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Agility v8 Integrates Amazon Rekognition and Google Cloud Vision

Hot on the heels of launching a ground breaking new version of our award winning product information management solution (PIM), Agility v8, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve integrated Amazon Rekognition and Google Cloud Vision directly with our Agility platform, giving our customers the most advanced AI-powered product information enrichment with automated image tagging and moderation features.

So, what’s the significance of this?

Having high quality images is now table stakes for eCommerce success. Product images drive online shopper engagement, conversion and retention, and more importantly, customer lifetime value. A good picture of a product instantly conveys applicability, information and branding to a shopper in a way that lines of text struggle to. In fact, over 75% of eCommerce shoppers say product images are very influential when they’re deciding whether they want to buy an item online, according to a recent Weebly survey.

There are a number of key commerce considerations for having quality product images:

  • Images must be up-to-date and relevant;
  • Images must be searchable by having image tagging with key words;
  • Images must be moderated to ensure they are appropriate for the desired audience.

However, the job of managing, tagging and indexing the many thousands of images in a typical customers library soaks up a lot of time and resource.

One of Agility’s greatest strengths has been our commitment to constant innovation, and this continues with our focus on integrating artificial intelligence technologies from Google and Amazon. Our integration with their automated image tagging and moderation services is now available for Agility customers and will identify the objects, people, text, scenes and activities within their images, and store them in Agility as searchable attributes. It will also detect potentially inappropriate content and can also extract text within the images.

Our developers have done the hard work, so you get the help you need to index, tag and moderate your images automatically – it’s like having an extra team member! We have also built this in a generic way that can easily be extended for use in other online AI services, so watch this space!

Agility customers will have the opportunity to experience the full breadth of our advanced PIM capabilities during the Agility v8 showcase at Magnitude’s upcoming user conferences in York, UK (October 15-16) and in Dallas, TX (October 29-30).

To learn more, contact our PIM experts.

Advice for Marketing Leaders Considering a PIM

How to determine if your business is ready for a PIM solution

Do you have an effective product information management system, or are you drowning in barely managed spreadsheet-driven chaos?

If you are reading this blog, chances are that you and your team have already started to think about implementing a product data strategy and investing in a Product Information Management (PIM) solution.

We’ve created the PIM Readiness Assessment as a resource. The answers to some simple questions can quickly help you determine if your business is ready for the benefits a “proper” PIM solution can offer:

  • How many SKUs (products) do you have?
  • Are you promoting products across multiple touchpoints/channels (website, print catalogs, brochures, marketplaces, data exchanges, stores, sales teams)?
  • Are you integrating content from multiple data sources (suppliers, trade services, price lists, PML, ERP, main systems)?
  • Do have product content in multiple languages?
  • Do you manage cross sells/upsells or product bundles?

Take our 3-minute PIM Readiness Assessment (and get instant results) so you can clarify potential next steps and begin your journey of attaining actionable product information intelligence.

Looking for best practices and benchmark data to help build a stronger PIM business case? Our team is here to help – contact a PIM expert today!.

Related Resources:

IRC 2019: Positioning PIM at the Heart of the Commerce Journey

Curious how the biggest retailers in the UK are planning for 2020 and beyond?

Join Agility Multichannel at the InternetRetailing Conference (IRC 2019) in London on October 10, 2019  to hear industry thought-leaders ideas on the actions that retailers must take to stay competitive.

If you ask the Agility experts onsite… they will tell you why a “proper” PIM is the essential piece of a retailer’s product management and marketing strategy. Read More: 5 Reasons Why Retailers Need a PIM

Attend Agility’s featured workshop at IRC 2019:

Why product information management is essential in your digital commerce journey

Thursday October 10, 12:05pm – 12:35pm

Workshop Theatre – Workshop 2

Providing a consistently exceptional experience across all of your customer touch points is key to thriving in commerce today. In this workshop, we will outline some of the key challenges that online retailers face and showcase how exceptional product information management (PIM) at the core of an eCommerce strategy has helped global retailers and brands increase market presence, expand into new channels, and thrive in the digital market.

