Discover the 1WorldSync Professional Services Team

Recent research indicates that the product information management (PIM) market will be worth $15.78 billion by 2021 (Whatech 2017). The rising demand compliance and verification and need for operational excellence and data quality are driving the PIM market.

“Online retailers that offer compelling, engaging, and complete content to shoppers will be rewarded by repeat purchases, lower levels of returns, and long-term loyalty” says Nihat Arkan, CEO of 1WorldSync.

Compete With Trusted Product Content Your Customers Can Rely On

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

Accurate and timely product information is critical in the path to purchase from discovery to delight. It helps instill trust and customer loyalty in the interchangeable and complex world of retail.

Think about it! Can you imagine how drastically different our purchasing decisions would be if product content wasn’t as detailed as it is today?! Society relies heavily on the importance of obtaining detailed content…it would take us forever to get what we need and let’s face it, we aren’t getting any younger!

Common product content challenges that can slow down consumers’ product information journey include:

  • Identification of data quality issues that inhibit complete, consistent, usable, high quality product content for internal and external use
  • Demand of evolving cross-channel needs to aggregate and manage product data in one centralized location.
  • Inability to deliver expected transparency into products and related attributes.

Discover 1WorldSync Services Experts in Product Content Management

1WorldSync Professional Services Team can address these challenges while building a partnerships that will outlast the initial engagement.

  • We are global. Helping more than 25,000 global brands in 60 countries, the 1WorldSync Professional Services understands that no matter where you conduct business, trusted content matters.
  • We know our stuff. Leading organizations put their faith in our hands because we bring over a decade of experience and offer a full spectrum of best-in-class product information strategies and services to support customer vision and growth.
  • We’ve got your back. We understand your business, understand the toughest product content challenges you face and can deliver valuable services to address these challenges.  
  • We take you places. Then we can build the right blend of service offerings to help you share authentic, trusted content with your customers and move your business forward with decisions that you want – and confidence that you need.

 

Let’s get you set up for success today

 

 

References

  1. “Recent Research: Product information management market growing worth 15.78 billion USD by 2021”. Whatech 2017. https://www.whatech.com/market-research/it/260447-product-information-management-market-growing-worth-15-78-billion-usd-by-2021
  2. ‘Seven Steps To Successful Customer Experience Measurement’. Forrester 2016. Programs https://go.forrester.com/wp-content/uploads/Forrester-Seven-Steps-To-Successful-Customer-Experience.pdf

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

Love is in the Air for Trusted Product Content

Roses are red, violets are blue, we love trusted product content, and so should you! It’s that time of the year again to share the love, and this year, our love goes to connecting trusted product content everywhere!

Who Says Love Don’t Cost A Thing?

Whether you’re in the store, on your phone, or even in your home, product content is everywhere. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching and flowers, sweets, and cards to distribute to that “special someone”, make sure your products bring convenience and accurate product content to your consumers.

In the 21st century, a consumer’s journey begins at the favorable option of a digital interface. In preparation for Valentine’s Day, people are relying on eCommerce sites to find all the items they need and how quickly they can get it.

Not only are they looking for accessibility, but more importantly they are expecting dependability. The National Retail Federation reports that U.S. consumer spending on gifts this year will drop approximately 8% from last year’s record-high of $19.7 billion (NRF, 2017).

How Retailers Show Consumers A Little Love

That being said, your products need to stand out in order to meet your sales expectations this year. Here are 3 ways to ensure that your site’s products outrank your competitors.

