Roses are red, violets are blue! With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, Kroger will bring flowers, sweets, and cards to consumers.
Are you making sure your products bring convenience, and accurate product content to your consumers? If product descriptions fall to the bottom of your content priority list, this could be the heart of your marketing and sales problems.
That is why Kroger vendors and brand owners have emphasized improving customer-facing product content will make or break you this Valentine’s day.
It may seem obvious, but some brand owners put themselves at a competitive disadvantage by not providing some rather essential product content to Kroger and thus their potential customers.
According to a recent Stanford University Study, the more strategic keywords a product description contained the better the product sold. This proves again that product content and descriptions are critical determinants of sales!
Obviously Kroger wants your product content– good product content. But what product content is important for Kroger?
High quality and visually stimulating product images in a variety of formats, resolutions, and angles so that customers know they will be satisfied with their Valentine’s day goodies.
Packaging and product attributes, including dimensions, weights, ingredients, and nutritional values, usually necessary for any purchase!
Product highlights and romance copy so that customers know who you are as a supplier and brand and if that meets their needs for Valentine’s day this year.
Satisfying this growing consumers’ need for timely and accurate information about the products they buy, as well as regulatory compliances, are significant challenges. Don’t miss out on understanding how Kroger is meeting current and future customer demands and visithttp://www.1worldsync.com/customer-page/kroger/
88% of consumers say that detailed product content is extremely or very important to their purchasing decision. Consumers expect rich and trusted product content on all channels: desktop to mobile. What is the cost of bad product content to your organization?
1WorldSync led a webinar around how to:
determine your data quality and how this positively impacts your business.
leverage the data you already have in GDSN for e-commerce and omni-channel purposes.
2017 was a big year for news stories spanning all the industries we serve, and 2018 is sure to bring plenty of stories that will continue to shape the world of commerce globally and across all verticals.
Extra extra…read all about it! Here are a few highlights we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss:
We would be amiss if we didn’t lead with this story as it is definitely one of the biggest stories of the year for not only CPG/retail and grocery, but ultimately a foundational shift in how consumers will shop in years to come. In USA Today’s Article, Dan Wilkinson, 1WorldSync’s Chief Commercial Officer, provides commentary on what this means for the e-commerce giant.
Nick Manzo, 1WorldSync’s Global Omni-Channel Lead, provides important insight into how organizations can improve their Omni-Channel Commerce Strategy in this article in Total Retail. The article highlights the importance of rich and consistent content across all commerce platforms, providing transparency across the entire supply chain is essential in order to meet the needs of today’s consumer, and how investing in a cloud-based solution allows organizations to adapt to new challenges.
Internet Health Management published an article on how Amazon’s healthcare plans impact existing healthcare players. It provides insight from 1WorldSync around how Amazon’s entry into the healthcare industry will impact the big players in an already accelerated industry. Dan Wilkinson, 1WorldSync’s Chief Commercial Officer, describes the need for disruption that only Amazon can provide, “This venture is a logical next step as Amazon continues to involve itself in every facet of consumers’ lives and wallets.”
This year has proven that consumers want a seamless experience from a retailer, whether they are visiting a brick and mortar store, or buying on their phone or tablet. Creating this environment for consumers proves challenging for most, but Home Depot has made great strides this year with what they call their “interconnected retail” initiative. Nick Manzo, 1WorldSync’s Global Omni-Channel Lead, comments on how this DIY/Hardlines giant is not differentiating when it comes to omnichannel in this article from Supply Chain Executive.
Campbell’s Soup is a household name that brings a feeling of nostalgia to most, but that does not make them immune to the demands of today’s consumers in their need for an experience and not just a product. Dan Wilkinson, 1WorldSync’s Chief Commercial Officer, speaks to how Campbell’s has confronted this reality head on in this piece Campbell’s shifts their focus from product to experience for the Institute’s of Food Technologists (IFT).