Presented by:

Richard Hunt, VP MDM, DIW & Agility Solutions – Agility Multichannel (by Magnitude)

Jason Simpson, Director of European Sales – Agility Multichannel (by Magnitude)

Visit Magnitude’s Agility Multichannel at Stand #18 to learn about our latest Agility v8, the industry’s most advanced PIM platform. In designing v8, we’ve set a new standard in PIM by modeling the PIM experience on the eCommerce experience customers come to expect –- by fully integrating Product Management, Experience Management and Commerce.

Our solution experts will be on hand to show you what Agility PIM can do for your business and why PIM is an essential piece of a retailer’s product management and marketing strategy.  Schedule a meeting with us to learn more.

Five Reasons Why Manufacturers Need a PIM

As a manufacturer, your brand is your identity. Your reputation and the perception of all of your products and services is wrapped in a name, logo and stock market symbol. It doesn’t matter if your brand is long established in the market or new to the scene, it is essential to proactively maintain your marketing message.

Source of Truth

Consumers look to manufacturers to provide the original, single true source of information about their products. From concept to design to prototype to finished product, the manufacturer owns every step of the process. Every aspect of the final product derives from the manufacturer — each spec, detail, feature, benefit, part, component or instructions. All of this information is part of the package that is stamped with your brand. This is true for a garment, a drill, a tractor or a turboexpander for a power plant. The manufacturer’s information is fact. And so, managing the creation, maintenance and dissemination of this information is as critical to the manufacturer as controlling its distribution channels.

Why is this important?

B2B and B2C distribution channels have changed dramatically with the rise of the internet and                eCommerce. Print catalogs remain viable, but old-fashioned “mail orders” have been nearly wiped out by electronic transactions. Even that reliable field call by your sales rep might end in a customer order placed electronically.

The sales process moves much quicker today. Thanks to global sourcing, the number of products available to customers continues to rise exponentially. So does the amount of product information, especially when the same basic information is replicated and edited through retail, distributor and reseller channels.

Do a quick search for some of your products on the internet and see how many times you can find them. Then look at the product information. Are these websites providing all of the details you want to share about your products? And in the way you want it to be presented? Just like gossip gets distorted when it passes from person to person, your product information may not survive intact through all of these hands. You’ll find that many sites provide minimal product information and no detail at all.

Your products—your brand—are at risk of being diluted in this electronic stream. It’s one of the reasons smart manufacturers are adopting a Product Information Management solution (PIM) as the core of their digital marketing strategies. Here are other reasons to consider:

  1. E-commerce is here to stay. Global electronic transactions neared the $3 trillion mark in 2018, up 15% from 2017, and continue to rise. Yet manufacturers are lagging in the race to ecommerce. A 2018 B2BecNews survey of 276 manufacturers indicated that 60.7% lacked an ecommerce site, but that 75% planned to launch one within two years
  2. Ecommerce is more than just a website. Digital transformation means giving customers access to your products where they shop—via mobile-friendly apps, phones, tablets and other portables. Today’s customers buy on the fly. They want an “experience”. You have to embrace this new wave of customer engagement in order to survive.
  3. A PIM gives you total control over product information. From one single source of truth you can manage products, specifications, SKUs, photos, schematics, and all other assets. You can ensure brand consistency across all of your distribution channels. And you have security over your data.
  4. Publishing from a PIM is easy. Print or web, catalog or brochure, data export to a distributor’s ecommerce portal—a PIM allows you to configure and feed product information from the data repository to an eCommerce storefront as well as publish to print or electronic catalogs. An ERP system cannot. This flexibility enables the manufacturer to target messages to specific audiences with exceptional efficiency and to archive publications for updates and reuse.
  5. A PIM “talks” to outside systems (SAP, Oracle, other ERPs, mainframes, sales data, price files, asset libraries, Excel, other marketing systems, etc.) and integrates data from these sources to provide real-time analytics and reports. This gives the manufacturer a clear picture of customer behaviors and other factors affecting business performance. Instead of wasting time compiling data, the manufacturer can evaluate the information from the PIM’s reporting functionality—achieving a 360° view of their products—and make better decisions faster.

