21 February 2017

Bringing Order to Chaos in the Fashion Industry

When you walk into a small fashion boutique, it can feel almost like a liberating experience. Although by nature I am not a shopper and small boutique prices terrify me, I do enjoy the pristine, sparse environs of an intimate and high-end boutique. Each garment is delicately hung several inches from its neighboring items, the displays are fastidiously placed in strategic areas of the store, and the hardwood floors have not a speck of dust. Even the store personnel are meticulous in their attire and comportment. Equally tranquil, it seems, is the transition from one season to another—the introduction of the new and the dismissal of the dated.

But is fashion retailing really simple and tidy?

Despite this calming in-store experience, I would argue that retail fashion ecommerce and merchandizing resemble more the duck that is calm on the surface but paddling frantically underneath. Behind the immaculate façade of a department or chain store display may actually be organizational disarray and chaotic disparate sources of product data that result in “product content spaghetti.” This breeds insecurity and doubt among marketers, who are left continuously searching for the latest version of a product’s information, while worrying about the product information’s accuracy, completeness, and appeal.

It is this content spaghetti that the team at inRiver seeks to address, store, and organize for our customers—to make the lives easier for fashion marketers everywhere. We are fortunate to have many customers who have benefited from this and are willing to tell their stories.

Join inRiver at Episerver Ascend!

One of these customers is Claire Sharp Sundt of Varner Group, who is joining inRiver’s own Johan Bostrom at Episerver Ascend on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 3PM in Yaletown 1 for a session about how to streamline ecommerce processes from a product information perspective. The session is entitled: “Commerce: It Takes a Village. How Technology and Marketing Work Together for a Great Customer Experience.”

Varner Group is a house of many brands, some of which compete with one another! They embarked on ecommerce in earnest in 2013, having installed inRiver PIM in 2012. Ms. Sundt will discuss Varner’s journey from content spaghetti and organizational silos to empowered collaboration and information sharing. In addition, she will share how the marketing team built a partnership with IT to help bridge the gap between their marketers and their shoppers. Ms. Sundt will also describe the importance of key attributes for certain target segments based on specific customer needs.
Johan Bostrom will weigh in on how product information management applications, such as inRiver PIM, can be used to enhance product intelligence and rid organizations of content spaghetti once and for all.

Don’t miss this exciting session at Episerver Ascend on March 1. Stop by our booth at the Show—Booth #15—to discuss your content spaghetti or product information management needs. In the interim, please take a look at the Varner Group case study on the inRiver web site to learn more.

Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager North America, inRiver

16 February 2017

The Next Generation of inRiver PIM unveiled at PIMpoint Summit 2017

April will be an exciting month. Not only is inRiver’s annual customer and partner event PIMpoint Summit taking place, but the new and exciting details of the next release of inRiver will be announced at the event. It’s the launch of the next generation of inRiver PIM, and our most important release ever - meaning there will be a lot of new and interesting things to present to the user and partner communities at PIMpoint Summit.

It’s an amazing feeling, giving our communities a first look at what’s new. The first time we did this was 5 years ago, when we launched a major release of inRiver PIM to the community at our first ever PIM event. It was a powerful experience to be there, seeing how it was received, and how passionate our users and partners are about what we do.

inRiver’s strength lies in our user and partner communities. With their keen engagement and constant flow of feedback, we have been able to kick things up a notch and launch this next generation of inRiver PIM. This year, we are more excited than ever to engage our community attending PIMpoint Summit 2017 in the launch. We will provide break-out sessions at the event, presenting how the new features enable organizations to manage product information even more efficiently. New this year are the master classes, replacing the user and partner forums of previous years. During these master classes, we will be providing hands-on introductions to the new features in inRiver PIM, and answer questions.

But PIMpoint Summit 2017 is not just about the next generation of inRiver PIM. With more than 600 attendees expected at the event, it really is the place to be to see what’s cooking in the PIM market, and the best place to meet the inRiver community to network and exchange PIM experiences with peers. It is also about micro-moments, how top-quality product information has become more important than ever, how it has become a concrete competitive advantage, and how it can influence the attention and purchase decisions of customers.

