Read the webinar transcript
How Product Data Powers Your Ecommerce Strategy
How Product Data Powers Your ECommerce Strategy
Christian Beer, CEO, Dynamicweb: [00:00:00] So welcome. It's a pleasure for me to welcome all of you to this webinar about how product data empowers your eCommerce strategy. My name is Christian Beer and I'm the co-founder and CEO of Dynamicweb. Today. I'll be your host and presenting together with Forrester analyst, Amanda LeClair and Thava who's Consultant and Project Manager at our customer Danish Agro.
The agenda for today's webinar will be divided into three sections. First of all, we will hear about how PIM (Product Information Management) impacts your eCommerce strategy, and that will be delivered by Amanda, from Forrester and how also good product information will set you apart from your competitors. After that we'll look into how Thava and his team at Danish Agro has implemented PIM (Product Information Management) and which challenges they faced during the project.
Finally, I'll give Dynamicweb's, vision and perspective on PIM and how our set up impowers businesses with requirements for PIM (Product Information Management) and eCommerce. But first it's a pleasure to introduce Amanda LeClair from Forrester, please, Amanda.
Amanda LeClair, Forrester Analyst: [00:01:38] Thank you, Christian. And I'm excited to be a part of this webinar talking about product data, which of course I always from my research coverage think is a very important and exciting topic.
But talking about how product data can power your eCommerce strategy and really why it's more important now more than what we've ever seen before. But to set that up, I want to start with some context to understand why and set the state of why it's such an important and exciting topic. Even if you're not a research analyst in this space.
And I want to take a start by taking a look back at really how the year started, how we entered 2020 from a research perspective. And first when we kicked off, these are all screenshots of some of the reports that Forrester published between January and February of 2020. We were already predicting an overall slow down in the tech market, after some rumblings in Q3 and Q4 of 2019 of a recession.
And we saw it in our survey data as well that our clients and enterprises were starting to also start to consider reducing costs and become more cost sensitive as one of the driving factors in their top priorities going into the year. Then we also spent some time updating a research assets that we've had that we've been investing in for quite some time and talking about for a long time around digital transformation and empowering our clients with the tools to make the business case for digital, whether it's in their product data group, their marketing group, in order to be able to meet the demands of their customers.
But one of the things that we also saw and we're continuing to track at the beginning of the year is for as long as Forrester and others have been talking about current customer experience and how important it is to business growth. And we know from our customer experience index, that those companies that are leaders in CX have 4.5 times the revenue growth compared to laggards that.
Many, many, many companies are not meeting the Mark, when it comes to delivering that customer experience, you can see here we have researching that customers don't feel like they're getting the value they expect from the companies they engage with. And this is not just on the B2C side.
We also see this in the B2B realm as well. In fact, we've got survey data that shows that over two thirds of B2B buyers feel that most of the content that they're getting from their vendors today is useless. So this is taking a look back at the beginning of the year. And of course in 2020 for once it wasn't a startup or digital, that was the main source of disruption.
But when we take a look at how it's going in many ways, the world is, does feel different than when we started this year. However, but more research perspective, what we've seen in the evolution from how customers are behaving. And certainly the difference between those that are from a business perspective.
Doing well in managing their customers, their growth working with being able to pivot quickly to work with new suppliers and spin up more business through digital channels and the difference between the haves and the have not really when it comes to responding to the pandemic is this is really an acceleration of those research trends that we've been tracking.
Of course and actually really, we put a, probably been more bold in some of those research reports that we put out at the beginning of the year. So of course we did not predict a global pandemic recession, but we've updated our forecast to show the impact on the this is just looking at the US tech market here, but the slow down in the exact impacts that we've seen to date so far.
But really, I think one of the most interesting things that we've seen is a recognition finally that from our clients, from enterprises of really what the business case is for digital, I think that the pandemic has helped to cement for many enterprises that their digital businesses really, or their future of their businesses.
When they've seen themselves have to pivot quickly to work with different suppliers when different regions around the world were shut down where digital channels were, the only ways that they could engage with their customers. So we've seen that the pandemic, one of the byproducts has been that enterprises recognize that digital is the future of their business.
The pandemic has really helped to create that business case. And so on looking ahead, if we're going to look ahead, there's still a fair amount of uncertainty, but because what we're seeing play out in the market is really, again, an acceleration of many of the trends we've already been tracking from a business standpoint, looking ahead, your priorities remain the same.