Initiatives like the Grocery Manufacturing Associations’(GMA) SmartLabel, highlight the common theme across all industries, that especially with foods, consumers want the most accurate and up-to-date information available. Dan Wilkinson, 1WorldSync’s Chief Commercial Officer, highlights how getting started with SmartLabel is the stepping stone to building consumer trust for your products in Food Manufacturing Magazine.
These few stories are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all of the exciting things that are happening globally that impact the future of commerce and product consumption.
According to a recent Shotfarm report, 30% of abandoned carts were due to bad product descriptions.
Examine Your Product Descriptions
Your company’s main goal is to sell your product; in order to do that you must give your customers a thorough and accurate of the product they are scoping out. And how do you do this, you ask? You can start with focusing on your product description attributes. Adopting this best practice will allow you to set your product apart within the flooded world of Ecommerce, ultimately maximizing the opportunity in increase sales.
It is no surprise that the ecommerce marketplace is the #1 way that consumers research and shop for products. And guess what? Even your products that are not sold on within a virtual space are often still represented on web. So no matter what your product intentions are, your product descriptions can be the difference between success and failure.
That being said, it is time to get schooled! To help, we are hosting a webinar on Wednesday, January 31st at 10am CST.
The Anatomy of an Effective Product Description that Boosts E-Commerce
Do your users or recipients complain they can not find your products? Have you ever wondered why there are so many description attributes in the GDSN and if they apply to your company or products? Do you know if the descriptions provided are even what the recipients were expecting?
This webinar will educate you on how to make your product more discoverable and avoid costly data quality errors. Topics will include:
The Cost of Bad Search Results
GDSN Descriptions Breakdown & Best Practices
Steps to Launch a Successful Data Governance Program
The Amazon effect is a catchy phrase to describe the ongoing evolution in how Amazon has influenced people’s shopping experience. It also sums up the resulting disruption in the retail market for both online and physical outlets.
According to FierceRetail, “Information about the product has grown to become as important as the product itself – influencing 56 cents of every dollar in retail sales.”
Have you ever searched for one of your products on Amazon.com? Are your products represented correctly? Does the product content support the product you are trying to sell?
What does the ‘Amazon Effect’ and desire for more product information mean for brands, manufacturers, and distributors?
The Amazon GDSN Product Content Initiative with 1WorldSync
Brand owners should be proud of the products they sell and ensure they are represented appropriately on Amazon.com. By taking control of your product content, you have a huge opportunity to drive incremental revenue and capture new customers.
In partnership with 1WorldSync, Amazon has joined the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) to make it easier for brands, manufacturers and distributors to:
Provide an automated process to manage and distribute product information to Amazon including Prime Pantry, Amazon Fresh etc..
Improve the accuracy of the product content listed on Amazon.com.
Understand the completeness and quality of the product content supplied via the GDSN.
Amazon is now able to receive enriched, standardized product content through the data synchronization process enabling Amazon to receive product content and changes in real time.
Utilizing the 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud (PIC), not only can brands easily improve their product completeness and accuracy of the products listed on Amazon.com, but also enable fast turnaround time on attribute changes in order for optimized product listings.
Amazon Improves Product Quality and Completeness
Since launching their Catalog Content Capture Initiative and receiving product content via the 1WorldSync GDSN connection, Amazon has improved their attribute coverage from 71.5 to 97.9% and data quality has improved from 59.7 to 90%. This serves as a testament to the importance of sharing your GDSN data via the 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud!
Are You Ready To Tap Into The Power Of The Amazon Effect?
Happy New Year! In a recent conversation with the 1Worldsync marketing team, I was asked to look forward and share insights on the direction that commerce is headed in 2018 based on some of key events that we experienced in the marketplace. Please pull up a chair and join us for a few minutes as we journey into the future!
What were some of the key priorities for 1WorldSync in 2017 that encompassed both our technology and market expansion?
