Tag Archives: transparency

Take Advantage of the 1WorldSync Expanded Offerings to Improve Global Cross-Channel Commerce Capabilities this Summer!

Success in the retail space is challenging. Grabbing a competitive edge is a must. The best suppliers move quickly to get their products onto new shelves and improve product transparency…which in turn drives sales!

Are You Ready to Sizzle This Summer?

1WorldSync is excited to announce that we’ve enhanced our Product Information Cloud® Platform to help our customers syndicate content more efficiently and improve global compliance and product transparency to drive sales.

This summer, we have launched five new apps and features to enhance customers’ ability to grow global cross-channel sales.

The new capabilities enable more efficient content syndication and improved compliance and product transparency offerings to simplify content aggregation and exchange between trading partners.

Suppliers can now take advantage of the 1WorldSync expanded product suite:

  • The Amazon App allows customers to set up products based on Amazon.com requirements and publish directly to Amazon Vendor Central. This accelerates sellers’ ability to standardize their GDSN data. Do you sell to Amazon today?  Do you want to learn how to leverage your GDSN data to submit GDSN and Non-GDSN product content to Amazon efficiently? Learn more on how you can connect to Amazon today.
  • The Walmart App provides users a ‘Content Service Provider (CSP)’ API connection to Walmart Store Assortment Online (SAO), simplifying and accelerating product sellers’ ability to list products on Walmart.com. The app eliminates the extra step of having to top off data in the Walmart vendor portal.
  • The Lidl App enables suppliers to publish product data in the format consistent with category-specific playlists that adhere to Lidl product information requirements.
  • SmartLabel enhancements meet the updated requirements by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). 1WorldSync customers will benefit from a new layout of the Nutrition Fact Panel, upgraded design and improved format for a more consumer-friendly experience.
  • The Recipient Catalog enables buyers to accept items from manufacturers and publish to their own digital storefronts, including products from many brands or suppliers organizing products by category or type as desired.

As the demands of global commerce and consumers have evolved, so have the 1WorldSync product solutions. It’s time to sizzle this Summer! Take action and request a strategy to learn more about our expanded capabilities and new Apps request one today.

Amazon: Prime-Time For The Grocery Industry

The grocery industry is the most pedestrian of retail endeavors – customers drive to stores, pick and pack their shopping, pay and then drive home. Many have tried to e-commercialize the grocery industry, but the business model never really seemed to work. The consumers desire to touch and feel grocery products before purchasing has been a barrier to widespread adoption of online grocery.

The food industry has traditionally been based around trust and price, not technology – and Whole Foods is known for providing a high level of trust and product transparency to its consumers through detailed product information. After a short dip into e-commerce, Whole Foods has refocused on brick-and-mortar retail growing 35 fold over the last 15 years (Fortune 2017)

And now, with the acquisition of Whole Foods Amazon sends a clear message to grocers that it is ready to play and, at least partly e-commercialize the grocery game. They’ve already dipped their toes in food and grocery in the past through Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry, but this gives them more robust access to high-quality food and more power to delivery grocery products more immediately to customers. It is also 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.

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.

This generation is more particular about where they buy their food and the ingredients in it, so Amazon will be able to earn the trust of these buyers through Whole Foods’ reputation and its strong identity as a trustworthy source for organic, GMO-free, high-quality food – that consumer trust will now be transferred to Amazon.  

Consumers need to be met wherever they are, whether in store or on their smartphones, but the importance here is an integrated approach. 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.

Consumers are the key winners here, as the bar for success in the grocery industry is going to be much higher in the future. Competitive pricing, upgraded digital experiences, and more innovation will directly benefit customers.

Companies that aren’t paying attention to larger trends will lose as consumers demand for more product content; the value of an omni-channel approach to grocery; and the importance of consistent experiences across every channel.

To summarize, consumers aren’t tolerant of brands that look different online than in-store, and this is more important in the grocery market, as missing or misleading product information has the potential for serious harm.

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!

Go Beyond The Label With SmartLabel

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.

Let’s Get Real! Transparency Totally Transforms Product Content

Yet product content transparency is a key component driving buyer behavior. 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.

