highly visual interface, so you can see all digital assets in one place. Furthermore, you can easily find what you’re looking for with powerful search capabilities. Overall, everyone can access everything they need quickly and easily, which will significantly speed time to market.

2.   Boost productivity

So many different departments are involved in the digital assets management process. Keeping track of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done is tricky business without the right solutions in place. With a cloud DAM system, everyone can access everything they need at any time, and from anywhere provided there’s a secure internet connection.

Cloud-based DAM systems are regularly updated, so your teams will always be working off the most up-to-date and super-secure version. Furthermore, a powerful DAM solution enables you to create workflows to trigger alerts when a task needs to be completed. As a result, your team members will always know what needs work and when it needs to be done.

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3. Achieve super SEO

Over 35% of product searches start on Google, so ensuring you rank well on SERPs should be a key consideration.  But, in order to succeed at SEO, you need to optimize all your digital assets with keyword-rich Alt Tags. You also need to think of things like page load time and how long visitors are spending on your site. All of this will be impacted by the quality of your digital assets. Within your channel setup, you can create rules to automatically re-size digital assets stored in your DAM. As a result, you can ensure you meet the requirements of your different sales channels. So, no need to worry about slow page load times!

In addition, you can manage all Alt Tagging in one place, making sure you’re using your target keywords. Pimberly can automatically generate search-friendly Alt Image name tags so you’ll always be SEO compliant. This also contributes to accessibility for audiences who may be visually impaired. Lastly, you can also create unique naming conventions so assets are renamed as they’re sent out to your different channels.

You can also store and manage videos within your DAM, which plays a key role in improving the customer experience. 72% of consumers prefer to learn about a product by watching and video, helping them decide what to buy. That’s why video is really a no-brainer as they encourage visitors to spend longer on your page. Google recognizes this as a sign that you’re providing visitors with the information they need, which boosts your site authority.

Another way DAM helps you achieve super SEO is with the enrichment of product descriptions. Copywriters can see the images of products while they are writing. As a result, they will be able to create detailed descriptions. This means a better experience for customers, which will lead to higher conversions.

4. Driving discovery and demand across all channels

Driving discovery and demand for your products is always going to be one of your main areas of focus. High-quality digital assets that are fully optimized for search will ensure your products show up in image and video searches. Furthermore, you can leverage your assets to set yourself apart from the competition. Differentiated and engaging digital assets will give you higher chances of a potential customer clicking through to your product listing to find out more about your brand and products.

Often, customers will be interacting with your products across various platforms. They may be scrolling on social media or avidly searching for deals on Amazon. Wherever they come across your brand and products, you need to make sure you’re conveying consistent messaging across all your sales channels. Maintaining brand consistency is a key pillar in any omnichannel strategy. Having everything in one place makes it easy to ensure all your digital assets meet your carefully crafted brand guidelines. Moreover, approval workflows can be created within your PIM, so you know you’re always releasing on-brand assets.

Instantly communicating how your products will help your customers is key in driving valuable demand. Using digital assets – especially video – is a great way of demonstrating your understanding of your customer’s pain points. It’s an engaging way of highlighting the problems they’re facing, and how your products will solve these problems.

“Around 60% of online shoppers say they need a minimum of 3 images to make an informed buying decision”

zoom-views-with-DAM

5. Boosting conversion and Average Order Values (AOV)

Offering capabilities such as zoom views,  and 360 views will also contribute to much higher conversion rates. When you offer these viewing options, you can achieve conversion rates 40% higher than those without them. Add to the experience with user-generated content i.e., other customers using or wearing your products, and you can give customers even more confidence. The more confident a customer feels, the more likely they are to hit “BUY NOW”.

Lastly, highlighting your best-sellers or complimentary products through effective digital asset management will drive significantly more demand and can increase Average Order Values (AOV). You can shine a light on your higher-value products, and you can use digital assets to show which related products your customers might also be interested in. Think of functionalities like “shop the look” or “shop the room”.

Digital assets management functions also give you more control over your product promotions, discounts, and seasonal sales. Because you have massive storage capabilities within your DAM, you can prepare and store all your promotional or seasonal marketing materials in one place, well ahead of time. As a result, your creative assets will be ready to launch at a moment’s notice. Alternatively, you can define rules for when you want these assets to go live, and how long you want them to be published, alongside all other product data.

