Tag Archives: Omni-Channel

Product Content Is Your Brand’s Competitive Differentiator in an Omni-Channel World

No single formula, algorithm or crystal ball can tell you for sure when and why each individual customer will make a purchase.

However, it’s clear that having a clearly defined omni-channel strategy is key. The word ‘omni-channel’ has been a buzzword the past few years, but what does it actually mean?

According to the dictionary omni-channel denotes or relates to a type of retail that integrates the different methods of shopping available to consumers (e.g., online, in a physical store, or by phone).

HubSpot defines it as: “the ability to deliver a seamless and consistent experience across channels, while factoring in the different devices that consumers are using to interact with your business.”

Key to Omni-Channel Success: Product Content

Regardless of your definition, the key to success in omni-channel retailing is product content. Consumers rely on access to information about products they are considering purchases. Thus,  the way businesses inform, educate and engage customers and consumers using product information must be robust and accurate.

Trusted product content is king when is comes to delivering a consistent experience across channels. The quality of a product matters less to a consumer than the quality of the product content.

Product content that includes images, information, and data about the product is playing a larger role in brands’ omni-channel effectiveness. Today, consumers are leveraging product content across the path to purchase for informed data driven decision-making.

To satisfy a consumer’s quest for information, brands must ensure that the right product content is available across channels, including online, mobile, and in-store. To master omni-channel commerce, retailers must create and distribute product content across channels.

Product content includes:

  • Product images (including a variety of formats, resolutions and angles)
  • Packaging attributes (e.g., dimensions, weights)
  • Product attributes (e.g., ingredients, nutritional values)
  • Product highlights (romance copy, directions, warnings and marketing claims)

The role product content plays in a brand’s omni-channel effectiveness is rather straight-forward:

  • Product images and information are necessary to engage with consumers across the path to purchase.
  • Product content is essential to meet retailers’ requirements so they can market and sell products across channels.
  • Product data is used to automate and feed internal systems (e.g. warehousing, transportation, ordering, etc.) to ensure operations can meet demand profitably.

The Struggle is Real for Omni-Channel Retailing

However, the struggle is real when it comes to success with omni-channel commerce. According to 1WorldSync’s report ‘Charting a Course for Global Commerce’ found that 80% of merchants struggle to aggregate and distribute complete, consistent and trusted product information across all channels.

The increasing detail required for product content is not the only factor adding to the complexity.

Brands owners’ challenge in providing this content – quickly and cost-effectively – is made more difficult by the internal silos in most companies. In any given organization, product images might be managed by Marketing, product dimensions by Category Management or Logistics, ingredients by R&D and other details by yet other departments.

To transform product content from an obstacle to an omni-channel advantage, brands can follow these best practices.

  1. Break Down Organizational Silos: In many companies, online stores are operated by a specific “digital” team, while physical stores are run by yet another operations team. Further, there may be another team responsible for GDSN data. This siloed structure inside an organization can result in a fragmented customer experience. Silos must be broken down. There is no longer such thing as in-store merchandise vs online merchandise. The channel is different, however the product content supporting the product remains the same. Thus it’s more important than ever to have a holistic strategy for consolidating and distributing product content across the organization.
  2. Leverage 1 Solution to Enable Omni-Channel Retailing: You cannot keep up with the ever increasing demand for product content, unless you have a holistic strategy that addresses the entire project. By enabling products to stand out in a crowded omni-channel world, 1WorldSync delivers rich and trusted product content, including digital assets and insights – to engage customers and consumers – regardless of location or medium. 1WorldSync’s Omni-Channel solutions helps leading retailers capitalize on product information to drive conversion. 1WorldSync works exclusively to feed companies like Amazon and Walmart GDSN and eCommerce data. Additionally, 1WorldSync customers can publish and make updates to their 1WorldSync data pool product information and enrich their product information for cross-channel commerce, enabling global content distribution and syndication for all your product information.

Watch our video below and learn how you can organize for cross-channel sales growth!

 

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References:

  1.  https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/mastering-the-art-of-omni-channel-personalization

1WorldSync 2017 Working Group Day in Review

We’re happy to say that our 1WorldSync Working Group Day on September 14, 2017, at the GS1 Germany Knowledge Center in Cologne, Germany was a total success.

80 attendees from 9 different countries represented 52 different companies in America and Europe to network, discuss industry trends, best practices and strategies on Data Quality, Supply Chain Enablement, Transparency, Compliance, and Omni-Channel Commerce.

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Omni-Channel Shoppers: An Emerging Reality for Retailers

Did you know that 45% percent of merchants and suppliers have lost more than $1 million in revenue due to challenges faced when integrating cross-channel capabilities (1WorldSync Data Study 2017)?

According to Nick Manzo, Omni-Channel Lead, at 1WorldSync, “Without establishing a firm foundation, brands can’t handle the challenges that a smooth omnichannel experience entails. However, brands that invest in the right technology and implement proactive measures are more likely to succeed regardless of how sales channels or customer expectations evolve.” (Total Retail 2017).

Blurred Lines & Blended Commerce: It’s an Omni Channel World After All!

With the recent acquisition of Whole Foods, it is a bold statement that Amazon is serious about brick-and-mortar and at the same time this step finally fully validates cross-channel commerce as the future of grocery (Bloomberg 2017).

As the lines between online and in store have blurred, Amazon has realized that location will be a key driver for commerce success. Having access to Whole Foods’ 431 existing stores, gives them valuable distribution centers to bring fresh, localized products directly to customers. Amazon was also likely motivated to reach Whole Foods’ millennial audience and develop loyalty with the younger, more quality-conscious consumer.

Are you ready to make your products digital, discoverable and highly shoppable?

  1. Invest in Cross Channel Capabilities
  2. Commit to a third-party content provider
  3. Embrace the cloud

By enabling products to stand out in a crowded omni-channel world, 1WorldSync delivers rich and trusted product content, including digital assets and insights – to engage customers and consumers – regardless of location or medium. 1WorldSync’s Omni-Channel solutions helps leading retailers capitalize on product information to drive conversion.  

Watch our video below and learn how you can organize for cross-channel sales growth!

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 1WorldSync Digital Catalog

The 1WorldSync Digital Catalog provides businesses with the ability to render their own Digital Catalog(s).  Digital Catalog 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 Digital Catalog 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. 

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