Akeneo’s visit recap – demonstrations, drinks and dinner

Akeneo_Catch_Blog - image - Akeneo PIM

In November, Akeneo, Balance Internet’s Product Information Management (PIM) partner were in town and spent some quality time with the Balance Melbourne team. Visiting from their Akeneo Headquarters in Nantes France, Tanguy Meriadec, Sales Manager and Ronan Guilloux, Global Presales Manager made the most of their time down under with a busy week of client demonstrations, training for the Balance team and of course drinks and dinner to top it all off.

Partners with Balance since 2014, Akeneo PIM centralises and harmonises marketing and technical information for product listings and catalogues for retailers and brands. See more information on Akeneo PIM .

With Akeneo in town and the current hot conversations around marketplaces for Australian online retailers, we thought it was an excellent opportunity to get together with the Akeneo team, our good friend Adam Kron, General Manager of the Catch Group, and our Director of Strategy, James Horne to host a dinner for Balance clients. The dinner format was a panel lead discussion by our industry leaders who took a deep dive into all things PIM and Marketplaces.

If you weren’t there (or even if you were), here are some of the highlights of what we discussed:

Product Information Management (PIM)

In essence, a PIM system is the CRM of Products. In any business, there can be many different contributors preparing product information at various touch points. A PIM system can manage and regulate this creating a single source of truth, reducing human error.

The Akeneo PIM system enables businesses to share consistent and unique product data across multiple channels and marketplaces. For example, category managers, product managers and translators can all work on a particular product, with varying access levels.

“94% of organisations still manage their product data through spreadsheets. Excel is the number 1 competitor of Akeneo PIM.” Tanguy Meriadec, Sales Manager at Akeneo

More and more, we see businesses implement a PIM as a starting point to ensure that their data strategy is rationalised and scalable with growth.

As an overview the top 15 benefits of Product Information Management can be placed in 3 major categories, Operational, Tactical and Conversion, and are considered as:

Operational

  1. Avoid spreadsheet nightmares with a single source of truth
  2. Increase staff productivity and velocity
  3. Distribute and collect product information across the entire supply chain
  4. Enable suppliers and staff to upload and edit product content
  5. Access bulk aggregated data which enables rapid publishing

Tactical

  1. Integration with InDesign to rapidly create print collateral
  2. Enable faster time to market for net or changing product data
  3. Extend your product catalogue by easily supporting new products and suppliers
  4. Expand into new countries, territories and languages with ease
  5. Prepare your Multichannel future by delivering an optimised and relevant experience across all channels

Conversion

  1. Enhance your business intelligence with detailed attribute and taxonomy architecture
  2. Deliver custom price catalogues and service every customer vertical effectively
  3. Personalise your content for each channel to enhance market suitability
  4. Turn browsers into customers with quality and relevant product data
  5. Improve your searchability onsite and offsite

Marketplaces for Australian Retailers

Marketplaces have been in Australia for quite a while. The big debate 4 – 6 years ago was whether retailers should join eBay. Now, big name Australian retailers from Officeworks to Dan Murphy’s all have an eBay presence and strategy and it would be hard to find a retailer who doesn’t. The same debates will be happening with Amazon and Catch Group. The truth as we see it is that if implemented correctly, there are effortless and fantastic results to be had.

The talk of the eCommerce town is Amazon and has been for the last year, it seems like everyone is waiting to see what happens. The online marketplace market is underdeveloped in Australia and if Amazon comes and takes a large market share, certain players in the market will have to margin crunch. Amazon are not only a marketplace but are also a retailer as well.

Catch Group’s strength is marketing and ability to move a significant amount of stock. Like Amazon, they deal with a lot of big names, but their strength is in their promotions and ability to move stock. They are a Clearance partner. They can bulk upload data, and have an open API that can pull information from systems and aggregators. A PIM would prepare this data ideally.

eBay has millions of listings. Uncurated and at times messy, it is really a different place to shop. They have a huge amount of traffic on their site. Ultimately though, customers list items, hope and wait, with “some” promotion possible.

Amazon is similar to the Catch Group as both have a large quantity of listed stock and use a buy box. Amazon will attract a lot of attention from customers as their prices will be half of eBay’s as their main focus is price and convenience.

Marketplace Onboarding

When you join a marketplace there is an onboarding process. Requirements can be and in fact are usually different for each platform. Onboarding can range from a quick exercise to a lengthy process as each category has unique data requirements. The better you can separate and structure your data to match categories on the platform, the more you will succeed.

How can Balance Internet help?

Balance can help integrate PIM and marketplaces to your e-commerce platform.

How Balance Internet fits into the picture?

Balance can be your trusted e-commerce advisor for all e-commerce ecosystem consultancy.
We are industry leaders with all the right connections to make sure you are keeping ahead of the pack.

And that’s a wrap…

We would like to thank Tanguy and Ronan from Akeneo, Adam from the Catch Group and our client partners who participated in last weeks series of events.

Get in touch with our team at Balance Internet if you’d like to learn more about PIM as a part of your eCommerce strategy and beyond. Also, if you’d like to know more about Marketplaces and how you can get involved.

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