  • Offer bundle deals to maximize sales – According to Bing research, over 50 percent of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day; though, the average money spent amongst most couples is $146 with expected declines to $136 this year (Goodwin, 2017). Bundle options that include flowers, cards, chocolate, and even those cute little bears will prove to be more successful in sales. When strategizing the types of offers on your sites, be sure to keep in mind these consumer standards.
  • Ensure your products show up as good as they look on screen – Chances are, people aren’t going to be spending too much time bouncing from site to site to get what they need. That doesn’t mean that your products should disappoint. For many online flower companies, Valentine’s Day is one of the highest revenue earning days of the year. However, year after year, people are frequently disappointed in the presentation they receive. What they thought was portrayed online, often shows up dead or wilted. Talk about killing the mood… To avoid consumer dissatisfaction and the risk of future consumer neglect, be sure to offer accurate representation and information about your products. After all, ratings and reviews mean everything! 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation (BrightLocal, 2014).
  • Invest in search engine optimization strategies – Of the 50% of Americans that celebrate Valentine’s Day, 28% of their shopping happens online (Goodwin, 2017). Some of the top searched keywords from 2016 accessed through mobile and desktop included jewelry, Valentine’s day, Etsy, and flowers. Optimize search campaigns that include some of these typical searched terms but also invest in others such as last-minute gifts or handmade presents for those searching for specific items to buy for their significant others.

Marrying Brand Loyalty with Trusted, Authentic Product Content

Whether or not your company is planning on utilizing Valentine’s Day to boost sales this year, adapting these 3 techniques are essential to consumer satisfaction and experience. Brands must ensure that they’re distributing trusted and accurate product content if they want brand loyalty.

Word to the wise, dependability on product content is not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, suppliers, retailers, and even consumers are demanding more detailed and accurate content on eCommerce sites than ever before.

At 1WorldSync, we strive to offer brands our services to share authentic, trusted content with customers and consumers, empowering them to make the right choices, purchases, health and lifestyle decisions. Seize this unique opportunity, play cupid with your consumers and stay ahead of the curve!

Happy Valentine’s Day from 1WorldSync!

 

References

  1. “Valentine’s Day.” National Retail Federation. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.
  2. Goodwin, Danny. “14 Irresistible Valentine’s Day Search Stats From Bing.” Search Engine Journal. Search Engine Journal, 13 Jan. 2017. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.
  3. “Local Consumer Review Survey 2014.” BrightLocal. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.

SmartLabel: Turning Technology and Transparency into Trust

Product transparency has been an ongoing conversation with manufacturers and brands as consumers are becoming more savvy, more connected, and more socially and environmentally conscience of their everyday food, beverage or household purchases. According a study from Bonfire Marketing, 63 percent of customers would buy from an authentic brand (Vision Critical 2016).

To Be, or Not To Be Transparent  – What’s the Bottom Line?

As Paul Norman, President & CEO, Kellogg’s stated in a release on GMO labelling last year, the focus on consumer trust is more important than ever before: “At our core, Kellogg’s believes in transparency and that people should know what’s in their food and where it comes from (Kellogg Company Newsroom 2016).” The promise to deliver product information to the general public is becoming less than a question of why, but now part of an overall strategy to ensure confidence and assurance to shoppers, especially brand loyalists. With legislative and regulatory policies enacted in past years, particularly regarding food safely (i.e. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011), major manufacturers are moving to the forefront to support and empower the infomed consumer.

Product transparency also dismantles unreliable, third-party sources floating in the land of social media and the internet. By shutting down the ‘alternative facts’ of product composition and restoring company reputation, manufacturers are now taking back the control to compete for consumer attention and buying power –  by being upfront and honest.

The SmartLabel™ Revolution and How It’s Changing Shopper Knowledgeability

At the end of 2015, Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) announced the launch of SmartLabel™ –  a technological initiative in form of highly detailed, online landing pages to provide easy access to a plethora of information consisting of nutrition, ingredient, and other compelling facts on thousands of food, beverage and consumer products. With over 30 major companies taking part, the goal is simple: provide accurate product information for all to access in one place.

1WorldSync had the pleasure of partnering with Progressive Grocer and GMA to raise the torch and carry on the dialog with an insightful and informative webcast titled, SmartLabel: Turning Technology and Transparency into Trust – now available for on-demand viewing.

The webcast featured industry experts from Albertsons Companies and The Coca-Cola Co. as they thoroughly explained their full support and participation in the SmartLabel™ movement.

