A recent headline: “Out of whack weather, gluttonous inventories and changing consumer spending patterns have shouldered much of the blame for sluggish retail sales.” Sluggish? Well, we tend to agree with Mark Twain on this. The reports of retail’s death are indeed greatly exaggerated. In fact, most retailers — including some large ones — are finding plenty of growth.
Picture this. You’re in line at the airport, waiting to board that 6am flight to Atlanta. You look to your left and notice the perfect smart carry-on luggage. You try to look more closely to capture the brand. As you board the plane, you take out your smartphone and Google the item name. You scroll for the product specs – the size, the color. A moment later, as you buckle your seatbelt, you hit ‘Add Item to Cart.’ The passenger sitting next to you pulls out the latest headphones du jour. Is it compatible with your laptop? You take out your smartphone again. What’s the show he’s streaming? Who’s that actor? Take out your smartphone and find out. They’re serving breakfast now and you wonder what’s healthier – the bagel & cream cheese or the poppy seed scone? No need to wonder, just check your smartphone one more time.
According to the National Retail Federation, 73% of back-to-school consumers plan to shop approximately a month or two before school starts. Armed with school supply lists and cranky kids, parents are beginning the annual pilgrimage for folders and number two pencils. But lists have become longer and more specific. And certainly college-bound students have precise notions about dorm room furnishings and decorations. A simple comforter will not do. Enter matching sheets, pillow cases, silverware and fancy lighting. These shoppers know what they want.
As any growing manufacturer and supplier, your products are your business. Pure and simple, your success is predicated on getting your products onto as many shelves – and screens – as possible. And as we’ve seen, customers determine when, where, and how they will interact with YOUR brand. Consumers search and shop in-store and online, they expect access to richer product information to make informed decisions. To remain truly “shoppable” and competitive, suppliers must deliver on that expectation. If not – customers will move on to someone who can. Not convinced? Take a look at these recent stats.
- 81% of consumers scour through product information online to find or verify the data about a product they are considering.
- Four in 10 (42%) shoppers say they’ve given up on an online purchase because they didn’t have enough information on the purchase.
- 88% of them say that detailed product content is extremely or very important to their purchasing decision.
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. 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 will disapprove relevant products that don’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.
At 1WorldSync, we’ve been helping thousands (21,000+ globally) of suppliers and brands to align on the product information governance strategy to apply GTIN standardization, AND implement for Google and beyond. We work with our customers to build scalable processes to capture their product information and scale globally across the portfolio of brands in an effort to ensure the highest impact, consistency, and levels of quality.
1WorldSync’s Omni-channel solutions helps suppliers and brand owners get their products to Google, Amazon, Walmart and beyond: mobile, desktop, storefront.
How shoppable are your products? Download are latest eBook “5 ways to grow your top line by making your products #SHOPPABLE everywhere?!
Summer Release Sneak Peek
- Foodservice Product Content Marketplace that will allow foodservice manufacturers to highlight their products to the long tail of foodservice distributors.
- Digital Catalog which allows you to take your product content in Catalog1 and create a rich online product catalog that can be used by your internal sales and customer service teams, browsed by your customers, and leveraged by your marketing teams.
- And several new apps that allows you to get your products Google, Walmart, Amazon and beyond!
Stay tuned for more information about our Summer Release!
It’s that time of year…spring is in the air. YoYo weather (hot one day, snow the next), debating the merits of iPhone6 vs iPhone 7, and counting the days until the Olympic Games in Rio.
But more importantly (really!), we’re waiting with baited breath for May 16 – the day the heavens will open on Google Shopping. For those of you who need a refresher:
“If you sell brand-name products that are sold by multiple merchants, you should take a close look at the new requirements and double-check that your product data is correct and up-to-date.”
Bottom line: If you are promoting products that have Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN), now is the time to make sure your feeds are updated to include them. Because come May 16, 2016, Google Shopping will start disapproving relevant products that don’t meet the GTIN requirements. And this isn’t just for the U.S. GTINs will be required when targeting ads in Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.
Doing it Now. You’re probably already including some of these, GTINs for most products in your feed for years. In mid-2015, Google Shopping started requiring all sellers who used its Google Shopping Campaigns to use GTINs in their product data for all SKUs across 50 handpicked brands. But now you need to include it for everything that’s a new brand-name product sold by multiple merchants.
