Tag Archives: shopping

Alibaba’s Astounding Success In Changing The Face Of Global E-Commerce

Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, ranks as the world’s 18th richest man and 1st in Asia. He is worth $37.4 billion, according to the Forbes real-time billionaires list. His formula for success?

“I’m not a tech guy. I’m looking at the technology with the eyes of my customers, normal people’s eyes.”

Tapping Into New Market Potential With Alibaba…Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’!

On Sept. 8, at the party commemorating Alibaba’s 18th birthday, the Chinese e-commerce mogul, paid an ambitious tribute to the ultimate showman – Michael Jackson.

He has a reason to celebrate his company’s 18th birthday in style. The company’s stock has endured a rally since January 2017, and its valuation recently passed the $400 billion mark—putting it just a short distance behind Amazon. Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall e-commerce sites offer everything via distributors; from clothing and electronics to food and services on the platforms.  

“By year 2035, we will be the fifth largest economy in the world,” Jack Ma says of Alibaba.

A couple years ago, Ma outlined Alibaba’s strategy during a speech at the Economics Club of New York, according to company president Michael Evans.

“Our (Alibaba’s) U.S. strategy is not to sell products to U.S. consumers. Our U.S. strategy is to connect retailers, brands and small businesses with the Chinese consumer,” Evan said. “Our edge is a massive base of consumers in China, more than 500 million of which are on our platform. As that consumer base moves in the middle class, one thing we know, based on our data and activity on our platform today, is that they are more and more focused on buying high quality American products.”

Alibaba’s ‘New Retail’ Concept: Black Or White?

Alibaba Founder and Chairman Jack Ma coined the term “New Retail” in a letter to Alibaba’s shareholders in October last year. Ma said, “Pure e-commerce will be reduced to a traditional business and replaced by the concept of New Retail―the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain.” We believe that this is very much how next-generation commerce will look globally, with large retailers and niche category specialists leveraging technology to provide an integrated service with the consumer at its core.

The “New Retail” concept adopts advanced cloud computing technologies, including big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to study the data generated from various aspects of the brands. This will greatly improve the online and offline buying experience for consumers.

Gain Control Over Your Product Content..Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough!

You may or may not sell your products on Alibaba platforms directly but your products may be currently sold by distributors on Alibaba. This is why it’s in your utmost interest as brand owner to gain back control over the quality and comprehensiveness of the product content used by the distributors selling your products.

Alibaba and 1WorldSync Call For Trusted Content

To help Alibaba in their quest for an improved product experience driven by brand identity and quality standards, they brought 1WorldSync, the trusted global source of authentic product content, on board. The goal is to improve the accuracy and trustworthiness of product content and therefore protecting brands against counterfeiters.

Learn more about how to tap into new market potential with Alibaba!

NRA, NSA and NBA..I have heard of those, but what is NRF?

Do you ever feel like all you do is translate acronyms for a living? In this day and age we all need a playbook and glossary to understand industry terms, customer’s language and our own organizations lexicon. As we interact more with new industry acronyms, we tend to forget that not everyone can understand the distorted alphabet coming out of our mouth.

During my time at 1WorldSync, I have become fluent in GS1, Walmart, AutoZone and several others. Why do I label them like languages? Because they are. An organization that makes products is called a manufacturer right?

Well, in 1WorldSync, this organization would be a called a supplier, at Walmart they are known as a vendor and for GS1 they are known as a source. Why the different terms? It starts with understanding how 1WorldSync, GS1 and all the others view their world of customers/suppliers/contributors/partners/vendors. Each one has their own perspective on how this organization fits into their world.

NRF, the National Retail Federation, has been a popular acronym added to my repertoire lately.

Why is NRF the most recent addition to these industry languages and why should this interest you? NRF has a mission to “advance the interests of the retail industry through advocacy, communications and education.”

Sounds like a bold mission, and they have a massive membership that includes all aspects of retail consumption ranging from Department Stores to Grocers and chain restaurants, and we, 1WorldSync are a member too.

For anyone with children, you know that the back to school shopping rush seems to come earlier every year. The NRF has been conducting a Back-to-School survey since 2003, reporting on how consumers shop for the back to school season and how retailers need prepare as well adjust to industry trends. The NRF is a great “back-to-school headquarters” for every consumer and industry insider.

