Tag Archives: Omni-Channel

It’s Just Commerce!

Since I was a toddler, I have been exposed to multiple paradigm shifts within the marketplace that in one way or another are an attempt to reinvent how we as consumers buy things.

For me, it started with going to stores, or shopping in a catalog and then blossomed into the world of connected commerce today. Recently when I stepped back from the daily act of using my phone or computer to research and buy products I came to a realization, the revolutionary experience I have been leveraging was not all that different from when commerce started.

Commerce took a turn for increased accessibility to products and a centralized way to purchase multiple goods/services from one location. Trust, reviews, availability and price were still the cornerstones of commerce.

Customers trusted the store to offer friendly advice (owners & employees), have products on the shelves and if the prices weren’t right, the customer went to a different store. The main thing that changed was how the products were brought to the customer.

First Came The Big Box Retailers

You no longer needed to be concerned with selection, because the big box had “everything’ you could want. Stores got bigger allowing for greater availability, lower prices, and product insights from media outlets (newspapers, TV, Radio).

E-commerce has shaped our relationship with how we buy and sell products, but at it’s core e-commerce is just next evolution of catalog shopping The innovation is not the method or even commerce itself, but an expansion on the idea of getting any item even from the comfort of your couch.  

Bridging the gap between digital and physical does present a challenge for the retailers/e-tailers etc. as they are looking to make the trust, availability, price and review experience seamless across all avenues of purchase.

From Brick To Click

1WorldSync recently completed a data study that highlighted some of the key challenges suppliers and retailers face when trying to achieve true cross-commerce capabilities.  and uncovered key insights into the struggles that are faced in today’s omni-channel world.

Key findings suggest that a majority of merchants and suppliers are not fully prepared to meet the varied demands of modern customers. 45% of merchants and suppliers have lost more than $1 million in revenue due to challenges faced when integrating cross-channel capabilities into their commerce strategy (Source: 1WorldSync Data Study).

You can read more here about how 1WorldSync can you make your products stand out in a very crowded Omni-Channel world.

Sales Kit – Our secret to a successful sales department

Nowadays, “going shopping” doesn’t only entail seeing a product, adding it to the shopping basket, and then checking-out.

We are actively searching for our desired product online. In order to find more comprehensive details, we compare product descriptions, read reviews, and search for pictures and videos. Our shopping universe is digital not only in our private life, but also in a B2B environment. Continue reading

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!

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.

Digital Catalogs Drive Conversions

Are you at risk of losing share of the $23.4 trillion in worldwide e-commerce sales predicted for 2017? (Source: eMarketer)  

Today’s buyers and modern-day voyagers are tasked with navigating an ever-evolving e-commerce landscape. Companies are investigating newer and better strategies to meet the evolving demands of partners and consumers.

There’s huge opportunity for merchants and suppliers to use the digital channel to reach shoppers in a new way.

  • Have you ever wanted to send over your seasonal product collection to your buyers?
  • Would a mobile-friendly catalog with information enable your business to train your sales team more effectively?
  • Do you have the ability to give your smaller retailers a place to get your latest, up-to-date product information?
  • Are you ready to go digital, sell everywhere and deliver content efficiently?

Enter the Sales Kit App!

The 1WorldSync Sales Kit App, part of our Product Information Cloud, is a digital catalog that provides businesses with the ability to render their own Digital Catalog(s). Sales Kit mobilizes product content and enables the easy creation of selling sheets, catalogs, slicks and other digital sales aids.

Leveraging your company’s product data that’s been loaded into the 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud Sales Kit enables:

  • Creation of a public or private online catalog with complete product details
  • Delivery of field selling sheets, spec sheets, product slicks and other digital sales aids to help drive global sales
  • Power and drive sales through eCommerce, global websites and other digital applications

Are you ready to go digital, sell everywhere and deliver content efficiently? Digital Catalogs clearly help drive online sales for large and small brands. To learn more about the 1WorldSync Sales Kit, visit here.

Shoptalk 2017 Recap

It was a great week at Shoptalk 2017.  Connected Commerce is the name of the game…companies are mobilizing behind mobile and beyond!  From sessions on how online is going offline to rising mobile commerce in China;  with major retail and brand speakers like eBay, Nordstrom, Walmart, Kimberly-Clark, Mondelez, Samsung, HSN, Apple, Lowe’s and on and on and on….the discussions were insightful and engaging.  Not to mention the appearance of the Bumby’s for fair and honest appraisals of attendee appearances.