6. Reducing returns

Dealing with product returns is costly and can damage your online reputation if it’s a recurring issue. 22% of products are returned because they don’t look the same as they did online. To avoid the time, cost, and overall nightmare of dealing with returns, you need to ensure your digital assets portray your products in the best, most accurate light. One of the primary barriers to buying online is not being able to touch, try on and see products in real life. Try to re-create the in-store experience by enabling customers to get a full view of the granular details they’ll want to know. Use your digital assets to help customers visualize what the product looks like, how it works, and even how it feels.

How-to videos, lifestyle shots, sizing charts, and videos of the product in action offer an extra layer of reassurance. You can also make use of User Generated Content (UGC) of previous customers wearing or using your products. This means your customers can rely on the real-life opinions of other like-minded customers, not just your marketing assets.

Things like sizing charts will also help massively reduce return rates. These are stored against your product listings within your DAM,  and any changes made in your product data will be reflected in real-time. You could also use several images of different models to show what different sizes look like, and include details of the model’s size. Customers can figure out the exact size they need, they won’t be disappointed upon delivery, and you can preserve your online reputation. Overall, DAM enables you to give your customers all the visual aids they need to confidently hit buy.

The importance of video in eCommerce

Video content plays a key role in helping convert website visitors into paying customers. They help your customers form a full view of the product they’re looking at, and they can bring your product pages to life. A whopping 90% of customers say product videos help them make purchasing decisions. Furthermore, 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.

Customers are out to get the best deals and they don’t want to make the wrong decision. They do substantial research before buying anything‚ and even more so for expensive items. If you don’t have all the information customers are looking for, they’ll go elsewhere. Incomplete product content reduces the value of your products, and you risk losing customers forever.

video-boosts-sales

Video is a particularly powerful element of product content because it increases the chances of the customer remembering your product. Moreover, it’s sharable and, most importantly, you’re showing – rather than telling your customer – what it can do.

Video is also a massive contributor to the success of your eCommerce SEO strategy. Firstly, video is considered premium content by search engines, and product listings with video will be surfaced higher in SERPs than those without video content. Secondly, it encourages customers to spend longer on your product pages. This sends positive signals to search engines, consequently boosting your site’s domain authority.

Lastly, you can store transcripts of your videos against your product listings. This gives you even more scope to boost your SEO ranking by ensuring your target keywords are included in the transcripts. This also makes your product listings more accessible to a wider audience, i.e., those who can’t listen to or watch your product videos.

Pimberly’s integrated cloud-based Digital Asset Management solution

With Pimberly, you benefit from seamless product data management processes with PIM, and you also benefit from the powerful functionalities of the integrated DAM solution. As well as the benefits we list above, the Pimberly DAM is loaded with even more functionalities that will help you champion your visual eCommerce strategy. With an integrated DAM and PIM solution, you can harness the power of your data to further streamline how you manage your digital assets. Here, we’ll delve into the specific features and modules that will make your life easier.

Automated Line Sheets

If you’re in the fashion and apparel industry, you or your team members will likely be using Line Sheets. A Line Sheet provides granular details on a product for potential customers. This includes information on what sizes are available, along with an image of the product, and a swatch giving details of the fabric and different color options.

The Pimberly platform collates all this information for you. Using templates, you can then automate the production of Line Sheets for the relevant products that require a Line Sheet. Likewise, if any there are changes made to the data or digital assets, this will reflect in real-time. As such, you know your potential customers and internal teams always have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Automated Spec and Sell Sheets

Spec and Sell Sheets are a powerful way of sharing more detailed and complex product details with customers in a highly visual and engaging way.  They’re also really handy if you need to provide extra details through the supply chain, or with internal teams.

With Pimberly’s Spec and Sell Sheet function, your spec and sell sheets are automatically created using the product data within your PIM, and the final design will be available in your DAM. You can either craft your own existing templates or create your own template library.

Whenever you make a change to product details or digital assets, this will instantly reflect. A new spec and sell sheet will be created and distributed across all internal teams and sales channels.

Auto-sizing charts

A common reason for high return rates is the fit or size not being aligned with customer expectations. Although high-quality digital assets help customers visualize your products, it’s hard to know if the fit or dimensions will be right for them. As such, having comprehensive sizing charts will help customers clarify which item size will be right for them.

Auto-sizing charts within Pimberly enable you to easily create accurate, comprehensive sizing charts that will always be up-to-date. Using the product data within your PIM, you can create your own templates, or we’ll work with you to create a new format to use. Once created, changes to the dimensions will automatically create a new auto-sizing chart. This provides huge time saving and you can create consistent sizing charts for all your product listings.

You can also create sizing charts based on product hierarchy. For instance, you can have a parent sizing chart that gives details for each of your product sizes. Alternatively, you can have a child sizing chart that will show the specific dimensions/sizes for the specific size the customer has selected.