SmartLabel is a program that was initiated by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and leading food & beverage companies. By enabling shoppers to scan QR codes on products for nutritional content, they have instant access to information on thousands of products instantly.

Moreover SmartLabel provides consumers with access to more than 350 product attributes including allergens, specific ingredients, usage instructions etc.  By the end of 2017, an estimated 34,000 food products will disclose whether they do, may or do not contain ingredients sourced from genetically modified crops.

Enter 1WorldSync

1WorldSync, the leading provider of product content solutions, recognizes that the SmartLabel is among a number of transparency related programs that are important to your business, including for product safety, quality and corporate social responsibility initiatives. 

Our commitment stands in helping to establish and execute a comprehensive content distribution strategy across the enterprise, within a single platform. We know that sourcing the right product content to meet evolving consumer demands can be challenging.

Trusted Content Anytime = Smarter Content Everywhere

By providing rich, robust content in the palms of consumers’ hands, 1WorldSync provides a full suite of solutions to help companies evaluate, test and implement a best-practice SmartLabelprogram.

The 1WorldSync SmartLabel Solution offers a seamless and efficient way to fulfill the industry initiative requirements. We can:

  • PREPARE your product content for SmartLabel compliance and distribution
  • CAPTURE and aggregate your product content in compliance with SmartLabel specifications
  • MANAGE product content from multiple entry points to ensure complete and accurate SmartLabel product content
  • DISTRIBUTE product information via a SmartLabel-compliant landing page for consumer access and consumption  

You are invited to participate in our SmartLabel™ webinar, hosted by the GMA, on Thursday, June 1 at 2 pm ET that will showcase 1WorldSync’s core competencies to help you implement SmartLabel™.

Discover the 1WorldSync Professional Services Team

Recent research indicates that the product information management (PIM) market will be worth $15.78 billion by 2021 (Whatech 2017). The rising demand compliance and verification and need for operational excellence and data quality are driving the PIM market.

“Online retailers that offer compelling, engaging, and complete content to shoppers will be rewarded by repeat purchases, lower levels of returns, and long-term loyalty” says Nihat Arkan, CEO of 1WorldSync.

Compete With Trusted Product Content Your Customers Can Rely On

88% of consumers say that detailed product content is extremely or very important to their purchasing decision (Google Shopping Guide, 2016). 

Accurate and timely product information is critical in the path to purchase from discovery to delight. It helps instill trust and customer loyalty in the interchangeable and complex world of retail.

Think about it! Can you imagine how drastically different our purchasing decisions would be if product content wasn’t as detailed as it is today?! Society relies heavily on the importance of obtaining detailed content…it would take us forever to get what we need and let’s face it, we aren’t getting any younger!

Common product content challenges that can slow down consumers’ product information journey include:

  • Identification of data quality issues that inhibit complete, consistent, usable, high quality product content for internal and external use
  • Demand of evolving cross-channel needs to aggregate and manage product data in one centralized location.
  • Inability to deliver expected transparency into products and related attributes.

Discover 1WorldSync Services Experts in Product Content Management

1WorldSync Professional Services Team can address these challenges while building a partnerships that will outlast the initial engagement.

  • We are global. Helping more than 25,000 global brands in 60 countries, the 1WorldSync Professional Services understands that no matter where you conduct business, trusted content matters.
  • We know our stuff. Leading organizations put their faith in our hands because we bring over a decade of experience and offer a full spectrum of best-in-class product information strategies and services to support customer vision and growth.
  • We’ve got your back. We understand your business, understand the toughest product content challenges you face and can deliver valuable services to address these challenges.  
  • We take you places. Then we can build the right blend of service offerings to help you share authentic, trusted content with your customers and move your business forward with decisions that you want – and confidence that you need.

 

Let’s get you set up for success today

 

 

References

  1. “Recent Research: Product information management market growing worth 15.78 billion USD by 2021”. Whatech 2017. https://www.whatech.com/market-research/it/260447-product-information-management-market-growing-worth-15-78-billion-usd-by-2021
  2. ‘Seven Steps To Successful Customer Experience Measurement’. Forrester 2016. Programs https://go.forrester.com/wp-content/uploads/Forrester-Seven-Steps-To-Successful-Customer-Experience.pdf

SmartLabel: Turning Technology and Transparency into Trust

Product transparency has been an ongoing conversation with manufacturers and brands as consumers are becoming more savvy, more connected, and more socially and environmentally conscience of their everyday food, beverage or household purchases. According a study from Bonfire Marketing, 63 percent of customers would buy from an authentic brand (Vision Critical 2016).

