inRiver was delighted to be a part of Episerver Ascend 2017 last month. Below are a few of the key highlights.
Episerver and inRiver Emphasize Partnership
At the Partner Day event on Sunday, February 26, Ed Kennedy, Senior Director of Commerce briefly highlighted how inRiver PIM complements an Episerver Commerce deployment. Our partnership with Episerver was further validated in the Episerver roadmap presentation by James Norwood, Episerver’s EVP Strategy and CMO. inRiver continues to provide added functionality and added value to Episerver’s overall eCommerce platform offering.
inRiver’s Breakout Session
Johan Boström provided an excellent summary of PIM in the session, Commerce: It Takes a Village. How Technology and Marketing Need to Work Together for Great Customer Experience. Claire Sharp Sundt, Project Manager, Digital Media of Varner Group, gave an overview of her business environment and struggles with product information before the company’s implementation of Episerver Commerce and inRiver PIM. Varner Group is a 1500-store fashion retailer in the Nordic region that embarked on ecommerce in earnest in 2013, having installed inRiver PIM in 2012. Ms. Sundt indicated that once inRiver PIM was implemented, the team was acclimated to the PIM enrichment process within two weeks.
To a full room of attendees, Ms. Sundt clearly outlined the business challenges of selling both online and in brick and mortar shops across the Nordics. She discussed Varner’s journey from content spaghetti to organized and enriched product information.
Ms. Sundt’s experience seemed to hit home for the audience. Several retail and distribution customers stayed after to discuss their similar pain points—living in a morass of spreadsheets and having disparate product information in silos across the company. One such company had nearly 50 ERP systems to manage all the company’s product data for different divisions and acquisitions. Many of these attendees acknowledged a heightened awareness within their organizations about the need for PIM.
Reinforcing the inRiver PRIME Partner Community
We were delighted to be able to spend time with a number of our inRIver PRIME Partner Community members: Aware Web Solutions, Luminos Labs, Rightpoint, Valtech, Adage Technologies, Serverside, Making Waves, Niteco, and Siteworx. This is a testament to our community being a great network, not only for delivery partners, but also for Episerver eCommerce customers.
Thank you to Episerver for a great event and for being such a strong partner of the inRiver PRIME Partner Community.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver Inc
When you walk into a small fashion boutique, it can feel almost like a liberating experience. Although by nature I am not a shopper and small boutique prices terrify me, I do enjoy the pristine, sparse environs of an intimate and high-end boutique. Each garment is delicately hung several inches from its neighboring items, the displays are fastidiously placed in strategic areas of the store, and the hardwood floors have not a speck of dust. Even the store personnel are meticulous in their attire and comportment. Equally tranquil, it seems, is the transition from one season to another—the introduction of the new and the dismissal of the dated.
Despite this calming in-store experience, I would argue that retail fashion ecommerce and merchandizing resemble more the duck that is calm on the surface but paddling frantically underneath. Behind the immaculate façade of a department or chain store display may actually be organizational disarray and chaotic disparate sources of product data that result in “product content spaghetti.” This breeds insecurity and doubt among marketers, who are left continuously searching for the latest version of a product’s information, while worrying about the product information’s accuracy, completeness, and appeal.
It is this content spaghetti that the team at inRiver seeks to address, store, and organize for our customers—to make the lives easier for fashion marketers everywhere. We are fortunate to have many customers who have benefited from this and are willing to tell their stories.
One of these customers is Claire Sharp Sundt of Varner Group, who is joining inRiver’s own Johan Bostrom at Episerver Ascend on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 3PM in Yaletown 1 for a session about how to streamline ecommerce processes from a product information perspective. The session is entitled: “Commerce: It Takes a Village. How Technology and Marketing Work Together for a Great Customer Experience.”
Varner Group is a house of many brands, some of which compete with one another! They embarked on ecommerce in earnest in 2013, having installed inRiver PIM in 2012. Ms. Sundt will discuss Varner’s journey from content spaghetti and organizational silos to empowered collaboration and information sharing. In addition, she will share how the marketing team built a partnership with IT to help bridge the gap between their marketers and their shoppers. Ms. Sundt will also describe the importance of key attributes for certain target segments based on specific customer needs.
Johan Bostrom will weigh in on how product information management applications, such as inRiver PIM, can be used to enhance product intelligence and rid organizations of content spaghetti once and for all.
Don’t miss this exciting session at Episerver Ascend on March 1. Stop by our booth at the Show—Booth #15—to discuss your content spaghetti or product information management needs. In the interim, please take a look at the Varner Group case study on the inRiver web site to learn more.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager North America, inRiver