The webcast touched on the following:

  • Why transparency matters – shoppers are more inquisitive about their product choices resulting in a demand for full disclosure to fit personal lifestyle needs and wants.
  • How SmartLabel™ works, the criteria behind it, and the many ways users can access it
  • What manufacturers are doing to promote brand loyalty and trust by using real-time technology to share information (i.e. Coca-Cola’s QR coding) and understand customer purchase decisions.

Here’s the Real Deal…

As the SmartLabel™ portfolio continues to expand and gain serious traction this year (GMA projects 34,000 products to be available to consumers by the end of 2017), so will shoppers continue to pay close attention to what’s beyond the packaging label. With an unprecedented amount of brands vying for shoppers’ attention, the opportunity is vital to build loyalty from products that consumers know they can trust, and are safe. Let’s face it! Brand transparency isn’t going away anytime soon. Don’t take our word for it, just watch the webcast!

At 1WorldSync, our expertise is enabling brands and retailers to deliver trusted content to consumers. As a dependable partner to more than 25,000 brands and retailers, our SmartLabel Solutions is specifically designed to assist our customers deliver and distribute industry initiative requirements seamlessly and efficiently via the 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud. To learn more, click here.

 

References:

  1. Vision Critical, 2016. ‘13 stunning stats on brand trust and authenticity.’ https://www.visioncritical.com/authenticity-stats/
  2. Kellogg Company Newsroom, March 23, 2016.  ‘Statement from Paul Norman, President, Kellogg North America, on GMO Labeling.’ http://newsroom.kelloggcompany.com/news-releases?item=131647

Walmart Unleashes Bold Strategy To Take Amazon Head-On

Walmart has just issued its strongest response to the growing Amazon threat, since its acquisition of e-commerce newcomer Jet.com last summer.

Last week, Walmart announced an unlimited free delivery program offering free, two-day shipping on over 2 million items, with no need for a membership fee.

  • Walmart has done away with it’s  “ShippingPass” program that charged customers $49 a year, just about half the cost of an Amazon Prime membership.
  • Walmart said that ShippingPass customers will receive a refund on their membership, since the program is no longer required in order to take advantage of free shipping.
  • Last week, Wal-Mart announced free two-day shipping program to compete with Amazon Prime program. Wal-Mart also decreased its minimum order amount to $35 from $50, but experts think that Arkansas-headquartered retailer giant is far from denting Amazon’s business.

A new Slice Intelligence report suggests that Amazon.com, Inc. captured over 53% of total online e-commerce growth in the US in 2016, up from 40% a year earlier. Other ecommerce and retail players were battling for the rest of the 47% of the market share.

However Walmart has become agile and is now operating like a start-up reacting quickly to test ideas to capture new customers that includes this free shipping strategy.

Walmart U.S. eCommerce Marc Lore stated in a media briefing “I couldn’t be more excited. We are moving at the speed of a startup. In today’s world of e-commerce, two-day free shipping is table stakes. It no longer makes sense to charge for it.”

Battle of the Brands: David vs. Goliath – Does Size Matter?

In a crowded commerce world, it’s critical to move quick to capture new customers and drive conversion. 1WorldSync has you covered with our new eBook, ‘Battle of the Brands: David vs. Goliath’ that includes strategies on how to move quick to capture new eCommerce market share. This eBook will demonstrate that bigger doesn’t always mean better and how David can compete with Goliath all year long!

Download the eBook now

Are You Ready to Get Your Products to Walmart.com and Jet.com? Learn more

1WorldSync Product Information Cloud solutions help 25,000 global customers engage the elevated expectations of today’s omni-channel shoppers.

Further, 1WorldSync is a strategic partner of Walmart and has been facilitating product content exchange for Walmart manufacturers and suppliers for more than a decade. As a certified Content Service Provider to Walmart, we can help you get your product content to Walmart.com and Jet.com.

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/

 

2016, A Year in Review!

As we wrapped another year, I want to thank you for your continued business and trust in 1WorldSync.  We know that to deliver a truly exceptional experience, we must have an innovative and forward looking global team to serve you, from product development to support. As I traveled the globe meeting with customers, partners and employees, I am proud of the accomplishments we’ve made as a company collaboratively with your feedback and involvement. I believe that we have truly evolved from the global leader in delivered product information, to ‘The Global Leader in Delivered Product Content.’

