Tag Archives: E-Commerce

How Real-World Retailers Can Better Compete With Ecommerce

With an influx of consumer purchasing decisions driving ecommerce today, retail stores are struggling to find innovative ways to keep consumers walking through their doors. Small businesses must take action in order to survive the digital evolution. Fortunately, by targeting the right consumers there are optimal ways brick-and-mortar retailers can thrive.

The Power of Touch

Stores definitely have the upper hand when it comes to physical interaction with a product. No matter how advanced ecommerce sites become with 360 degree visualization and high resolutions images, nothing compares to a consumer’s ability to touch, feel, and have a full hands-on experience with the products they are interested in buying. A majority of average shoppers, approximately 78 percent worldwide, prefer the initial engagement with the product rather than a virtual one (Retail Customer Experience, 2017).

But Retailer, I Want It Now!

We all have those Veruca Salt tendencies where we want things NOW! Brick-and-mortar stores definitely excel in that aspect. Take the Hema Supermarkets owned by Alibaba, for example. They’ve redefined the shopper’s experience by integrating online and offline shopping, deeming it “New Retail” (Alizila, 2017).

As part of the shopping experience, everything is powered by their mobile app. They can seamlessly order their groceries, check to see if it’s available in store, find detailed product content by scanning a barcode, and get everything they need within seconds. If retailers continue to incorporate consumer efficiency into their path of purchase, they will continue to have buyers walking through their doors.

The Comeback

As ecommerce businesses like Amazon continue to set the bar high in terms of availability, delivery, and speed, that doesn’t mean all other shopping experiences like in-store are doomed. In fact, many predict a comeback with 54 percent of shoppers confirming they still prefer it (Future of Retail, 2017).

Amazon may impress consumers with drone and same-day grocery delivery. However, the new generation of shoppers who grew up as millennials crave authentic experiences. A more personalized shopping experience is achievable in traditional brick-and-mortar stores in a similar analytical fashion as online retailers. Retailers that feature both in-store and online shopping experiences are now tracking behavioral purchasing patterns from online all the way to the door.

For example, Sephora, a major cosmetics company inhibits both aspects. The consumer is tracked via a Beauty Insider card that the consumer provides each time they make a purchase whether it’s in-store or online. If they are purchasing online, once they log into their Beauty Insider and begin buying makeup, it automatically tracks the type of makeup they like to buy. Once you arrive at the store, it pulls that buying history from your account and begins offering recommendations via Sephora’s Visual Artist, which is an in-store augmented reality 3D facial recognition program.

The Future of Retail

In the not-so-distant future, we may even be able to expect same-day drone delivery, robot customer service and more. One thing is for certain…Companies will only continue to develop ways to intrigue consumers via a connected commerce approach.

 

References

 

Walmart and Google Take on Amazon!

Google and Walmart announced last week a partnership that is starting next month. 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 products will also be available through the Google Assistant and Google Home smart speaker, which competes with Amazon’s Echo. Walmart shoppers can link their customer accounts to Google and get personalized recommendations.

Walmart & Google: Powerful Alone. Better Together

Clearly, the two companies are combining their strengths to take on Amazon. Separately, the companies have had little success drawing shoppers aways from Amazon in the ecommerce space.

Walmart’s network of 4,700 U.S. stores and its fulfillment networks offer a competitive differentiator over Amazon offering an attractive omni-channel options including click-and-collect while Google has deeper artificial intelligence (AI) expertise and a huge pool of new data would allow them to leverage personalization through targeted ads.

Walmart and Google have combined their strengths to battle it out on the online retail market. Walmart’s huge product line will help attract shoppers and it’s the first time the world’s biggest retailer has made its product available online in the United States outside of its own website.

Are You Ready to Take on the eCommerce World?

1WorldSync has been a strategic partner of Walmart for more than a decade, facilitating product content exchange for Walmart manufacturers and supplies. Given this new announcement from Walmart, it’s obvious that they are looking to broaden their online presence and looking for more product content and product assortment.

