Shift or Reverse? Retail Is Alive!

Over the past couple of months, we have had some pretty significant changes to the retail/e-tail landscape. From mall staples shuttering their doors, to brand divestiture and IPOs going south.  It almost feels like the wild wild west. What has happened to change the landscape?  

Well it depends on the organization. Some took to embracing the future too far and lost who they were. Others did not change with the times and got stuck with their core competency shrinking.

When was the last time you went to a Sears or Kmart store? The announcement earlier last year announcing the closure of 265 stores was followed this announcing an additional 43 Sears & Kmart stores closing in 2017. They are no longer the new generations go to place when you need advice around tools or appliances.

Could these challenges have been stopped? Could companies like Sears have changed course? I could say yes, but the reality is that those driving the ships were the ones to initiate the change and not course correct. Even with some recent positive news around their deal to sell their Kenmore-branded appliances on Amazon, they are just another store, where you can now get their products online from Amazon.

I have been listening to experts for years talk about the end of retail. They have changed their tune and now call retail locations as assets to the omni or multi-channel commerce experience.   

1WorldSync and DiCentral set out earlier this year with a white-paper exploring how brick & mortar retailers can develop the operational backbone that supports e-commerce investments. On September 12 they will host a webinar in which we provide valuable tips for achieving operational excellence and a connected commerce approach.

Getting Smart About Sustainability and the SmartLabel™ Initiative

Last week, I attended the Global Sustainability Summit and listened to a panel where Jim Flannery, Senior Executive Vice President of GMA and a panel of experts, including our very own Chris Lemmond, discussed SmartLabel™ & Sustainability.

The panelists discussed how consumers think about things like a brand’s sustainability contribution, how ingredients are sourced and how brands can leverage SmartLabel™ pages to tell their story around sustainability delivering trust and transparency to the end consumer.  

We all know that consumers have become more conscientious about what they buy and want to be informed about what is inside the products they purchase. The SmartLabel™ initiative, a program that was initiated by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), allows brands to communicate fact-based information about their products to consumers meeting shoppers expectations for accessing all types of information in new and practical ways.

While a nutrition facts label provides insight into what ingredients are in an item, it only scratches the surface as these labels have limited real estate on the package. SmartLabel™ pages allows brands to share in-depth product information empowering consumers to make better, more informed choices.

Are your ready to differentiate your brand?

The SmartLabel™ initiative offers brands the opportunity to own their product content online and share out fact-based product data via SmartLabel™ pages. Companies investing in sustainability best-practices have the opportunity to tell their story to the end consumer and present it via SmartLabel™ pages diversifying their product. Each product participating in SmartLabel has a specifically formatted landing page, which can be accessed through a web search, and QR code on their smart phones.

Transparency isn’t just about disclosure…It can be about a more complete picture of the details of how the product is created and what sustainable best-practices the brand is putting in place to manufacture the product. These details can support a brand’s promise and give consumer more reason to love this brand.

Are you ready to take control of your product content and meet transparency demands?

1WorldSync has a longstanding partnership with brand manufacturers and retailers to manage product content and distribute it to consumers. Our customers can now leverage their investment in GDSN to go further and push their product content onto SmartLabel™ pages giving customers clear access to information about the product.

Learn more today!

DCI AG Enters Extensive Partnership with 1WorldSync to Enhance Product Content for Brands and Retailers

DCI AG, a leading German provider of database services, has secured an extensive partnership agreement with 1WorldSync, the leading provider of product content solutions to supercharge product content for both brand and retailer customers.

DCI’s proprietary asset and document management tools will manage and enhance the product data manufacturers and suppliers distribute to trading partners through the 1WorldSync solution. DCI will optimize content through 1WorldSync’s entire range of available data services, including unique SEO texts, product pictures and relevant attributes to make data more versatile and easier to use. Together, their deep commerce, industry expertise and robust tools and databases will create a strong value proposition for all companies who need reliable and rich product data.

DCI’s content factory is a fast and cost-efficient system to provide extra value for all kinds of product and commerce data in a multitude of languages. Structured workflows enable DCI’s content factory to quickly react and scale based on the client or industry requirements. Supported by 1WorldSync’s market-leading aggregation and syndication platform and expert services, customers will gain access to the robust, authentic product content they need to drive revenue and consumer loyalty.