2017 has truly been a momentous year for 1WorldSync. From releasing new capabilities like Sales Kit to supporting Amazon and Alibaba in their quests for quality content, to working with customers like Tyson and P&G to support their SmartLabel initiatives, our partnership with our global customer base of 25,000 has pushed us to continue to innovate. Every year, 1WorldSync continually strives to make it easier for our customers to share and transform their trusted product content into a competitive differentiator. 2017 was no different.
What is your advice for brands and retailers that want to make their products digital, discoverable and highly shoppable in 2018?
Focus on the customer: According to Forrester’s 2015 Customer Experience Index, 86% of companies want to excel at customer experience. But only 27% of brands even qualify as “good” in the eyes of their customers. Today’s shoppers want exceptional experiences exactly when and where we want it. Understanding your consumers’ needs and then tailoring the rest of the organization to meeting those needs is crucial.
Break down organizational silos: In many companies, online stores are operated by a specific “digital” team, while physical stores are run by yet another operations team. Further, there may be another team responsible for GDSN data and another for web ready product content. This siloed structure inside an organization can result in a fragmented customer experience. It is crucial to have a holistic strategy for consolidating and distributing product content across the organization.
Leverage one solution to enable Omni-Channel retailing: You cannot keep up with the ever increasing demand for product content, unless you have one solution that addresses the entire project. By enabling products to stand out in a crowded omni-channel world, 1WorldSync delivers rich and trusted product content, including digital assets and insights – to engage customers and consumers – regardless of location or medium.
How do you think brands and retailers can better compete with trusted product content that their customers can count on in 2018?
No matter where you are in your product content journey, focus on data quality! Data quality is important because:
i) 88% of consumers say that detailed product content is extremely or very important to their purchasing decision. Consumers expect rich and trusted product content on all channels: desktop to mobile.
ii) E-commerce recipients are requiring more and more data in order to sell on their websites. Some are factoring in completeness and accuracy of data in search rankings and others are applying penalties who underperform from a data quality perspective.
Where do you think commerce is headed in the age of the connected consumer?
Technology like connected home devices, virtual reality, streaming television services, voice ordering and drones have made digital shopping easier and more integrated into everyday life.
The shift to the connected consumer shows no signs of slowing down, and buying habits are transforming. Retail isn’t just about when customers are ready to buy anymore– it’s a constant engagement with technology and experiences that drives the future of commerce.
We predict these three trends will shape the future of retail in the years ahead.
Consumers will continue to demand more product content to enable data driven decision making.
Marketplaces will be the driver for global revenue in the retail world.
Organizations will remove silo shackles in order to unify disparate data.
What can we look forward to from 1WorldSync this year?
2018 will be the year of consistency and uniformity within the 1WorldSync product cloud. With unification across our technology architecture, we will focus on an improved user experience ranging from sales engagement to support model to industry involvement.
As we wrap up another year, I want to thank you for your continued business and trust in 1WorldSync. At 1WorldSync we truly believe we are one community. The power of 1 adds up to empowering our customers with trusted content to make informed decisions for their health, and well being. We continue to strive to deliver trustworthy content, anytime, anywhere.
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 2018.
Hide your stocking stuffers and savor those sips of eggnog..2018 is almost here! A lot happened in 2017. Amazon bought Wholefoods, Alibaba grew in America, companies like Tyson and P&G launched SmartLabel initiatives and so much more.
Technology now penetrates nearly every aspect of our lives and the industry continues to shift in major ways as consumers demand more information faster. Despite uncertainties, this year in commerce shattered records, giving retailers reason to rejoice.
In order to look forward, it’s important to look back at the past year. And in this case, we’re reflecting on 2017 key events that took place that will likely shape 2018.
