Achieving Digital-First Success: How AI is Enhancing Digital Merchandising and PIM
The Digital-first strategy has been a buzzword for some time now. And there’s a good reason for it. Statista predicts that global spending on digital transformation will shoot up to $2.8 trillion by 2025. There is no doubt that recent events such as the pandemic and instances of supply chain disruption have accelerated this growth. However, even before these disruptive events, the market was set for this acceleration. Take the boost in digital commerce sales in the last 10 years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau News, the latest data shows that from 2012 to 2022, annual US ecommerce sales multiplied by nearly five times, rising at an average annual growth rate of 16.4%. In 2022, total US ecommerce sales hit a record high of $1.03 trillion, after recording a 7.44% annual increase.
As enterprises continue to see a shift in employee and customer expectations towards more digital and mobile experiences, it is essential to transform business operations using industry-leading digital platforms to become increasingly agile and maintain a competitive advantage. A digital-first strategy could transform the business to build a seamless digital network for manufacturers, retailers & distributors, and customers
Digital Presence is a Ubiquitous Demand
The need for digital transformation is no longer restricted to any particular sector or industry. On the one hand, most, if not all, brick-and-mortar businesses are looking to go online. On the other, even those with an existing online presence face the need to constantly update and upgrade experiences to keep up with changing customer expectations. And the B2B sector is no exception to this. According to Forbes, nearly 75% of the global workforce will comprise millennials by 2025. Millennials, who will be leading the decision-making process in B2B industries, have grown up in the digital world. This means they look for experiences similar to those they have with B2C companies when dealing with B2B companies too.
Finding Technology that Works for You, and Not the Other Way Round
Businesses looking for digital transformation have two broad objectives:
A. To put the right strategy and technology in place
B. To achieve growth in sales
The longer it takes for organizations to get from Point A to Point B, the greater the chance they get snubbed out by the competition and lose customers. Speed at scale is the need of the hour. Going by the traditional methods, organizations would invest heavily in rigid monolithic systems to handle information and experiences, which would take months, if not years to set up. These systems would work in silos, as would the teams working on them. Again, these systems were never perfect, so there was a constant need for manual intervention and “patch-up” jobs to keep things running. This resulted in heavy technical debt that would trickle down to all future endeavors.
What modern-day organizations need is a faster and smarter way to scale and improve product experience. The systems or software they use should be easy to set up and start with, and IT infrastructure requirements must be as low as possible. Therefore, there is a need for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-like solutions on the cloud that can help you get started quickly and cost-effectively. You need a solution that enables you to improve margins rather than worrying about the technology you need to help you achieve your business goals. And this solution must be end-to-end and easily integrated with other systems so you don’t fall into the “silo trap” again. For example, if your business is to sell Industrial Tools, that is what you should be able to focus on, and not the technology you need to keep your business running.
Introducing Blue Meteor Product Content Cloud (PCC)
The Blue Meteor Product Content Cloud (PCC) is an end-to-end Cloud-based solution that allows organizations to provide in-context content at speed and scale. The solution empowers organizations to take complete control of the product content value chain with technology and strategic expertise.
Blue Meteor’s low-code Cloud-native SaaS solutions use automation and data intelligence to enable organizations to achieve accelerated time-to-value at low total cost-of-ownership. With Blue Meteor PCC, businesses can access out-of-the-box solutions that are ready to use and require no coding.
While old-school data management technologies offer one-size-fits-all solutions, Blue Meteor PCC veers away from this approach with business and industry-specific solutions that can be adjusted to fit different parts of the data supply chain. This helps maximize value for manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and buying groups. In addition, by incorporating data intelligence and automation, Blue Meteor PCC delivers high-quality content at scale, allowing businesses to create exceptional experiences at the speed required by market demands.
The following are the critical components of Blue Meteor PCC that organizations can leverage as a package or individually.
1. Blue Meteor DataBridge
Blue Meteor DataBridge is a middleware for product content that simplifies data integration. It is a Cloud-based solution that automates the movement of product data from any source to any target. By leveraging data science and automation, it transforms inconsistent product data into clean, standardized data. The solution also automates the process of importing, consolidating, and standardizing product data to speed up the collection and distribution of product data across multiple touchpoints, which accelerates new product introductions. It includes off-the-shelf connectors and pre-built templates for easy integration and product data distribution that reduce time-to-market.
The syndication software automates the transformation of product data into industry standards, such as ACES/PIES and ETIM/BME Cat. The Cloud-based SaaS also allows organizations to offer suppliers and customers the ability to onboard and access product content via API, without requiring changes to their current architecture.
Here are some of the key features of Blue Meteor DataBridge:
- Product Category Mapping: Classify SKUs to fit your data model to accelerate product onboarding and publishing.
- Product Attribute Mapping: Normalize attribute names according to your data model, enabling findable and easy-to-understand product specifications.
- Product Data Transformation: Clean up messy and inconsistent data into a high-quality asset that can drive buying journeys.
- PIM/MDM Agnostic: Easily integrate Blue Meteor DataBridge with existing PIM/MDM solutions for a disruption-free experience.