To Be, or Not To Be Transparent  – What’s the Bottom Line?

As Paul Norman, President & CEO, Kellogg’s stated in a release on GMO labelling last year, the focus on consumer trust is more important than ever before: “At our core, Kellogg’s believes in transparency and that people should know what’s in their food and where it comes from (Kellogg Company Newsroom 2016).” The promise to deliver product information to the general public is becoming less than a question of why, but now part of an overall strategy to ensure confidence and assurance to shoppers, especially brand loyalists. With legislative and regulatory policies enacted in past years, particularly regarding food safely (i.e. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011), major manufacturers are moving to the forefront to support and empower the infomed consumer.

Product transparency also dismantles unreliable, third-party sources floating in the land of social media and the internet. By shutting down the ‘alternative facts’ of product composition and restoring company reputation, manufacturers are now taking back the control to compete for consumer attention and buying power –  by being upfront and honest.

The SmartLabel™ Revolution and How It’s Changing Shopper Knowledgeability

At the end of 2015, Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) announced the launch of SmartLabel™ –  a technological initiative in form of highly detailed, online landing pages to provide easy access to a plethora of information consisting of nutrition, ingredient, and other compelling facts on thousands of food, beverage and consumer products. With over 30 major companies taking part, the goal is simple: provide accurate product information for all to access in one place.

1WorldSync had the pleasure of partnering with Progressive Grocer and GMA to raise the torch and carry on the dialog with an insightful and informative webcast titled, SmartLabel: Turning Technology and Transparency into Trust – now available for on-demand viewing.

The webcast featured industry experts from Albertsons Companies and The Coca-Cola Co. as they thoroughly explained their full support and participation in the SmartLabel™ movement.

The webcast touched on the following:

  • Why transparency matters – shoppers are more inquisitive about their product choices resulting in a demand for full disclosure to fit personal lifestyle needs and wants.
  • How SmartLabel™ works, the criteria behind it, and the many ways users can access it
  • What manufacturers are doing to promote brand loyalty and trust by using real-time technology to share information (i.e. Coca-Cola’s QR coding) and understand customer purchase decisions.

Here’s the Real Deal…

As the SmartLabel™ portfolio continues to expand and gain serious traction this year (GMA projects 34,000 products to be available to consumers by the end of 2017), so will shoppers continue to pay close attention to what’s beyond the packaging label. With an unprecedented amount of brands vying for shoppers’ attention, the opportunity is vital to build loyalty from products that consumers know they can trust, and are safe. Let’s face it! Brand transparency isn’t going away anytime soon. Don’t take our word for it, just watch the webcast!

At 1WorldSync, our expertise is enabling brands and retailers to deliver trusted content to consumers. As a dependable partner to more than 25,000 brands and retailers, our SmartLabel Solutions is specifically designed to assist our customers deliver and distribute industry initiative requirements seamlessly and efficiently via the 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud. To learn more, click here.

 

References:

  1. Vision Critical, 2016. ‘13 stunning stats on brand trust and authenticity.’ https://www.visioncritical.com/authenticity-stats/
  2. Kellogg Company Newsroom, March 23, 2016.  ‘Statement from Paul Norman, President, Kellogg North America, on GMO Labeling.’ http://newsroom.kelloggcompany.com/news-releases?item=131647

Teal Pumpkins aren’t a Trick, but a Sign of Safe Treats

As a kid, there was no holiday quite like Halloween. The crisp fall weather, the decorations, the parties, the costumes and of course, an evening spent trick-or-treating. We’d navigate the neighborhood with precision, focusing on the houses that gave out full size treats by the handful. And like any smart spy, we’d steer clear of those houses offering raisins and left over Valentine conversation hearts.

Halloween today remains the holiday for kids. There’s still the thrill of sorting through a candy-filled bag of goodies, trading for our faves (hello Kit-Kats) and negotiating with parents on just how much candy we could eat before bedtime. But times have changed and so have children’s (and parents’) wants and needs, especially related to allergens, nutritional requirements and other health concerns.

