The best DTC businesses have killer brands and product creatives. Eye-catching imagery is key to stopping the endless scrolling and attracting target customers. To stand out and sell your products, you need high-quality visual content - and lots of it.
Most growing ecommerce companies know this already. But what some haven’t realised yet is they don’t have to settle for storing thousands of photos and videos in Drive or Dropbox. There’s a better way to search, share and use all their high-quality content. It’s called digital asset management (DAM) and it'll give you a competitive advantage.
An ecommerce DAM is vital for DTC brands serious about their content. Here’s how using one can help your business grow.
But first, let’s clear something up.
PIM vs DAM: what’s the difference?
PIM and DAM. These two tools both manage aspects of your product content, but with crucial differences.
Product information management (PIM) tools are a way of collecting together different data points about your products. That’s information like your product SKUs, colour codes, or shipping information. This can then be sent straight to ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy, and comparison shopping engines (CSEs) like Google Shopping, using a PIM tool like Sales Layer.
An ecommerce digital asset management solution is a way for your brand to store, search and use all your different types of visual files. Whereas a PIM is solely concerned with product listings and the non-visual data needed to run them, DAMs are visual content management tools. They contain all your marketing assets, product content and design files.
We’ll leave PIM here but if you’d like more info, heres an article from Sales Layer on ‘what is a PIM’.
11 ways digital asset management software helps your ecommerce business
From organising digital assets to sending them out to your marketing channels, here’s the benefits using a DAM solution, like Dash, will bring.
1. Keep everything in one place
A DAM is the perfect place to bring all your visual digital files together. That’s important assets like logos, video assets, lifestyle photography, product content and user-generated content (UGC).
When you have a single source of truth for assets, everything’s easier to find. Say your ecommerce team needs a lifestyle photo of a particular product to add to a new listing. Or your sales team wants to find assets of your new product line to show retail partners. Both can use custom fields (we’ll get to that in a moment) to search for shots of the product they’re after.
You won’t have to scroll through tiny thumbnails in your shared drive to find what you’re after, either. Dash has won awards for its UX and usability. It’s currently ranked the no.1 easiest-to-use DAM according to G2, and that’s partly because of how visual the presentation is. It’s a home for your high-quality content which can finally do it justice. Here’s how Planto’s Dash looks.
Pretty neat, huh?
2. Save time when you search for visual content
Think of your ecommerce DAM as a search engine for your creative files. By using a combination of AI-generated tags and your own custom fields, you can search by the actual content of your content.
Let’s take a look at Planto. They’ve set up different custom fields based on the attributes of the products they sell, like ‘plant category’ and ‘care level’. They can filter results by each one, as well as search the individual values.
Some other ideas for custom fields are:
- Product codes
- Product range
- Brand (if you’re stocking products from different companies)
- Marketing campaign
- Content creator
When you upload an image or video, Dash will automatically scan it and add tags based on the objects it can identify within it.
Combine both custom fields and AI tags together and you’ll have many ways to find your files, fast.
Being able to search like that will save you time, especially if you’re usually the one that has to hunt for assets for your colleagues. Here’s what Will from food brand TASTER, says:
“I'm saving 1-2 hours a day not having to dig up assets for people across the business. They can now find what they need directly in Dash super quickly, and if not, it takes me seconds not minutes to find what they need!”
3. Drop product shots straight into Shopify
Shopify is a popular tool for DTC brands to run their website and online stores. If you're using it too, consider picking a DAM that integrates with Shopify - like Dash. You can search for your neatly-organised visual product content in Dash and drop them into your listings, all without ever leaving Shopify. Dash’s integration will compress the images for you, so you don’t have to waste time optimising your product shots for Shopify.
💡 P.S. Here's extra reading for tips on how to best optimise your images for Shopify.
4. Share files with your team and partners
Working in an ecommerce brand, you’ll regularly share content with your colleagues or external teams (like your ad agency).
An ecommerce DAM lets you do that easily. In Dash, just select the image or video assets you want to share and decide if you’d rather send the files by email or as a direct link.