What’s really important (and where 1WorldSync can really help) is that with this new GTIN update, Google Shopping is affirming the importance of data quality, which as we have learnt from experience contributes towards retailers’ bottom lines in more ways than one.
Shoppers Today: As consumers search and shop in-store and online, they expect access to richer product information to make informed decisions. They rely on trusted product information about products and services that may impact their health, belief systems, or nutritional well-being.
At 1WorldSync, we’ve been helping thousands and thousands of Retailers and Brands to align on the product information governance strategy to apply GTIN standardization, AND implement for google and beyond.
Talk to us about how we can help you map the product information footprint of your customer base, to win in the YoYo world that blurs the line between digital and physical commerce.
The capabilities of 1WorldSync’s Product Information Cloud are growing! Since December, we have been actively releasing new functionality to Catalog1 and Communities.
Catalog1, a solution to distribute content easily with a rich contextual GUI, look and feel is shared with TAG: an attribute rationalization and reporting tool that allows users to interact with industry, recipient and regulatory requirements called “playlists.”
Our latest release introduced:
- Smart Label Solution offering a seamless and efficient way to fulfill the industry initiative requirements and easily generate a Rich Product Content page for all of your products.
- 1WorldSync Communities “Chatter” provides the ability for customers, industry groups, like communities to collaborate, learn, inform and relate on key topics and initiatives.
- Get your products to Google Manufacturer Center to meet their online requirements, with Catalog1
- Click here to view a demonstration of key Winter Release capabilities
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about adding Catalog1, Content1 or Chatter capabilities to your existing subscriptions.
According to Peter Drucker, “Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.” But with the pace of innovation and technology quickening we might want to think on using a new portmanteau; TECHNOVATION.
Technovation suggests that marketers must recognize the accelerating pace of evolving technology, now inextricably linked to adapting consumers, while adjusting our comprehension and organizational structures to embrace not just the obvious, e.g., big data and analytics, but also how consumers, themselves, view their online and offline lives as part of a seamless whole. Marketers must understand that technovation is not only about understanding what consumers are doing with technology, but also what technology is doing to them.
Mary Meeker of KPCB notes that since 2008, the time an adult spends on digital media has gone from 2.7 to 5.6 hours per day, and that mobile has increased from 12 percent of that time spent to 51 percent. In June 2015, Pew Research noted that a fifth of Americans are ‘almost constantly’ online, with 36 percent of 18 to 29 year olds reporting they are ‘almost constantly’ online. Nielsen recently reported, in the desirable 18 to 34 year old demographic, that 8.5 million people per minute now use smartphones and other TV connected devices, surpassing 8.1 million per minute that use traditional TV screens.
In his book “Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy” Kit Yarrow opines, “our use of technology has changed our psychology” including for innovation optimism, consumer empowerment, faster thinking, symbol power, and new ways of connecting.
The Ericson Institute, in a just released study representing 1.1 billion people across 24 countries found that constantly having a screen in the palm of your hand is not always a practical solution, however. Prognosticators now believe this technology will be a thing of the past, perhaps in fewer than five years.
What might make this forecast a reality? The Internet-of-Things has already taken hold, and Virtual Reality now has a purchase on popular imagination. Watch for a plethora of new form factors, from flexible screens, to wearables, to implantables. The computing power driving this technology is readily available and rapidly evolving. IBM has Watson, and Google claims its “D-Wave Quantum Computer” will be 100 million times faster than any of today’s machines. If true, D-Wave could theoretically solve a mathematical problem within seconds that would take today’s digital computer 10,000 years to calculate.
This kind of computing power, linked to Artificial Intelligence, coupled with new user form factors, will drive innovation for the next era of digital communication making possible – quite literally – commerce-at-the-speed-of-thought.
A brave new world is upon us, taking shape around us and with all of us as participants and innovators in our own right.
Hail the consumer!
This year the 2015 Annual User Group Europe will be co-located with GS1 Germany’s ECR Tag at the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany. Join us for an evening of networking and a full day (September 21 – 22) of engagement with your trading partners and industry peers. At AUG Europe, we will help you gain knowledge on critical implementation practices and intelligence on CPG/Grocery. Hardlines and Healthcare industry insights and trends. If your role involves a focus in Master Data Quality, Regulatory Compliance, Supply Chain Processes or E-commerce, then this conference is for you!