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GS1 UK leads lively debate on benefits of standards in retail at IGD Summit

Date: October 18, 2017

Category: Industry news


GS1 UK’s Jim Dickson and Kim Ludlow led a lively panel session at the IGD Online & Digital Summit 2017 covering all things Digital DNA, Mobile Ready Hero Images and Smart Search.

Taking place in the afternoon of the second day of IGD’s leading online and digital conference, more than 30 companies attended the panel session to hear Jim and Kim talk about GS1 Standards and solutions and how they could benefit their business.

The themes of Jim and Kim’s presentation reflected many of the talks at the summit around how innovation would need the support of great product data and digital search tools to maximise the opportunities.

Jim kicked off proceedings by explaining how Digital DNA will help transform the grocery industry. Launching in April 2018, Digital DNA will see GS1 UK, on behalf of the industry implement a single product data catalogue.

The audience was told how the grocery sector faces challenges with poor product data and Digital DNA was being driven by GS1 UK’s Retail Grocery Advisory Board, made up of both retailers and suppliers, reflecting that the project is being industry-led.

Jim then went through the many benefits a single product data catalogue will bring, while explaining that Digital DNA doesn’t have to stop at the grocery sector as it could benefit other industries, such as wholesale.

Next on the stage was Kim, who moved the discussion onto the burgeoning Mobile Ready Hero Images project. This initiative is being led by GS1 Global Office to create guidelines around how images of products are shown online and Kim urged the audience that their companies were free to participate and get involved with the direction of the agreement.

Kim then moved onto talk about GS1 UK’s innovative service SmartSearch, which has already been Implemented by a number of retailers and brands to help improve relevant searched delivery accuracy.

The end of the session allowed for questions from the audience and enquiries from the floor concentrated on Digital DNA, with a lively debate ensuing about what advantages retailers would specifically benefit from if they signed-up to a single product data catalogue.

Questions ranged from how much support GS1 UK would provide once retailers had signed-up, what is the process going to be to verify and check the data and how does Digital DNA fit in with current product data solutions already procured by the retailers.

Kim Ludlow said: “The shopper landscape is driving the demand in accuracy, who now expect to find what they want, when they want it. The impact of having wrong information loses shoppers. In this competitive landscape, this is not an option for anyone in this industry, whether you are a large ecommerce retailer or even driving shoppers to your own branded website.”

Jim Dickson said: “It was a really enjoyable session with a number people in the audience sharing the product data challenges they face within their business and that the UK has long needed the industry to collaborate and offer a viable solution.”


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