A robust PIM solution is flexible, scalable, configurable and easily deployed and used. For these reasons, it’s essential to any digital transformation initiative. If you are looking to take control of your product information journey, we recommend the following steps to ensure a thorough PIM evaluation – check out our infographic: Choosing a PIM: What to Watch for.

The Evolution of PIM in Delivering an e-Commerce User Experience

Product data is the lifeblood of eCommerce. With global eCommerce projected to increase 20.7 percent to reach $3.535 trillion this year, savvy global retailers, distributors and manufacturers are honing in to ensure that their product information is ready to seize the tremendous growth opportunities.

As such, product information management (PIM) has risen to become a strategic imperative for every product company. With our own product innovation, we’re raising the bar and have set a new standard in PIM by not benchmarking our product based on other PIM offerings but against the best eCommerce experience. That’s our new guiding principle for the design of Agility: in designing our new Agility v8, we’ve modeled the PIM experience on the eCommerce experience customers come to expect.

Our customers are accustomed to the intuitive functionality of eCommerce websites where there is no learning required. We’ve designed our PIM with this mind by providing a more contextual user experience (UX), allowing users to search and refine as they would on an eCommerce site and then presenting the user with exactly what they need based on the content and the task at hand.

Evolution from two-dimensional to three-dimensional PIM

Historically, PIM solutions have provided a two-dimensional ‘what you see is what you get’ user experience, where you can preview the content, but it’s flat and you can’t actually interact with the data.  You might be able to preview how a product will look in your catalog or as presented in the product page template of your website, but you cannot see the results of interacting with your content.

Today, we’ve redesigned our PIM platform to deliver a three-dimensional user experience, where users interact with their data from within the PIM just as they would within an eCommerce site, by clicking on refinements. For example, what happens when you click on ‘black’ under your color attribute? Do you get the results you expect? Or do you have potential gaps in your data? Do your color options include both ‘grey’ and ‘gray’? If so, then you have data inconsistencies.

If you could easily identify these issues while working within your PIM, you could prevent accidental errors and omissions from going live on your website. Now, with Agility v8, you can. We’ve delivered an intuitive eCommerce-like, faceted search experience, leading to paged results that can be acted on immediately.

A win-win for retailers, brand manufacturers and customers

Delivering complete, contextually relevant and consistent product information is now table stakes in the era of the always-connected consumer. It’s why a robust PIM platform is needed for creating, organizing and optimizing product data from one central source to ensure brand consistency across all customer channels, wherever consumers choose to engage.

Having an effective PIM strategy in place is the cornerstone for creating an engaging and effortless commerce experience — one that drives long-term customer loyalty, increased sales and ultimately results in fewer returns.

To learn more about the value PIM can bring to your business, let’s have a conversation.

2019 MDM Landscape Report: Magnitude Software Recognized as a Master Data Management Leader for Sixth Year Running

2019 MDM Landscape Report: Magnitude Software Recognized as a Master Data Management Leader for Sixth Year Running

Austin, TX – July 24, 2019 – Magnitude Software, Inc., a leader in delivering unified application data management to global organizations, today announced its recognition for the sixth consecutive year in Master Data Management (MDM) analyst firm, Information Difference’s MDM Landscape 2019 Report. Magnitude’s MDM offerings: Kalido (by Magnitude) and Agility Multichannel (by Magnitude) received high ranking scores for technology and customer satisfaction, placing #2 in both categories out of the 45 MDM vendors included in the report.

Agility Multichannel (by Magnitude) – MDM for product data vendor specializing in Product Information Management (PIM). Acquired by Magnitude Software in 2017.

Kalido (by Magnitude) – Model-driven multi-domain MDM vendor with analytical and operational MDM capabilities. Previously known as Magnitude MDM.