What this means for your business or how you should proceed going forward remains the same, the priorities that your were performing against should still be focusing on your customer and improving customer experience again, because we know that improve customer experience leads to growth. Also reducing costs, taking advantage and leveraging technology to reduce costs, cut out manual hours where you can.
And this is one that is probably a more emphasized priority for most in the near term. And ultimately these are not mutually exclusive priorities ultimately include improving customer experience and reducing costs will lead to growing revenues in this again is business one to one. But that said your priorities should stay the same.
That the things that you're focused on from the high level business perspective remain the same. There are new ish realities that create new or more obstacles. And the reason I say new ish is because that famous quote, the future is already here. It's not just evenly distributed. I think the pandemic has helped to highlight where the future and what companies were already had the technology people process in place to adjust the future.
Like we've seen with Walmart who was able to meet demand where they saw a 70% more increase on their eCommerce channels in the first few months of their pandemic. And so I think one of those realities that is here to stay and can no longer be ignored. Is that digital transformation is business as usual.
I think in the early days when we started talking about transformation and even now, and then it comes up in my client conversations, there can be this misnomer, that digital transformation is just this moving of something from point a to point B, that it's well, we'll implement a new SAAS (Software As A Service) HR system or SAAS (Software As A Service) PIM.
We'll. We'll adopt agile software development methodology is we'll train all of our employees in design thinking and all of those things may be actions that support transformation. That's not transformation in and of itself. Really. It's a continuous journey of putting the right people, processes and technology in place to be able to continuously adapt, to meet changing market conditions.
And what are the most reliable sources and vectors of change for all of our clients, all of the businesses we work with is customers. Your customers are constantly changing. And in fact what we've seen, and this was already true is their digital savviness is continuing to accelerate. We see from customers that their appetite and their expectations for new products and services and experiences continue to evolve, starting with their expectations for digital.
And again, when we think of digital, it's easy to think of eCommerce channels marketplaces online, but this is also true in stores. We see customers use their smartphones in physical stores to compare prices and then their expectations online from our data, we know that customers 63% of customers expect retailers to include product visualization tools on their website.
Another 30% of customers expect to see video on the retailers website of products. And it's not just this expectation that exists for what they expect today. We also see that they want to experiment more and near term or in the last few months, one of the things we've seen is some of the. Let's say let less digital savvy customers, those that are least likely to adopt or adapt the early adopters of digital.
We've seen customers that for example, 21% of US adults bought groceries online for the first time. Over the last few months and Europe we've seen between 10 and 20% use mobile or the credit card payments in stores for the first time. But this isn't just an impact of what we've seen with being cautious of not wanting to touch physical objects because of everything that's happening today. This is actually part of an ongoing trend. When we surveyed US adults, about 10 years ago, only 39% of them agreed that they were always willing to try new products and services. Today, over half 53% of US adults agree that they're always willing to try new products and services.
Amanda LeClair, Guest speaker: [00:11:07] So this appetite for experimentation is continuing to grow. And if you're sitting there thinking about your e-commerce strategy and all of the levers that you may be currently pulling or considering pulling to be able to meet in who your customers are, they're changing expectations. If you're not thinking of your product data, as one of those levers you may be leaving value on the table or actually worse, damaging that customer experience by not focusing on your product data as a driver of your e-commerce strategy. And that's because for better or worse, whether you're actively using your product data, optimizing your product data, linked to customer experience it is impacting the experience of your customers.
That's because you were products or so much more your catalog is so much more than just the specs and attributes associated with your products at the very basic level, having the tools and the processes in place to have completed product data and completed means actually complete no TBD written in product description fields.
Accurate product data. Meaning if a product is red, it's not showing up as orange. And also localized can be the difference in having positive and negative customer experiences. So if we start at the very basic level, Your product data can be the difference between your customers being able to find the right products on the right channels or disappearing into a digital shelf, black hole. If you don't have a handle on your product data, or you're struggling to manage, find the spreadsheet that has the most up-to-date product information you're likely scrolling, or don't even have your full catalog on your own e-commerce site, nevermind.