But what about when you need to share large quantities of assets with your partners? We hear you, scroll to the next tip.
5. Help resellers and distributors sell more of your products
Resellers and distributors are an important retail channel. These could be online marketplaces or brick and mortar stores. Each needs assets from you, like product photography and logo variants.
Instead of laboriously sending custom zip files to each one, use Dash to set up a portal. A portal is a view of your Dash which lets visitors search for and download the assets they need, without having to login to your Dash account. You can customise your welcome message, too!
Here's an example from Planto, who set up a portal for their partner Eden Garden Centre.
6. Launch products quicker
When all your digital content is kept in your DAM, you don’t have to scramble to find the assets to launch new products.
You’ll be able to go into your digital asset management platform, find the new product images your photographer just uploaded, then drop the assets straight into your product listing. Your marketing team can use the new product content for a launch campaign.
And then (using portals - see above), your resellers can access new product assets easily without having to bother you for them.
7. Get content ready for your channels, quickly
You’re ready to launch your marketing campaign. But you need your creative team to work on image edits and crops for different channels before you can launch. Frustrating, right?
Using an ecommerce DAM like Dash makes it easier for you to resize, crop and download the assets you need and get them ready for your distribution channels. Pick from social media sizes already available, or create your own preset downloads for specs you use regularly like your homepage image.
Here’s what it looks like:
8. Manage content approvals from your creators
Working with content creators is the norm for most ecommerce brands. But doing so involves dealing with lots of assets at different stages of approval. If you’re not organised, it can quickly feel overwhelming.
But fear not! Say your photographer has finished shooting a season’s worth of new product imagery and has hundreds of assets ready for approval. There’s an alternative to having them send over massive zip files and going through them in your downloads folder.
Instead, set them up as a contributor in Dash and have them upload the shots. You can go through and reject the ones you don’t like, whilst approving (and tagging) the photos you do. On their end, they’ll be able to see which of their assets are still waiting for your approval. From influencers to videographers to designers, you can use the same workflow for any creator you’ve partnered with.
9. Stay on top of user-generated content (UGC)
Using micro-influencers and user-generated content in your marketing campaign can give your brand a degree of authenticity and credibility.
Pet food brand Forthglade uses Dash to do just that. They run their monthly ‘Dog of the Month’ competition where customers can send in photographs of their canine companions via Forthglade’s website. These snaps get uploaded straight into Dash with a Zapier integration, ready for the social media team.
10. Integrate with your tech stack
Talking of integrations, digital asset management platforms don’t exist in isolation. Most of the leading providers offer integrations with some of the tools you use every day. For Dash, we’ve already covered our Shopify integration. But we also connect to Canva and Hootsuite (for working on marketing content) and Adobe Creative Cloud and Figma (ideal for your graphic design teams).
👉 Check out our full list of integrations.
11. Track your asset performance
Performance is key when you’re an ambitious ecommerce company. You need to be able to track what’s working and do more of it. The same is true for your visuals.
Take your Instagram ads as an example. You’ll want to test out different variants of ads and see which ones land the best.
Rather than keep that information in a spreadsheet, use Dash to record it against the actual visuals themselves. You're able to tag your assets by how they performed. And being able to quickly call up a bank of past graphics you’ve had success with makes it easier to commission new ones, too!
How growing ecommerce businesses use Dash
If you’re convinced your DTC brand needs a DAM, then look no further than Dash. Some of the world’s fastest-growing ecommerce companies use Dash to keep on top of their digital content and speed up the time it takes to get it in front of customers:
🌿 CBD brand Goodrays use Dash to get their assets ready for ecommerce marketplaces, like Deliveroo and Amazon.
🥑 Food Huggers use Dash’s portals to give press contacts access to product shots and secure features in leading publications.
🪑 Australian furniture company RJ Living freed themselves from the chaos of Google Drive and use Dash to keep on top of their thousands of creatives.
🍕Home pizza oven brand Gozney use Dash to shorten the time it takes to get assets in front of their customers.
Want to try it out for yourself? Set up a no-strings free trial and see what you think.