“We are honored to have been chosen to play an important role in enhancing the service landscape of 1WorldSync,” says Sascha Neubacher, Chief Sales Officer of DCI AG. “Omnichannel trade offers sellers the opportunity to increase sales as well as brand awareness and loyalty. The basis for this is complete digital product information as an essential touchpoint of the customer journey. Our partnership enhances our joint portfolio in key European and North American markets.”

“Complete, consistent product content is mission critical in today’s omnichannel world,” says Dan Wilkinson, CCO of 1WorldSync. “1WorldSync provides brands and retailers an end-to-end solution for consistent product content throughout the supply chain, ensuring data is accurate at every touchpoint, whether it’s online, in store or on a mobile device. We are excited to partner with DCI to enhance the abilities of brands and retailers to meet consumer needs for authentic product content.”

For more information about DCI’s content services, visit www.dci.de/services-and-products/content-services/. For more information about 1WorldSync’s supply chain enablement services, visit www.1worldsync.com/supply-chain/.

Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries…Cheers!

What happens when you get a group of distillers, brewers, vineyards, distributors, and retailers in a room to talk about the exchange of trusted product content?  

Well for starters, you gain a pretty good understanding on where the Beer, Wine & Spirits industry is today. You also get some great thought leaders providing insight and direction to modernize the process of passing item specs data/images from the origin all the way to the end consumer.

Meanwhile in Kentucky

An industry-working event took place on July 20th at the historic Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Representatives from Ahold Delhaize, Alberstons, Beam Suntory, Breakthru Beverage Group, Brown-Foreman, Constellation Brands, GS1 US, Kroger, 1WorldSync, RNDC, Sazerac, and Walmart Stores Inc. came together to discuss the current item specs data/images opportunities facing the Beer, Wine & Spirits industry.

After spending a full day talking through the ins and outs of the industry, our incredible hosts (Sazerac) gave us a tour of the beautiful Buffalo Trace Distillery. It was an amazing tour showcasing the history of each brand and the campus, a reminder of the difficulties they had to overcome through the years, how they became a success and will remain a success. If you’re wondering if we were able to taste a broad sampling of their legendary brands, well, you should’ve been there!

I’ll Drink To That

The group is excited to begin working towards the following to help establish the foundation for future impacts to the industry:

  • Construct an industry specific process map for item setup
  • Develop a roadmap outlining goals and benchmarks for the group
  • Collaborate with NABCA on a comprehensive look into the Control State systems and data

Stay tuned for further updates; or, better yet, consider joining us as we transform the Beer, Wine & Spirits industry!

For more information on the event, or to join the Share Group, please contact Brandon at bwhite@1worldsync.com.

It’s Just Commerce!

Since I was a toddler, I have been exposed to multiple paradigm shifts within the marketplace that in one way or another are an attempt to reinvent how we as consumers buy things.

For me, it started with going to stores, or shopping in a catalog and then blossomed into the world of connected commerce today. Recently when I stepped back from the daily act of using my phone or computer to research and buy products I came to a realization, the revolutionary experience I have been leveraging was not all that different from when commerce started.

Commerce took a turn for increased accessibility to products and a centralized way to purchase multiple goods/services from one location. Trust, reviews, availability and price were still the cornerstones of commerce.

Customers trusted the store to offer friendly advice (owners & employees), have products on the shelves and if the prices weren’t right, the customer went to a different store. The main thing that changed was how the products were brought to the customer.

First Came The Big Box Retailers

You no longer needed to be concerned with selection, because the big box had “everything’ you could want. Stores got bigger allowing for greater availability, lower prices, and product insights from media outlets (newspapers, TV, Radio).

E-commerce has shaped our relationship with how we buy and sell products, but at it’s core e-commerce is just next evolution of catalog shopping The innovation is not the method or even commerce itself, but an expansion on the idea of getting any item even from the comfort of your couch.  

Bridging the gap between digital and physical does present a challenge for the retailers/e-tailers etc. as they are looking to make the trust, availability, price and review experience seamless across all avenues of purchase.

From Brick To Click

1WorldSync recently completed a data study that highlighted some of the key challenges suppliers and retailers face when trying to achieve true cross-commerce capabilities.  and uncovered key insights into the struggles that are faced in today’s omni-channel world.

Key findings suggest that a majority of merchants and suppliers are not fully prepared to meet the varied demands of modern customers. 45% of merchants and suppliers have lost more than $1 million in revenue due to challenges faced when integrating cross-channel capabilities into their commerce strategy (Source: 1WorldSync Data Study).