Being able to reach your customers at other channels, whether it be Amazon or alley Amazon or target or home Depot or Pinterest and Instagram. Now you won't be able to reach them where they are. And even if you are able to get your products out there, you'll know for anyone in this role, it has a role for managing product data that those channel requirements are constantly changing as well. There's image requirements. There's different requirements that change for how you can describe your products, which may mean that they're ending up on the last page of the search. So your customer experience, can't begin if customers can't find the products in the first place, but beyond that your product data can also be the difference between getting exactly what customers expect or becoming an online, shopping, fail.
Even if they are able to find your product having complete and accurate product information. Isn't just about managing or meeting channel requirements. Of course not. It's about meeting your customer's expectations, your customers requirements, and in fact, inaccurate or misleading product information is one of the top reasons that customers who shop online would make returns.
In fact, we see one in five customers who have bought something online, returned it because of inaccurate or misleading product information. And that's not only hurting your Customer experience and your ability to grow revenues. It's also costing you operationally on the back end. So it's not just an experience, ding when the customer that expects to receive a workout tank top instead receives what may be considered a clubbing dress instead.
But this is in the B2C world. And of course any negative customer experience is not ideal, but the, at least in a scenarios like this, you might get a popular, trending Instagram fail out of it. Now in the B2B world, the stakes are higher. They can be much higher. Product data can be the difference between empowering your customers to be the experts in their purchasing journeys, the purchasing decisions.
Or negatively impacting their ability to deliver to their customers and the B2B world ordering the wrong cables or pipes to a construction site because the specs presented look quite similar can be the difference between when the order is correct carrying on the job per usual, or at job site shut down for days or even weeks at a time that is costing your customers money and potentially business.
So beyond just having accurate and complete product data that has contextualized for purpose and shown very clearly and aligned to customer intent can be the difference between consumers having that purchase confidence and, or ultimately damaging that relationship with some of your key customers, especially in a B2B context.
So when we're looking at product data and thinking about that complete. Accurate and can localize contextualize. That's really the baseline for how you can leverage or how you already should be leveraging your product data as a part of your commerce strategy. That baseline is making sure that your customers are ensuring your customers can not only find the right products, but when they purchase them, they get what they expect.
But that's really not using product data as a secret weapon, right? That's again, the business one on one on the impact your product data can have on customer experience and ultimately your business. Now to get to the next level, there are opportunities .To expand upon this existing data that you have in the form of your product catalog.
And that can be made the difference between just telling your customers about your products. Or starting to build product experience. And of course, if for anyone that has used any of these UN room or virtual reality, augmented reality futures, that product data is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to even 3d product spins the view and room or lifestyle content, but it's certainly an important piece.
If you don't have the tools and processes in place to manage your product data. If you've got the data siloed from the rich media assets, your product data, your customer data, that you're not able to pull those together in order to start to build these product experiences that ultimately not only built.
Purchase customer confidence in the purchase themselves, that they are getting what they expect, but you're starting to build the experiences that feed into those customers appetite for more experimentation you're building experience that wows them. So you're not just meeting their expectations.
You are exceeding them and ultimately using these tactics to stand apart from your competition on the digital shelf, where all descriptions of your products, and even from a price standpoint, may all be the same. You can differentiate Bay based on these product experiences. And ultimately this can be the difference betwee bnderperforming in some of your key growth factors. Of course, right now we know everyone is focused on an omni-channel strategy to be able to pivot quickly to digital channels. And this is not just in the context of where we've got shut downs in different regions of the world, from the pandemic, but just the proliferation of channels where customers are buying increasingly through marketplaces and through more social channels.
So having the product data basics in place allow you not only to meet the customer expectations today, where they are today, but to have that foundation to be able to perform and nurture those relationships and new channels in the future that you've got the technology foundation that you can really optimize the use of your product data to create experiences.
It is the ultimately nurture those long-term customer relationships and increase lifetime customer value for your customers. And I know that we've talked a lot so far about customer experience, but there's also a kind of a secret bonus or a couple of secret bonus impacts when you've got product information, best practices in place.
And that's also impacts your partner, your supplier experiences and your employee experiences as well. When you've got the right tools in place, for example, using PIM tools that have onboarding portals, you're able to start to cut down and take that piece out of the puzzle where it can occasionally feel like there is this passing of the buck, when it comes to poor quality or missing product information, then you've got the tools that allow on the retailer side to keep back products that don't meet the requirements for how you would like to show these products to meet your customer experiences, but that you're not passing the buck that there's a shared set and understanding that this process is made much, much easier and there's agreement and alignment around what quality data looks like.