Andy Hayler, President & CEO of The Information Difference, commented: “Magnitude made another excellent showing in our annual MDM Landscape research, which is heavily driven by direct customer feedback. The solution continues to get strong positive feedback from the large sample of customers that we surveyed, scoring the second highest of any vendor in the market. Customers were especially impressed with the professional services and software helpdesk staff, both of which are crucial to taking an MDM product through to operational use and maintaining it in production, leading to sustained business benefit.“

“It’s an honor to be consistently recognized as a technology and customer satisfaction leader in one of the industry’s most widely respected MDM analyst reports,” said Richard Hunt, VP Agility & Kalido solutions for Magnitude Software. “This endorsement is a testament to our customer-first mantra and ongoing commitment to investing in new innovations across our product portfolio.”

The MDM Landscape Report is an industry analysis of the state of the MDM market and top performing vendors. The report recognizes those MDM vendors that have a large customer base, score highly in customer responses concerning the company’s technology, and demonstrate strength in the MDM market.

Download the full report here: 2019 MDM Landscape Report

About Magnitude Software

Magnitude’s transformative approach to unified application data management delivers vast operational efficiencies to business application data access, management, analytics and reporting for the modern enterprise. Magnitude’s portfolio of products includes: simplified application data access to any data source; data management solutions for the SAP and commerce verticals; simplified master data harmonization and governance; and packaged application analytics and reporting solutions for SAP and Oracle. The company helps thousands of business users simplify management of their data and deliver on the substantial productivity gains these applications originally promised. For more information, please visit www.magnitude.com

About Agility Multichannel

Magnitude Software’s Agility® is a simple-to-use but highly sophisticated Product Information Management (PIM) solution that puts your most valuable product data at the stable core of a go-anywhere, sell-everywhere commerce strategy. Agility Multichannel is the only major PIM vendor focused on fully integrating Product Management, Experience Management and Commerce. Agility services customers both directly and through integration and reseller partners around the world. Visit www.agilitymultichannel.com for access to screenshots, research, videos, customer use cases and more.

Magnitude Software Launches Agility v8

Industry’s Most Advanced Product Information Management Platform Empowers Retailers and Distributors to Take Control of Product Information Journey

Austin, TX –– Magnitude Software, Inc., a leader in delivering unified application data management to global organizations, today announced the release of the industry’s most advanced and adaptive Product Information Management (PIM), Agility v8, with innovative new features that provide an unparalleled user experience for customers.

“Product Information Management is now recognized as a strategic priority for every product-centric company and it’s the foundation for any retailer, global brand, manufacturer or distributor’s information management and marketing strategy,” said Richard Hunt, VP Agility, MDM and DIW solutions for Magnitude Software. “In redesigning Agility v8, we used our deep understanding of our customer’s requirements and anticipated market demands to set a new industry standard for PIM. The five instrumental design goals used to create Agility v8 include — scalability, contextual UX, look and feel, search experience, and team collaboration.”

Based on the trusted knowledge and market insights as to where PIM is headed, Agility v8 is built to ensure that Agility remains the market leading platform by focusing on fully integrating product management, experience management and commerce.

“Agility v8 is a quantum leap forward in scalability, performance and usability and it’s the platform that will take us into the future,” said Chris Barnes, VP of Engineering for Magnitude Software. “By leveraging engineering techniques and technologies learned in other parts of the Magnitude portfolio, such as our Master Data Management and Data Warehousing software, we’re enabling even larger systems, while delivering major productivity gains for our PIM customers.”

Agility customers will have the opportunity to experience the full breadth of the industry’s most advanced PIM capabilities during the Agility v8 showcase at Magnitude’s upcoming user conferences this fall in York, UK (October 15-16) and in Dallas, TX (October 29-30).

About Magnitude Software

Magnitude’s transformative approach to unified application data management delivers vast operational efficiencies to business application data access, management, analytics and reporting for the modern enterprise. Magnitude’s portfolio of products includes: simplified application data access to any data source; data management solutions for the SAP and commerce verticals; simplified master data harmonization and governance; and packaged application analytics and reporting solutions for SAP and Oracle. The company helps thousands of business users simplify management of their data and deliver on the substantial productivity gains these applications originally promised. For more information, please visit www.magnitude.com

About Agility Multichannel

Magnitude Software’s Agility® is a simple-to-use but highly sophisticated Product Information Management (PIM) solution that puts your most valuable product data at the stable core of a go-anywhere, sell-everywhere commerce strategy. Agility Multichannel is the only major PIM vendor focused on fully integrating Product Management, Experience Management and Commerce. Agility services customers both directly and through integration and reseller partners around the world. Visit www.agilitymultichannel.com for access to screenshots, research, videos, customer use cases and more.

