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Top 6 Reasons to Use Pics.io Digital Asset Management System for eCommerce

When we onboard our new eCommerce users, it’s not uncommon for us to see a Google Drive-centric workflow.

There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, Google’s ubiquitousness and popularity make it an understandable choice. Everybody is familiar with it, knows how to use it, and it’s pretty decent for just getting the job done. But only just.

There’s a reason why many eCommerce businesses seeking to scale their operations turn to digital asset management software. The main one is that at the end of the day, Google Drive is but storage, never designed to handle things such as version control, efficient digital assets attribution, and proper role management.

The lack of these functions means that you end up doing these things manually:

  • Managing roles and permissions so that teammates can only see assets that they’re allowed to.
  • Ensuring that brand guidelines are followed across all media channels.
  • Distributing digital assets to third parties and stakeholders.
  • Uploading product photos to your eCommerce platform (e.g. Shopify).
  • Using separate tools to host assets, exchange feedback, and update assets

It goes without saying that manual labor isn’t the most efficient way to handle things. Never mind that it is prone to errors that can end up being quite costly.

Pics.io digital asset management software exists precisely to make these tasks as simple and straightforward as possible. And in today’s article, we’ll talk about how the digital asset management system can make your eCommerce journey a lot easier AND how you can keep using your Google Drive at the same time ;)

Let’s dig in.

1. Quick Way To Find Your Digital Assets

Wakefield Research claims that 50% of U.S desk workers spend more time looking for digital files rather than actually working.

What causes this unexpected downtime?

  • Bad naming conventions. This rings especially true if one file has many revisions and updates. When you have files with names such as re_FINAL, finalREVISEd, etc. search becomes unusable
  • Lack of metadata tagging. The way to circumvent poor naming conventions is by using metadata. Metadata lets you find digital assets using descriptions, geodata, or any other information. So if you were to have the metadata keyword “jeans”, searching by it would bring up all the digital assets with that keyword, not only those that have that name in the file. Without digital asset management, populating assets with metadata, however, is inconvenient, so organizations just don’t bother.
  • Too many digital assets. If you have ~50 frequently used digital assets, all this talk about slow search and metadata management is null. With such a small number, you remember them by heart and know which is which and where they are. Even small ecommerce businesses, however, tend to have more than that. Consider that one product has around 5 photos per to account for different angles and zoom levels. With just 100 products that are already 500 digital assets! The lack of proper tools to manage that number of digital assets causes downtime.

With digital asset management, you have a simple and intuitive way to tag your digital assets with metadata to find them fast, regardless of where they are in your media library.

2. Easier Distribution of eCommerce Marketing Materials

Post-production, stock photos, video production - things that are important but maybe not quite enough to justify setting up a separate department in your organization.

Relying on contractors and freelancers is the standard practice but with that comes a question, full of unexpected complications. How do you exchange all your digital files with contractors in a fast and sensible fashion?

Mind that it’s not a question of just sending something but also maintaining communication all the way through. Without digital asset management, your journey will look something like this:

  1. Send files as attachments over email.
  2. If files are too large (e.g. video), upload them to Dropbox and send a link in an email.
  3. Download assets from Dropbox, review them and send feedback by email or an app like Slack.
  4. Rinse & repeat until digital assets are finalized.

The problem with such an approach is that it takes too much time, and limits efficient communication.

You have to constantly re-upload new versions to Dropbox, then download them, and then map the feedback in your email chain with the digital assets that you’re looking at.

Was that “make it a bit brighter” comment already acknowledged or am I looking at the version without changes? You will find it out, eventually, after fiddling with the files for half an hour. And that’s time down the drain. And you know for certain that in the world of digital commerce, time is literally money.

Digital asset management tool, on the other hand, allows you to both send and receive assets directly to your media library.

Using Websites, you can create a two-way communication channel where you and your third parties can upload, view, and comment on assets - all from the same screen.

3. Easier Way to Manage Team’s Roles & Permissions

This is especially useful if you work with a certain contractor on a long-term basis, where you need to give them access to the internal work environment to streamline work processes.

Inviting any external party to your team’s environment is not as simple as it sounds, because you have to be mindful of assets that contractors do not need to see. Sensitive information and outdated materials create confusion - without a dedicated tool to manage these things, checking that everything is set up properly is a micromanagement headache.

Digital asset management system provides an easy-to-understand way to manage roles and permissions, whether it is for your internal team or external collaborators that you chose to invite to your digital asset management platform.

For each role in your organization, you can create a dedicated role and specify which assets they can see and what they can do with them.

Continuing with the designer example, you get to simply hide all unnecessary folders from their view. So, once they log into the digital asset management system, they’ll see only their work folder, brand guidelines, and anything else that you allow.

You can even set it up in a way where they can only view, not download brand guidelines, whereas their work folder will be in their complete control. The granularity of it all is up to your discretion.

4. Ensure Consistent Representation Across All Media Channels

Modern eCommerce business requires you to take full leverage of marketing channels at your disposal. Content marketing, social media, landing pages, newsletters, etc.

Despite channels’ multitude, they need to be consistent and promote your brand’s image, values, and message regardless of whether it’s a small email banner or a large Instagram post.

There’s always a risk of using outdated materials or improper formats. With how reactive and fast-paced the modern Internet is, it’s better to eliminate these problems before they happen, as improper representation can hurt your brand consistency.

