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Akeneo News

Sep 19, 2023

2 min to read

How Intersport Reduced Time-to-Market By 50%

Discover how a global sports retailer utilized Akeneo and Unifai to improve efficiency, reduce time-to-market, and create a better customer experience.


Akeneo Community

Artificial intelligence (AI)

Customer Story

Product Experience

In the ever-evolving world of retail, staying ahead of the competition requires innovation and efficiency. INTERSPORT, a global sporting goods retailer with a presence in 44 countries and a history dating back to 1968, knows this all too well. Their recent journey into the realm of artificial intelligence with Unifai has not only streamlined their operations but also set a remarkable example of how AI can transform the retail landscape.

The Challenge: Manual Product Classification

INTERSPORT, like many other retailers, faced a formidable challenge in the mundane, repetitive, and time-consuming task of manually classifying new products. With over 700 hundred stores in France and over 1.5 million products processed every year, the need for a faster, more accurate solution for managing, optimizing, and sharing product information across scattered teams and technologies quickly became imperative.


The Solution: Unifai’s AI-powered Classification

INTERSPORT’s quest for data efficiency led them to Unifai for an AI-powered product classification solution, and Akeneo for a centralized source of truth powered by a comprehensive Product Experience (PX) Strategy. 

Unifai seamlessly automated the classification of new products, slashing the time required by this arduous task by an impressive 50% and without compromising any accuracy. In fact, it improved product classification accuracy by 95%, ensuring that Intersport’s data remained reliable. This newfound efficiency wasn’t just about saving time and improving the quality of data; it was also about freeing up employees to focus on more complex and value-add work.

Unifai categorized the new products with the same accuracy as our teams while reducing our catalog processing time by 50%. This frees up time for the data integration team and buyers who have more time to source new products and optimize the product mix.

The Tangible Benefits Unifai & Akeneo 

  1. 50% Reduction in Classification Time: INTERSPORT cut the time it took to classify new products in half, allowing their teams to focus on more strategic tasks.
  2. 95% Improved Classification Accuracy: Unifai’s AI technology provided unmatched precision, ensuring that INTERSPORT’s product data was as accurate and up-to-date as ever.
  3. 18 Hours Saved Per Week: The freed-up time equated to 18 extra hours per week for the data integration team and buyers to dedicate to higher-value activities.
  4. 30% Efficiency Boost: The product classification process became 30% more efficient, leading to faster decision-making and product placement.
  5. Data Accuracy for Business Operations: Accurate data is the backbone of any retail operation, particularly for budget tracking and sell-out/stock tracking. The accuracy of Unifai’s AI model ensured Intersport’s business ran smoothly.


AI for Retailers

For many retailers facing the challenge of manual product classification, artificial intelligence emerges as a game-changing solution that enables enhanced efficiency, data accuracy, and stronger customer experiences. But these benefits all require a foundation of product information to support the AI technology; if your team can’t provide the data needed to train the model, then the model will have nothing to produce. 

In an industry where time, accuracy, and efficiency are paramount, combining a centralized record of product information with AI-powered product classification is your gateway to a brighter, more profitable future. To learn more about INTERSPORT’s journey to product excellence, you can download the full case study.

Unifai has joined forces with Akeneo! Check out the AI Center of Excellence to learn more about harnessing these powerful technologies for a better product experience.

It used to take a repository manager a week to process a catalog of 8000 products. With Unifai, we spend only 2 or 3 days to process the same volume, and some catalogs are categorized in 1 hour!

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