Five Reasons Why Retailers Need a PIM

“It is a well-known fact that bringing in technologies in the retail sector is good for business.” — N. R. Narayana Murthy, Co-founder, Infosys.

If technology doesn’t actually run our daily lives, it certainly shapes the journey. From the smart phones we carry, to the multimedia systems in our homes, to the navigation wizardry in our cars, technology is everywhere. Nearly all of it purchased, of course, from a retailer like you.

So, if technology is inescapable, doesn’t it make sense for you, the retailer, to adopt tech in your business? Think about your place in the retail world versus five or ten years ago. Do you have the same competitors? Same products? Same supply chain? Have customer behaviors and tastes stayed the same?  So much has changed, right? And the changes keep on coming. Faster. New competitors, shifting customer expectations and the emergence of online and mobile shopping have shaken the old bricks and mortar. A lot of retailers with a mindset stuck in the 1980s are either failing or have disappeared.

Enter e-commerce

Retail veterans might wax for the simpler times when you had your shop or chain of stores and a reasonably local and predictable customer base. You knew your rivals and they knew you. Customer relationships were more personal. But about 25 years ago, the Internet gave birth to ecommerce. Amazon created and refined online customer engagement. At the same time, products poured into the US from all corners of the globe. The retail world would never be the same.

Amazon was the true retail disruptor. Amazon’s business model centered on customers, specifically their desire for more choices, lower prices and greater convenience. Once Amazon mastered delivery systems, they nailed it. Customers swarmed to Amazon and other sites like eBay. The smarter old guard retail giants took notice and built their own ecommerce platforms, with much copycatting. In this war for the retail dollar, customers were the clear winners.

Today, US online retail sales represent 10.2% of all US retail sales. At $137.7 billion against total US retail sales of $1,344.9 billion, e-commerce continues its steady climb upward. [See chart below.] Within this number are two interesting statistics. First, Amazon owns almost half of the US ecommerce market. Two, about 45% of today’s online purchases are made on mobile devices. Think about that. Nearly one out of two online purchases is made from a smart phone, tablet or wristwatch. The potential of mobile as a retail channel is fascinating to contemplate.

You need a PIM

So how can you bring the power of technology to bear in your business? The answer: Implement a Product Information Management (PIM) solution. Here are five reasons why a PIM is an essential piece of a retailer’s product management and marketing strategy.

  1. To efficiently manage and curate product information —A PIM enables you to create, organize and optimize product data from one central source. The PIM also allows data to be input from external sources such as supplier websites. A PIM is a tremendous time saver and powerful tool.
  2. For brand consistency. Whether you are an active lifestyle retailer, a luxury auto dealer, a department store or a small boutique, your brand is your identity. Now think: How often is your brand message used incorrectly? Do you battle inconsistency with brand usage? A PIM helps you to ensure the consistent, correct style, voice, tone and message of your brand across all channels. You can control who has access to your product data, and you can edit supplier content to conform to your brand’s style. The last point is key if you publish content from overseas suppliers, as translated English occasionally needs a little editing.
  3. To understand market trends — Raise your hand if you hate to fill out sales reports. Thought so. A PIM can integrate data from outside systems (ERP, mainframes, sales data, price files, asset libraries, Excel, Oracle, SAP, etc.) to deliver real-time analytics and reports. This gives the store manager, the regional manager and the corporate office the intel they need about sales, customer behaviors and other factors affecting business performance. Instead of fumbling with spreadsheets, you’ll have the ability to make better decisions faster.
  4. For multichannel publishing — A PIM allows you to configure and feed product information from the data repository to your website and to mobile-friendly platforms as well as publish to print or electronic catalogs, in-store kiosks and many other channels. Content can be updated and repurposed over and over. One national tool retailer uses its PIM data to tailor direct mail and digital marketing messages to different regions and to individual customers. The result is an exceptionally personalized engagement that drives store traffic.
  5. Better blogging. Your blog page is a space to add value and showcase your expertise. A few years back, an ad agency audited a supermarket chain’s web content as part of a website overhaul. Agency writers discovered that the supermarket’s blog content was heavy on holiday entertaining, summer sunburn prevention and grilling, but woefully thin on such diverse topics as wellness, seafood, sustainable foods and vegan/vegetarian cuisine. The blog page was a clear weak spot. Without an efficient means to organize her posts, the in-house blogger often wrote essentially duplicate stories about Christmas cookies and cheese trays. A PIM would have allowed her to organize, update and publish her blogs and remove outdated content.

