A leading American manufacturer of outdoor and athletic footwear, Five Ten implemented PIM to better support its global digital commerce and marketing channels.
In late 2015, Five Ten realized that their product data team was spending an excessive amount of time gathering product content from multiple systems and spreadsheets in order to update content on its e-commerce websites and digital marketing platforms. Centralizing product content in a PIM and integrating PIM with ERP, e-commerce, and digital marketing platforms would deliver multiple benefits for Five Ten. It would save time, help maximize data quality across sales channels, countries and languages, reduce time to launch products to market, and leverage product content across additional sales channels and marketing automation platforms.
Product content resided in multiple databases (including two ERP instances and a local Access database) and spreadsheets that had to be kept in sync continuously. Each time a product feed was needed for the e-commerce website, Google, or another sales or marketing platform, content had to be consolidated and cleaned manually.
Multiple seasonal catalogs and a large number of new product introductions each year meant the product content operations team was constantly spending long hours, including on weekends, preparing, repairing, and distributing content across multiple channels. Acquiring and updating product images and other assets across its multiple channels was also very manual and time-consuming. The lack of a PIM tool prevented the content team from easily listing products on additional sales channels and marketing platforms (including Google search engine and marketing campaign management tools).
In 2016, Five Ten decided to implement a PIM system to resolve its product content management challenges. Several 3rd party solutions were considered and evaluated. Five Ten had various requirements including:
- an intuitive user interface
- flexible data modeling that facilitated seasonal data management and data inheritance
- product relationship and image management
- multi-language features
- multi-channel features
- multi-currency features
- ability to integrate content easily with other systems.
StrikeTru, Akeneo’s leading solution partner in the US, worked closely with the Five Ten evaluation team to demo the Akeneo PIM solution and provide a clear vision of how the fully implemented solution would meet Five Ten’s requirements. Ultimately, the Enterprise Edition of Akeneo PIM was selected as it met all requirements, offered the best price/value tradeoff, and was most closely aligned with the Magento e-commerce platform in terms of technology stack. The availability of a connector (PimGento) that automates product content sync from Akeneo to Magento was also an important factor.
Various Akeneo product features were used to help users easily setup and manage products for a multi-channel, multi-language, and multi-currency market environment. These features included 4-level entities (style/color/season/size in this case), language- and channel-specific attributes, digital asset and price attribute types, and product completeness.
For shoes, which made up the bulk of the SKUs, only 1 product record needed to be setup in PIM for every 20 SKUs in the ERP. Approximately 300 product attributes (master data, costing, pricing, logistics, marketing, media, copy, publishing, SEO, and technical specifications) were managed in the PIM. About half of them were defined and maintained at the style level, a quarter each at the season and color levels, and just a handful at the size level. This eliminated re-keying and data duplication, and greatly reduced time spent on data management and cleanup tasks.
Prior to deploying PIM, product launches for each season required the Five Ten eCommerce team to aggregate data and images from multiple sources manually, and hand them off to an external agency to update the Magento website. With Akeneo deployed, the eCommerce team could easily review, fix, and approve all content in the PIM itself. Updating content on Magento was seamless and automated, eliminating the need to involve the external agency. What once took 3 to 4 weeks took just a few days with PIM. It also provided the eCommerce team better control over content quality, and much easier reporting on product data. PIM also simplified the process of ensuring images were associated with the right products during the product setup process, which was a disconnected process previously. Controlling product channel availability and managing multi-site pricing was also simplified by using PIM.
Once product data was centralized, Five Ten used PIM to synchronize content feeds to multiple regional Magento stores, multiple ERP instances, retail and mobile POS systems, multiple B2B and B2C websites, BI system, marketplaces, and channel partners including wholesalers, distributors, and retailers.
“We saved a lot of time typically spent on gathering product data and updating our eCommerce sites.” — Chris Moylan, Five Ten