All posts by Medha Pratap

Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing

Win Consumers On Their Path To Purchase With Trusted Product Content

88% of consumers say that detailed product content is extremely or very important to their purchasing decision. (Google Shopping Guide, 2016).

Consumers expect rich and trusted product content on all channels: desktop to mobile.  Accurate, rich and timely product content is critical in the path to purchase from discovery to delight.

One may think that managing product content and data is easy, but the challenges include:

  • 10’s enterprise systems in typical back end to manage product data.
  • 100’s people sourcing, aggregating, cleansing data needed for commerce.
  • 1000’s trading partners requiring exchange data with in a variety of formats.
  • 10,000’s of websites, apps and 3rd parties, representing your product/brand to the consumer.

1WorldSync Omni-Channel Data Study: Charting Course for Connected Commerce

A new data study commissioned by 1WorldSync highlighted many of the key challenges suppliers and retailers face when trying to achieve true cross-commerce capabilities.  The study surveyed 400 merchants and suppliers from Europe and the U.S. with more than $500 million in annual revenue, 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. One major data highlight emerged:

Lack of content solutions hamper success: Half of merchants and suppliers do not use a third-party content provider, which hinders their ability to syndicate product content across channels and platforms.

Trusted Content, Everytime, Everywhere

Brands and retailers need trusted, experienced experts to help them on their product content journey towards a single source of truth!

On May 24, 1WorldSync is pleased to partner with Progressive Grocer and GMA and host a webinar on how to “Win Consumers On Their Path To Purchase With Trusted Product Content”.

Join industry leaders from Tyson, Mondelez and 1WorldSync for a compelling discussion and Q&A on:

  • The evolution of the product content journey from supply chain to cross-channel commerce
  • How trusted content is curated and delivered anytime, everywhere
  • How to influence consumers with trusted product content strategies on the path to purchase
  • How to effectively navigate hurdles encountered while integrating cross-channel capabilities

Register Today!

 

Enabling Trusted Content Everytime in Every Channel

The majority of consumers (88%) say that detailed product content is extremely or very important to their purchasing decision (Google Shopping Guide, 2016).

Accurate and timely product content is critical in the path to purchase from discovery to delight. As digital pre-shopping, such as product research and comparative reviews, increasingly influence the shopping journey, so too increases consumer reliance on consumable content.

EnterWorks & 1WorldSync Q&A

This week, 1WorldSync’s Director of Professional Services, Data Source Solutions, Vanessa Lin, and EnterWorks CEO Rick Chavie joined for a Q&A. Together, they discussed the drivers of cross channel commerce and how EnterWorks and 1WorldSync are joining forces to pave the path for trusted content.

Vanessa Lin:

How is EnterWorks seeing new regulations and data requirements changing the way businesses must manage/distribute data?

Rick Chavie:

We have entered a new era of data standards. Whether it is the Google GTIN update last year which mandated that all brand-name products include the manufacturer-assigned GTIN number or the FDA regulations on nutritional content effective in May 2017, the growing insistence on data quality means online sellers including retailers, brands, and distributors must invest more in time, resources, and digital competencies to update product feeds continuously.

But the imposition of a single view of standard content across channels, while being pushed by the industry and government, pales in comparison to the role that the consumer is playing in driving the expectations for content to a new level.  Fickle or not, loyal or opportunistic, the consumer is now accustomed to having content that they need regarding their preferred products at their fingertips.  Correspondingly, the cost of poor and inconsistent content mounts as sellers increasingly realize that they now compete on content for share of mind and wallet.

Vanessa Lin:

Agreed! Competing with trusted product content consumers can rely on is critical. Consumers expect rich and trusted product content on all channels: desktop to mobile. What areas has EnterWorks observed where consumers are driving change?

Rick Chavie:

This is the age of content enthusiasts. Forrester Analyst Carlton Doty recently described our post-digital world, saying “customers aren’t just empowered by digital technology – they’re actually entitled. They think they deserve something, they want it now, and if you can’t provide it, they will quickly find it somewhere else.”  

Retailers, manufacturers and distributors must consider not only the effectiveness of product data, but how their content tells a story and creates differentiated experiences. Compelling, trusted product information that is consistent across channels is key. That’s where Product Information Management (PIM) and Master Data Management (MDM) solutions can help, by enabling companies to acquire, manage and transform product information into persuasive content. This content then drives higher sales and new competitive strengths through e-commerce Web, mobile, print and in-store digital channels.