A robust PIM solution is flexible, scalable, configurable and easily deployed and used. For these reasons, a PIM should be the bedrock of any retailer’s information management and marketing strategy. If you are looking to take control of your product information journey, we recommend the following steps to ensure a thorough PIM evaluation – check out the infographic: Choosing a PIM: What to Watch for.

Curious about the major trends reshaping the retail landscape today? Join Agility at the InternetRetailing Conference (IRC) on Thursday October 10th in London.

Meet with our PIM experts in-person at IRC stand #25 to talk through your product information challenges. Don’t miss our workshop session: Why product information management is essential in your digital commerce journey.

 

†Source: US Department of Commerce, Quarterly E-Commerce Retails Sales, 1st Quarter 2019. https://www.census.gov/retail/mrts/www/data/pdf/ec_current.pdf

DID YOU KNOW? US E-COMMERCE RETAIL SALES as % of TOTAL US RETAIL SALES, 2009-2019 (US Department of Commerce, 5/17/2019)

1Q 2009

1Q 2012

1Q 2015

1Q 2019

4.0%

5.0%

7.0%

10.2%

What’s new in v8: User Experience

The release of the industry’s most advanced and adaptive PIM, Agility v8 is fast-approaching! Here’s a sneak peek on the sublime User Experience.

Agility is focused on teamwork and collaboration amongst business users. Our v8 offers advanced search and navigation features, intuitive workspaces designed to focus on your tasks – allowing you to be as efficient as possible, and a dynamic interface that responds to the information you are working with.

Fredrik Engqvist, Senior Solution Architect

Fredrik Engqvist, Senior Solution Architect

We asked Fredrik Engquist, our Senior Solution Architect based in Malmö Sweden, to tell us more about how the user experience in v8 has been redesigned to delight the large community of Agility users.

Fredrik, can you tell us what prompted the update to the new user interface?

Well, it’s more than just an update to the look and feel. When we started to develop the filtering and faceting feature we knew that it was a radical departure to how our customers work today. There is a real separation in searching and navigating for the products you want to work on, with a seamless transition into the edit workspace where the user now has the entire screen available to work on the content. In previous versions, both these operations occupied the same space, and so now the experience feels less cluttered and more cohesive.

Where did the faceting approach come from and why is this different to the structure browsing method?

I think we have all become very used to this kind of experience when navigating commerce websites so it seemed natural to provide a similar approach in our PIM. It also helps the people working with Agility to navigate the content in the way their customers will. Our improved search results “Grid View” ties in with this approach by providing a familiar and more visual way to browse the results.

The interface has a different look and feel too – what prompted that?

Although functionality is obviously critical to any software product, style and ease of use are crucial to providing a great user experience as well. The significant changes to search and navigation with v8 gave us an ideal opportunity to look more holistically at the whole look and feel. Our new design has more white space and roominess to it, so it feels less cluttered and is more visually appealing. Additionally, along with our Magnitude MDM product, we are one of the pioneers of a new ‘family’ approach to user experience that is being rolled out across the Magnitude suite of products, making it easier to use products in combination.

Read more about our other features in our preview on what to expect in Agility v8.

Contact our team today to discuss how Agility v8 can help your team excel in commerce.