02 December 2013

inRiver 5.3 simplifies PIM, helping companies sell more faster


The inRiver 5.3 release comes with new features that simplifies data onboarding, significantly increases product overview, and adds ready-to-go connectivity to leading ecommerce platforms. With this release, the inRiver PIM platform has become even more user-friendly, helping companies take control of their product information and sell more, faster.

inRiver’s upcoming release, inRiver 5.3, has put its main focus on the three key phases of the inRiver PIM process – the supply, enrich, and release. The new release sees a row of new features that enhances the PIM process, delivering powerful ways of automatic batch uploads of data and resources, increasing the overview capability through a stronger system search, and connecting seamlessly to some of the market-leading ecommerce platforms.

”In this release, we deliver some really good features that our customers have been asking for. These features will make them even more successful, giving them more efficiency in their PIM process while keeping a holistic view of how information is used throughout the PIM process” says Jimmy Ekbäck, Chief Technology Officer at inRiver.

The inRiver 5.3 release (GA on Dec 13, 2013) includes the following features:

  • Data onboarding: The new features increases the number of ways to make automated data or resource imports, making it easier to manage the necessary changes in season assortments.
  • Product overview: The powerful inRiver search functionality has been extended to include system information.
  • Connectivity: New adapters have been developed, for seamless connectivity with the Demandware and Magento ecommerce platforms.

About inRiver
inRiver is a market leader of Product Information Management (PIM) software. We give omni-channel commerce professionals the power to create, maintain and distribute perfect product information to multiple sales channels in multiple languages. inRiver is fast to implement, easy to use, and very visual.  120+ customers around the world already rely on inRiver’s platform to manage the product information for their globally recognized brands. Read more on www.inriver.com

24 October 2013

Why a corporate multi-brand strategy matters when working with content

When implementing a cross-channel strategy on corporate level from a multi-brand or multi-company standpoint. It is of great importance that the different brands has the possibility to create different stories for their products and publishing these product stories across channels. To achieve this you need a strong support for repurposing, reusing and sharing product content across brands and companies. You probably want to target different segments of the market with different lingo but still use the same product content only repurposed and reused in different contexts and layouts for the different brands.

The product stories must also be tailored for both the attracting channels (Catalogues, email, searches and ads) driving attention and to get customers to where they can convert on the product offering in the converting channels (Store, mCommerce, eCommerce etc.).

This is a conclusion we can make after hearing our customers repeat the importance of sharing and repurposing information across brands. This is why we believe  our multi-facetted inRiver Marketing Model is  a strong support when creating a multi-company and multi-brand set-up.

-- Jimmy Ekbäck, CTO --

17 September 2013

Three points of focus when working with Multi-Domain content in inRiver

Happy customer

Three points of focus:
  1. Speed-To-Market
  2. Focus on marketing content (The product offering)
  3. Ease of sharing information

When operating in a Multi-Domain context some domains benefit more from being fast, agile, and easy to move across channels. If you look at your product offering, this is one domain that benefits from being fast and agile because if you want to promote this in all your channels (eCommerce stores, mCommerce, catalogues) this needs to be fast and easy to consume. Both for your attracting channels (Catalogues, email, searches and ad’s) driving attention and to get customers to where they can convert on your product offering in your converting channels (Store, mCommerce, eCommerce etc.) This is the story our customers has told us over and over again, how important it is to support the converting channels in a fast and agile way,  so that is why speed and focus is very important when working in a domain involving your product offering.

inRiver works with multi-domain content, like transactional, customer, supplier, BI and social content, but it is always product centric, enabling fast cross-channelling of product content. The focus of inRiver is to build your product offering in the iMM (inRiver Marketing Model) to enrich and relate the correct marketing information like a DM Hub (DM – Digital Marketing Hub http://chiefmartec.com/2013/06/gartners-mind-blowing-digital-marketing-transit-map/) for your products to be featured in all your attracting and converting channels.
Information areas

If a platform is built under the assumption that it will hold all information and have all business logic that a product selling company will need for achieving digital success, it is a very big assumption to make. Neither is it a very humble assumption to make because most likely others (now and in the future) will build solutions that your platform will benefit from interacting with.

This is why all modern platforms must excel at information integration and the ease of sharing information rather than "do everything".
-- Jimmy Ekbäck, CTO --

12 September 2013

Breakfast Seminar in Gothenburg

Together with Wednesday Relations, inRiver will host an free, intimate Cross-channel breakfast introducing Commerce enthusiasts and industry professionals to the secrets of Cross-Channel Commerce and why Product Information Management (PIM) is such a vital part of this concept. 