Enter the Teal Pumpkin Project. Inspired by a local awareness activity by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET), it was launched as a national campaign by Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) in 2014 to promote food allergy awareness, peer inclusion and community building. Homes with teal pumpkins sitting outside their front door is a clear sign to trick-or-treaters that non-food treats, such as glow sticks, pencils or small toys, will be among the treats to choose from. The intent is to provide children with allergies or health issues the ability to enjoy the fun and tradition of trick-or-treating, without the feeling that they will come home empty-handed.

Last year, households from all 50 states and 14 countries participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project, helping to create a safer, more inclusive Halloween for all trick-or-treaters.

1WorldSync keeps a pulse on these market shifts and understands that major brands have many demands from their consumers. 1WorldSync solutions and capabilities make it possible to meet these demands, allowing consumers to make informed decisions regarding their purchases, health & well-being. Find out more about how we can help your business.

Here are some great ideas from the folks at the “Teal Pumpkin Project” on how everyone can become involved:

  • Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate that you ‘re handing out non-food treats.
  • Provide non-food treat options for trick-or-treaters, such as small toys.
  • Display a free printable sign or premium poster from FARE to explain the meaning of your teal pumpkin.
  • Make a donation to support the Teal Pumpkin Project and receive a free gift.

Happy National School Lunch Week!

Established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, National School Lunch Week (NSLW) is a week-long celebration of the school lunch program. Every October, schools across the country participate in National School Lunch Week celebrations, reminding students, parents and communities that a healthy school lunch helps students learn, grow and achieve. Teachers and students celebrate in their cafeterias every year with decorations, costumes (dressing up like fruits and veggies!), special menus (international flavors) and events (chili cook-offs, bake sales and more).

But it’s become far more than a celebration and has evolved into community awareness and education.  From students making healthier choices to improved academic performance, nutrition education can benefit the whole school and family communities. For example, students bring home food samples and printed menus to share with family members, providing additional visibility and transparency into their school lunches and also encourages parents to make equally healthy meals at home.

That’s why the NSLW is so important. This year’s theme, “Show Your Spirit,” is about getting excited about the benefits of consuming wholesome, healthy school lunches—fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and dairy products such as milk and yogurt.

Here’s what just a few of our nation’s schools are doing this week:

Knoxville, Iowa:

Schools in Knoxville, Iowa serve a wide variety of fruits & veggies, available at Salad and  Garden Bars, & fresh fruit carts open at every school during lunch. In addition, a grab & go lunch option named the Panther Power Pack is available daily for students to purchase at Knoxville High School. Nearly all of the baked goods served are made from scratch & baked fresh daily!

San Angelo, TX:

Schools in San Antonio, Texas recognize National School Lunch Week with the theme  “Vote for a Winning Lunch.” Student-made posters and weekly menus adorn the cafeteria to promote voting and healthy nutrition throughout the week.Parents, students and school officials all cast  ballots for their favorite school lunch and show that healthier choices are critical to feeling good and succeeding in school

Marietta, GA:

Cafeterias in Marietta City Schools will roll out new menus featuring Greek, Jamaican and Thai-inspired cuisine. With hopes that the healthy-eating habits continue at home, Harrison said the district uses name-brand food products so students can recognize the healthy food in the grocery store.

Want to learn more about how 1WorldSync helps with school lunches, nutrition and transparency?  Read “Back to School Blues: The Chore of the Daily Lunch” and “This Year’s Back to School Checklist Includes Transparency & Traceability.”

The OG of Product Information Transparency: The Mason Jar

A picture is worth a thousand words. But who needs words anymore, likes and shares are where it’s at! Take for instance, a picture of an organic, plant-based lunch in a mason jar. It’s hard to beat the layered combo of seasonal veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, all topped off with a vibrantly colored dressing.

Mason jars stepped back into the spotlight a few years ago and show no signs of overstaying their welcome. Once reserved exclusively for pickles and country-fair jams, they have become ubiquitous props of the social media set. Practically overnight, they’ve become the Instagrammer and blogger’s favorite mode of transport for every meal worth photographing.