Amazon: Prime-Time For The Grocery Industry
With the acquisition of Whole Foods Amazon sends a clear message to grocers that it is ready to play and, at least partly e-commercialize the grocery game. They’ve already dipped their toes in food and grocery in the past through Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry, but this gives them more robust access to high-quality food and more power to delivery grocery products more immediately to customers. It is also a bold statement that Amazon is serious about brick-and-mortar and at the same time this step finally fully validates cross-channel commerce as the future of grocery.
As the lines between online and in store have blurred, Amazon has realized that location will be a key driver for commerce success. Having access to Whole Foods’ 431 existing stores, gives them valuable distribution centers to bring fresh, localized products directly to customers. Amazon was also likely motivated to reach Whole Foods’ millennial audience and develop loyalty with the younger, more quality-conscious consumer.
Last year, shoppers did half of their online spending through marketplaces, and that could rise to two-thirds in five years, according to a report released by Forrester Research (RetailDive 2017).
At the heart of this surge to online purchasing are marketplaces, such as Amazon, Alibaba, Google and Walmart.com which are creating a new era of many-to-many shopping opportunities for the B2B and B2C market.
“We look at marketplaces as the new retail battleground,” Jenn Markey, Vice President of Marketing at retail strategy firm 360pi. “For the retailers that embrace them, it creates an endless aisle online without the traditional costs. But even Amazon is experiencing that it can be the Wild Wild West. The challenge is that some vendors are more legitimate than others.” (Retail Dive 2017).
Marketplaces have the potential to help your products reach millions of new, global customers and 1WorldSync has you covered! It’s time for your products to be discovered by more buyers on the world’s largest marketplaces.
Walmart and Google Partner To Make Shopping Easier
Google and Walmart recently announced a new partnership whereby Walmart customers will be able to access hundreds of thousands of products from the company’s shelves via the online retailing service Google Express, an online marketplace where customers can purchase and set up delivery from stores like Target and Walgreens (Walmart 2017).
Walmart products will also be available through the Google Assistant and Google Home smart speaker, which competes with Amazon’s Echo. Walmart’s network of 4,700 U.S. stores and its fulfillment networks offer a competitive differentiator over Amazon offering attractive omni-channel options including click-and-collect while Google has deeper artificial intelligence (AI) expertise and a huge pool of new data which would allow them to leverage personalization through targeted ads.
A Look Back & A Look Forward
Are you committed to your product journey that will drive tomorrow’s results? On December 6th, join industry leaders from 1WorldSync for a compelling webinarand catch-up on industry trends and game-changing events that occurred in 2017 and get a preview of what you need to do to be ready to drive sales and top-line growth in 2018.
Product data is one of the most valuable assets that a supplier owns. Today we live in an e-Commerce world where suppliers must provide their product data to dozens, if not hundreds, of trading partners. These trading partners take-in the product data, repurpose it, and display it on numerous channels for end-consumers to view, research, and purchase.
Suppliers often have limited control of “how” trading partners display product data (beyond a supplier’s own website), but suppliers must have control of “what” gets displayed. This is extremely important because the quality of product data, or often the lack thereof, directly impacts the brand image in the eyes of a buyer.
Consumers today expect – not just appreciate – rich and trusted product content regardless of where they view it. Suppliers that invest in providing rich and high-quality product data benefit by creating a “good” customer experience – leading to brand loyalty and more sales. Remember that “Data is King” but also that “Data is Your Brand”!
Challenges of Providing Quality Product Data
Many suppliers understand the importance of product data, however, most struggle with managing it. A Forrester study showed 86% of brands want to excel at customer experience, but only 27% of brands qualify as “good” in the eyes of their customers (Forrester – The US Customer Experience Index, Q1 2015). A “poor” customer experience is usually the result of poor product data. So why is product data so hard to manage?
Here are some common challenges that suppliers experience when managing product data:
Stored in an ERP system intended for transactional data, and not designed to manage and maintain product data
Stored in many disparate systems that aren’t integrated
Stored and maintained in Excel spreadsheets
Updated using manual processes that are susceptible to human errors
Manually validated or not validated at all
Department updates using manual internal workflow processes
Manually uploads for syndication to data pools (such as 1WorldSync Item Manager) and other trading partners
Not associated with rich assets like pictures, videos, brochures
What is a PIM?