And then on the employee side we know that you were asked to do more with what feels like less that it's difficult and you find, you may find yourself enriching the same product information over and over again for different channels. When you don't have the tools in place, it's a manual process.
You may be trying to track down different spreadsheets over email, which leads to a negative employee experience. And ultimately does not leave any time to focus on those higher value building up product experiences when they're really using all their time and more to nail the basics when it comes to product data.
So having the modern best practice PIM strategy also creates better supplier and partner relationships, employee experiences as well. So leave you with a few pieces of advice or recommendations for how you can start to Put into play some of the practices that allow you to really optimize your product data as a key lever for your e-commerce strategy, that ultimately leads to company growth.
So leveraging best practices and the PIM tools and processes to really level up your e-commerce strategy. And how many is divided into two pieces and one to get started it has to start with assessing of where you're at today assess where you're at with your product data maturity today.
And you may be thinking to yourself as we've gone through this thinking through the number of products and skews that you have, that it's simply not possible. To create experiences for all your products across your channels. And in fact, that would probably not lead to reducing costs or growing revenue in most cases.
So one of the things that you can use to use your customers as your guiding light, to help understand where you're going to get the most bang for your buck or where the most critical gaps in the product content you have are today. And if you can start to do so by using customer journey maps to identify where those most critical gaps and opportunities are, understand what your customer's intents are, where they're shopping, what kind of information they're looking for and use that to identify those areas of opportunities where you do want to focus more on increasing product experiences, or we recognize that your customer service reps, for example aren't, don't have access to the product data that they need to help answer customer questions when they have calls coming in after purchase. So you can use those customer journey maps to help prioritize what actions you're going to take moving forward. And then also in order to understand to get at that, how you're going to start building experiences and certainly the impact of product data on experiences, you have to start measuring your product data, not just for completeness, but also for quality. Does this product content meet our brand standards?
Does it meet the expectations we've set for our key personas? So you want to be able to introduce both those completeness and folly metrics to track how you're improving over time. And again identify the most glaring gaps that you may have in your product content today. And then lastly, for this part is to focus on the most important and accessible Channels in the short term your strategy may not to your Omnichannel strategy, may not fully capitalize on Omni to start.
When you recognize that you will only got, 20 or 30% of your catalog on your own e-commerce website by using the customer journey map to indicate what are those more. Or help identify what are those most important channels you can focus where are you going to spend the time enriching and optimizing your product content for the channels that are ultimately most important to who your customers are?
Then the second set of recommendations is around evolving or excuse me, evaluating and adopting the PIM tools that help support this strategy. It should not feel like a manual, pull your hair out on that you're reinventing the wheel over and over again, and there's no need to do we've seen a lot of evolution, in fact, innovation and the PIM vendor landscape.
So as you're looking through and thinking about how you might be evaluating either replacing your current tool or. Adopting a PIM tool for the first time, be sure to include syndication as a part of your PIM strategy. One of the things that I like to say when we talk about the role of syndication and why it's so important is you may have the cleanest most accurate, most compelling product data in the world. But if you're not able to get that out to the key channels in front of the eyes of your key customers, like the tree that falls in the woods with no one else around. So be sure that you're looking at that syndication capabilities and finding partners and connectors that are strongest in the channels.
That, again, matter most to your customers, but don't forget syndication as you're evaluating your PIM tools and your pim strategy. Secondly, be sure to continuously analytics to close the loop on your content strategy. Again, this is another area where today I see a big gap in maturity for what types of metrics and analytics.
The clients I work with are using to understand how effective their product data is. And so if you're only again using things like product product, data completeness, that's not enough to allow you to know how well the products are performing, how. Important the product data is impacting those experiences for your customers across the different products themselves and across the different channels.
So look for the analytics capabilities within the PIM tools that allow you to get smarter over time. As you continue to evolve your e-commerce strategy. And lastly empower your tool, your teams with the tools that have intuitive user experience and automation to focus on higher value tasks. One of the last things I had said an experience is the focus on employee experience.
And that is so true in the conversations that I have with clients after they've implemented a new pIM solution is that they feel like they're saving so much time. And they're able to do their job so much easier. No one loves having to try and keep up with changing channel requirements.
