Nearly 80 Percent of Merchants Report Their Product Content Exchange System Cannot Keep Up With Enhanced Consumer Demand for Transparency
1WorldSync study finds merchants and suppliers aren't prepared to meet the demands of today's evolving cross-channel commerce landscape
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J., May 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While the majority of the industry seems to agree that multi-channel commerce is the future, many companies report they still do not have the proper infrastructure in place to handle evolving consumer demands. Unfortunately, siloed on-premise systems are preventing merchants and suppliers from meeting the increased need for product transparency and industry compliance. In Charting Course for Global Commerce, a recent study by 1WorldSync, 78 percent of merchants report their product content exchange system cannot keep up with enhanced consumer demands for transparency.
"Ever-changing compliance and regulatory standards are a major challenge for merchants and suppliers looking to modernize their multi-channel commerce capabilities, said Dan Wilkinson, Chief Commercial Officer of 1WorldSync. "Manufacturers face a growing list of regulations, such as SmartLabel(TM) for consumer goods, Unique Device Identification (UDI) for medical devices and Classification, Labeling and Packaging (CLP) for hazardous chemicals in the European Union. In tandem with high demand for transparency, suppliers and merchants are left scrambling to curate and syndicate trusted product content that drives revenue."
To further understand the specific pain points plaguing organizations in omnichannel commerce, 1WorldSync, the leading provider of product content solutions, surveyed 400 merchants and suppliers from Europe and the U.S. with more than $500 million in annual revenue. The study found that merchants and suppliers have made significant improvements to their cross-channel strategies, but still aren't able to keep up with changing consumer demands.
Merchants Struggle to Provide Trusted, Robust Product Content
In today's omnichannel world, the pressure is on for retailers to provide trusted product content for customers. However, key findings show that merchants struggle to seamlessly exchange data with suppliers and often don't have internal buy-in on the value of cross-channel commerce investments:
- Merchants' struggle to provide robust product content: Three in four merchants struggle to provide consumers with compelling, engaging product descriptions and images (such as 360-degree view and video) sourced directly from supplier partner(s).
- Current systems prevent merchants from streamlining product content across channels: Just one in five (20 percent) report they can easily aggregate and distribute complete, consistent and trusted product information across all channels, including mobile, social, web and in store; leaving the remaining 80 percent with a tremendous gap.
- Merchants experience internal discord on the value of cross-channel investments: More than half (53 percent) report a knowledge gap internally when it comes to the value of cross-channel commerce capabilities, such as consistent product information across channels or flexible shipping such as "buy online, pickup in store."
Suppliers Face Global Compliance Challenges
To meet expanding consumer expectations for product transparency and a growing list of industry compliance rules, suppliers need the proper infrastructure to manage consistent, authentic and trusted product information across retail partners and channels. The study found that suppliers have made significant investments in these capabilities, but challenges associated with regulatory compliance in global commerce are a drain on revenue and resources. Other challenges include:
- Data exists in siloes: Sixty-four percent of suppliers say their organization's product information system does not enable sales, supply chain, and IT teams to set up and exchange quality product content with trading partners through a single platform.
- Suppliers aren't prepared to support compliance around the world: Two in five suppliers (41 percent) struggle to keep up with different regulatory standards across borders.
- Global suppliers would rather pay fines than update systems to meet regulatory standards: Forty-one percent report it is more effective to pay penalties for noncompliance than invest in product information system updates that are compliant with new and changing regulations.
"Now is the time for suppliers to integrate cloud-based solutions that can foster end-to-end transparency," Wilkinson furthered. "This will not only drive customer loyalty and ensure regulatory compliance, but also better prepare suppliers to be successful in the evolving ecommerce landscape."
1WorldSync(TM) is the leading provider of product content solutions, enabling more than 25,000 global companies in over 60 countries to share authentic, trusted content with customers and consumers, empowering intelligent choices for purchases, wellness, and lifestyle decisions. Through its technology platform and expert services, 1WorldSync provides solutions that meet the diverse needs of the industry. 1WorldSync is the only product content network provider and GDSN Data Pool to achieve ISO Certification 27001. For more information, please visit www.1worldsync.com