Great News for 1WorldSync Customers! Amazon Sources Product Attributes Via The GDSN

Last week, I attended a webinar where Amazon announced that they will begin sourcing attributes via the GDSN with 1WorldSync as their content strategy provider.

Amazon is clearly committed to providing accurate and complete product content to consumers via Amazon.com marketplace. As a testament to this commitment, they are working with 1WorldSync to receive enriched, standardized product content through the data synchronization process.

Amazon leverages Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) product content to:

  • Improve attribute completeness and accuracy of the product data listed on the Amazon catalog
  • Reduce defects that arise as a result of inconsistent or poor quality product data
  • Decrease turnaround time for attribute changes

During the webinar, they announced that they are working initially with thirty companies to receive this information. This will act as the foundation to feed the future state when more data will be integrated.

How do you prepare to meet Amazon’s product content requirements?

  1. Commit to your product content journey and GDSN initiative.  It’s more important than ever to commit to your product content journey to ensure your product content is robust, accurate, and complete to meet the continually changing mandates and regulations and meet the needs of the end consumer.
  2. Leverage ONE solution. 1WorldSync is the only company working to feed Amazon GDSN and eCommerce data. You cannot keep up with the ever increasing demand for product content, unless you have a holistic strategy that addresses the entire project. There are many companies that are trying to address parts and pieces, but there is only one company that addresses the whole thing and addresses it on a global scale.
  3. Create a cross-functional team and work together on your product content strategy. You may be solely responsible for GDSN data, however now is your opportunity to demonstrate the value of the GDSN data. Work with your eCommerce, marketing and even Amazon team to ensure you have a strategy in place to get Amazon and other retailers the product content they’re demanding.
  4. Act now! The majority of consumers look to the Amazon Marketplace to learn more about the products they buy.  1WorldSync is working with Amazon to collect ALL product content needed to make your product discoverable.  Develop a roadmap to collect and send Amazon (and all of your other recipients) additional product content today!    

The time is now! It’s time to get your product content strategy in order now and take full advantage of 2018.

Learn more about the completeness and quality of the product content supplied via the GDSN and how you can provide an automated process to manage and distribute your product content to Amazon.

Amazon’s Continued Content Attribute Explosion

According to a recent report by Kenshoo, 72% of consumers visit Amazon before making a purchase. In fact, shoppers start their product research nearly 2X more often on Amazon than Google  (BloomReach 2016). 

It’s  more important than ever  your product content is highly discoverable on Amazon. Content is what connects you to your customer and,  more importantly, to  potential customers on their  critical  path to purchase.

Amazon announced it will begin sourcing attributes via the GDSN with 1WorldSync.

Amazon has invited a select group of suppliers to participate and they working closely to expand the group to include more suppliers and attributes in the near future. Amazon is now able to receive enriched, standardized product content through the data synchronization process enabling Amazon to:

  • Receive product content and changes in real time, speeding item setup from days to hours
  • Leverage brand owner GDSN core product content already available to help ensure product content accuracy, consistency and completeness
  • Leverage the GDSN rules and validations to ensure data quality

Leverage your GDSN product data to build a foundation for sending product content to Amazon!

Leveraging your GDSN product data to build a foundation for sending product content to Amazon saves time and ensures that consistent information will be sent all recipients.

Currently that content attributes ingested to Amazon’s Vendor Central are ingredient statements, nutrient type code, daily value intake percent, measurement precision code and quantity contained and UOM. The Amazon technology roadmap includes mapping more GDSN attributes, so it’s time to get started today!

Provide More Content to Amazon and Beyond

Consistent and fully populated product content allows your products to get discovered!

When you increase product content discoverability, you increase your brand awareness. It’s a fly wheel- but it starts with product content…

So why not leverage the GDSN data you have today and get it to Amazon? Ready to leverage your GDSN and get your products discovered by Amazon…..Learn more today!

References

http://go.bloomreach.com/rs/243-XLW-551/images/state-of-amazon-2016-report.pdf

Connecting the Label to E-Commerce

Think about how you shop.  Chances are, you’re online.  And you’re not alone.  Now, in order to establish a successful packaging and labeling strategy, companies have to understand the multiple product data distribution channels they have at their disposal.

Product content transparency is critical in the path to purchase from discovery to delight.  Today’s consumers are increasingly active participants in product attribution, basing their purchasing decisions on information beyond the standard product label to attributes like ingredient origins and composition.

