Tag Archives: product information

What Makes a Trend… a Trend?

Rubik’s Cube.  Leg Warmers.  Juicers.  Boom Boxes.  Atari, Tivo, Game Boys. Chances are good that you bought in to one of the many product trends from the last couple of decades.  After all, whether its fashion, toys, gaming or foods (think “artisanal” cheese), who can resist jumping on a trendy bandwagon?  Admittedly, some trends are best left to the pop culture history books, but today – in 2016 – we’re seeing a definite trend towards trends becoming more than trends (did you get that?).

Consider eCommerce.  It was only 15 years or so ago that online sales were left to Amazon or eBay. For others in retail, online shopping was a nice add-on.   The theory was that the consumer wouldn’t abandon the brick and mortars.  Consumers wanted to see, touch and hold their purchases. So what was considered a trend in the year 2000 (15 ½ million households shopped online in September 2000), has evolved into a full-fledged way of life (spending a total of $4.2 billion online – an average of $272 per person).  Today, consumers are spending an average of $2,466 per person on online purchases.  Even traditional grocery items are added to the list, with online grocery growing at nearly twice the rate of any other industry.

Convenience, value and the proliferation of mobile devices have been key drivers in changing consumer shopping behaviors.  So what’s a growing retailer to do?  How can retailers capitalize on current eCommerce buying trends, while building for the future?

  1. Invest in digital technologies that enhance the Omni-Channel experience whether in-store, online or anytime. For example, consider tools that enable online chats and video merchandising to help describe and demonstrate how an item looks or works.  Curated content, suggested buys & upsell, on-line shelves and eCarts are varied components of an engaging on-line shopping experience. Walmart recently announced making a move to marry the retailer’s online and mobile assets with its 11,500 stores worldwide..  According to Fortune Magazine, “Walmart said it was merging to the two divisions to create a new unit called ‘Walmart Technology.’ Walmart pointed to the recent launch of its Walmart Pay mobile payment service as an example of the kind of collaboration between the teams that it hopes the merger will spur.”
  1. Offer a convenient shopping experience that responds to the consumer path to purchase. One-stop-shopping convenience is no longer about selling everything from a single supercenter or website. It’s more profitably targeted at giving a seamless Omni-Channel experience to shoppers who are budgeting for both time and money. Consider retailers that are offering services that combine their in-store and digital capabilities, for example ‘click-to-curb’ for groceries, ‘site to store’ at mass retailers or virtual dressing rooms for apparel.
  1. Content, content, content…did we mention Content?

We encourage retailers to focus on enhanced content and content distribution strategies to provide differentiated levels of product information for customers and consumers.  As research indicates, rich content, more content and trusted content will make a consumer click BUY NOW and continue as a repeat customer online and in-store.  Conversely, if a consumer cannot see a picture of the product they want to buy…they go elsewhere, and likely never return.

What sets a seller of goods apart from competition is their ability to give the buyer what they want, how they want, where they want it, when they want it.  Omni-Channel is not a trend – it is a full-fledged way of commerce and consumerism: yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The Omni Channel Challenge – 3 Tips on How your Organization can transition to a full customer shopping experience

“Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get.” ~ Nelson Boswell

“The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.” ~ Jerry Gregoire

“Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you.” ~ Mark Cuban

We love a good quote.  But three stellar quotes about the customer experience?  Absolutely irresistible.  Because as it relates the world of retail, we know that businesses are knee-deep in adopting new standards and technologies to improve and enhance the customer’s shopping experience.  After all, it’s the customer that now defines retailing, transcending channels to shop exactly the way they want to shop, whether online or in-store.  And their expectations are significant.  With a shopping basket in one hand and a smartphone in the other, shoppers also turning to mobile to do research, compare prices and even make their final purchase.

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5 Tips for Moving Business Online After the Era of “Black Friday”

It’s December 2015 and Black Friday is behind us.  I mean that in a literal sense (2 weeks have now passed) but also in the sense of The End of an Era.

Per retail analysis firm Shopper Track, Black Friday 2015 showed a 10.4% drop year-over-year in physical store sales since 2014.  This drop is unprecedented, and is attributed to consumers shopping over a longer span of time and taking advantage of the convenience (and safety!) of the online marketplace.

Meanwhile, Cyber Monday was reported by Adobe Digital Index to be the largest online sales day ever in the US, up 16% from 2014 to top $3 Billion.

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4 Steps to making your product information Omni-present for Walmart.com and Beyond

Just as the leaves are turning from green to auburn brown this Fall, our attention turns to the holiday season. The time of the year when consumers are getting ready to spend for the Holidays.  The leaves aren’t the only thing changing, however,  shopping habits have been immeasurably impacted by conscious consumers and smart mobile devices.  According to Andreessen Horowitz:

By 2020 over 80% of adults on earth will have a smartphone, and most of them preferring to conveniently discover and purchase products from their laps or the palm of their hand.