Vanessa Lin:

Indeed, today’s shopping experience is driven by ‘I need to know’ moments for consumers. Given the consumer’s lofty expectations for an integrated cross-channel shopping experience, there is a steady race to remain relevant in a hyper-competitive retail environment.

A new data study commissioned by 1WorldSync highlighted some of the key challenges suppliers and retailers face when trying to achieve true cross-commerce capabilities.  For example, over half (53 percent) of merchants and suppliers experience a knowledge gap internally when it comes to understanding the value of cross-channel capabilities.

Let’s talk about how 1WorldSync and EnterWorks are working together to provide an end-to-end solution.

Rick Chavie:

The successful partnership between EnterWorks and 1WorldSync continues to hit exciting milestones, ushering in new clients, opportunities, and a powerful go-to-market strategy.

This builds on our news last year that EnterWorks received certification on Major Release 3 from 1WorldSync. The MjR3 certification expands the functionality for EnterWorks customers already connected to GDSN, and offers new users of EnterWorks’ PIM and MDM solutions the most advanced bi-directional data publishing and synchronization tools available.

Vanessa Lin:

Thanks, Rick! Overall, the EnterWorks/1WorldSync partnership brings enhanced access to richer, trusted product content to clients around the globe. We invite readers to learn more about the benefits of our partnership here.

1WorldSync and EnterWorks will both be exhibiting at GS1Connect on June 20-22 in Las Vegas. Visit EnterWorks booth #5 or 1WorldSync booth #17 to learn how the joint PIM solution can help your business.

Learn more about EnterWorks Enable GDSN Solution utilizing the 1WorldSync connector.

References

Have What It Takes To Win In A Post-Digital World? Forrester 2016 http://blogs.forrester.com/carlton_doty/16-05-04-have_what_it_takes_to_win_in_a_post_digital_world

 

Essential 2017 Omni-Channel Tips: How to Beat The Competition In The Digital Era

There is no denying it…2016 was a rough year for various brick and mortar retailers. The 2016 holiday season  wasn’t as merry as industry pundits anticipated, resulting in the following store closures:

  • Hancock Fabrics:  Filed chapter 11; all 255 stores    
  • The Limited: Filed chapter 11; all 250 stores
  • Office Depot/Office Max – Merged; closed 400 stores
  • Sears / Kmart:  Closed 142 stores (10% of its store base)
  • Sports Authority: Filed chapter 11; all 140 stores
  • Macys: Closed 100 stores
  • American Eagle: Closed 150 stores   

The ‘Amazon’ Effect Takes a Bite Out of Brick & Mortar

The root of their problems may lie with a company that isn’t even competing with them for customers at the mall: Amazon.com. Amazon has been poised for success in its pursuit of relentless innovation and a seamless blend of the warehouse processing efficiencies with the e-commerce shopping experience.  

It is estimated that Amazon makes up about 7% of the U.S. apparel market, and that figure is predicted to increase to 19% by 2020 (Barrons 2016). Moreover, the 2016 “State of Amazon” study revealed that Amazon is often involved in almost all online shopping activities (Consumer Goods Technology 2016). Approximately 9 in 10 consumers will check Amazon even if they find a product they want on another retailer’s website.

Blurred Lines & Blended Commerce – The Changing Face of Retail

Today’s consumers float freely from physical shopping to virtual experiences as traditional and modern shopping models unify  into blended commerce. Pure e-commerce retailers are evaluating retail store fronts, while traditional brick and mortar retailers are rapidly pursuing online and mobile commerce channels.

“The shift in retail to the Internet is a huge change… every retail company is trying to manage the transition. It’s not well defined or understood and there’s no road map” said Simeon Gutman, a retailing analyst for Morgan Stanley (New York Times 2015).

Given the consumer’s lofty expectations for an integrated cross-channel shopping experience, there is a steady race to remain relevant in a hyper-competitive retail environment.

While Amazon is expanding its physical presence, Walmart is strengthening its ecommerce strides (eMarketer 2017).

At the beginning of 2017, Amazon announced that it will open its newest brick-and-mortar bookstore in New York City. At the same time, Jet.com – a Walmart subsidiary – announced that they purchased online footwear retailer ShoeBuy.

Achieving Operational Excellence Between Brick And Click

Clearly, today’s world of commerce requires a multi-pronged approach. Trying to match the convenience of Amazon with an integrated supply chain with personalized and trusted product content is no easy feat.

