Agility multichannel PIM Blog

Agility Multichannel Blogs gives you insights to all the latest developments and also give you the tips and tricks for all your work related hassle.

How Customers are Driving Value from their Agility PIM Investments

Our customer success is our top priority and we’re constantly seeking direct feedback from our customers in support of the partnership that leads to their success. This was exemplified at our recently concluded Agility & Kalido Magnitude North American User Conference.

Watch the recordings of some of the customer presentations below and access customer success stories to learn how customers around the world are getting the most value out of their Agility PIM investments.

Allied Electronics & Automation

“We recently upgraded from an older version of Governance to Agility’s new AMI user interface and are already realizing the benefits. One advantage we have already realized is giving our Content Manager’s more control by allowing them to import/export data in and out of the system independently which has enabled them to enrich data much faster. We’re also working towards building more choice lists and validations…. Each of these abilities allows Allied Electronics & Automation to deliver a great customer experience which is my team’s priority.

Stacey Ostermann, Director of Digital Product Content

 


HD Supply White Cap

“We had siloed and inconsistent data. We used Agility PIM to enrich, govern and grade our data such as the ability to cascade block data down to the product data. We’ve now built a consistent model of success enabling us to work smarter, not harder.”

Jessica Alley, Senior Solutions Architect

 

To learn more about how Agility PIM can optimize your product information strategy and performance across your organization, request a demo.

The Marketer’s Guide to PIM for the Omnichannel Era

Omnichannel marketing has revolutionized the way brands think about and interact with their customers. As technology spawns more marketing channels, customers demand more convenience from those channels. Today’s leading brands recognize this and capitalize by connecting and integrating all channels to create a customer-centric marketing paradigm. Omnichannel truly looks at a brand through the eyes of the customer.

Many brands are still transitioning from multichannel to omnichannel strategies. As they strive to deliver more personalized customer experiences, one constant remains: the need for consistent, compelling, intelligent and fluid content that can be readily deployed at every touchpoint.

Here’s how PIM helps marketers win in the omnichannel era:

Multichannel or Omnichannel?

First, a little clarification. The terms Multichannel and omnichannel marketing are often confused. While they sound similar, they are two very distinct strategies.

By definition, multi means many. Multichannel marketing refers to the number of channels or platforms that a brand deploys to reach its customers. These channels might include a brick-and-mortar store, print catalog, ecommerce website, mobile apps and voice activated devices, like the Amazon Echo. The brand determines these touchpoints and builds its marketing campaigns through them. Historically, the customer experience is not necessarily connected across these channels.

In contrast, omni means all. In omnichannel marketing, the customer is at the center of a connected experience across all of the channels utilized by the brand. Wherever, whenever and however the customer engages the brand, their interaction is a personalized and guided journey.

If we imagine multichannel as a series of doorways that the customer can enter, omnichannel is more like a bubble that envelops and follows the customer.

Think about your own experiences. If you’re 40 or older, you probably remember the days when you shopped your favorite retailer by visiting their store or ordering through their catalog. You had just these two channels at your disposal. Later, Internet shopping added a third, very convenient option to the channel-based approach. Each of these platforms offered the customer a path to the brand’s products — but each path was a separate experience. For example, each time you visited the brand’s website, you started from scratch.

Fast forward to the era of mobile devices, Internet of Things, and the glorious ability to shop anywhere — from the comfort of your couch, at the coffee shop, on the train, or in a park. Today’s trend has strongly veered toward the omnichannel direction, especially in consumer marketing. Omnichannel obliterates traditional one-size-fits-all marketing.

The Omniverse

In the “omniverse”, a brand collects information about you: purchases you made, web pages you visited, your Facebook “likes”, shopping lists and e-footprints. From that data, the brand builds a profile of you.

In turn, the brand reaches out to you with offers to catch your attention with special deals, things you might like, loyalty rewards and flash sales. Through artificial intelligence, the brand greets you wherever and whenever you pick it up  — on a site or app, or even when you are “in the vicinity” with location-based marketing that uses GPS tracking. In an omnichannel world, the brand picks up where you left off and never lets go.