  • 3 Customer Stories
  • An introduction to Cross-Channel Commerce
  • Why PIM is the core of your Cross-Channel Strategy
  • Case study with customer
  • Questions & open discussion

Time & Place

WHERE - Världskulturmuseet, Södra vägen 54, Göteborg
WHEN - 08.00 - 09.00 on Thursday 10/10, 2013
BREAKFAST - Served from 07.30

We hope to meet you in Gothenburg, so Register now.

30 August 2013

Are You Ready For Mobile Commerce?

Mobile Commerce Sales Top $10 Billion in First Half of 2013 (comScore 2013). 

Commerce transactions in the US on smartphones and tablets totaled $10.6 billion in the first half of this year, according to a comScore estimate. That’s a huge number, considering that only a couple years ago, mobile commerce sales was just topping $1 billion for the corresponding time span. That number will continue to grow exponentially, as we live in an age where more and more consumers are walking around with smartphones or tablets. Mobile device companies are releasing a dizzying array of phones and tablets, coming in all kinds of sizes and price points. Shopping, comparisons, reviews and product research on a mobile device is becoming the norm.

Just the other day I was in the market for home theater amplifier at my local brick-and-mortar electronics store. I was trying to upgrade my system to support the newer technologies of Bluetooth, Airplay, and HDMI inputs to support all my gadgets. I began to question which models were better than others. While walking in the store, I ended up surfing on my phone. I pulled up several comparisons, reviews, and began shopping for similar devices. Eventually I found a site that had a good amount of customer product reviews, a plethora of product information, and detailed images of the amplifier and all its ports. Needless to say, I found a better product and price on my mobile phone and left the electronics store empty-handed. In this day and age, it’s just too easy to shop on your mobile device - regardless of where you are at.

According to comScore this is a trend that has been picking up steam. "While mobile devices are already extremely influential in the overall buying process, they are also beginning to drive a meaningful percentage of digital commerce," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "One out of every ten consumer e-commerce dollars is now spent using either a smartphone or a tablet, and growth in this segment of the market is outpacing that of traditional e-commerce by a factor of 2x, which itself is growing at rates in the mid-teens. Any channel shift has the potential to be disruptive to established revenue streams, and it would appear that m-commerce spending has reached enough of a critical mass that key stakeholders must begin to address this new market dynamic today or risk losing competitive advantage."

But it’s difficult enough for retail companies to manage product information across multiple channels, websites, languages etc. In addition, these companies must communicate with their customers more and more via all the retail channels, printed materials, emails, etc. Consumers are demanding more detailed information, better diagrams, pictures or videos. Quite often, the window retailers have to get that product information all sorted out is small, as they may be responding to trends in the market or dealing with short product lifecycles. Now, factor into that the quick and easy access to data that consumers have at their fingertips via these mobile devices. Retailers need to think about mobile as a seamless part of a broader shopping experience, whether they are trying to position their products differently on the mobile or trying to provide that omni-channel experience. Without a mobile strategy, they risk falling behind.

An important ingredient to achieving an omni-channel shopping experience is to have your product information centrally organized, and easily manageable. The store’s marketers or companies brand owners need to be empowered to be able to slice, dice, categorize, assort, and mix and match products with speed and ease. The tool should be simple and intuitive. By implementing inRiver as a centralized product information management system these objectives can be met. inRiver’s Product Channel Manager could help maintain that seamless product information consistency across all channels including mobile. Coupled with a tight integration with ecommerce platforms, retailers would be able to get the right product information to the right channels at the right time.


19 August 2013

Three rules you cannot ignore when working with information logistics

Any organization trying to convey a digital offering to the market knows that the challenge is not the context (Channels, eCommerce stores, mCommerce, catalogs) of where I want this to be featured. It is relatively easy to decide on colors, strategies for achieving a great customer experience and augment wallet share, because these are all very visible challenges. But to get product information with consistent quality out to all channels over time is very hard, and is the foundation for giving your customer a great experience. This is basic information logistics, and the information you want to get out to your channels must be rich in content to create a great product offering.

There are three basic rules when working with information logistics and moving product information across channels in an efficient way.
  1. Keep information as clean as possible – for easy channel integration 
  2. Information needs context to be understandable – Create an attractive product offering for a specific channel 
  3. Context disrupts flexibility of information – To much channel-specific information will make it harder to share cross-channel 
These are contradictory rules, which is why it usually is very hard to have quality information across channels over time. The challenge is to know where to draw the line; you must know what information is needed to generate a great product offering, but you must also know where the line for flexibility and adaptability for all channels goes for your Cross-Channel Strategy. This is why building great marketing models in inRiver is easy and flexible and a very important task when enabling a Cross-Channel Strategy in an organization.

This is also the reason why inRiver has certified partners, trained to build great marketing models.