A connected commerce approach supports a harmonious model in which transactional and product data work together to optimize the supply chain process.

1WorldSync and DiCentral have set out to explore how brick & mortar retailers can develop the operational backbone that supports e-commerce investments.

Download their joint whitepaper now  and discover how to:

  • Equip your organizations with strategies that set leading digital commerce business apart
  • Connect cloud-based B2B integration with product content aggregation and syndication;
  • Achieve streamlined end-to-end digital commerce in a cost-effective and scalable manner.

References

  1. “Amazon Could Be Largest U.S. Company by 2020.” Barrons. 2 June 2016, http://www.barrons.com/articles/amazon-could-be-largest-u-s-company-by-2020-1464866783
  2. “Amazon Set to Dominate 2016 Holiday Shopping”. Consumer Goods Technology. 27 September 2016. https://consumergoods.com/amazon-set-dominate-2016-holiday-shopping
  3. “Walmart Plays Catch-Up with Amazon.” New York Times, October 22, 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/23/business/walmart-plays-catch-up-with-amazon.html?_r=0
  4. “Omnichannel 2017: Amazon and Walmart Make Moves”. EMarketer. 9 Jan 2017. https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Omnichannel-2017-Amazon-Walmart-Make-Moves/1015000

Why Trusted Product Data Matters for Omni-Channel Retail

Big Data’s Big Election Fail

If you followed this year’s United States presidential polls at all closely, chances are that you expected Hillary Clinton to win. So did all of the major prediction models that use polls to game out election outcome probabilities.

This year’s divisive election painted a picture of data divisions by race, gender,  and education. Pollsters will be digging for months (at least) to figure out how exactly their results may have been off. What can we learn from this year’s election?

The election may have divided us, but one thing that we are all unified on is the need for accurate data. This is especially true when it come to product data demands. The rules of competition have changed and your product information is now as important as the product itself, at least in the eyes of the consumer.  

With 81% of consumers scouring through product information online to find or verify the data about a product they are considering, and over 33% abandon shopping carts when the information they crave is absent, it’s apparent how critical product information is in the consumer’s path to purchase (ClickZ 2016).

The Challenge with Managing Product Information

One may think that managing product content and data is easy, but the challenges include:

  • 10’s enterprise systems in typical back end to manage product data.
  • 100’s people sourcing, aggregating, cleansing data needed for commerce.
  • 1000’s trading partners requiring exchange data with in a variety of formats.
  • 10,000’s of websites, apps and 3rd parties, representing your product/brand to the consumer.

Deliver Trusted Product Content Your Customers Can Rely On

With the proliferation of omni-channel commerce and the rising customer expectations, the stakes have been raised. Businesses that fail to provide consistent and contextual experiences across channels stand to lose customers and revenues.

Yes, product information matters – the quality, the completeness and the accuracy matters.  And as suppliers connect and partner with multiple retailers, the need for accurate, complete product information is even greater. Four in 10 shoppers say they’ve given up on an online purchase because they didn’t have enough information on the purchase (Internet Retailing 2014).

For example, consider Google’s 2016 mandate for GTINS (Global Trade Item Numbers which help classify and display products on Google Shopping) now needed for all products.   As of May 16, 2016, Google disapproved relevant products that didn’t meet the GTIN requirements, so it’s critical that suppliers double check that product data is correct and up to date. And according to Google, the financial implications can be significant:  “Merchants who’ve added correct GTINs to their product data have seen conversion rates increase up to 20%.”

The Google GTINS mandate demonstrates that they understand that product content (descriptions, feature bullets, images, videos, reviews) is a critical factor in driving conversion.  Consumers demand to know exactly what they are buying – and the right content makes for a great consumer experience.

Sourcing A Single Source of Truth

Accurate and timely product information helps instill trust and customer loyalty in the interchangeable and complex world of retail.

By working with 25,000+ brands and retailers to build scalable process to ensure the highest impact, consistency and levels of quality, 1WorldSync is the product information company. The 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud solutions deliver rich and trusted product content to engage customers and consumers regardless of the medium. 1WorldSync helps organizations align on the product information governance strategy to apply GTIN standardization, and implement for Google, GDSN, Walmart and beyond.

References

1 ClickZ, 2016

2 Internet Retailing 2014. ‘Four in 10 Abandon Purchase For Lack Of Information Study’. http://internetretailing.net/2014/02/four-in-10-abandon-purchase-for-lack-of-information-study/