Why PIM Matters

Nowadays, relying on disconnected or antiquated systems is a blueprint for doom. To stay in step with today’s customer, a brand needs to be quick and nimble. It requires an engine that can harness all of its product, financial, market and customer data. It needs a tool for end-to-end collaboration between all stakeholders for authoring, enriching and approving data. Agility® PIM’s unique, award-winning user interface brings products to life across every channel.

Right Content, Context and Time

Companies selling products or services today must excel at delivering contextual, comprehensive and flawlessly consistent product information to today’s ever-evolving and always-connected customer. With infinite channels, touchpoints, versions, and profiles, a brand must protect its customer relationships by anticipating every need and satisfying every want in a competitive climate where introduction times for new products have virtually vanished.

Agility enables a brand to integrate, optimize and syndicate product information quickly, accurately and efficiently:

  • Integration—Sophisticated and simple functionality moves unlimited volumes of data while assuring that all of it, regardless of source, is flawlessly consistent, accurate and analytics ready.
  • Optimization—User-friendly features allow end users to easily maximize the value of their data and preview it in each channel.
  • Syndication—Agility automates the simultaneous publication of enriched product content to any number of downstream channels, each with its own rules and restrictions.

Agility benefits every stakeholder:

  • Suppliers—Agility provides suppliers with a secure portal to onboard product data into your system, either directly or by automated processes. Uploaded data can be enriched internally and presented to the vendor for comments and approval.
  • Merchants and product managers—Agility allows users to ensure that each product is fully enriched and optimized for each market channel before the product “goes live”. AMI also provides financial data and other analytics as well as the ability to link cross-sells, up-sells and substitutes to maximize potential sales.
  • Content developers—Agility combines unparalleled data governance, efficiency and flexibility. End users can build flawless content from SKU-level specifications to product descriptions to marketing copy.
  • Translators—Agility builds around a base language, with the capability for language trees, side-by-side comparisons, histories and translated dictionaries.
  • Ecommerce—Agility allows optimization of all product content across the enterprise, delivering quick, consistent content delivery to website, microsites, external marketplaces and more.

Still trying to decide if PIM is right for you? Take our 3-Minute PIM Readiness Assessment—16 simple questions designed to help you establish if your business could benefit from PIM. Or, contact our product information experts and we’ll help you evaluate your business needs and determine if you are ready for a PIM software. Let’s start a conversation.

Forrester Keynote Replay: More Choice, More Convenience (and More Content!) Redefine B2B Commerce Strategies

Our Agility & Kalido Magnitude North American User Conference just wrapped with Forrester Vice President, Research Director Allen Bonde delivering the keynote address titled: More Choice, More Convenience (and More Content!) Redefine B2B Commerce Strategies. Allen shared his insider perspective on why there’s never been a more exciting time to reimagine what’s possible with B2B commerce.

Today, B2B commerce is being disrupted in the same way consumer models have fundamentally changed as digital transformation takes hold. The rise of new options for buyers, including marketplaces and new digitally enhanced selling motions for manufacturers and distributors are creating new pressures — and generating massive opportunities as well.

Watch the full keynote video on the state of omnichannel commerce and how consumer-style experiences are shaping the future of B2B relationship and you’ll also get a peek into Forrester’s newly released 2020 B2B Predictions!

 

How Agility PIM Drives Product Content Performance

Product Information Management (PIM) is essential for driving commerce success, but there’s a wide disparity in solution capabilities among vendors. For product and marketing leaders, investing in the right PIM platform is a crucial decision — and one that requires understanding how PIM can optimize your product information strategy and performance across your organization.

Agility v8 provides a crucial hub where internal and external stakeholders can collaborate to integrate, enrich, preview, approve and syndicate product content and analyze its performance.