Whether you have a single item, or hundreds of items; showcasing complete, accurate and up-to-date product content will improve your online search rankings, protect your brand,and increase your products’ visibility to consumers.

1WorldSync has been helping thousands (25,000+)  of suppliers and brands to build product content strategies to sell products to Walmart, Amazon, Google and beyond.

Whether you’re utilizing 1WorldSync to capture your GDSN data or non-GDSN data, we work with our customers to simplify product content exchange via a signal connection. The 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud (PIC) make it possible to share content anywhere, anytime, in any format, with anyone – easy.

Are you ready to get your products discovered by Walmart, Google and beyond? Learn more today!

Retail + Boxing: When Worlds Collide (Part 2)

The build up and preparation to a fight, for a fighter is the hardest, the fight being the fun part. Not sure if a retailer would agree, their fight can go much longer that 12 rounds.

In part 1, we discussed the link between boxing and retail. Let’s get back on track!

The preparation for stores to hook a customer is preparing a consumer’s mind to think of their service first, no matter online or at a store. These stats speak for themselves (IC Real Estate 2017).

  • The probability of selling to a new customer is between 5 and 20%.
  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60 and 70%.
  • 96% US adults shop online yet…
  • 94% of total retail sales are still generated in brick & mortar stores.

Those numbers calculated with the speculated number of eyes for this PPV, early estimates speculate the fight almost double what Mayweather vs Pacquiao did. With fans from both sides tuning in, the probability of getting new customers and keeping existing fans hooked, the potential revenue will be well worth it. Customers from every end of the spectrum will tune in to not just cheer on one side, but continue the view of their own path to purchase.

Tale of the Tape

Everyone digests the newest technology to make their personal shopping experience more convenient. Technology has started blurring the lines of every industry from retail, healthcare and food service and forever changed the path a consumer takes on their path to purchase.

The bout will be UFC star McGregor’s first boxing match – and against a legend who retired with a 49-0 record.

Technology takes the ease of online pay to stores with simpler ways to pay.  71% of shoppers believe they will get a better deal online than in stores (Digiday 2013). This leads everyone from restaurants to retail stores to rely on new tech trends to entice consumers from their phone and tablets using things like Groupon to bring consumers in by capturing them online. Instead of going and waiting at a doctor’s office, you can now facetime a doctor from your phone. Thus making it easier for a busy mom with a sick kid, to taking pressure off of doctors offices in need of dealing with more extreme situations. Food service now makes delivery easier, Uber first transformed the way we moved, now they are transforming the way we order food with Uber Eats. Amazon is continuing to tease their new technology that will bring grocery shopping to once that of as “something from the future”.  

In response, many brick-and-mortar retailers have started to use omni-channel fulfillment methods that leverage their store locations and in-store inventory in order to better compete in e-commerce. These omnichannel services, including ship-from-store and click-and-collect, can help retailers manage the transition to digital by: Increasing online sales by offering cheaper, more convenient delivery options for online shoppers.

No one channel is the clear answer, but companies that stay competitive will need to more tightly integrate all of their approaches, both physical and digital. Embracing the meeting of the two worlds seems like a much easier decision that the head to head collision, but come Aug. 26 everyone will be watching the two worlds collide. No matter your side, your interest level, sit back and watch history unfold before your eyes, because this truly is history in the making!

References

“13 Alarming Stats About Retail In Digital – DigiDay” 19 May, 2013.  https://digiday.com/marketing/13-alarming-stats-about-retail-in-digital/

“Online -vs- Brick and Mortar Retail Shopping: The Statistics – IC Real Estate” 15 March, 2017. https://icrealestate.com/2017/03/online-vs-brick-mortar-retail-shopping-statistics/ 

“Floyd Mayweather Jr. Vs. Conor McGregor Total Revenue Should Surpass Pacquiao Fight – Forbes” 28 June, 2017.https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianmazique/2017/06/28/floyd-mayweather-jr-vs-conor-mcgregor-total-revenue-should-surpass-mayweather-vs-manny-pacquiao/#42cb85615c21

Sell Products Successfully On Amazon Today!

