Cut through the maze of product data to make inventory relevant and ready for sale

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The customer’s path-to-purchase has altered irrevocably in the past decade causing purchasing decisions to originate and end at various disparate points of sale and points of service.

The retail disruption which gave birth to e-commerce and mobile shopping has harmonized customer engagement between physical and online paradigms.

Imagine a customer who has decided to bake a cake for her child’s playdate tonight. She searches through her smartphone app over her morning coffee for organic, gluten-free and allergen-free flour, finds a few recommendations and orders online at her local grocery store for pick-up late afternoon, along with frozen pizza, soda and potato chips. Real-time availability of accurate searchable product data matching the customers’ specific requirements – that enables her to buy the right product, at the right time, in the right place, at the right price – has become the key to providing a successful omni-channel customer experience.

Retailers and CPG suppliers are relentlessly working towards a common goal of improving the on-shelf or virtual availability of their products at the right price point for increasing sales and enhancing customer experience. They are striving to collaborate across the retail supply chain to enhance the efficiency in the flow of physical product, financial data and transactional data. However, there still exists a gap in the flow of product data that travels from the CPG / brands (who possess the most accurate data) through the distributor and retailer to the end customer. It is a critical denominator influencing the product purchase.

There are several considerations in your journey of product data transformation. The proliferation of suppliers, brands, SKUs, retail channels, compliance and statutory requirements for traceability of products, had led to an information deluge and an ever-increasing number of recipients of this information. High-quality product data distribution is therefore important for retailers to grow product sales per square foot or per square pixel.

The Product Data life cycle begins and ends with the customer. A good fit of the product with customers’ needs and purchase patterns in mind and the ease with which product information can be found determines inventory readiness-for-purchase. The ability to provide this high quality consistent product data creates the difference between inventory available-to-purchase and inventory readiness-for-purchase. The need of the hour is for brands, retailers, CPG suppliers, distributors, sell-side third parties including data pool, search, platform and service providers to collaborate to gather, transform and distribute relevant product data. Our team of product data experts help retailers and consumer goods organizations by setting the vision and building the roadmap of your product data transformation journey.

A few months ago Capgemini obtained perspectives from industry executives on the importance and future of product data. Further, we created a framework to transform product data, which encompasses data maturity assessment, product classification, product data acquisition, dissemination, and governance. Don’t forget to read our POV: The Devil lies in (Product Data) Details highlights how to delight customers with engaging product experiences.

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