As per a Nielsen report, consumers have greater motivations and fewer perceived barriers to more active engagement on technology-enabled platforms to assist in everyday tasks like shopping. For some, this may be totally new behavior (such e-shopping for groceries, etc.); while for others, this may mean increased dependence on online platforms.
The Indian retail industry is also realizing and acknowledging this increased usage of online platforms with options such as contactless delivery, etc., becoming the new normal. In fact, as per media reports, most Indian consumer brand owners feel that the omni-channel is the future of retailing in India. Hence, the efforts are put in the way to offer seamless shopping experience to customers via several online platforms and offline channels.
This requires accurate and consistent product information on all platforms, whether online or offline, to ensure that consumers can easily locate and compare products across platforms.
Retailers/e-tailers often struggle to get the product information right, mostly because the information has be written again to be provided in various retailer formats, and hence, lacks consistency. Most often, several instances of incomplete information or wrong depiction of products results in the loss of consumer confidence, and hence sales.
On the other hand, brand owners/suppliers too struggle with uploading their product information multiple times in the proprietary format of various buyers / retailers. This results in frequent mismatches and gaps. This is particularly true since retail products undergo frequent changes with new products that are being introduced and phasing out of earlier products.
The need of the hour is, therefore, to adopt a common platform, which allows seamless exchange of product change and frequent product changes between trading partners in a uniform, structured and consistent manner, without requiring multiple data uploads.
This will significantly reduce current dependence of e-tailers/retailers, in particular, to crowd-sourced data that is usually highly unreliable, inaccurate and even malicious, at times.