Did you know that 55 percent of online shoppers start their product searches on Amazon (Recode 2016)? Amazon commands more than half of all product searches.

This stat is truly remarkable and a reason you must get your products onto the Amazon platform as they bring droves of traffic to your product listing. Even more important than traffic is a pool of buyers, ready to purchase!

Creating, managing, and syndicating product content that meet the needs of Amazon requires cross-functional collaboration and integration with key systems. 1WorldSync is the leader in product content management solutions and work with the leading retailers (including Amazon) to expediting brands ability to centralize and digitize product content.

Are you ready to get your products onto Amazon.com?

1WorldSync does the heavy lifting for you making your product content efforts more efficient expediting your speed to market on the Amazon marketplace.

The 1WorldSync Amazon App allows customers to set-up products based on Amazon.com requirements and publish directly to Amazon Vendor Central. This accelerates sellers’ ability to standardize their GDSN data.

Do you sell to Amazon today?  Do you want to learn how to leverage your GDSN data to submit GDSN and Non-GDSN product content to Amazon efficiently? Click here to learn more on how to send data to Amazon electronically!

References

55 percent of online shoppers start their product searches on Amazon https://www.recode.net/2016/9/27/13078526/amazon-online-shopping-product-search-engine

Retail + Boxing: When Worlds Collide (Part 1)

When Floyd Mayweather welcomes UFC Champion Conor McGregor inside the boxing ring, it is expected to be the biggest fighting spectacle of this generation, if not ever. On August 26, 2017 viewers will witness, for the first time, the sports version of when two worlds collide.

Boxing has long been the staple in the combat sports world, until Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) became the fastest growing sport in the world and captured newer audiences. Today many view it as the old vs. new age, one seems to be on a meteoric rise and the other struggling to stay relevant.

Brick and mortar retail stores are following the same traditional format that we all grew up with. Mayweather, while flashy and controversial, represents a sport that gets the same headlines as brick and mortar stores; “Boxing is dead” or “Boxing is a dying sport”. You can replace brick and mortar in any of those headlines and find thousands of results on Google. This superfight, not only brings both sports to a height neither has seen in some time, but will create a new blended party for audiences.

Lines continue to blur between traditional brick and mortar shopping and e-commerce. Shoppers care more about bottom lines price and will go wherever that leads them, online or in store. These two worlds collide and coexist to consumers everyday while brands continue to struggle.

The $1.9 trillion e-commerce world shows no signs of slowing down, companies are facing more challenges managing product content across channels, and are losing revenue as a result.

A New Hybrid  

Thanks to e-commerce, online sales have scaled new heights, winning a growing percentage of the market every year. The Irishman, McGregor has made his own emergence from obscurity, much like MMA and e-commerce. The UFC Champion was said to be living out of his car just a few years ago. Now he is on the verge of a multi-million dollar pay day, bringing MMA into its largest spotlight to date. Regardless of who wins, audiences will fill the arena and create a new hybrid of both sports, leaving room for only growth.

An estimated  8,640 brick-and-mortar stores will close their doors in 2017, more than 2008 in the great recession (Zero Hedge 2017). Each retailer must look to online sales to keep consumers and both sides must concentrate on what the consumer wants/needs more than thinking of winning them for their side. This will not be a Blockbuster vs Netflix, we all know how that turned out, this battle is all about placement and willingness to adapt.

We have seen past dual sport athletes, Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders did it first by showing the cross over appeal. Now athletes like Tim Tebow and Brock Lesnar bring a different appeal to dual sports by sole mass appeal to the media. But this is not playing two sports separately, this is a head-to-head battle of two becoming one.

Weighing In

The weigh ins for a fighter are as mentally tough as they are physical. Today with regulations becoming stricter and heavier regulated in order to keep transparency and safety for fighters health, there is very little room for error.