We began 2016 with several key priorities encompassing both our technology and market expansion.

  • Achieve Major Release 3 (MR3) compliance;
  • Obtain ISO27001 Certification for Information Security Management
  • Help customers globally (both recipients and suppliers) share product content to meet the industry’s growing commerce and cross channel / omni-business challenges; and
  • Leverage evolving capabilities to help onboard a variety of companies in multiple industries – both large and small – that traditionally have not participated in GDSN.

I’m pleased to say that 1WorldSync is succeeding on all fronts and are well positioned for even greater success in 2017.

Historically, product information has served a very specific purpose, such as supplier communications or logistics, and was B2B centric.  Today, regardless of your industry or product mix, the evolution and growth of omni-business commerce is a game changer for B2C commerce and has placed product content as a business imperative for all companies.

Consumer behaviors, shopping tastes and expectations have evolved and have become key drivers in the transformation to a more consumer-centric world.  I’ve spoken before about today’s “Omni-shopper,” which essentially means that the consumer, not the channel, is defining the business relationship. Trusted product content is what empowers a consumer in their cross-channel shopping experience and in their daily purchasing decisions.

These new demands are completely reshaping the retail landscape and with an increased focus on regulatory compliance, the healthcare and foodservice industries are evolving as well. Today there is a much greater focus on the role of trusted product information.  Establishing a product information and content management framework for high growth, compliance and transparency is no longer a nice to have, but an absolute mandate.

Looking ahead, we continue to make innovation an integral part of our strategy to help our global community share more product content with more people, whether B2B or B2C, no matter where they are located or have business operations.  Our Transparency, Supply Chain and Omni-business solutions help our customers succeed with the ability to:

  • Be Flexible – ability to develop digital product content and catalogs for maximum responsiveness
  • Go Digital – deliver content efficiently and enable operational efficiencies at the global level
  • Sell Everywhere – showcase and promote more products on any channel in any region
  • Be Transparent and Compliant – integrated content designed to help meet regulatory and local mandates
  • Go Global – discover new products and brands from any region to feature and sell, with digital ready content
  • Be Consumer-Centric – rich product storefronts, collateral and trusted product content for sales and eCommerce

Thank you for your continued confidence in 1WorldSync. On behalf of the entire company, I can confirm to you that we are motivated and inspired by the opportunities that you give us to help you succeed. Continuing to deliver results that exceed your expectations is our top priority in 2017.

Sincerely,
Nihat Arkan
CEO, 1WorldSync

Ringing In The Retail: Does Size Matter?

Currently, there are 28 million American small businesses, which account for 54% of all U.S. sales (Patriot Software 2016).

In the Internet Retailer 2016 Second 500 Guide, the most successful e-commerce companies in the middle tier have outperformed their larger rivals by identifying and leveraging their sweet spots (Internet Retailer 2016). Second 500 web merchants, whose 2015 web sales fell between $1.7 million-$28.3 million, are solid proof that small can indeed be mighty. As a group, they grew their online sales last year by 14.9% to $6.99 billion, ahead of their larger Top 500 competitors, who grew at 13.5%.

Many smaller retailers rely on Small Business Saturday, an initiative launched by American Express (CNBC 2016). In its seventh year since the recession, Small Business Saturday events and entertainment encourage consumers to shop at small businesses versus big-box stores and malls that draw in Black Friday shoppers.  

However, as a smaller retailer, competing for e-commerce dollars during the busiest shopping season of the year is no easy feat. With higher than ever stakes, how do you tackle the big retailer squeeze?

Avoid Getting ‘Amazoned’ This Holiday Season

Smaller retailers face the constant struggle of having to match the convenience that Amazon offers, while personalized and trusted product content, including digital assets and insights, to keep streams of loyal consumers returning.

The only way is to create a better end-to-end user experience that is driven by customer insights. Failure to deliver on this experience will mean leaving revenue at the door – revenue that Amazon will be happy to gobble gobble (pun intended!).

