Monday, March 14, 2011

Demandware Extends Product Content Management Capabilities for Multi-Channel Retailers

Demandware, Inc., a leader in on-demand eCommerce, has announced new enhanced product content management capabilities in the Demandware Commerce platform that will make it easier for merchants to prepare and deliver product information and branded consumer experiences across multiple channels, applications and devices. 

The new functionality, available in the Spring 11 release of Demandware Commerce, lets retailers centrally manage large product catalogs and dynamic images across multiple product catalogs, eCommerce sites and channels, including call center, mobile and store.

According to Demandware, this centralized control significantly increases the accuracy and efficiency of synchronizing product data across channels. In addition, all Demandware clients will receive new functionality in the summer 2011 timeframe that will further redefine how merchants manage product information through the use of personal dashboards, work queues, and a flexible collaboration framework for preparing and publishing information that meets each retailer's unique processes and requirements.

Delivering relevant, on-brand product content is critical to retaining today's Web-centric multi-channel consumer, according to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Demandware in February 2011, which found that 67 percent of consumers who are dissatisfied with a shopping experience online will have an overall negative perception of the retailer, and 72 percent of consumers will relay the bad online shopping experience to friends.

The new enhanced product content management functionality in Demandware Commerce supports Demandware's corporate initiative of expanding beyond eCommerce to "digital commerce management," a unified solution that enables retailers to manage all direct-to-consumer processes from a single web platform. For retailers and high-growth brands, digital commerce management eliminates the complexity of integrating multiple technologies and enables personalized, branded consumer experiences across all consumer touch points, including eCommerce, social networks, mobile commerce, call centers, and stores.

New and Enhanced Multi-Channel Product Content Management

Building on the extensive product content management capabilities already in Demandware Commerce, the Spring 11 release now includes:

Enhanced Product and Catalog Management: The new features provide greater efficiency and control over the development, management and syndication of critical product content, including bulk product editing for product pricing; advanced search behavior to find and edit products, catalog inheritance, site and channel-specific product attribution, and enhanced roles and responsibilities to better manage content.

New Dynamic Image Management: Demandware's new image service enables the dynamic resizing of images from a single high resolution master image for use across every channel and end-user device. This eliminates the need to maintain multiple sizes, types and qualities of single images, resulting in considerable efficiencies and cost savings for image management. This service supports scaling an image, cutting or cropping an area from a larger image, overlaying another image for promotional purposes and sharpening as an optional step before the final image is generated, along with multiple output formats and qualities.

New Merchant Collaboration Framework for Developing and Delivering Multi-Channel Product Content

In the summer 2011 timeframe, Demandware will automatically upgrade all clients to new collaborative content management capabilities that transform how web merchants manage the day-to-day tasks of development, review and delivery of product content across channels. Moving far beyond today's workflow-based solutions, these new capabilities will empower merchants to manage product content for multiple commerce channels easily from one central environment and syndicate that content across all channels, applications and devices. The following new functionality will be available to clients through Demandware's automatic upgrade process.

Personal Dashboards: Each user will be able to control her own unique work environment with real-time access to common product or catalog lists, active and streaming top-selling items, promotional calendars, revenue reports and more. Users will be able to configure the dashboards to ensure a work environment that allows daily tasks to be performed faster.

Flexible Work Queues: Users will be able to create daily task lists to manage workload efficiency. Merchandisers will be able to create dynamic and static product lists to bulk edit, review and publish across multiple sites, in multiple languages and via multiple channels. As a merchandiser works through the queue, completed tasks flow out of the queue and into the next phase of the process.  Unlike rigid approval workflows, the work queues are flexible and will accommodate the unique needs of retailers of different sizes and  sophistication.

Cross-Team Collaboration: Merchandisers will be able to collaborate easily with other team members by sharing existing static and dynamic work queues across the organization. Team members will be able to collaborate on common tasks, view progress reports and easily educate one another across web, store and service teams.

"Great consumer experiences are built upon rich and complete product content that's relevant to the consumer and on-mark for the brand. With this latest release, our clients now have the ability to reach deeper into their organizations for product information, collaborate more effectively across teams and deliver to consumers shopping experiences as rich as the brand itself," said Jamus Driscoll, vice president of marketing for Demandware.

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