Analyst insight: It’s becoming critical to meet the data demands of today’s customers, as digital natives and their parents, too, expect easy access to credible product information while shopping. Increased industry collaboration will be key to making noticeable progress in 2020.
Buying things has never been easier. Securing customers, however, is increasingly difficult. More shoppers each day want complete and truthful product data before making a purchase, and the consumer goods industry must work as a whole to oblige.
Step one? A common language.
GS1 Standards is a widely used supply-chain language system with which brands and retailers can achieve more fluidity in data exchange. No company or customer should have to accept proprietary product IDs or closed-loop system data, as these aren’t effective in managing inventory beyond a company’s own internal operations. Standardization is imperative to help the industry have a real-time and consistent view of product data across supply chains — and to pass that data along to consumers via brand media, retailer websites and third-party digital information sources such as SmartLabel.
Many industry stakeholders are also now collaborating with GS1 and the Consumer Goods Forum on Verified by GS1, a global cloud registry that aims to help trading partners validate product identities and attributes. Retailers, marketplaces and other stakeholders can use the tool to automatically authenticate a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and verify brand name, product description, image URL, product category and more.
As a result, companies can be more confident that their data is accurate — and best serving their customers.
Standardization tools offer a major stride toward eliminating the presence of bad data and inefficient management across industry supply chains. Looking forward, these tools can prevent data quality issues before they start.
This year will test commitments between consumer goods brands and their partners to step up product information quality. As more data is shared in a standards-based framework, incremental progress will be made toward the ultimate goal of cementing consumers’ trust — no matter how or where products find them.
Angela Fernandez is vice president of community engagement for GS1 US.