2. Blue Meteor DataXchange
Member-based organizations such as buying groups, cooperations, and associations strive to provide added value to their members. One way they achieve this is by simplifying product content exchange to create a comprehensive industry catalog with rich digital assets. The current process of exchanging data within an industry is often inefficient and leads to inconsistent and inaccurate product data, resulting in poor customer experiences. This makes it difficult for smaller organizations to compete in today’s digital economy.
Blue Meteor DataXchange enables product content sharing and exchanging between members of communities. The system enables the exchange and governance of product content based on industry-developed standards. This is achieved by automating the translation of data models when exchanging information between trading partners, suppliers, and resellers. Blue Meteor DataXchange provides an industry product catalog or data pool that the community can access and utilize to improve its standing in digital commerce.
The system is cloud-based, turnkey, and configurable and eliminates the need for coding and custom solutions. It supports industry data authorization models and security. It has the ability to extend the value of the data exchange with a community or member PIM, thereby unlocking additional ways of generating value from product content.
Apart from being highly beneficial for buying groups themselves, the system benefits members in the following ways:
|Share accurate and comprehensive product information easily||Get “ready-to-publish” information from manufacturers|
|Grow product aisle exponentially||Maintain channel standards and consistency with minimal manual intervention|
|Eliminate manual efforts required to fill information in distributor formats||Gain a competitive edge with a more comprehensive range of assortments|
|Expand access to a larger number of distribution channels||Drive purchase journeys with enriched product content|
3. Blue Meteor Amaze Product Experience Management (AmazePXM)
Blue Meteor AmazePXM is a cloud-native, SaaS platform built on MACH (Microservices-based, API-first, Coud-Native, Headless) architecture that enables businesses to deliver compelling product experiences across channels. This helps businesses drive customer loyalty and brand value, and boost sales. The platform provides a centralized module to manage and enrich product information, optimize product data for different uses, create an immersive buying experience, and automate workflows.
With Blue Meteor AmazePXM, businesses can:
- Create and edit rich product content: The product experience management platform enables businesses to streamline manual processes, speed up time-to-market, and deliver more compelling product experiences. It provides a single platform solution to collect, manage, and enrich product information, create product catalogs, and distribute them to sales and eCommerce channels. The platform allows users to create rich product content, develop more compelling product stories, and populate, update and edit product attributes in bulk.
- Improve findability: AmazePXM enables organizations to fine-tune the browse and search experience to drive faster and better findability. The platform provides complete control over taxonomy design and classification, attribution and data model design capabilities to populate products with the right attributes consistently. With the ability to build product families, customers can explore multiple ways to find the products they seek.
- Provide value with digital media assets: The platform includes a user-friendly digital asset management (DAM) system that centralizes and manages digital media. It enables users to tailor these assets to fit sales channels and customer expectations. With Blue Meteor AmazePXM’s DAM capabilities, users can store digital media centrally, edit images in bulk, create engaging visual experiences, build digital asset meta-information and tag assets to drive SEO efficacy and sales, and link digital assets to products, items, and product categories.
- Maximize outreach with automated syndication: Blue Meteor DataBridge Syndication module allows users to streamline the syndication process, create standardized templates for multiple channels, and automate the product distribution process. The module enables users to leverage preset rules for normalization, automate the governance process, and combine product information from multiple sources to build a centralized repository for product data. With AmazePXM’s syndication capabilities, users can publish products faster, normalize content instantly, power catalogs with live product feeds, and offer an endless aisle of assortment with automated product onboarding.
4. Gain the AI Advantage with ASTRO Data Intelligence
Powered by Amaze Data Intelligence; Blue Meteor’s AI-bot Astro offers next-gen automation to end-users. This technology enables users to create catalogs, add products, and map categories and attributes quickly and efficiently. The recommendation engine suggests contextual and relevant product categories, ensuring that taxonomy and schema development, governance rules, and normalization are fast and accurate. The user also has the option to refine these suggestions, which are automatically logged and applied in future actions, improving the overall learning process of Astro.
As a Cloud-native SaaS solution, Blue Meteor Product Content Cloud takes your business to a position of advantage without the hassle of high cost-to-value or large IT infrastructure costs. The solution gives you the speed to hit the market faster and improve sales, and all this, with the agility to adapt to market requirements without disruption. Whether you have existing systems or not, Blue Meteor PCC seamlessly integrates with your technology and enables your business to elevate your omnichannel business to the next level. It allows you to:
- Manage the entire data value chain from end to end
- Utilize automation to speed up processes at scale, including data ingestion, enrichment, distribution and syndication
- Integrate with marketplaces and distribution channels intelligently
- Exchange data easily with associations, buying groups, cooperatives and other entities
- Benefit from the power of AI and ML through ASTRO Data Intelligence, an in-built AI bot that provides industry-focused recommendations to expedite catalog creation and product introduction
- Achieve a faster time-to-market, low initial cost, and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO)
- Enjoy an easy setup process that is quick and customizable
- Receive real-time updates and ongoing support
- Easy-to-use and built for collaboration
- Increase sales and margins
Curious to learn more? Drop us a line: Let’s Connect