They report social media, mobile apps, and other digital sources are key components of their purchasing behaviors.  They rely on this product data to give them visibility into and information about how a product aligns with their preferences.

BLUE Software  & 1WorldSync: Powerful Alone, Better Together

So, for next month, BLUE and 1WorldSync have packaged up (pun intended) everything you need to know about product data transparency – learning what it means, understanding its implications, and taking a look at the tools you have at your disposal to ensure product data accuracy and distribute product data through multiple consumer communication channels.   We’ll explore how companies can present up-to-date, accurate product images and information including item descriptions, nutritional information, ingredients, marketing claims, and warnings to maintain consumer confidence and encourage a purchase decision.

BLUE Software, the leading provider of label and artwork management (LAM) solutions, and 1WorldSync, the leading multi-enterprise product information network, have partnered to deliver turnkey solutions to address the growing demands of e-commerce to their large customer base.

 BLUE’s advanced Label and Artwork Management solution stores the final, approved and audited digital file with all product information required for e-commerce, retailers and customers alike. 1WorldSync, the worldwide leader in product data syndication, pulls this product information from BLUE, and distributes it across all of your company’s trading networks.

The end result? When a shopper scans a QR code on a package or searches for their product online, he or she is presented with up-to-date, accurate product images and information including item descriptions, nutritional information, ingredients, marketing claims and warnings.

We’ll also showcase real world business cases and discuss how these companies have leveraged technology solutions to deliver product content data across multiple platforms – ultimately meeting product revenue objectives.

Learn More! Register For Our Webinar

Join BLUE’s Chief Product Officer, Stephen Kaufman, and 1WorldSync’s Vice President of Professional Services, Tammy O’Donnell, on Wednesday, October 4, when they’ll discuss how to:

  • Deliver rich, robust product content directly from the package to the palms of consumers’ hands
  • Synchronize real time consumer messages and accurate product information including ingredients, marketing claims, item descriptions, etc.
  • Leverage cutting edge, digital platforms to maintain consumer confidence and encourage a purchasing decision

Click here to learn more and save your spot.

Retail + Boxing: When Worlds Collide (Part 2)

The build up and preparation to a fight, for a fighter is the hardest, the fight being the fun part. Not sure if a retailer would agree, their fight can go much longer that 12 rounds.

In part 1, we discussed the link between boxing and retail. Let’s get back on track!

The preparation for stores to hook a customer is preparing a consumer’s mind to think of their service first, no matter online or at a store. These stats speak for themselves (IC Real Estate 2017).

  • The probability of selling to a new customer is between 5 and 20%.
  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60 and 70%.
  • 96% US adults shop online yet…
  • 94% of total retail sales are still generated in brick & mortar stores.

Those numbers calculated with the speculated number of eyes for this PPV, early estimates speculate the fight almost double what Mayweather vs Pacquiao did. With fans from both sides tuning in, the probability of getting new customers and keeping existing fans hooked, the potential revenue will be well worth it. Customers from every end of the spectrum will tune in to not just cheer on one side, but continue the view of their own path to purchase.

Tale of the Tape

Everyone digests the newest technology to make their personal shopping experience more convenient. Technology has started blurring the lines of every industry from retail, healthcare and food service and forever changed the path a consumer takes on their path to purchase.

The bout will be UFC star McGregor’s first boxing match – and against a legend who retired with a 49-0 record.

Technology takes the ease of online pay to stores with simpler ways to pay.  71% of shoppers believe they will get a better deal online than in stores (Digiday 2013). This leads everyone from restaurants to retail stores to rely on new tech trends to entice consumers from their phone and tablets using things like Groupon to bring consumers in by capturing them online. Instead of going and waiting at a doctor’s office, you can now facetime a doctor from your phone. Thus making it easier for a busy mom with a sick kid, to taking pressure off of doctors offices in need of dealing with more extreme situations. Food service now makes delivery easier, Uber first transformed the way we moved, now they are transforming the way we order food with Uber Eats. Amazon is continuing to tease their new technology that will bring grocery shopping to once that of as “something from the future”.  

In response, many brick-and-mortar retailers have started to use omni-channel fulfillment methods that leverage their store locations and in-store inventory in order to better compete in e-commerce. These omnichannel services, including ship-from-store and click-and-collect, can help retailers manage the transition to digital by: Increasing online sales by offering cheaper, more convenient delivery options for online shoppers.