You can read more here about how 1WorldSync can you make your products stand out in a very crowded Omni-Channel world.

Karin Borchert Appointed CEO and Managing Director of 1WorldSync

1WorldSync™, the leading provider of product content solutions and a joint venture developed by GS1 US® and GS1 Germany, has appointed Karin Borchert Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.

Karin joined 1WorldSync on July 19th and will be responsible for driving the company’s operations and global strategy to deliver end-to-end product content aggregation and distribution for industry. She will be based in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, while maintaining a strong presence in the company’s other offices in Cologne, Germany and Chicago, Illinois. Continue reading

Let’s Get Real! Transparency Totally Transforms Product Content

Food contamination costs the food industry $55.5 billion (Fortune 2016).

Historically, the foodservice industry has focused on how to manufacture, distribute and sell items. However, in recent years, there has been a shift and product content transparency is a key component driving buyer behavior.

Consumers are increasingly active participants in product attribution, basing their purchasing decisions on information beyond the standard product label to attributes like ingredient origins and composition. There are also more government regulations around menu labeling and nutritional standards that foodservice manufacturers, brokers and distributors must address.

FoodLogiq & 1WorldSync: Powerful Alone, Better Together

1WorldSync, the leading multi-enterprise product information network, and FoodLogiQ, are in a close partnership to provide the entire spectrum of the food supply industry with a supply chain traceability solution that delivers transparency while tackling food safety and compliance issues.

“Food industry trends are changing fast—sometimes faster than what you and your supply chain can keep up with. From the customer demand for transparency to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s mandate for better processes, traceability is no longer just a nice-to-have asset. Without this sort of insight, keeping up with the evolving industry will be highly problematic, if not impossible,” says Dean Wiltse, CEO of FoodLogiQ.

“The fresh food industry has struggled in the past in figuring out a way to engage in true data synchronization with their retail and foodservice partners,” explains Nick Manzo, Global Omni-Channel Lead at 1WorldSync. “1WorldSync’s product information and fresh industry solutions coupled with FoodLogiQ’s enhanced traceability and supply chain management capabilities allows the fresh industry an opportunity to be fully engaged in global product information sharing.”

Turning Global Food Supply Chain Transparency Into Shopper Insights

As supply chains expand,transparency and traceability are strategic initiatives for businesses within the food industry. Ingredients and labeling is increasingly mandatory, not just because of FSMA and regulations but because customers are demanding it.

On September 21st, join industry leaders from FoodLogiQ and 1WorldSync for a compelling webinar on:

  • The challenges and market forces in delivering safe and quality food products to the consumer and driving supply chain transparency
  • How companies are adopting transparency and traceability to drive business goals
  • The technology and skills needed to ensure customer loyalty while protecting your brand

 

 

References

“Why Our Food Keeps Making Us Sick” – Fortune.  6 May 2016. http://fortune.com/food-contamination/

Getting Started with SmartLabel

Take a Cue from Coke

Are you thinking about getting started with the GMA SmartLabel™ initiative? Take a cue from Coke. The world’s largest beverage company has long encouraged consumers to “share a Coke.” Now, it’s gearing up to share a whole lot more when it comes to product information and transparency.

The company said last month that its SmartLabel Coca-Cola program is quickly ramping up. In fact, Coke has already applied Smart Label QR codes to half of its volume. And, it plans to have all of its beverage packaging SmartLabel ready by early 2018!

That’s a pretty strong message from a trend-setting, consumer-obsessed company like Coca-Cola. For manufacturers of food, beverages and consumer packaged goods (CPG), it’s time to pay very close attention to the story your product content is telling. You must be prepared to communicate product transparency, reaching the consumer in their channel of choice. SmartLabel helps you do that.

Here’s the challenge. For many companies, SmartLabel can be a significant undertaking considering the number of products they manufacture. After all, each unique item (including flavor, size, etc.) requires three components:

  • a unique Smart Label QR code
  • consumer-ready product content,
  • and a SmartLabel webpage.

The point is, getting all of your product information onto SmartLabel can be overwhelming, but with the right guidance it doesn’t have to be.

E-Book: Your SmartLabel Questions Answered by the Experts

Your product content experts EnterWorks and 1WorldSync have teamed up to produce an e-book on how you can go beyond the label with SmartLabel. Let us help you get started!

Download Now

 

It’s Prime Time!