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Food Safety has Life-Altering Consequences

History was made this week as a former CEO received the largest penalty ever for a food poisoning outbreak case because his product contained a deadly disease. This ruling will inevitably cause a fundamental shift in how future outbreaks are handled, by the courts and the foodservice industry alike. Food manufacturers are now on high alert that there are major repercussions for not complying with food safety regulations.

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Regulatory Compliance and Beyond

Globally, businesses are experiencing the same challenge: they need robust, trusted, accurate product information. Consumers are demanding it, trading partners are requiring it, and governments are mandating it. While meeting consumer and customer demands are certainly a driver for change, regulatory mandates with tangible repercussions for non-compliance push businesses into action.

Organizations all over the world are being driven by local, federal, and global regulations to streamline their product information distribution systems for accuracy and transparency. Its impacting multiple industries; EU1169 in the foodservice and FMCG/CPG industry, UDI in the Healthcare industry, GHS in the DIY/Hardlines industry. Organizations are being compelled to act and in the process of assessing the scope and impact, are seizing the opportunity to achieve additional benefits.

Global organizations are seeing that readying product information for regulatory compliance comes with valuable byproducts. As internal systems are evaluated and streamlined to achieve compliance, additional business benefits are being achieved; supply chains are becoming optimized for efficiency, processes for data quality and accuracy are being implemented, and e-comm initiatives are being powered and supported. Product information is becoming rich, robust, accurate and readily available to customers and consumers alike, and businesses are becoming more efficient, compliant, and transparent.

Mondelez International is a shining example of how readying product information for regulatory compliance can transform systems and enable trusted, transparent product information exchange. Their approach of implementing a single global solution across all markets not only prepared their data for EU1169 compliance, but empowered their business for critical omni-channel initiatives. Read more about how Mondelez International met their regulatory deadline and then some!

4 Steps to Delivering High Quality Product Information Using the GDSN

The need for product information is on the rise; everyone wants it and everyone needs it. From your procurement officer to your end consumer, product information is impacting your business’s bottom line. Whether that impact is positive or negative is greatly dependent on the quality of your product information. Enabling your business to deliver high quality product information sets your business up for success in today’s market place. As the global leader in enabling trusted product information exchange, 1WorldSync has identified 4 key steps to delivering quality product information to trading partners:

  1. Understand what information is needed to support your products
    a. Discover what information is needed to register your items within the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN)
    i. Some required information needed to register your items in the Global Registry includes:
    1. Global Location Number (GLN)
    2. Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN), make sure to follow the GTIN allocation rules
    3. Understanding how to build Product Hierarchies
    b. Visit the Landing pages of the Recipients you wish to publish data to in order to understand the specific content requirements each recipient is looking for on your products.
    i. Understand what Top-off attributes are needed to ensure a complete item record is published to your recipients. These may or may not be part of a standard GDSN attribute set.
    ii. Some of the Recipients have provided a portal for you to see their entire requirements. An example of this is Kroger’s VIP Portal access.
    iii. Utilize tools like The Attribute Graph (TAG) to gain further insight into the requirements across multiple recipients at one time.
  2. Build up a process for information gathering and governance to ensure you product records meet the information needs of your recipients.
    a. Gather the needed information or attributes of your product discovered during step 1. These attributes may be stored in several locations across your organization.
    i. GDSN Core
    ii. Recipient Core
    iii. Recipient Extended information sets
    iv.  Digital Assets
    b. Instituting a foundation of Data Governance at the start
    i. Understanding who owns the information or attributes and values within your organization
    ii. Is there a cleanup processed needed on your information to ensure it meets all requirements discovered in Step 1?
  3. Determine the right distribution method to get your content to your recipients through GDSN
    a. Automated information uploads and publications utilizing XML
    b. Manual Portal entry
    c. Select a data loading service
  4. Maintain and Support your product information. Once you synchronize your information to the recipient, the process has not finished.  There may be specific clarifications or inconsistencies that you need to address.  Also recipients are continuing to expand their need for information on your products.
    a. Review Data Accuracy Score Cards provided by recipients to highlight information challenges.
    b. Stay up to date on the latest recipient requirements
    i. Landing Pages
    ii. TAG
    c. Utilize the business and governance processes put into place during step 2.
    i. Information is constantly changing as marketing and brand owners continue to customize and position their products towards specific end consumers. These changes in information need to flow to your recipients to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction for your products.
    ii. Digital Assets are the face of your product in a digital world. If there are changes to the package, a new image is needed.

Read more about how global industry leaders are leveraging 1WorldSync to enable their businesses for trusted product information exchange. Click here to learn more.

The Power of 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud

As an avid reader of Bloomberg Businessweek, I was excited to see cloud technology, code, data management, everything that we, 1WorldSync, live and breathe, dominating the June 2015 issue. It got me thinking, how do we as a world, as an industry, as a business, educate decision makers on:

  • ‘Understanding and unlocking’ the value of the cloud?
  • Understanding the power and presence of data?