86% of companies want to excel at customer experience. But only 27% even qualify as “good” in the eyes of their customers (Forrester Customer Experience Index 2015). One thing is for certain regardless of your size as an organization:

Consumers expect a seamless path to purchase from discovery to delight across all channels and devices.

Agile Is The New Black

One of the greatest benefits a small business has is that they can react much more quickly than most larger corporations or big box stores. In other words, if you see an opportunity to introduce a new vendor, you can make this happen more quickly than the many steps necessary it would take at a big box store.

For example, if you see inventory sales have gone cold turkey (pun intended!), you can help move it through displays, employee engagement and even marking it down to help it sell faster.

Big retailers have the advantage of large scale systems that optimize processes. However giant companies suffer when they lose touch with the granularity of their businesses. As a smaller retailer, you can better understand how swiftly consumer needs change prior to larger competitors because of direct contact. You are better equipped to deal with changes in the environment and test new ideas quicker among customers without obstacles.

Retail Is Big On Small Business

Gaining a national footprint no longer relies solely on big brand partnerships – with the right attitude, resources and strategy, small business have the power to go it alone.

And if a little support is needed to survive holiday pressures, there may even be opportunities to partner collaboratively with industry giants. Smaller retailers may offer flexibility and a more intimate customer experience but when coupled with their larger, wealthier counterparts, the global market offers an array of quality goods and services. If you can’t beat them, join them!

References

1 “The State of Small Businesses in the U.S” Patriot Software. 2 May 2016.  https://smallbusiness.patriotsoftware.com/small-businesses-in-the-us-infographic/?utm_source=FRB45&utm_medium=article&utm_term=smallbiz_sat&utm_content=GBL

2 “Keeping up with innovation keeps smaller retailers in the game” Internet Retailer. 13 June 2016. https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/06/13/keeping-innovation-keeps-smaller-retailers-game

3  “A secret weapon to help small retailers on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday”. CNBC. 23 November 2016. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/23/ai-software-aids-retailers-on-black-friday-small-business-saturday.html

 “The US Customer Experience Index, Q1 2015.” Forrester. 6 October 2016 https://www.forrester.com/report/The+US+Customer+Experience+Index+Q1+2015/-/E-RES117482

Back to the Future of The Evolution of E-Commerce – Part 2

Coping and competing in this new environment of always-connected, highly informed consumers can be rewarding when done right.

This post elaborates on some of the trends that took place this year  that we introduced a few days ago!

  • Regulatory Compliance Drives Product Transparency Initiatives: Global companies may face different challenges than their domestic-only counterparts when it comes to product data management. With the emergence of multi-channel commerce, and mobile/social engagement, international regulatory and industry initiatives exacerbate pressures on manufacturers to provide a more robust set of trusted, quality product information.

Organizations all over the world are driven by these local, federal, and global regulations to streamline their product information distribution systems for accuracy and transparency. The complexity of compliance in cross border commerce is prevalent and impacts multiple categories and industries including:

    • Product Health & Safety (e.g. RoHs, MSDS)
    • Food & Nutrition (SmartLabel, EU1169 & Food Safety)
    • Product Traceability (UDI Device Traceability)
    • Product Sustainability & Social Responsibility
    • Security and Counter Terrorism

Noel Geoffroy, senior vice president of morning foods marketing and innovation at Kellogg’s, says: “The expectation of transparency from brands is increasing, and we believe in maintaining an open and honest conversation with consumers” (American Marketing Association 2015).

As the leading product information network, 1WorldSync offers a comprehensive solution for addressing transparent and compliant product information across your supply chain. The 1WorldSync Transparency & Compliance solution helps global businesses to simplify and manage the process of exchanging and managing product  information, certificates and documentation, across trading partner communities around the world.

  • Predictive Commerce Uncovers Unprecedented Insight

Retailers have finally begun to embrace predictive models and analytics in the hope of determining the intent of their customers and tracking valuable user behavior.

After 36 months, predictive intelligence influenced 34.71% of brands’ total orders (Predictive Intelligence Benchmark Report 2014). With the ability for more effective marketing, happier and more engaged customers, higher profits and more controlled outgoings it’s easy to see why predictive analytics have become a critical component to an ecommerce retailer.