Watch this short demo video to learn how Agility unites and dramatically improves the process for every role involved the transformation of products for Commerce.

Key topics:

  • How content managers can improve SEO and product findability through consistent categorization and attribute values
  • How product managers and merchandisers can maximize product sales and margins
  • How asset managers can easily preview digital assets in context of the products they represent
  • Improving product translation, localization workflows and more

To learn more about Agility PIM solutions, let’s have a conversation.

Related Assets

B2B Imperative: Why Product Data is Critical to Digital Distribution

Product data is the lifeblood of eCommerce. The right product information management (PIM) solution enables manufacturers and distributors to create, manage and optimize product data from one central source to ensure brand consistency across all customer channels.

Join our Agility Multichannel team at B2B Online (November 11-13) and attend our case study session to learn why an effective PIM strategy is the bedrock for empowering B2B companies to compete and thrive in today’s hyper-competitive eCommerce environment.

Featured Case Study Presentation

From Catalog and Call Center to eCommerce: Why Product Data is Critical to Digital Distribution

Tuesday, November 12 | 2:45 pm – 3:05 pm

 With ever increasing expectations of the customer experience, savvy competitors can quickly disrupt your market. Enriched product information is the foundation for B2B companies operating online and is critical to supporting the customer experience.

Our Dawn Zassick joins Stacey Ostermann of Allied Electronics & Automation to discuss the types of product information that help drive customer engagement and conversion.

They’ll offer practical examples for looking at product data in conjunction with sales and analytics data for evaluating whether you’re investing enough in your PIM strategy to drive results and identify opportunities for improvement.

To learn more about Agility PIM solutions, schedule a meeting with our experts.

Integrate Agility PIM with AI Services to Reap the Power of Artificial Intelligence

As a follow-up to our Agility v8 Integrates Amazon Rekognition and Google Cloud Vision article, here’s a deeper dive on how we’re leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Agility to deliver automation and drive greater value for our customers.

It’s easy to integrate Agility PIM with other powerful systems. In this article, we’ll illustrate how you can integrate Agility with AI image analysis, like Amazon Rekognition or Google Cloud Vision AI services.

The tags generated by these services can be indexed by Agility to provide powerful searching capability. This integration has three main steps: Agility Data Integration (DI), the AI image analysis service and Agility v8’s Search Service.

Agility DI

Agility DI is at the core of the integration. DI runs Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) processes grouped into „jobs“. These jobs can be run on-demand or on a schedule.

In the example below, the job reads assets stored in Agility and sends their preview images to the AI service.

The service analyzes the images to generate „tags“ that describe the image, then sends those tags back to the job.

The job collects the tags for each image and adds them to the asset in Agility.

Finally, Agility’s new Search Service indexes the asset by those tags, giving you all the benefits of faceted searching.

Agility's new Search Service indexes the asset by those tags, giving you all the benefits of faceted searching

How your job might look

AI Service

Both the Rekognition and Vision services process images to identify objects, people, places and activities, which you can then use to enrich your assets with metadata.

For example, using the Rekognition and Vision services, this image generates tags like:

  • Guitar, Musical Instrument, Leisure Activities, Electric Guitar
  • Guitar, String instrument, Musical instrument, Electric guitar, Plucked string instruments

AMI v8 Search

New in Agility v8, the Agility Search Service indexes your data into sets of keywords. These keywords unlock the power of faceted searching. Faceted searching boosts traditional search techniques by giving you filters for your search results.

By associating the generated tags in the example above with your assets or the products they are related to, you could instantly filter your list of images or products to show only results with the „Musical instrument“, „Guitar“ or „Electric guitar“ keyword.

Taking it forward…

We didn’t stop with image tagging. We’ve also created a similar job to implement automatic AI image moderation that uses the same AI image analysis services.

It’s that easy to integrate with other services! And, there’s no reason to stop at AI image analysis—you can power your Agility PIM with any number of AI and other services.

To learn more, contact our PIM experts.

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 software (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.