And no one loves having to get into a tool that looks like it's from 30 years ago to try to find the information that they need. So empower your teams with these tools that do have that intuitive user experience and automation, so that you're able to Really capitalize, not only on your product data, but the talent and skills habits you have internally to then start to build more product experiences to stand out across digital shelves.
And so with that, I want to thank you for joining today and I'll hand it back over to Christian.
Christian: [00:26:42] Yeah, thank you very much. Interesting, Amanda, I have a, though, I have a question for you about what you say about the tools and how do they support the experience strategy. You mentioned disability to to track data from from channels and into the PIM.
So you can get an overview there. I think it would be really interesting maybe to hear a bit more about your thoughts around that. If you could help us here.
Amanda: [00:27:06] Yeah. So I mentioned it earlier that your product information, your product data is really just one piece of the puzzle. When you move to building product experiences, it also relies on your customer data, your digital assets.
And so in order to get those analytics that really close the loop and allow you to get smarter, do really that integration. Your PIM is integrated as a part of a stack. It is one piece of the puzzle as I keep saying. So while in your PIM tool today and has been for a long time, there may be dashboards that let you know that maybe your yellow and your product data completeness.
What does yellow really mean for your business that really helping you get smarter? Not on its own, right? You need to have that integration to understand how you're performing across channels with your key persona. So it's really the integration of these. What for most enterprises today is disparate data sources that unlock the power.
So you're able to get the most bang for your buck and quickly rectify where you may be having some of those customer experience lags. So it's the integration piece that is important for not just being able to say. Something's not good. Understand why it's not good and really what the right next steps actions are directed by that.
Christian: [00:28:14] All right. Thank you very much. And really interesting to hear from you and put these at this this agenda in a commercial context around product data. I think that is really interesting and important because sometimes it's just back office work, but it really businesses this area.
So thank you for sharing assaults and next, bigger on them. And this webinar will then be a Thava from our customer Danish Agro. Who will share his experiences from a PIM project where Dynamicweb was implemented. Welcome Thava. The stage is yours.
Thava: [00:28:48] Thank you, Christian. And thanks for having me today.
Well, today I want to go through what PIM and e-commerce from Dynamicweb did for us in a big project we are working on and they're still deploying. Just quick about our company and we Danish agro group, we are based in Denmark, but we have a lot of activities in the Northern part of Germany, Poland in Belgium, in Finland or where we have very large business as well.
And Sweden, Norway, and we have also a few activities in China and Korea. And some other areas. Let's focus on this and the project we are still working on. This is a global temporary project that needs to cover for our agro business Denmark and agro business international and agro business support.
So the second group is focusing on six weeks business unit, but this global template project, we are working on our covering these three business unit. Yeah. Yeah. In early stage, we did some analyze and we quickly find out these are our different entities are using different ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution and different PIM solution and different e-commerce solution for the same product we are selling across our group.
So early on the stage, we decided we made a strategy to deploy Dynamicweb as e-commerce platform and dynamicweb as a PIM solution. Together with the switch to (Microsoft Dynamics) D365 Finance & Operations and (Microsoft Dynamics) D365 sales and additional to this, we have some ISV solution in our D365 are calling our core business in Agro culture.
Let's skip that for now. This is our strategy. We decided to have a dynamicweb e-commerce p latform and dynamicweb PIM solution in all our entities.
Christian: [00:30:54] This global template you are referring to. How does PIM which considerations did you have about PIM there? Since you said you're using one platform?
What was, because you also mentioned you had. Decentralized PIM systems in your company before. So what, maybe you could explain a little bit about pros and cons here and
then your consideration.
Thava: [00:31:18] The main thing is actually we have these different entities. They have some focus areas.
Some companies are focusing, purchasing goods to the book company. Some are selling directly to consumer and. Pharma and wholesaler and retailer and online sale and so on. So these different pages in company, they need to capture this product specific informations instead of trying to export them, import them in the different solutions and different PIM solutions.
We decided to have it, the one then make them visible for all entities. So we decided that this first company who buys this item will be able to enrich all product information that's more or less can be reused in a different entity so that we don't need to spend time on Capturing this information search for this product, basic information that's really need to be there.
That was the main, the recent selecting the dynamicweb master PIM solution first.
Christian: [00:32:19] Okay. So basically you have that as a central data repository and then you have your system.
