What accurate product data will mean to retailers, brands and shoppers

In this final blog in the series, Jim Dickson, Head of Grocery Retail at GS1 UK, looks at how the Digital DNA programme will solve the problem of inaccurate product data for the retail industry.

Throughout the grocery sector, managing product data has been a widely recognised problem for many years. It causes headaches for and between retailers and brands, and ultimately it affects shoppers too. Digital DNA will finally solve the problem – so her we look at what it will mean for everyone.

Retailers and brands have been working together on the Digital DNA programme to design and create a common industry approach for product data management in the UK. When the Digital DNA solution is launched in 2018 it will have enormous impact on many teams within retailers and brands – and of course the shopper too.

What Digital DNA means for commercial teams and category managers

Every retailer has commercial teams and category managers who struggle with unusable data. It’s usually inaccurate, inconsistent and frequently in the wrong format. They’ve grown accustomed to managing workarounds or duplicating work.

They no longer even imagine working in a better way.

Digital DNA will solve the problem of product data for everyone in the commercial teams and category managers. By putting a common approach in place, it will make their working lives easier. It will ensure product data is correct and in the right format. And it will always be available at the touch of a button.

For commercial teams and category managers this will mean they:

  • Gain immediate insight so they can focus on making decisions
  • Spend more time with their category teams
  • Work more collaboratively with suppliers
  • Make better deals, more quickly

What Digital DNA means for IT and digital teams:

IT and digital teams within retailers and brands spend too much of their working days troubleshooting – constantly patching and fixing data, processes and systems.

They’re under constant pressure to deliver – yet they’re spending too much of their time on non-value-added activities. This means they’re unable to focus on what really matters to them and what really makes a difference to the companies they work for.

Digital DNA will relieve one of their biggest headaches – the management and distribution of product data. This will mean IT and digital teams will be able to deliver systems which are no loner blamed for poor quality data, allowing them to:

  • Spend less time monitoring systems and fixing errors
  • Be in control and proactive
  • Become a more equitable player
  • Focus on innovation and future technologies, differentiating the business on the customer experience

What Digital DNA means for brands:

Brands should be focusing on the development of their business and future innovations of their products. Yet too many people within the business are spending too much time dealing with data. The deal with hundreds of formats. And they worry about how their products are presented to shoppers on multiple retail sites.

Digital DNA will solve these problems for brands once and for all. With the introduction of a single data catalogue, built on an industry-agreed data model and harmonised process used by all retailers, brands will spend less time scraping and policing data, allowing them to:

  • Focus on growing sales, not fixing data
  • Receive far fewer penalties
  • Deliver better and more consistent brand content and messages
  • Focus on product development and innovation – not data and processes

What Digital DNA means for shoppers:

Customers’ shopping habits are changing; weekly shops in supermarkets are no longer the norm. Shoppers are buying less, more often. And they are searching and finding products online and buying them through whichever channels is quickest and easiest for them.

It's essential for customers to be able to have confidence in the products they buy. To do this they must trust the information they see about the product.

Digital DNA will deliver this trust to shoppers, enabling them to:

  • Make more informed decisions based on their preferences
  • Compare and easily see alternatives
  • Find comprehensive and consistent information and content across all channels

If you want to get involved, then get in touch today.

Jim Dickson E: jim.dickson@gs1uk.org
T: +44 (0)7823 526354




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