At times, consumers may not be able to vocalize what they like. But predictive analytics can still recommend the right products. Intelligence gained through predictive analytics helps build a culture of better decision making, where any question that is raised can be modeled using the right data inputs. Without the deep understanding of customers and their shopping patterns, retailers will be flying blind when trying to create an experience  that drives conversions.

Done well, it enables online retailers to target consumers on the basis of their behaviors. Then retailers are in a great position to offer complementary and/or alternative products, search options, and brands, send targeted product promotions even when a shopper is offline.  The added bonus for retailers is that they’re able to keep visitors on their site longer to help drive traffic, boost sales and enhance experience.  

Investing in predictive analytics is a must for retailers also looking to analyze purchasing patterns to configure pricing algorithms as well as reduce fraud.  

Retailers that can harness predictive data can offer relevant, targeted promotions to individual consumers. Moreover, retailers will also be able to achieve other goals that will change the consumer experience, boost conversions, and even improve margins such as predicting the next best-selling product, preventing out-of-stock scenarios, and ensuring proper staffing at stores.

Be the Retailer That Consumers Want to See In the World

2017 unveils a unique opportunity for agile retailers looking to embrace and incorporate trends sweeping the industry in the form of higher conversions, enhanced engagement, and a loyal army of consumer advocates.

References

“Kellogg Lifts the Flap With New Transparency Effort”-American Marketing Association. 17 Feb 2015, https://www.ama.org/publications/eNewsletters/Marketing-News-Weekly/Pages/kellogg-open-for-breakfast.aspx

“75 Digital Marketing Stats from Salesforce Marketing Cloud Research.” Predictive Analytics Benchmark Report. 18 November 2014. https://www.marketingcloud.com/blog/uk/75-digital-marketing-stats-from-salesforce-marketing-cloud-research-2/

Back to the Future of The Evolution of E-Commerce – Part 1

Hide your stocking stuffers and savor sips of eggnog…2017 is here! Ecommerce continues to grow rapidly, but with the huge market acting as a magnet to brands large and small, competition will ramp up faster than the total growth of the market.  This means that customers will be harder to win, easier to lose and fussier on price and user experience.

The Future of Retail? Look Into The Past

Have you ever heard the saying “You can’t know where you are going until you know where you’ve been?” We will take a look back on the high-impact trends that shaped 2016 and will likely drive 2017 forward.

  • Demand for Complete and Accurate Product Content: Having a great product is truly only step one of the equation. More and more companies are presenting new content regularly, and in unique and compelling ways that not only garner consumer  attention, but  also engage to forge an emotional connection for the consumer to the brand.  

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

Good product content (descriptions, feature bullets, images, videos, reviews) that helps consumers by being informative, educational, and/or inspirational will increase sales and loyalty dramatically over time. Product content is now more important than the product itself. Consumers demand to know exactly what they are buying – and the right content makes for a rich consumer experience, and ultimately makes the consumer hit ‘Buy Now’.  

  • Multi-Channel Makes or Breaks a Business: Shoppers who interact with more than one channel spend 18% to 36% more than those who interact with a single channel (Bazaarvoice 2012).  Customers expect to use all channels as though they are a single experience, requiring tight integration across those channels. Retailers have had  the logistics and physical stores in place, and continue to invest in the physical store experience they are supplementing this with online channels to expand their reach.

Recognizing this, many retailers have pushed to check off all the multichannel boxes: robust physical presence, e-commerce site, social channels, and mobile apps. All of these elements are important, but their mere existence doesn’t ensure success. Understanding the importance of integration of dynamic ecommerce capabilities across all channels and devices is crucial. It’s now clear that the big winners will be the retailers that can blend the online and offline— the digital and the physical—into one seamless, omnichannel shopping experience.

References

1 Google Shopping Guide, 2016

3 “Four social trends already changing your business.” Bazaarvoice. June 2012. http://www.bazaarvoice.com/research-and-insight/white-papers/Four-social-trends-already-changing-your-business-2012-trends-report.html