Thava: [00:32:27] Yes. Okay. Which, yeah, I will come into that when we go into further with slide, but that. Mostly, they are distributing it to all our channels.
They will be master of how to say all kinds of marketing data and the product tax data. That's not belongs to. Maybe we can go into the next picture as well. The other different applications we have in our global templates as you see here on the right side, we have e-commerce B2B dynamicweb solution and a product information system.
It's also dynamicweb solutions and we have. The D365 for sales and D365 for finance operations. Those are the other cost solution in our global templates. So these two systems are not holding any data that belongs to any marketing or in the newsletter or e-commerce or segmentations ad-words texts or whatever print texts.
So anything else, those system are only calling this what we say.
Christian: [00:33:31] Transactional data?
Thava: [00:33:33] Transactional data. Exactly. Yeah. And so we keep that data that's doesn't has to, anything belongs to any transactional data outside of the, our core system in D365 and keep these informations we used to call it in Danish, we call it soft informations, and these are totally only placed in our pim solutions.
Christian: [00:33:58] And that's. How about, oh, sorry. How about your implementation? There? Was it easy to determine which data should be, which is, transactional data, which is soft, maybe more marketing customer oriented data.
Thava: [00:34:13] Yes. It was very hard actually. We need to ask our people to think in a new way of working and this same time we need to streamline these processes.
So everyone in these different legal entities. So the guy who purchased fertilizer from Russia, you know how to buy these goods and get these facts information and put it there. So this information can actually be reused in one of our other companies that are dealing with retailers. That's our dealing with our farmer.
So there is those information easily available, so he can go out. So our salesman going can present these items and that's why we decided these non transactional data. All these soft marketing data should only be visible in the team solutions.
Christian: [00:35:04] Was who's the owner of the PIM solution organizational wise in in, in your your organization, is that marketing it or operations or sales or?
Thava: [00:35:14] It's a combination of our e-commerce team and the marketing team and this project team. Okay. Because Mike has seen Defining the soft information that should be on the product catalog, these information that should be on the Edwards we are deploying and also on them, different marketplace.
We are deploying the same items too. And now, when we send newsletters, these information are actually written by our marketing team, but. If our marketing team can write this information, they need some facts, information, which will be shared by our purchasing team who are buying these goods. They know exactly what these items is and how these items are built and produced and delivered to our distributor.
Okay. So is this a clear answer for you Christian?
Christian: [00:36:09] Absolutely. Thanks.
Thava: [00:36:12] So this is our infrastructure, and this is how we have split this how data uploading between our final celebration and sales and e-commerce and PIM. So all this, and most of the information we are distributing in offline or online marketing tools are only holding PIM solutions.
Let's go to think about why we need these PIM. Actually, as mentioned earlier, we have these multiple entities where we have working with different channels. E-commerce retail, product catalog, marketplace salesmen, Amazon online ads, all finance news and Social media advertisement and so on. So we usually decide we'd probably need one central area to maintain all these information, because all this information, we don't need to have one to have them in our ERP (enterprise resource planning) system or in our sales, CRM systems.
So we easily decide this information needs to be handled in a good way, an easy way and easy way to get into. So we decide here to use a dynamicweb solution and this information or this product texts information needs to be maintained for the different customer segmentation, because we have consumer, we have.
Pharma. We have B2B, we have wholesaler. We have intercompany when we send into inside our group as well. So for example, let's say we have a first, last that we need to sell to a wholesaler. The wholesaler will sell one tons, a couple of tons with couple of charts to distribute this information.
But if it's a consumer, that's our hobby farm or whatever. It will only he or she will only need 25 kg of this fertilizer. So when we customer search for, let's say in Google, they search for fertilizer. So the normally customer will find if it's a wholesale customer, he should, we should be able to show him one ton, big bag with fertilizer.
But if it's consumer, we should show him a 25 kg fertilizer in a Google adwords. So those are the main reasons. Yeah.
Christian: [00:38:26] And how do you do that? Is that handled in PIM or is that handled in your D365 F and O?
Thava: [00:38:34] The product informations this text information. I hadn't been PIM, but the campaign things are handled in finance and operations.
Okay. So we actually, when to create the feed for Google ad words, we've like actually merged this information. So in PIM itself, we have these e-commerce techs for different customer segmentation. We have e-commerce techs, Marketplace via Amazon as well. So we don't use, we use the same text in all our platforms, online channels.