Missing weight by 1 pound can result in losing millions of dollars from their fight purse, sponsors and overall brand loyalty. New industry regulations like UDI and SmartLabel have put pressure on companies to be more transparent in order to help consumers be more aware of the ingredients and processes used everyday. Bad data or ignoring consumer and federal guidelines can result in heavy profit loss, it would be as bad as not paying taxes ;)

Product information is becoming rich, robust, accurate and readily available to customers and consumers alike, and businesses are becoming more efficient, compliant, and transparent. Consumers want to know more about the products they buy and are basing purchasing decisions on the information available to them.

Companies that aren’t paying attention to larger trends will lose customers trust; the value of a cross channel approach is becoming a must in order to maintain trust loyalty and consistent experiences across every channel.

Follow us to know when part 2 drops next week…

References

“The Retail Bubble Has Now Burst: A Record 8,640 Stores Are Closing In 2017 – ZeroHedge” 22 April, 2017.  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-22/retail-bubble-has-now-burst-record-8640-stores-are-closing-2017

“Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales Will Reach $1.915 Trillion This Year – E-Marketer” 22 August, 2016.  https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Worldwide-Retail-Ecommerce-Sales-Will-Reach-1915-Trillion-This-Year/1014369

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.

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/>

What is the cost of bad product content to your organization?

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.

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

  • determining your data quality and how this positively impacts your business
  • leveraging the data you already have in GDSN for e-commerce and omni-channel purposes
  • global transparency initiatives

Now let’s hone in on the first product content challenge: data quality. No matter where you are on your product content journey, 1WorldSync Professional Services can help improve your data quality levels.

Data quality issues…the struggle is real

We hear the same challenges from all of our customers.

  • Suppliers have a large number of separate information stores and systems as well as other manual sources that house data for individual departments. It is difficult and expensive to integrate those connections.  With data replicated across the enterprise it is very challenging to align on ownership and establish data standards.
  • Data requirements change very quickly and can be hard to keep up with.  These changes can come from multiple places. They can be internally, market or recipient driven.  
  • A large amount of the 1WorldSync Supplier community is treating GDSN data separately from e-commerce data. This segregation can cause inconsistent or even conflicting consumer experiences for the same attributes, and ultimately cause harm to a brand.   

What’s the big deal around data quality?

Data quality is important for many reasons.  Some of the most popular reasons include:

  • Recipients are using the data you send them to drive their multi areas of their business as well as their e-commerce channels.  Do you, as a brand owner, want your recipients to clean your data and potentially impact your brand’s identity?
  • E-commerce recipients are requiring more and more data in order to sell on their websites.
  • Some e-commerce recipients are factoring in completeness and accuracy of data in search ranking and returns of your products.  Other recipients are applying penalties for suppliers who consistently underperform from a data quality perspective.    

Countdown to the Cosmo: Trusted Content, Anytime, Everywhere

1WorldSync is excited to join more than 1,000 partners in Las Vegas at GS1 Connect . For companies looking to upgrade their data quality capabilities, be sure to stop by the 1WorldSync booth (#17,18)!

Our professional services team invites you to receive your customized data quality report based on your existing items and take part in a 30 minute tailored consultation on your Consistency and Completeness against several key data quality performance indicators.

This is a great way to understand potential data quality issues with your current product content, how you rank against your peers, the impact on your business and what steps you can take to improve your data quality.

Sign up here for a 30 minute consultation during GS1 Connect!

It’s Time to Cash In With 1WorldSync At GS1 Connect!

Did you know that 53% of retailers and suppliers experience a knowledge gap within their organization when it comes to understanding the eCommerce landscape (1WorldSync)?

Don’t leave money on the table!

Channel readiness is a significant struggle throughout the value chain as e-commerce continues to evolve. In the dynamic world of digital commerce, retailers and suppliers are facing significant issues capitalizing on the opportunities within different channels.

1WorldSync is excited to join more than 1,000 partners in Las Vegas at GS1 Connect . We will demonstrate how our Product Information Cloud can deliver turnkey solutions to share and promote product content, ensure data accuracy, and optimize operational processes in today’s cross-channel world.