As a marketer, I have to give credit where credit is due. The creation of Amazon Prime Day was a brilliant move! With the third Amazon Prime Day now over, it’s clear that Amazon is trying achieve the same status as consumer calendar events like Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

Amazon said last week that their sales event was its “biggest day ever,” with sales this year surpassing its 2016 Black Friday and Cyber Monday results. Their Prime Day generated $1 billion in sales, making it the best sales day ever for the company (Bloomberg 2017).

According to Amazon, “The Prime Day 2017 event grew by more than 60 percent compared to the same 30 hours last year, and sales growth by small businesses and entrepreneurs was even higher” (Businesswire 2017).

Market Domination: The Struggle For Shelf Space

Smart suppliers are going “Prime”and ensuring their products are on the Amazon marketplace shelves and differentiating themselves with in-depth product content.

Amazon’s giant footprint gives suppliers an enormous opportunity to get in front of millions of potential customers they could not hope to find alone. Amazon enables small suppliers to compete with the larger players.

Are you ready to get your products discovered by Amazon?

1WorldSync makes it easy for customers to go “prime” and set-up their products based on Amazon.com requirements and publish directly to  Amazon Vendor Central. Smart suppliers are standardizing and leveraging their GDSN data to submit GDSN and Non-GDSN product content to Amazon efficiently.

1WorldSync has partnered with Amazon enabling our customers to send data to Amazon electronically.

Learn more today!

References

  1. “Amazon’s Prime Day Generates Estimated $1 Billion in Sales” 12 July, 2017<https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-12/amazon-s-prime-day-proves-to-be-biggest-shopping-day-ever>
  2. “Prime Members Enjoyed Biggest Global Shopping Event in Amazon History this Prime Day”> 12  July, 2017. <http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170712005745/en/>

How Reynolds New PIM Implementation Cultivated Trust in Data and Decisions

Reynolds Consumer Products Company was faced with the challenge of decommissioning an existing Product Information Management (PIM) solution that would no longer be supported.

At the same time, retailer demands for additional pieces of information about their products made it crucial to implement a solution that could easily handle the growing number of attributes required, allowing for both automated and manual data entry.

Reynolds PIM Rehaul

Their challenges were best summarized around:

People

  • Lack of Understanding
  • No engagement with GS1 and standards
  • Failure to leverage 1Worldsync

Processes

  • Informal Processes
  • Reliance on tribal knowledge
  • Lack of buy-in from leadership

Systems

  • Product Information Management (PIM) inadequate to meet growing needs
    • Data Accuracy
    • Efficiency
    • Attribute Expansions
    • Omni-channel
  • “All PIMs must be alike” mentality

Getting In-Sync with 1WorldSync & LANSA

To accomplish these objectives, Reynolds decided that they needed a new PIM that could:

  • replicate the functionality of their existing solution
  • provide more robust integration and workflows
  • offer improved validations and messaging to streamline troubleshooting
  • syndicate data across an increasingly vast omnichannel ecosystem

In order to fully realize the benefits of product content management, Reynolds turned to 1WorldSync and LANSA for a PIM technology solution and implementation expertise.

To implement the solution seamlessly, Reynolds enlisted the help of product content experts, the 1WorldSync Professional Services team, whose best-in-class product content management strategy and wealth of expertise would support their vision.  

Premium access to 1WorldSync’s world-class data pool solution certified for the GS1 Global Data Standardization Network™ (GDSN®) provided Reynolds with a full end-to-end global content aggregation and product distribution solution.

1WorldSync leveraged their long-standing partnership with LANSA, a leading GDSN Connector solution, providing supply-side connectivity. Both companies have a proven history of working together, since 2001, and have successfully completed many joint customer engagements by simplifying Item Management Processes through thought leadership and technology.

Reynolds – Enabling Trusted Content Everytime in Every Channel

The initial decision of choosing 1WorldSync to manage the engagement ensured Reynolds would benefit from 1WorldSync industry experience and provide a best practice approach to data quality and delivery. Selecting LANSA Data Sync Direct for aggregation, validation and syndication of item data, Reynolds has a solution to address today’s requirements and positions them for future change.

“Thanks to 1WorldSync and LANSA, there was a significant improvement to our current state, and the capability to distribute non-GDSN product information to the Kroger VIP.”

~Vernetta McDowell, Director of Sales and Operations Planning, Reynolds

To read more about how the 1WorldSync/LANSA Data Sync Direct Solution was instrumental in a highly configurable solution with trusted and accurate product information management at Reynolds, download our case study.