Catalog

If you have an omnichannel strategy, catalogs are a great way of creating an even more refined customer experience. Pimberly catalog automates the creation, publication, and editing of your catalogs, all from a central location. Tricky elements of creating catalogs, such as pagination and indexing, are completely automated, saving you a ton of time and money.

Any changes made to the data and digital assets in your catalog will be reflected in real-time, so you know customers always have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information.

If you sell across multiple geographies, you can also create localized versions of your catalog, with tailored digital assets for each market you sell to. You can also connect to pre-made InDesign templates to ensure the formatting of the catalog is consistent with your brand guidelines. This saves artwork teams significant time and resources as you know the text and, importantly – imagery – will be imported in the correct format.

Pimberly AI

Pimberly AI is powered by AWS Rekognition AI image engine and will help you save a ton of time. One of the most time-consuming factors of managing digital assets is making sure they have the correct tags. Without the correct tags, it can be hard to find what you’re looking for.

With Pimberly AI, the process of tagging your digital assets is totally automated. As you upload your digital assets, Pimberly AI uses powerful technology to identify objects and faces in your assets. It leverages technologies including facial recognition, object auto-tagging, and deep learning to generate the best possible results.

This will be an effective way of freeing up your team’s time so they can focus on delivering best-in-class online experiences. Furthermore, having relevant tags on all digital assets provides an extra layer of rich data, which improves SEO efforts.

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Powerful audit and compliance capabilities

When dealing with large volumes of digital assets, it can be hard to keep track of which changes have been made and when they were made. Shoppers rely on highly-accurate product assets when buying online, so you need to ensure they always see the most up-to-date images and videos. Pimberly’s integrated DAM keeps an archive and record of any changes made to your digital assets. Therefore, you can see which assets were live on which channels, when they were live, and who has made changes. Consequently, you have a full audit trail of all amends, and you can clearly see which assets are the most up-to-date.

You need to comply with specific image and video requirements when selling across different sales channels. Each channel essentially has its own search engine just like other SERPs. So, if you fail to comply with the criteria, your product listings will suffer. Within the channel set up in the Pimberly PIM, you can define the different criteria for each channel. Assets are then published with the correct dimensions and resolutions across all your sales channels. Firstly, this provides a better experience for your customers shopping across different platforms. Secondly, you’re giving your products the best possible chances of getting top listings as you’ll be fully compliant.

Shop the look

To create up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, having a “shop the look” functionality will work wonders. Shop the look enables you to take a lifestyle shot – say of an outfit or a fully fitted out room – and auto-associate the products using the metadata. It’s also quick and easy to create product relationships within your PIM to create kits and bundles.

You can then select the image you want to use to represent the look you’re promoting on your “shop the look” section on your product detail page. The lifestyle shot you select will automatically be featured on each of the individual product listings of the items in the “look”. Overall, this enriches the product experience as your customers get a full view of your product range. As a result, they’ll be more likely to add additional items to their purchases which will boost basket size.

shop-the-look

When should you consider a DAM?

eCommerce needs to be a visual and engaging experience, so you’ll always be dealing with large volumes of media files. When that’s the case, you need a tailor-made solution that enables you to streamline the digital asset management process. If any of the below sounds familiar, it may very well be time for you to consider integrating a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution into your eCommerce tech stack.

Are you:

  • Managing a large number of SKUs all with multiple images?
  • Looking to improve the online customer experience with more varied digital assets, such as zoom or 360 views?
  • Selling across multiple sales channels and geographies and do you want to tailor the assets you publish for each channel or locale?
  • Wanting to improve your SEO rankings to drive more discovery and demand?
  • Keen to reduce your product return rates?
  • Creating consistency across multiple online and offline customer touchpoints?
  • Looking for a solution that will enable you to lock ‘n’ load product promotions well ahead of time?

summary

Summary & conclusion

Pimberly’s Cloud Digital Asset Management system brings a bunch of benefits to the fast-moving eCommerce industry. It’s hosted on Amazon Web Services, which means it’s super speedy and secure. Plus, because DAM is hosted on the cloud, your teams will be able to access everything they need, from anywhere, and at any time provided they have a secure internet connection.

All in all, a powerful Digital Asset Management system will help you craft online experiences that resonate with your customers. Right from the start of the buyer journey, right through to post-sale, you can dazzle and delight your customers every step of the way. Get more value from your creative assets and reap all the rewards!

See the Pimberly DAM in action!

Request a personalized demo and transform product experiences with Pimberly’s powerful integrated DAM solution.

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