For companies looking to upgrade their e-commerce capabilities, be sure to stop by the 1WorldSync booth (#17,18) where we’ll be showcasing how you can connect, empower and build trust everytime, everywhere!

We’ll be hosting ‘Appy Hours’ where we’ll be demoing:

    • Customer Distribution Apps: Distribute content to specific recipient retailers, e-tailers or app providers. Each app includes the ‘Playlist’ of attribution expected by the merchant, the validation rules and the integration capability for distributing catalog in a compliant format to the merchant/app developer….
      • We’ll be highlighting our apps that enable access to adhere to Walmart, Kroger, Lidl, Alibaba & Amazon content & data specifications.
    • Compliance and Transparency Apps: Sell and trade in any geography, while meeting local regulatory mandates or consumer transparency expectations.
      • We’ll be highlight our capabilities for SmartLabel and Unique Device Identifier (UDI) compliance.
    • Enterprise Enablement Apps: Helping Sales, CRM and supply chain teams to engage customers and sell more.
      • We’ll be highlighting our capabilities  that enables easy creation of selling sheets, catalogs, slicks and other digital sales aids to help drive global sales.

Appy Hour Schedule:

Customer Distribution Apps June, 20th 12 – 1pm

June, 20th 6 – 7 pm

Compliance and Transparency Apps June, 20th 1-2 pm

June, 21st – 12 -1 pm

Enterprise Enablement Apps June, 20th 5 – 6 pm

June, 21st 1pm – 2pm

 

We invite you to stop by our booth # 17 & 18 and learn how we can help you ensure you’re not losing or leaving money on the table!

It’s time to cash out at GS1 Connect. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas.

References:

Charting Course for Global Commerce by 1WorldSync

The Struggle to Overcome Cross-Channel Commerce Challenges is Real

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

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.  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.

As the global $1.9 trillion e-commerce landscape continues to expand, companies are facing difficulties successfully managing cross-channel commerce across continents, supply chains, and software systems, and are losing revenue as a result. Some even doubt the value of investing in these capabilities. In a key finding nearly half of global merchants and suppliers report having lost at least a million dollars in revenue to cross-channel commerce challenges.

The study sheds light on the apparent struggles both ends of the supply chain face in a fast paced market places where Artificial Intelligence, and online/mobile commerce emerge as top trends for consumers.

Merchants and Suppliers Face Significant Roadblocks in Navigating Cross-Channel Commerce

Key findings suggest that a majority of merchants and suppliers are not fully prepared to meet the varied demands of modern customers. Channel readiness is a significant struggle throughout the supply chain as e-commerce continues to evolve. Other data highlights include:

  • Future investment plans don’t address current e-commerce weakness: Forty-five percent of merchants and suppliers have lost more than $1 million in revenue due to cross-channel commerce challenges, and more than one in ten (13 percent) have lost more than $3 million.
  • 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.
  • Merchants lag when it comes to cross-channel commerce: Fifty-one percent of merchants cannot support mobile commerce, and 80 percent don’t integrate product information management across web, mobile, applications, and physical stores.

Market Leaders Show the Path Forward

While many merchants and suppliers surveyed struggle with different aspects of the retail experience, there are clear lessons to be learned from market leaders (defined as companies that complete 51 percent or more of sales online). For companies looking to learn from these market leaders and upgrade their e-commerce capabilities, top action items include:

  • Invest now in cross-channel capabilities: Sixty-five percent of market leaders have dedicated more than 30 percent of their commerce budget to digital and mobile commerce expansion in the last year. Today, 73 percent of merchant market leaders can fully execute mobile commerce, nearly 20 percent more than market laggards. Investments here help in the short and long term.
  • Engage with a third-party content provider: Eighty percent of market leaders use a third-party content provider, which is undoubtedly one reason this group reports greater visibility between trading partners.
  • Migrate to the cloud: Ninety-five percent of supplier market leaders use a cloud-based product information system, which simplifies the online sales process and enhances supply chain efficiency.

Blurred Lines & Blended Commerce – The Changing Face of Retail

“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).

Download a copy of our full data study here.