To address these common issues, most large suppliers invest in a PIM (Product Information Management) system. PIM systems are mission critical to create a single “source of truth” to aggregate, validate, maintain, and syndicate product data. The result is high-quality data, efficient data governance processes, and automated data syndication. These are huge benefits that ultimately help improve brand image and customer experience – things any supplier would be pleased by. Unfortunately, PIM systems traditionally cost $400k to millions. This has made it cost prohibitive for most suppliers to reap the benefits that come with a PIM system.
Introducing PIM Lite for Product Content Syndication
What is PIM Lite?
Long-time partners, 1WorldSync and Innovit, have joined forces to introduce PIM Lite. PIM Lite is a pre-configured, entry-level PIM system for:
Small to medium suppliers (revenues under $1B) – Organizations that do not have the budget to afford a complex, highly-configured PIM system
Large suppliers where budget is gone – Organizations with limited funds left in the current budget cycle
Suppliers that prefer OpEx vs. CapEx – Organizations that desire a lower cost software subscription model with predictable cash flows
What are the benefits of PIM Lite?
PIM Lite brings immediate value by helping suppliers improve product data management processes. Benefits include:
Eliminating spreadsheets, manual processes, and redundant data entry
Establishing a “source of truth” for product data and content relationships to manage and maintain product data in a single location.
Automating import of product data
Improving data quality with pre-configured validation rules.
Advancing data governance with basic PIM/MDM workflows and automating processes such as new products and product changes.
Syndicating validated product data thru an automated M2M XML connection to 1WorldSync Item Manager, and easily exporting product data to XML, Excel, PDF, CSV.
What is the cost of PIM Lite?
Fully installed, pre-configured PIM Lite system starts at $100k for Year 1 (includes implementation, software and “hybrid cloud” hosting), and $45k for subsequent years (includes software and “hybrid cloud” hosting).
No single formula, algorithm or crystal ball can tell you for sure when and why each individual customer will make a purchase.
However, it’s clear that having a clearly defined omni-channel strategy is key. The word ‘omni-channel’ has been a buzzword the past few years, but what does it actually mean?
According to the dictionary omni-channel denotes or relates to a type of retail that integrates the different methods of shopping available to consumers (e.g., online, in a physical store, or by phone).
HubSpot defines it as: “the ability to deliver a seamless and consistent experience across channels, while factoring in the different devices that consumers are using to interact with your business.”
Key to Omni-Channel Success: Product Content
Regardless of your definition, the key to success in omni-channel retailing is product content. Consumers rely on access to information about products they are considering purchases. Thus, the way businesses inform, educate and engage customers and consumers using product information must be robust and accurate.
Trusted product content is king when is comes to delivering a consistent experience across channels. The quality of a product matters less to a consumer than the quality of the product content.
Product content that includes images, information, and data about the product is playing a larger role in brands’ omni-channel effectiveness. Today, consumers are leveraging product content across the path to purchase for informed data driven decision-making.
To satisfy a consumer’s quest for information, brands must ensure that the right product content is available across channels, including online, mobile, and in-store. To master omni-channel commerce, retailers must create and distribute product content across channels.
Product content includes:
Product images (including a variety of formats, resolutions and angles)
Product highlights (romance copy, directions, warnings and marketing claims)
The role product content plays in a brand’s omni-channel effectiveness is rather straight-forward:
Product images and information are necessary to engage with consumers across the path to purchase.
Product content is essential to meet retailers’ requirements so they can market and sell products across channels.
Product data is used to automate and feed internal systems (e.g. warehousing, transportation, ordering, etc.) to ensure operations can meet demand profitably.