Christian: [00:39:07] Okay. And implementing all of this what kind of challenges were you facing? Because I assume that it's a lot of entities with a centralized PIM and a lot of people and a lot of people who used to work in it. In a, in some way. And and also some commercial needs and they are probably also changing what is going on around us right now.
So what kind of challenges did you face, when when going through this project?
Thava: [00:39:33] Yes. Since we build this global template, we are in the process for deploying this into different multiple entities. But the biggest challenge is. I used to ask the employee in the different entities to work on the same way, because most of the people have their own way of working in different entities.
And then some areas, some even the pledge that process could be split up into two between two people and some other entities. They are only one person handling all kinds of bridges. So ask our companies a good communist to work in the same way. It was the most challenge to them also. But he challenged the change management that was happening here for this.
Christian: [00:40:16] So basically it has been a, an organizational project more than a technical, would you say is it also hot on the technical side or?
Thava: [00:40:25] Technical side was also hard, but the most part is in the wise that was very challenging, just also in the thing, in the new way of working because they're coming from different systems and Different system has their own way of working as well.
And most of the system we are working to upgrade actually outdated systems. So they don't have all these functionalities. Some companies has only three people they need to fill before they can enable them to sell by the, in our new system. They need to fill about 50 fields. So that's the challenge.
That's only for the paper, then they, it comes right. In part in a newsletter part and all the other things they top off that they need to fill out additional 50 information about products. So we can distribute the same product in different channels. And also we are working in different languages as well.
Christian: [00:41:23] So a lot of process and a lot of organizational change and development. What about the technical pops? I know that you are one of the architects or the main architect behind this. What was the most technical challenging part of the project?
Thava: [00:41:38] Yeah these three to five walls when you started this project was.
What's actually new, newly released platform. So it was challenging to also to get our windows in the ERP (enterprise resource planning) part and the sales part in the thinking of this way of working, because traditionally, eh, everything is placed in our ERP (enterprise resource planning) system or in the sales system. Spreading this out of the ERP system was very hard to our consultants who work with as well.
Get pick up, learn to work this way. And they adopted that very well as well.
Christian: [00:42:11] Yeah. So looking on this project, from the hindsight, would you be able to share some experiences if you should do it again with the listeners today, do you have any good recommendations or ideas or if somebody is where you were one and a half, two years ago, what would you do different?
Do you have any good piece of advice?
Thava: [00:42:33] Very be well-prepared in this organization change and find a good way to communicate these skills this information to the organizations and the reasons why we are doing this and what are the benefits they get. Because when you, if you check the assembly one purchase process because the guy who has did this, he did this last for 50 years in this organization.
And he was only used to update type fields. Now I asked him to update 50 fields. That was quite a challenge to convince them to do that. And also for them to understand the needs, why we are doing that. And we was trying to tell them that today you do some manually stuff in the future. This it system will handle a lot of stuff for you.
So you will have more efficient time to work with the buying new goods to that group instead of maintaining stuff and ask it, do support on your items. Because this information will allow our new it system do for you. That's very important to explain to the staff that's out there.
Christian: [00:43:39] Yeah. Yeah. That's a very good point.
Thank you very much. And also thank you very much for your presentation and sharing your experiences from a real project and the challenges and that you were facing. Very much appreciated that you took your time today to to share that with us and participate in this. Thank you very much, Thava.
Thava: [00:44:01] Yeah, you're welcome. So
Christian: [00:44:04] thank you very much, Thava, for sharing your experience from from the PIM project. It was really nice to get some hands-on experience and also hear about the challenges you had and how you overcome them. And thank you also for giving advice to to people who are about to go into a paint project on, we have to prioritize and not underestimate the effort.
Also thank you for listening for this webinar. And now the last part, I'll just give you an idea of how dynamicweb work with a unified platform for PIM and e-commerce. So what we do in dynamicweb is basically that we have a platform that is a digital experience platform, where we can help companies who are facing PIM and e-commerce projects, challenges to overcome them.
The beauty of dynamicweb is that we have one interface for content, for commerce, for PIM. Need to work in multiple distributed applications. So that makes life easier, but also means that you need fewer integration. And that lowers your risk and implementation when you're doing projects.
