Q&A: Joakim Gavelin, VP Digital Shelf Solutions, inriver
All buyers want a personalized experience. Inriver’s product information management (PIM) system powers those experiences.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I am a retail and shopper specialist and evangelist with +30 years in the service of Retailers and Branded manufacturers, where I have helped more than 500 companies to sell more to their customers. For the last seven years, I have dedicated myself to understanding and helping with Online sales specifically.
What does your company do?
Success in today’s digital world means delivering excellent customer experiences across every touchpoint. All buyers want a personalized experience. Inriver’s product information management (PIM) system powers those experiences. It helps B2C and B2B companies – Retailers and Branded Manufacturers – manage and deliver product content that is highly searchable, enriched, consistent, and drives conversions.
What’s unique about the platform and your approach?
Inriver is the only digital-first PIM™. Being a digital-first PIM provides everything you need to win in today’s commerce game – all contained within a single platform. It provides actionable guidance on what influences buying decisions and allows brands to adapt and put those insights into action quickly. You can monitor product content performance through engagement intelligence and integrated digital shelf analytics. It will enable you to act on poor findability, missing content, and online out-of-stocks, which are common pitfalls. Our closed-loop capabilities mean that you can manage, create, share, and evaluate your product information to optimize customer experiences and drive more revenue across channels. Finally, as a multi-tenant SaaS solution, inriver is easy to use, intuitive and secure – which means no downtime no software updates.
What challenges are retailers facing in 2022?
Retailers face a lot of pressure as they need to scale to new markets quickly, compete globally (even if they only operate locally), and optimize the customer experience across all online and offline channels. This complexity means that manual efforts don’t work anymore. The same work and spreadsheets shared across departments create working in silos and cost retailers time, resources, and money.
Product information has become a core strategic asset in digital commerce. More than half of online product searches don’t contain a brand name, according to recent research. This number is even higher on marketplaces, jumping to over 70%. This means that companies with products that are difficult to find on the digital shelf, feature as out-of-stock, or suffer from missing or inaccurate product information turn into lost sales opportunities. There is a lot of potential in digital commerce, primarily due to the boost we’ve seen due to the pandemic but so are the chances to lose sales.
Avoiding lost sales opportunities that scale quickly and adapt to market needs are critical in 2022.
How are retailers using your system to gain a competitive advantage, and what does best practice look like?
We help them shorten time-to-market by collecting all product information in one central repository. From there, they can plan promotions and releases in hours, not weeks, and launch and enter new markets quickly.
The syndication of product content across channels is also faster, having the content optimized and formatted to meet any standards or regulations globally. In addition to that, being able to streamline translations or print with connected apps reduces costly errors.
Another benefit is guided selling. The more context you can offer for your products online, the easier it is for consumers to find what they are looking for and complete a purchase. And even after the purchase is completed, if that product doesn’t meet expectations due to inaccurate or misleading information, it will lead to a return. This causes frustration for the consumers and high costs of returns for retailers. And it’s not sustainable either.
Our research shows that close to two out of five products have incorrect or missing product content online. At the same time, an equal percentage of products are out of stock. These figures create dissatisfaction and frustration for consumers and what usually happens is that they choose another brand.
Our Digital Shelf Analytics capability called inriver Evaluate helps audit the digital shelves on an SKU level, adding eyes and ears to the PIM, so any opportunity can be found in real-time before it slips to someone else.
Happy customers who experience a better shopping journey across channels return fewer products, write better reviews, and are more loyal to brands they trust.
Are there other companies you partner with?
Our partner network comprises alliances with the major eCommerce players like Salesforce, SAP, Optimizely, and more; technology partners like Adobe Experience Manager and 3D product visualizer, Three Kit, and more than 200 global strategic integrators. All of which have the skills and experience to implement our solution and adapt to the changing needs of our customers and provide complementary functionality. Our data model is flexible to fit our customers’ unique needs, so no matter where or how you wish to share your product information, we can help you get it there. To read more about our partners, go here.
Any final thoughts?
I want to call out a sense of urgency for both retailers and branded manufacturers to optimize your product content and do it quickly. The lost sales opportunities I mentioned are not just occasional but rather happening at this very second. A customer lost today because you were missing critical pieces of content. Suppose you lose one customer today due to some misguiding content upsetting the counterpart. In that case, that might be a lost sales opportunity for life if you are in the business of repeating sales where the customer is expected to come back again in the future. That view and understanding are crucial for success in online retail.
to find out how inriver can help your retail operation, click here.
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