The Struggle is Real for Omni-Channel Retailing
However, the struggle is real when it comes to success with omni-channel commerce. According to 1WorldSync’s report ‘Charting a Course for Global Commerce’ found that 80% of merchants struggle to aggregate and distribute complete, consistent and trusted product information across all channels.
The increasing detail required for product content is not the only factor adding to the complexity.
Brands owners’ challenge in providing this content – quickly and cost-effectively – is made more difficult by the internal silos in most companies. In any given organization, product images might be managed by Marketing, product dimensions by Category Management or Logistics, ingredients by R&D and other details by yet other departments.
To transform product content from an obstacle to an omni-channel advantage, brands can follow these best practices.
Break Down Organizational Silos: In many companies, online stores are operated by a specific “digital” team, while physical stores are run by yet another operations team. Further, there may be another team responsible for GDSN data. This siloed structure inside an organization can result in a fragmented customer experience. Silos must be broken down. There is no longer such thing as in-store merchandise vs online merchandise. The channel is different, however the product content supporting the product remains the same. Thus it’s more important than ever to have a holistic strategy for consolidating and distributing product content across the organization.
Leverage 1 Solution to Enable Omni-Channel Retailing: You cannot keep up with the ever increasing demand for product content, unless you have a holistic strategy that addresses the entire project. By enabling products to stand out in a crowded omni-channel world, 1WorldSync delivers rich and trusted product content, including digital assets and insights – to engage customers and consumers – regardless of location or medium.1WorldSync’s Omni-Channel solutions helps leading retailers capitalize on product information to drive conversion. 1WorldSync works exclusively to feed companies like Amazon and Walmart GDSN and eCommerce data. Additionally, 1WorldSync customers can publish and make updates to their 1WorldSync data pool product information and enrich their product information for cross-channel commerce, enabling global content distribution and syndication for all your product information.
Watch our video below and learn how you can organize for cross-channel sales growth!
Calling all US Businesses! Are you ready to break into new and international marketplaces? It’s time to swipe right!
China marks its busiest shopping holiday on Nov. 11, Singles Day. Singles Day began as an anti-Valentine’s Day founded by college students in the 1990s, according to the Communist Party-owned People’s Daily.
Singles Day in China has become a major shopping holiday for the e-commerce giant. This year, sales from the event have hit a new record of $25.3 Billion (The New York Times 2017).
During Singles Day in 2016, more items were bought on Alibaba’s platform in that 24 hours than the entire combined Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in the United States (CNBC 2017). It’s clear that this day and marketplace presents a huge opportunity for US Companies to drive sales.
It’s Time To Swipe Right and Get Your Products In Front of Chinese Consumers!
It’s clear, Singles Day and the Alibaba marketplace represents a great opportunity for US businesses to grow sales internationally.
It was estimated that 140,000 brands will participate in this year’s Singles Day and that 60,000 of them will be international brands (ET Retail 2017).
For US brands getting started they need to consider the drivers for Chinese shoppers’ purchases across borders which includes secure payment, payments possible in their local currency and proof of product authenticity.
Proof of product authenticity is driven by sharing reliable product content. The easiest way to accomplish this is by providing content directly to Alibaba via 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud (PIC).
Alibaba is sourcing attributes via the GDSN with their content strategy partner, 1WorldSync. Alibaba is now able to receive enriched, standardized product content from your company through the data synchronization process to improve the accuracy and trustworthiness of product content protecting brands against counterfeiters.
With 1WorldSync & Alibaba, It’s Easy to Mingle and Get Your Products in Front of Global Consumers
1WorldSync and Alibaba make it easy for US companies to mingle in global marketplace. It’s time to swipe right and get your products in front of Chinese consumers!
To learn more about mingling in the Chinese marketplace, join us for an upcoming webinar on Thursday, November 16th at 9 am ET/ 6 am PT to learn more about how you can get your products on the Alibaba platform and ensure the completeness and quality of the product content supplied via the GDSN.