Expert Talk: Using market intelligence to maximize e-commerce performance

Expert Talk XPLN: Power of Data in E-Commerce

In our first Expert Talk, Bernhard Bicher and Sebastian Klumpp, CEO of XPLN, discussed the most pressing challenges in eCommerce. Evidently, different data types, such as prices, product data or customer ratings, play a central role in solving these challenges.

Originally known on the market as PriceIntelligence, it quickly became clear to Sebastian Klumpp that the challenges in retail were not exclusively limited to prices. Even back then, the gathered data revealed a lot about various issues. Every day, sometimes even every hour, the price development of millions of articles worldwide was observed on various channels, and various data points were collected. Not only prices, but also all associated product data was stored, such as images of the articles, information about the categories, texts or titles.

A precise analysis of this data helps retailers develop a coherent pricing strategy across different channels and address issues such as digital shelf, transformation and positioning. Based on these considerations, the offering was strategically developed further, but a company name was also sought that contained more than just the focus on pricing. This is how PriceIntelligence became XPLN.

Digital shelf, digitization and pricing as key figures

The eCommerce sector has already experienced and survived several upheavals. Today's market, characterised by high customer expectations, marketplace and omnichannel business models, needs more structured and analyzable data than ever. Major challenges, such as digitisation and automation of processes, can only be solved based on the correct database with the right data quality.

One topic where structured data collection plays an important role is Digital Shelf. This term encompasses the collection of diverse and rapidly evolving digital touchpoints that customers use to engage with brands and discover, explore, and purchase products. So how can brands and retailers properly position themselves to get people interested in, comparing, buying, and evaluating their products?

What used to be the main focus of eCommerce is now becoming increasingly important for brands as well. This is due to the fact that brands themselves also sell or want to sell. This clearly shows that competition is very high for retailers and brands: Retailers and brands must try to remain relevant in the market by continuously challenging their positioning within the market. For retailers and brands, staying relevant means looking at how popular and trusted the company or brand is with the end customer and how they can differentiate themselves from other companies. An important factor here is pricing, which absolutely has to be right. However, not only must the pricing strategy be effective compared to the competitors, but other differentiating features must also be considered.

The perfect product portfolio as investment security

Here, an unstoppable trend is emerging: retailers want to list more and more products for sale online and thus further expand their own product range. However, this trend also has its pitfalls. The effort involved in curating product ranges can be very high because many suppliers are involved, and too many processes are still based on manual data preparation and maintenance. A trade-off also arises here: On the one hand, the product range is huge, but above all, customers want to find the items they want quickly. So how do product data models have to be modelled so that filter options are distinctive enough for a very good user experience, and yet as many products as possible can be represented in the best possible way in the same model?

Ultimately, investing in better product data for analysis, but also at the operational level, is the only way to not only survive in this highly competitive market, but to really succeed. We would like to thank Sebastian Klumpp for the exciting conversation and the stimulating exchange. Time and again, it becomes clear that if you invest in the customer experience, you have to invest in the product experience.

In our next Expert Talk Tobias Schlotter, VP Global Channel at Akeneo will discuss why many brands and retailers aren't very familiar with challenges concerning the product experience. We look forward to welcoming you to the next Expert Talk.

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