Breakfast parfaits, gluten-free soups, cold-pressed juices and oven-baked casseroles have transformed the crafter’s favorite container into an adult lunchbox with the amazing ability to make even the simplest salad look like a work of art. The jars are inexpensive, environmentally friendly and easy to transport. It’s no coincidence that this ‘transparent’ lunch box has closely paralleled the modern food industry’s omni-channel and transparency driven market. Let’s be honest, consumers don’t only want transparency, but equally as important, an easy way to access the information from any device and the ability to purchase products from wherever they are at any time of day.

And as we’ve talked about often, consumers demand to know more about what is going into their food. That plays into this very transparent movement: people want to feel good about what they’re eating, which goes beyond just what is in a product. Information such as the country of origin, animal safety and treatment, and if the packaging is environmentally friendly have all become major factors in the purchase decision.

“People are increasingly demanding to know where their food comes from, how and where it’s grown and why certain ingredients are used. They now expect this kind of information to be accessible at the touch of a button. The question is no longer if companies should disclose the details of food ingredients, but how.” Dave Stangis Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Campbell Soup Company

So while there aren’t any food labels on the iconic mason jar, you can be sure that the ingredient labels of the foods used to fill them have been dually scrutinized and given the official seal of approval.  The expansion and availability of food labels have made a real difference in providing families across the globe with the information they need in order to make healthy choices

Fortunately, resources and additional product labeling, such as the 1WorldSync SmartLabel solution, are providing consumers with many different ways to ‘see through’ the specific ingredient list, just as they can ‘see-through’ the layers of their delicious lunchtime layered taco salad. And in the spirit of sharing, we’ve included the delicious recipe. Now, what’s not to like about that?

Mason Jar Recipes (courtesy Pinterest)

The Organic (R)evolution

What may seem like a revolution has really been a slow and steady renaissance. Certainly before the 1920s, all agriculture was generally organic.  But then along came modern techniques, chemical pesticides, fertilizers and weed killers leading to the rapid dismissal of organic farming methods for many decades.

A quick fast forward to the ‘be natural’ approach of the 1960s and 1970s, and consumers were suddenly interested in health, nutrition and environmental conservation. But organic foods were still not in the mainstream (think hippies and off-the-beaten-path health food stores) and despite the audience buying, were expensive and exclusionary.  Conversely, most Americans at that time were enjoying inexpensive TV dinners, Hamburger Helper and casseroles made from canned soups.

By the 1990s, organic foods spread to the corners of specialty supermarkets and were the cornerstone of newer food emporiums, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  Unfortunately, organic food costs were nearly double or triple their non-organic counterparts. And aside from the expense, availability was also limited.  Not every neighborhood boasted a Gelson’s or Bristol Farms. Going organic was for the few and the elite.

Today, the organic industry has moved beyond a niche market. Organic products now occupy prime shelf space in the big chain supermarkets, mainstream retailers and are much more accessible and affordable. Food giants like General Mills and Kellogg have entered the organic game and many small organic food companies have grown into large businesses. For example, ‘O – Organics’ just launched a new ad campaign with the main message being “We believe that great tasting organic food should be available to everyone and sold everywhere at a great value.”

In fact, the “booming U.S. organic industry posted new records in 2015, with total organic product sales hitting a new benchmark of $43.3 billion, up a robust 11 percent from the previous year’s record level and far outstripping the overall food market’s growth rate of 3 percent, according to the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) 2016 Organic Industry Survey.

So clearly, it’s not just hippies and health food nuts jumping on the organic train. Today, according to the OTA, “It is the face of America. The demographics of the organic consumer are not any different than the demographics of America.”

For retailers, the growing organic market continually increases the potential for more sales. However, it can be hard to lure new customers in and keep them as your customers. Industry trends have shown that to gain more customers, providing consumers with the information they demand is the key. This begins with offering the products consumers want, which can be discovered within 1WorldSync Showcase; and requires transparency of product information in the form of an easily accessible standardized, digital label, such as the 1WorldSync SmartLabel solution.

1WorldSync keeps a pulse on all consumer and market trends so that your business can continue to thrive while maintaining the brand loyalty it has established over the years, whether it began pre- or post-organic renaissance.