This year we are extremely proud to present a well-known, cool, trend-spotter: Daniel Levine. Danielis one of the world's best-known trends experts. He’s been called "genius" by Elle Magazine, and "the ultimate guru of cool" by CNN, and he is one of our high-profile keynote speakers. So if you want to be more relevant, innovative and profitable, you should definitely be at PIMpoint Summit 2017 on 6-7 April 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. See the agenda and all our speakers.

See you there!

Annette Ståhlberg, Content Manager, inRiver

09 February 2017

inRiver is in Good Company with These Partners

In September 2016, inRiver launched our new global inRiver PRIME Partner Program. Although the program is new, the inRiver partner community has been in existence for nearly a decade. It is because of these partnerships that inRiver has been able to evangelize product information management throughout Europe and the United States and assist enterprises in the retail, distribution, and manufacturing industries take control of their “content spaghetti” and tell better product stories. 

Forrester Wave Highlights Leaders in the CMS Space

We are delighted that several of our long-time partners have been highlighted in a recent Forrester Wave™ report. The report, which focuses on leaders in web Content Management System (CMS) features and functionality, recognizes the superior offerings of Adobe, Episerver, and Sitecore in this dynamic marketplace. All three of these leaders are noted for their deep expertise, vision, execution.

“Customer experience” is still the phrase of the day in the CMS marketplace, and these three partners are ensuring that their respective offerings address the need for “contextual digital experiences.” Enterprises are looking for ways to offer personalized, dynamic content to web site users while deploying a solution that is agile and user-friendly.
Among the 15 vendors that Forrester evaluated, Adobe, Episerver, and Sitecore rose to the top of the list. Each of these solutions has been proven successful in Forbes Global 1000 enterprises within at least two major geographical regions.

For each of the partners below there is an adapter or connector that integrates with the inRiver PIM solution. This CMS/PIM integration speeds data transfer and eases the display of product information.

Episerver Expands Its North American Presence

inRiver has been partnering at customer sites with Episerver for years because of our Swedish headquarters and strong presence in the Nordic countries. However, we have also worked with Episerver at several customers in the US and are excited to continue to build our relationship and joint customer base in North America. With the inRiver Epi Commerce adapter you can publish your product information directly into Epi Commerce.

The Forrester Wave points out the key benefits of Episerver’s platform—solid architecture,  scalability, and modular approach to marketing features. In addition, Forrester is impressed with Episerver’s vision for new capabilities such as cloud-native scaling, automation, and machine learning support.

Sitecore Provides a Full Suite of Features

Due to Sitecore’s Danish headquarters, inRiver has a number of joint customers in the Nordics with Sitecore. Sitecore has provided many marketing tools within its product, such as testing, optimization, and customer data profiles. Sitecore will also be adding a cloud solution in 2017 to complement its extensive partner and developer network across the globe.
The Sitecore adapter enables publishing product information from inRiver PIM to the Sitecore CMS. When the products in the inRiver Marketing Model are enriched and ready for display, they are loaded and automatically released into Sitecore CMS. 

Adobe is Tops for Marketers

inRiver has a long-time partnership with Adobe, and there is a plug-in for managing automatic print support of high-quality product information.

In the Wave report, Forrester commends Adobe’s vision for speeding time to market, employing machine learning for analytics, and enabling integration with other marketing modules. Adobe’s Experience Manager Sites solution embeds tools that marketers increasingly find critical—digital asset management (DAM), analytics, and targeted content marketing.

Read the Forrester Wave Report

Episerver has provided an opportunity for you to download and review the research compiled by Forrester Research in their CMS Report. Download the report to learn more about these leading-edge partners in the content management space.

Visit the inRiver Partner web page for more information about these and other partners in the inRiver PRIME Partner Community. The inRiver Marketplace provides additional information about connectors to and from inRiver PIM.

Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager North America, inRiver