It is a new frontier, a ‘Data Revolution’, and the healthcare industry, specifically, is on the proverbial cliff ready to jump in head first. With the ongoing transformation of the U.S. healthcare delivery system, supply chain has become a key component to meeting organizational goals by driving clinical value, implementing innovation, and delivering operational efficiency. In order to fulfil its multifaceted objectives, supply chain is engaging with various stakeholders in pursuit of a common mission to foster a coordinated healthcare delivery system. Specifically, the impact of the ‘Data Revolution’ and the ‘Big Data’ explosion on the healthcare industry has spurred the creation of governmental and regulatory mandates, such as the Unique Device Identification (UDI) regulation set forth by the FDA. The UDI regulation require all medical device manufacturers to publish complete and accurate product information to the Global UDI Database (GUDID). To comply with the regulation, all medical device manufacturers must publish all required medical device product attributes to the GUDID by the specified time or face strong consequences.

Whether it’s in the form of regulatory compliance, seamless deployment along the supply chain, expanded storage, or collaborative networks or solutions, companies and businesses are looking to improve their top and bottom lines, and trusted product information is proving itself as a time and cost saver with the ability to help businesses grow. This is the core of 1WorldSync services and solutions. By building genuine business relationships and developing detailed strategic solutions 1WorldSync services address the most critical challenges within organizations in support of supply chain efficiency and regulatory compliance.

Join 1WorldSync at AHRMM15 to explore key ideas, trends, and best practices around building strategic stakeholder engagement, with an emphasis on supply chain perspective. Visit 1WorldSync at booth 924 and learn how the leaders in data pool management solutions and services can support your business for trusted product information exchange.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

OUR Mission:

To be the Healthcare industry leader in product information exchange and the change agent that drives the industry forward through global regulatory compliance and improving healthcare standards.

Transforming the Global Healthcare Landscape

Blog originally featured in Supply & Demand Chain Executive business magazine on July 20, 2015.

The effects of inaccurate product information across the supply chain are tremendous, particularly in the healthcare industry where its implications can mean the difference between wellness and illness, life and death. In recent years, the impact of flawed product information ricocheted through the healthcare supply chain, resulting in significant challenges to the industry, driving increases in operational costs and impacting the quality of patient care.

Healthcare reform, increased transparency and traceability requirements, and poor data quality are just a few of the elements that are contributing to greater costs of doing business for healthcare organizations. In the meantime, product recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts weakened government and consumer trust in the industry, resulting in greater scrutiny and heavier governmental regulation. In an industry that is global by nature, the necessity for a standardized approach to supply chain management is imperative to keep costs down, and ensure the safety and well-being of end recipients.

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Be Efficient. Be Compliant. Be Transparent.

This year more than 250 1WorldSync community members gathered in Austin, Texas for 1WorldSync Annual User Group, Americas to collaborate on hot topics under the theme: Be Efficient. Be Compliant. Be Transparent. With informative sessions addressing key industry pain points relating to supply chain efficiencies, regulatory compliance and any channel commerce, Annual User Group, Americas attendees heard how leaders in their community are addressing challenges and empowering their businesses for trusted product information exchange. As part of the dynamic agenda, fourteen 1WorldSync customers took the stage to share their success stories and attendees were treated to a special preview of The Attribute Graph (TAG) by 1WorldSync’s Chief Marketing Officer, Nick Parnaby.

The Fifth Annual Power of 1 Awards rounded out the event with General Mills, The Kellogg Company, Knights Apparel, McDonalds, Mondelez International and Walgreens each taking home an award for their significant contributions to product information exchange initiatives and the 1WorldSync community.

As the Diamond Sponsor of GS1 Connect 2015, which was co-located with 1WorldSync Annual User Group, Americas, 1WorldSync enjoyed an array of opportunities to continue to build upon the Be Efficient. Be Compliant. Be Transparent. theme. 1WorldSync CEO, Nihat Arkan, introduced the Wednesday keynote speaker to the GS1 Connect audience and 1WorldSync was the primary sponsor of the Wednesday night networking event, GS1 Connect on Rainey Street. Attendees to the 1WorldSync booth experienced the product information journey in the digital world, attended informative Major Release 3 1:1 sessions and engaged with leading recipients Target Corporation, The Kroger Company, Sam’s Club, SuperValu and Walmart.

New for 2015, 1WorldSync launched the 1WorldSync Events App which brought 1WorldSync and customer collateral, as well as dynamic community engagement right into the hands of attendees. The overwhelmingly positive feedback has ensured that 1WorldSync Annual User Group, Europe attendees will enjoy a similar digital experience. All in all, the week was a great success and we are excited to extend that success to 1WorldSync Annual User Group, Europe in September!