-- Jimmy Ekbäck, CTO --

03 July 2013

Transactional VS Marketing information

A rule for any PIM system that wants to become a reliable single source of product information and able to generate attractive offerings around the products in all channels, is to first secure that it is loaded with high-quality data. The product data that should be merged into the PIM system often has its origin in disparate sources such as customer requests, supplier updates, ERP systems etc., so the process of securing the quality of data is of great importance for how Your PIM will perform. Capabilities like working with valid and structured product data, enabling standardization, classification, translation and de-duplication are at the root of information logistics and Product Information, so these are all important features for inRiver.

With these features and processes in place, inRiver enables you to focus on the marketing perspective of your Product information and releases your Marketing Model used to sell and market your products, from your backend information model used to govern your internal process (e.g ERP). The backend model is often very hard to change or transform over time to the markets demand for information about your products. This information model is by definition very static since it involves complicated cross-over process within a company, changing this often leads to time consuming activities and integrations.

With the inRiver platform you work exclusively with the Marketing Model, which per definition must be dynamic and easy to change since the market demands on product information is ever changing in contrast to a backend transaction model in an ERP system.

Customers that we have talked to are experiencing that they are quicker to launch new and innovative marketing channels and are also more effective in bringing consumers into their converting platforms resulting in accelerated speed-to-market and time-to-shelf for product information, resulting in increased market share and higher margins.

Make it a priority to have your marketing information in an agile & dynamic model in order to use it as a strategic asset when realizing your Cross Channel Strategy.

-- Jimmy Ekbäck, CTO --

01 July 2013

Henrik Béen has been appointed Chief Product Officer (CPO), at inRiver

Henrik Béen has been appointed Chief Product Officer (CPO), at inRiver.

Henrik is a business software product specialist, bringing more than 16 years of experience from the industry. Most of this time was spent with QlikTech, where he contributed to the phenomenal growth that took QlikTech from a local, Sweden-based startup to the internationally acknowledged, publicly traded (NASDAQ) software company it is today. At QlikTech, Henrik held leading roles in product marketing and product management.

”We are very glad to have Henrik on board. We see him as a key contributor to our company as we enter the next phase of our global expansion. He will help us strengthen our product offering with the goal of reaching a global market leadership” says Niclas Mollin, CEO at inRiver.

In his role as CPO, he will be part of the management team at the headquarters in Malmö. In close cooperation with inRiver’s CTO Jimmy Ekbäck and the R&D team, he will mainly focus on defining and communicating the future versions of the inRiver product. He will also assume leadership of the company’s product marketing efforts.

”I am very excited about joining the inRiver team. I am impressed by the product and the dedication the team has for helping customers with consolidation and distribution of enriched, high quality product information through their sales channels.” says Henrik.

Henrik holds a Master’s degree in political science and computer science from Lund University, Sweden.

27 June 2013

inRiver Certification & Training sessions in September 2013!

Quality assurance is important to us. That is why we want to make sure that selling and implementing our software is made by people and companies that fulfil certain criteria.

Want to show your skills and be a certified inRiver Consultant?


Our next certification sessions are:

11 September 2013, Stockholm (Sweden): Certifications for Business Consultants and Developers
12 September 2013, Stockholm (Sweden): Certification for Print and Sales

18 September 2013, Copenhagen (Denmark): Certifications for Business Consultants and Developers
19 September 2013, Copenhagen (Denmark): Certification for Print

The certification session including training costs:

Early Bird: 350 EUR if you sign up by 23 August 2013
Normal fee: 550 EUR if you sign up on 24th August 2013 or later

If you want to only take the certification test, the cost is 120 EUR.

Training Webinars

23 September 2013, 15:00-16:30 CEST: EPiServer Commerce Adapter
26 September 2013, 15:00-16:30 CEST: Sitecore CMS Adapter

The Training Webinars are free of charge.

Interested? Invitations are soon going out to all our Partners. 
Cannot wait? Please contact us via our website!

19 June 2013

Closing in on summer

As we are getting closer to summarizing Q1 and Q2 and moving on to summer, I just want to take the opportunity to give my appreciation to:

The inRiver development team for a great job with the platform and the releases, and looking forward to release inRiver 5.2.1 and 5.3 with greater performance and more support for our customers cross channel strategy.

To all our partners doing a fantastic job implementing our customers and enabling their cross-channel approach.

Thank you and great work!

I want to leave you with a couple of great quotes regarding simplicity and focus, which are important for us when building software here at inRiver and for you when implementing inRiver PIM.

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
-- Albert Einstein --

A complex system that works in invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked...a complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patch to work. You have to start over with a working simple system.
-- John Gall --

I keep six faithful serving-men who serve me well and true, their names are What, Where, When, How, Why and Who.
-- Kipling --

-- Jimmy Ekbäck, CTO --