No one channel is the clear answer, but companies that stay competitive will need to more tightly integrate all of their approaches, both physical and digital. Embracing the meeting of the two worlds seems like a much easier decision that the head to head collision, but come Aug. 26 everyone will be watching the two worlds collide. No matter your side, your interest level, sit back and watch history unfold before your eyes, because this truly is history in the making!

References

“13 Alarming Stats About Retail In Digital – DigiDay” 19 May, 2013.  https://digiday.com/marketing/13-alarming-stats-about-retail-in-digital/

“Online -vs- Brick and Mortar Retail Shopping: The Statistics – IC Real Estate” 15 March, 2017. https://icrealestate.com/2017/03/online-vs-brick-mortar-retail-shopping-statistics/ 

“Floyd Mayweather Jr. Vs. Conor McGregor Total Revenue Should Surpass Pacquiao Fight – Forbes” 28 June, 2017.https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianmazique/2017/06/28/floyd-mayweather-jr-vs-conor-mcgregor-total-revenue-should-surpass-mayweather-vs-manny-pacquiao/#42cb85615c21

Retail + Boxing: When Worlds Collide (Part 1)

When Floyd Mayweather welcomes UFC Champion Conor McGregor inside the boxing ring, it is expected to be the biggest fighting spectacle of this generation, if not ever. On August 26, 2017 viewers will witness, for the first time, the sports version of when two worlds collide.

Boxing has long been the staple in the combat sports world, until Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) became the fastest growing sport in the world and captured newer audiences. Today many view it as the old vs. new age, one seems to be on a meteoric rise and the other struggling to stay relevant.

Brick and mortar retail stores are following the same traditional format that we all grew up with. Mayweather, while flashy and controversial, represents a sport that gets the same headlines as brick and mortar stores; “Boxing is dead” or “Boxing is a dying sport”. You can replace brick and mortar in any of those headlines and find thousands of results on Google. This superfight, not only brings both sports to a height neither has seen in some time, but will create a new blended party for audiences.

Lines continue to blur between traditional brick and mortar shopping and e-commerce. Shoppers care more about bottom lines price and will go wherever that leads them, online or in store. These two worlds collide and coexist to consumers everyday while brands continue to struggle.

The $1.9 trillion e-commerce world shows no signs of slowing down, companies are facing more challenges managing product content across channels, and are losing revenue as a result.

A New Hybrid  

Thanks to e-commerce, online sales have scaled new heights, winning a growing percentage of the market every year. The Irishman, McGregor has made his own emergence from obscurity, much like MMA and e-commerce. The UFC Champion was said to be living out of his car just a few years ago. Now he is on the verge of a multi-million dollar pay day, bringing MMA into its largest spotlight to date. Regardless of who wins, audiences will fill the arena and create a new hybrid of both sports, leaving room for only growth.

An estimated  8,640 brick-and-mortar stores will close their doors in 2017, more than 2008 in the great recession (Zero Hedge 2017). Each retailer must look to online sales to keep consumers and both sides must concentrate on what the consumer wants/needs more than thinking of winning them for their side. This will not be a Blockbuster vs Netflix, we all know how that turned out, this battle is all about placement and willingness to adapt.

We have seen past dual sport athletes, Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders did it first by showing the cross over appeal. Now athletes like Tim Tebow and Brock Lesnar bring a different appeal to dual sports by sole mass appeal to the media. But this is not playing two sports separately, this is a head-to-head battle of two becoming one.

Weighing In

The weigh ins for a fighter are as mentally tough as they are physical. Today with regulations becoming stricter and heavier regulated in order to keep transparency and safety for fighters health, there is very little room for error.

Missing weight by 1 pound can result in losing millions of dollars from their fight purse, sponsors and overall brand loyalty. New industry regulations like UDI and SmartLabel have put pressure on companies to be more transparent in order to help consumers be more aware of the ingredients and processes used everyday. Bad data or ignoring consumer and federal guidelines can result in heavy profit loss, it would be as bad as not paying taxes ;)

Product information is becoming rich, robust, accurate and readily available to customers and consumers alike, and businesses are becoming more efficient, compliant, and transparent. Consumers want to know more about the products they buy and are basing purchasing decisions on the information available to them.

Companies that aren’t paying attention to larger trends will lose customers trust; the value of a cross channel approach is becoming a must in order to maintain trust loyalty and consistent experiences across every channel.

