Tag Archives: featured

A Connected Lifestyle for 2017

We are all living a Connected Life in 2017.

Connected and mobile commerce is a way of life for us all and businesses are striving to leverage this connectivity to improve consumer safety, the customer experience and increased market penetration.   The growth of cross-channel commerce is a core component of every business plan, regardless of industry or geography.

Global market leaders embrace product content as vital to their engagement with business partners and customers.  Trusted content turns that engagement level into commitment.  Every business leader knows that more content is better, but what we have all learned is that trustworthy information is often the difference between loyal, repeat consumers and lost sales; or worse injury from lack of available product information.

The Smart Label initiative for consumer goods and EUDAMED and the FDA UDI regulations for medical device labeling initiatives, provide guidance for companies on which content is needed to aid patient safety and provide consumers with information to make health and wellness decisions.  However, in the absence of regulations, what content is needed, which channels, and how frequently?  These are problems many companies are challenged with in 2017.  Digital content is a requirement, not a luxury; and the proliferation of the content consistently remains obstacles to be overcome for all industries globally.

In the 1WorldSync data study launching in April, Charting the Course for Global Commerce, over 400 global respondents reported thirty-nine percent of merchants cannot support mobile commerce, and 68 percent have yet to integrate product information management capabilities across web, mobile apps and in store.  Establishing a connected commerce platform remains elusive for many companies.

The 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud solutions continue to evolve and leverage both industry best practices and best in breed technologies to assist our community in overcoming many of the connected commerce challenges: from UDI and Healthcare solutions in Asia, Europe & the Americas to Hazmat solutions and retail apps for increased sales and market penetration.

The Connected Life is a reality for consumers, patients, brands, suppliers, hospitals, governments, retailers and distributors….Everywhere, Every Day.

March Madness Hangover

So it’s April… but at 1WorldSync, we are experiencing nostalgia or better yet a March Madness Hangover!

March Madness is all about constantly checking your bracket, placing bets, arguing with friends, and of course now believing you can now play in the NBA. The American Gaming Association predicts that more than 40 million Americans wager $10.4 billion on March Madness, a 13 percent increase over 2016. They also predict the madness will cost employers $2.1 billion in lost productivity (American Gaming Association 2017).

Brands and retailers, while taking advantage of the consumer’s need for related product, battle the loss of productivity. In effect, they create their own strange connection to the tournament.  Many historic brands are not having their best year ( Macy’s, Sears, KMart, Sports Authority) and even simply the old mom and pop store) are falling off our bracket.

March Madness = Marketing Magic

March is a slow time in the sports advertising world with little competition, creating a retail season of its own. Tapping into the fans’ feelings and providing a personalized experience will help produce brand loyalty.

Not only are consumers socially active via mobile, they show high engagement with the companies that speak to them during the games. Food and beverage are obviously big buyers for advertising in the tournament. Yahoo Data showed that in 2016 ad purchases paid off heavily (Yahoo Data, 2017):

  • Wing orders were up 24%
  • Pizza orders were up 17%
  • Sponsored apparel site searches were up 33%

Generating this excitement can be easy for companies of all sizes. There is enough room for smaller players as well.  Thinking local, social and timely can help revolutionize your customer experience, turning fans, into customers.

Win Consumers on Their Path To Purchase With 1WorldSync

Clearly, today’s world of commerce is ever changing and there is no perfect bracket. Why else would Warren Buffet give up $1 million to anyone who had one?

Similarly, trying to match the convenience and needs of consumers with personalized and trusted product content is no easy feat.

Looking for a whitepaper to help equip your organization with strategies that set you apart? 

Download our latest whitepaper to learn more about connected commerce and see how your organization can develop an operational backbone to support your e-commerce investments.

March Madness has become an annual event all consumers and retailers get caught up in. Whether it is the gut wrenching emotional pull,  money on the line, the right for office bragging rights or the excitement of seeing a Cinderella story,  it has created a month of madness that cannot be missed!

 

References

March Madness Betting to Top $10 Billion. March 13, 2017. https://www.americangaming.org/newsroom/press-releasess/march-madness-betting-top-10-billion

How bracket time can be a slam dunk for marketers. Feb 17, 2017.
https://advertising.yahoo.com/insights/how-bracket-time-can-be-slam-dunk-marketers?soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma

Omni-Channel Starter Kit for GS1 Member Organizations – The Launch

Digital Product Content is now as strategically important for any company as the product itself. It’s become key for brands and retailers to seamlessly connect all of their online and offline sales channels creating an “cross- commerce” shopping experience, requires clearing multiple hurdles before brands will find success. A cross-commerce shopping experience  is about the virtual world coming together with the physical world seamlessly so that the consumer or contractor’s experience is frictionless. Continue reading

1WorldSync Announces Improved User Interface (UI) Available to WS|Publishing Users

You Asked, We Listened! 

At 1WorldSync, we’ve always valued the voice of our customers and over the past four years, we’ve implemented new functionality to meet the ever increasing demands of suppliers and retailers.

We’ve heard from our customers that their User Experience needed improvement and this year we’re excited to announce we’re delivering on our promise.

I sat down with Stefan Schweikart, CIO at 1WorldSync to understand what went into the new User Interface and how we partnered with our customers to increase the efficiency and user-friendliness of our solutions.

What can our customers expect with the new User Interface?

What you will see is the culmination of months of dedication from the 1WorldSync design and engineering teams who were obsessed with delivering a platform that would allow our customers to work faster and more efficiently, and strengthen their client relationships.

The new UI offers improved navigation, a new dashboard that allows for quicker interactions, new design of item editor and simpler creation and maintenance of packaging hierarchies.

In addition, the new, intelligent GPC-service offers you suggestions for the correct product classification based on the product name. The result is an intuitive, easy-to-use tool that vastly simplifies the user experience.

How did 1WorldSync partner with our clients to gather and implement their feedback?

With our customer centric heritage, we continued to listen to our customers and proactively engaged with them every step of the way in this project. We analyzed our customers’ individual behaviors to determine ways to improve and simplify their user experience.

Measuring user experience is not an easy task, as it’s all about what users think and feel thus for this reason we also utilized the System Usability Scale (SUS), giving a global view of subjective assessments of usability. We collected metrics based on quantitative data collected during user testing sessions and contextual interviews.

They SUS was very valuable in helping us source quantitative information. We collected as much data as we could so that we could have a clear picture on what improvements must be rolled out.

To improve the usability we also followed the ISO standards 9241 with significant tools like:

  • Definition of user groups and personas
  • Contextual interviews in each of the defined user groups
  • Usage tests with thinking aloud
  • Prototyping and immediate testing
  • An open testing period in a separate beta environment with over 230 test users performing more than 400 various tests

When will the improvements be available?

The improvements were made available Friday, March 3rd for all WS|Publishing users starting. To find out more about the list of improvements visit here.

NHS continues with GDSN implementation plans

The NHS (National Health Service England) announced in their January 2017 Case Study they will continue with their Global Data Synchronization Network™ (GDSN) roll-out now.

The Case Study confirms that GDSN is the right process to deploy for manufacturers to send all their product content to 154 trusts in the UK; with official implementations deadlines as early as September 2017 for the initial product categories.  Continue reading

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.