So for our loyal 1WorldSync followers, let’s boil it down on a few key insights relative to product content.

  • Shoppers will start and end their purchase journey in different places.  It’s a fact.  Brands and retailers alike must make their cross-channel commerce capabilities and content in those channels consistent, authentic and engaging.
  • Omni = Om-need…one speaker coined a phrased that omni really means om-need.  As a brand, you need to have your product content available when the shopper wants it, needs it, and when they ask for it.  Is it a Dash button?  Store Display? Alexa? Challenges abound!
  • Content is global, distribution is local.  Content is not “one-size-fits-all;” yet, brand reputation, recognition and market position has to be consistent globally.  However, consumers around the world consume that information differently – it must be tailored for local markets.  Product content strategies are following global commerce strategies and no longer siloed within channels.
  • The “connectivity of things” means product content is traveling and traversing mediums in exponential fashion.  Voice search to physical outcome is not easy.  Natural processing language and search context are just the start of challenges (or opportunities) facing retailers and brands on the consumer path to purchase.

All this points to the fact that connected commerce is growing, changing, evolving, iterating, exploding and imploding…all at once. Product content in this environment must be trustworthy, authentic, consistent, relevant and timely.  Brands and retailers need partners to help them in this quest for delivering frictionless commerce.  The eco-system is growing, these global power houses are choosing trusted, experienced experts to help them on their journey!

 

Thank you Shoptalk for another great year of rewriting the commerce blueprint!

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

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.

Still Struggling with the Complexities of Omni-Channel Retailing?

Blame it on the growing millennial generation’s one click mentality but instant gratification is shaping the future of retail.  Whether a baby boomer, generation Xer or millennial, in today’s world, consumers generally rely on e-commerce sites or apps to search for products, access information about those products and make purchases – when they want and how they want.  And retailers and manufacturers have listened to the omni-channel call and have acknowledged that in this multichannel age, consumers expect that the way they shop in store and online be the same.  In fact, with tech-savvy consumers demanding seamless shopping experiences across all channels, some 62% of retailers have responded by introducing Omni-Channel services, according to a survey by JDA Software Group.

Yet why are so few retailers doing it well?  Certainly, the benefits are extraordinary – companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement. (Aberdeen Group).  Some experts argue retailers are making strategic errors across phases of their omnichannel initiatives. Why is this so challenging? It’s not for lack of trying, as we see many companies are making the investment.   But the “how-to” on developing that seamless experience between brick-and-mortar, mobile and e-com – is the big knowledge gap.

Embrace the Consumer

Omnichannel efforts must be designed around the user, allowing them to move easily from one channel to the next.  Consumers of course, don’t consider them different channels, and frankly they don’t care.

Embrace a Unified Experience:

Provide customers with personalized recommendations across all your channels. Give your consumers a seamless experience and feelings on every channel. Take for example apparel/lifestyle brand, Vineyard Vines.  At last month’s Salesforce DreamForce event, they spoke about the importance of integrating dynamic ecommerce capabilities across all channels and devices.  Encompassing the catalog, website and store, they are connecting their brand to their customer in one seamless experience.

Embrace Predictive Commerce:

Predictive models and analytics can help businesses determine the intent of their customers and are valuable to track user behavior.  Done well, they enable online retailers to target consumers on the basis of their behaviors. Then retailers are in a great position to offer complementary and/or alternative products, search options, and brands, send targeted product promotions even when a shopper is offline.  The added bonus for retailers is that they’re able to keep visitors on their site longer to help prompt purchases.

Embrace Technology

Several technology trends — the proliferation of cloud services, easier integration through application programming interfaces (APIs) and big data and real-time analytics, among others — are enabling big retailers to converge the business, employee and customer processes of those physical and virtual stores in increasingly sophisticated and comprehensive ways.

This is where the 1WorldSync Omni-Channel solutions helps brands achieve success by providing access to authentic and trusted information helping businesses organize for cross channel sales growth by making their products digital, discoverable and highly shoppable. Request a consultation today and take the first step in overcoming the complexities of Omni-Channel retailing.