To that end, we can turn to digital asset management’s powerful permission and asset management tools once again.

If you have separate people managing your blog, social media channels, and PPC campaigns, you can restrict their view and/or download to the respective folders. So, the SMM manager can only download assets from the SMM folder, and so on and so forth.

But how would they know to use only the latest version of any asset? That’s where version control steps in. Instead of creating obtuse folders with hundreds of variations on the same asset, all revisions for any asset are kept under a single thumbnail. The version that you mark as approved will always be the one on the top.

So, no matter what your teammates do, they will always download only the version that has been approved.

This automation saves plenty of time that would have been otherwise wasted answering questions such as “Can I use this picture” or “Is it a proper format for …?”

Last but not least, the linked assets feature lets you attach brand guidelines to any marketing collateral in your library for quick access.

Somebody sees an asset but they’re not sure if it conforms to the guidelines. They can quickly switch to the document and, if discrepancies are found, @ the responsible person (designer) to ask them what’s what.

5. Powerful Integrations To Unlock Your Assets Value

Pics.io’s integrations help you spend less time on menial tasks and focus on the large picture instead. Let’s take a look at Shopify as a fitting eCommerce example.

One of the main problems with Shopify is that it sorely lacks a way to efficiently upload a large number of product photos. The out-of-the-box method is to use CSV sheets where you have to manually match your images with the product’s SKU.

When you have thousands of photos that’s a laborious task, and that’s assuming that you won’t have any errors with manual input.

Pics.io’s Shopify integration creates a bridge between your digital asset management platform and Shopify. You can tag assets in your Pics.io with the product’s SKU number. Running the Pics.io plugin from inside your Shopify will then automatically match images with the product, ensuring that no mistakes are made.

You can learn more about how our Shopify integration works via the video below.

6. Full Google Drive Integration

Google Drive’s stability, simplicity, and affordability are what make so many companies gravitate towards it as the default option for storing and managing their assets. Yet, as we’ve outlined here, it lacks certain features that allow for a more intelligent and meaningful way of managing your premium assets.

But that doesn’t mean that we should discard it at full stop. Instead, we can get the best of both worlds.

Pics.io digital asset management solution is the only solution on the market that has complete integration with Google Drive and Amazon S3 storage.

Curious about what's the difference between S3 and Drive and which one you should pick? We have a dedicated write-up on the matter that you can check out here

How to Get Started with using DAM in eCommerce?

Modern DAM solutions such as Pics.io are designed with the user in mind. So there are no complex multi-tiered menus that you have to wallow through to do what you need.

However, some high-level concepts can feel a bit alien if your organization never bothered with proper metadata tagging and digital asset management.

To that end, we have created example digital asset management structures and workflows, using insights from our existing users as a baseline. You shouldn’t really replicate these blueprints (there are no hard-set rules) but they should give you a general idea of how you can arrange your DAM workflow.

eCommerce Digital Asset Management Structure

  1. Instagram assets
  2. Stories
  3. Vertical videos 1080×1920 (9:16)
  4. IGTV videos
  5. Post images
  6. Saved stories avatars
  7. Newsletter assets

Suggested Digital Asset Management Workflow for eCommerce Users





DAM manager

  • Organize assets in folders; 

  • Add tags to assets

  • Set access & permission rights

  • Create filter and search presets 

  • Admin

  • Create collections structure

  • Upload assets to collections (or sync from GDrive)

  • Add tags to assets (in bulk or one-by-one) 

  • Assign permissions for access to different collections

  • Create search and filter presets.

  • Create download presets.

  • Check team’s activity in audit trail - archive unused and outdated assets.

  • Create and maintain keywords/tags naming convention and ensure correct usage.

Designer/Agency contractor

  • Make new designs by repurposing existing assets from previous campaigns or simply brand assets

  • Search

  • View

  • Download

  • Comment

  • Upload (to collection with assets pending approval)

  • Upload new designs.

  • Add tags at upload.

  • Send assets for approval.

  • Move an approved asset to a separate collection “Final”/”Approved”.

Marketing dept

  • View

  • Search 

  • Download on-brand assets,

  • Send for approval to a designer (sign-off)

  • Search

  • View

  • Download

  • Comment

  • Search

  • Download assets


eCommerce is a niche that consistently relies on media and marketing assets (product images, photos, videos, social media posts) to promote and sell its products.

As the business expands and accumulates even more assets, it becomes difficult to manage and maintain the ever-growing collection. High-quality assets that could have been otherwise repurposed and maintained, get lost to never be found.

Digital asset management solutions, such as Pics.io, eliminate the headache of relentless asset management, allowing you to automate and streamline multiple marketing processes at the same time.

Pics.io has a free 7-day trial with access to all its functionality. You can get a headstart on digital asset management system and figure out if it's the right fit for your organization by using the trial combined with the proposed template above.

If you would like a more curated experience, you can book a free demo where we can answer all the questions you might have. Hope to see you there ;)

If you would like a more curated experience, you can book a free demo where we can answer all the questions you might have. Hope to see you there ;)

Pics.io Team
Welcome to Pics.io blog, where you'll get useful tips, resources & best practices on how digital asset management can help your business to manage & distribute digital content on top of cloud storage.