Follow us to know when part 2 drops next week…

References

“The Retail Bubble Has Now Burst: A Record 8,640 Stores Are Closing In 2017 – ZeroHedge” 22 April, 2017.  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-22/retail-bubble-has-now-burst-record-8640-stores-are-closing-2017

“Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales Will Reach $1.915 Trillion This Year – E-Marketer” 22 August, 2016.  https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Worldwide-Retail-Ecommerce-Sales-Will-Reach-1915-Trillion-This-Year/1014369

Sourcing A Single Source Of Truth For Lowe’s And Beyond

In Charting Course for Global Commerce, a recent study by 1WorldSync, 78 percent of merchants report their product content exchange system cannot keep up with enhanced consumer demands for transparency.

Did you know that you only need one solution to get your product content to Lowe’s and beyond?

Further, did you know that 1WorldSync is certified with the largest number of items in the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN)?  Changing data pool partners causes multiple work streams, and is time consuming and costly.

Win Consumers On Their Path To Purchase With 1WorldSync

At 1WorldSync, we’ve been reliably helping 25,000+ suppliers and brands to build product information strategies to sell products to Lowes, Amazon, Walmart and beyond!

By leveraging 1WorldSync’s technology and relationships with thousands of suppliers and brands in its network, content service platforms will always have a scalable service provider to help exchange trusted product content anytime, everywhere.

We are a dedicated partner to our customers delivering unprecedented expertise and thought leadership throughout their entire product content journey.

Exceeding Expectations and Creating Stellar Experiences

  • No Hidden Fees: Gain unlimited users and unlimited access to new recipients.
  • Save Time & Money: Save time and effort and allow your current partner to manage all of your brand and content data in the manner that Lowes would like, allowing you to keep running your business
  • Unlimited Number of Demand Side Partners: Publish product and company information to as many recipients as desired (Get your products to Lowes, Amazon, Walmart and beyond)!
  • Enhanced Data Quality: Reduce time and money in your manual processes and involve fewer systems
  • Superior Service: 1WorldSync’s Professional Services Team can help create a complete end-to­-end global product content strategy tailored to each customer specific to their industry.

Undoubtedly accurate and timely product content helps instill trust and customer loyalty in the interchangeable and complex world of retail.

1WorldSync continues to offers a one-stop location for publishing GDSN and non-GDSN data to Lowe’s.  Learn more here!

Getting Smart About Sustainability and the SmartLabel™ Initiative

Last week, I attended the Global Sustainability Summit and listened to a panel where Jim Flannery, Senior Executive Vice President of GMA and a panel of experts, including our very own Chris Lemmond, discussed SmartLabel™ & Sustainability.

The panelists discussed how consumers think about things like a brand’s sustainability contribution, how ingredients are sourced and how brands can leverage SmartLabel™ pages to tell their story around sustainability delivering trust and transparency to the end consumer.  

We all know that consumers have become more conscientious about what they buy and want to be informed about what is inside the products they purchase. The SmartLabel™ initiative, a program that was initiated by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), allows brands to communicate fact-based information about their products to consumers meeting shoppers expectations for accessing all types of information in new and practical ways.

While a nutrition facts label provides insight into what ingredients are in an item, it only scratches the surface as these labels have limited real estate on the package. SmartLabel™ pages allows brands to share in-depth product information empowering consumers to make better, more informed choices.

Are your ready to differentiate your brand?

The SmartLabel™ initiative offers brands the opportunity to own their product content online and share out fact-based product data via SmartLabel™ pages. Companies investing in sustainability best-practices have the opportunity to tell their story to the end consumer and present it via SmartLabel™ pages diversifying their product. Each product participating in SmartLabel has a specifically formatted landing page, which can be accessed through a web search, and QR code on their smart phones.

Transparency isn’t just about disclosure…It can be about a more complete picture of the details of how the product is created and what sustainable best-practices the brand is putting in place to manufacture the product. These details can support a brand’s promise and give consumer more reason to love this brand.

Are you ready to take control of your product content and meet transparency demands?

1WorldSync has a longstanding partnership with brand manufacturers and retailers to manage product content and distribute it to consumers. Our customers can now leverage their investment in GDSN to go further and push their product content onto SmartLabel™ pages giving customers clear access to information about the product.

Learn more today!

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.