But from the editor again, and remember what has said about the editor. Those are the guys that we want with us in a PIM project. They also get some benefits because since it's in the same platform, they can actually sit inside the PIM system and prove their products in the front end, whether it's e-commerce or whether it's the content management part of the platform.
So that gives a more smooth and easy user experience when working inside the PIM system. Our system. And this approach is typically good for these mid and large sized organizations who are running on (Microsoft) dynamics, a ERP system or like that. We have a bunch of prebuilt connectors to D365 and business central, but also the older version of AX and D365, meaning that companies with those ERP system, they can get onboarded on dynamicweb pretty easy, but we definitely also integrate with any other ERP systems.
So there are no constraints here. And the way a solution like dynamicweb look is basically like this on the screen. Now you see our interface and on the left side and on the screen, you'll see the different application areas. What is on the screen now is our content management system, but you can also work yourself into the e-commerce note or the PIM note or the marketing note, depending on what you would like to.
See in the application. And if you want to try it out, it's actually that easy that you just can access our website slash demo. And then you can sign up and get your own demo. If you want to try out how dynamicweb works and see how it can do for your business. So that was basically the presentation from me today.
I see that there are a couple of questions being raised. During the webinar and I'll just reach out and read the first one here. So that is for you, Amanda. So Amanda, a question for you here is what are the top three trends for PIM for the next years? Maybe you could help us here.
Amanda: [00:47:15] Sure. Think the top three trends again, keeping on the theme of the features already here we're to seeing it accelerate.
I think one of the trends that I'm starting to see, certainly in the second half of this year that I think will continue to be true next year is. The importance of syndication. And I think that customers will start to see more and hear more from their PIM vendors, pushing their own syndication capabilities.
I think we'll see some unique partnerships in the landscape. And also this being an area of development. In fact, we already see from some adjacent areas like the commerce platforms coming with, out of the box connectors to some of the biggest workplaces of retailers out there. So I think syndication.
You're taking even more of a Mainstage role is one, I think, too, because of the focus of e-commerce and so much of the acceleration that we've seen on the buyer side in 2020, going forward into 2021, we're going to continue to see this. Kind of confusion and consolidation of capabilities across adjacent categories, like product information, like digital asset management, like commerce, like CMS because of the role that they all play in delivering product experience and contributing to e-commerce growth.
So I think we'll see a little bit more of that confusion as the market. Recognizes more of the role of PIM and then figuring out what that right stack is for for for companies. So I think we'll see some more of that confusion and consolidation on the vendor side. And then thirdly, I think we'll see really a maturation in analytics and AI.
So I guess I'll wrap that up into innovation in the PIM tools. I've already seen some of this and as we're getting into the end of 2020 of the year the final year demos I'm seeing in the roadmaps for 20, 21 they're focusing on empowering or building features that empower the users to be smarter from an analytics standpoint, and then using things like AI and machine learning and computer vision to take more of that heavy lifting out of the manual processes of managing product data.
So I think we'll see a maturation of those capabilities out of the box where we've seen some of it over the last year or so.
Christian: [00:49:23] Okay, thank you. Interesting stuff. I must say another question here. I think we can just make that as well. And so payment e-commerce with those kinds of technologies, how would the role of the marketplace developed during the next couple of years?
Amanda: [00:49:38] I think that we haven't forced our whole research stream around marketplaces that really kicked off over the last year. Because again, we've already seen that in play, so I think that we'll see for marketplaces is they are really a core tenant of that e-commerce strategy. And that means, I think, on the PIM side and this is already true.
Buyers will be looking for the PIM tools that have these partnerships or out of the box. Connectors are easy integration (like Channable) with marketplace there's cause they understand that's a place where the is going to be a key channel for their customers. And that is going to be true of most brands. There will be some that are high in demand brands that customers will still go to look directly to their e-commerce sites.
But I think for most of what we'll see is that the marketplace is going to be one of those most important entry points for product discovery and that the PIM tools certainly are going to focus on those connections and positioning to help their users empower their e-commerce strategy.
But making sure that's not one of the pain points in the product data management process.
Christian: [00:50:44] Yeah. Okay. Thank you very much. I think we are about to end the webinar now. Would like to thank you all for listening in, and of course, a special thanks to you, Amanda. And also you Tava for helping us out to the today and presenting in, at our webinar here.
So I wish you all a nice day or a nice evening, wherever you are. Thank you very much.