Social Responsibility Is Now Top Priority for Buyers Around the World

Information on sustainability and origins drives sales success, Akeneo global survey shows

BOSTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / June 11, 2020 / Ethical and sustainable sourcing is now a top priority for buyers, and a key driver of eCommerce and omnichannel commerce success for manufacturers and distributors, according to a major global survey of 1,600 business leaders released today by Akeneo, a global leader in Product Experience Management (PXM) solutions.

Other than pricing, information about a manufacturer’s values and a product’s sourcing, origins, organic materials, and carbon footprint is now the single biggest factor driving worldwide purchasing decisions. In total, 61% of buyers now pay close attention to such information when making procurement decisions.

Among the survey’s most important findings:

  • 1. Buyers are putting social responsibility first. In total, 61% of vendors say product information relating to ethical manufacturing, sustainable or organic materials, for example, is a top priority for purchasing decisions. That puts social responsibility ahead of criteria such as speed, personalization, and localization as a critical driver of sales.
  • 2. Product experience drives customer satisfaction. Virtually all survey respondents (97%) see product information as a key tool for enhancing customer experience. And product information isn’t just utilized at point of sale: most organizations use product information to drive marketing and/or social media campaigns, too.
  • 3. Omnichannel and online strategies are booming. Eighty-one percent of businesses now sell through more than one channel, and almost half see eCommerce, social media, and online ads as their top promotional channels. That creates a powerful need for customization, with a large majority of manufacturers and distributors now tailoring content to the different channels they sell through. With manufacturers and distributors increasingly eying voice search, chatbots, and AR or VR tools, advanced content customization will only become more important in the future.
  • 4. Product Experience Management is a team sport. Product information must now be coordinated across multiple channel-specific teams, with almost two-thirds of eCommerce and multi- or omnichannel professionals reporting at least four separate teams involved in product information management. Almost half of those businesses say they struggle to ensure efficient collaboration across their teams.
  • 5. Teams face growing challenges. Forty percent of businesses struggle to meet deadlines for promotions, product launches, and new catalogs, and a similar number struggle to manage the increasing volume of images, videos, and content assets needed to merchandise products across multiple channels. Data standardization is a major headache for respondents, with more than a third of enterprises failing to collect product data into a central repository, leading to problems including information silos, errors and inaccuracies, and a slower time-to-market.
  • 6. Adoption of purpose-built PIM has room to grow. There’s an urgent need for adoption of smart Product Information Management (PIM) solutions to boost sales and increase the average deal value. Still, less than half of manufacturers and distributors currently have dedicated product information solutions, with two-thirds still relying on outdated manual systems such as spreadsheets.

“Social responsibility is now an important criterion for buyers, so to succeed manufacturers and brands need to communicate their values clearly and consistently,” says Fred de Gombert, Akeneo’s CEO. “We’re living in the golden age of multichannel distribution, and this survey shows that product information management, especially relating to ethical and environmental factors, is the key to enduring success for sellers across all their customer touchpoints.”

Conducted in March 2020 with the support of 3GEM Research, the Akeneo Global B2B Survey reached business leaders from 1,600 businesses in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Participants represented sectors including retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and food services, and ranged from small businesses to major corporations with thousands of employees.

Access the full survey results and analysis here.

Download the press release

About Akeneo:

Akeneo is a global leader in Product Experience Management (PXM) solutions that help merchants and brands deliver a compelling customer experience across all sales channels, including eCommerce, mobile, print, and retail points of sale. Akeneo’s open-source enterprise PIM, and product data intelligence solutions, dramatically improve product data quality and accuracy while simplifying and accelerating product catalog management.

Leading global brands, including Midland Scientific, Air Liquide, Fossil, Shop.com, and Auchan trust Akeneo’s solutions to scale and customize their omnichannel and cross-border commerce initiatives. Using Akeneo, brands and retailers can improve customer experience, increase sales, reduce time to market, go global, and boost team productivity.