The Edge Blog
The Edge - The official blog of Edgenet, Inc. Talking smart about the world of buyers' guides, product data feeds, and data feed optimization solutions.
The Edgenet / 50 Below Partnership: "One of the most significant technological developments I’ve seen"
Edgenet has recently inked a partnership with 50 Below, THE premiere internet business solutions provider which has been providing web-based solutions for thousands of clients. The Edge recently had a chance to talk to Edgenet's Craig Cervenka about the impact this deal will have.
EDGE: How important is the partnership that has been forged between 50 below and Edgenet?
CC: The 50 Below – Edgenet partnership is extremely important as it is a catalyst for one of the most significant technological developments I’ve seen since retailer web sites became commonplace over a decade ago.
Most OEMs, manufacturers and distributors are still managing their product information for a medium we relied on for many years: printed catalogs. The product information from print catalogs has not been able to keep pace with the increased information demands of customers as their buying behaviors and online connectivity have greatly evolved.
Ezeedata introduces structured/certified data management best practices to the industry; the leading and most innovative online services provider, 50 Below, is able to provide new dealer services unseen in the industry and deliver the richest product information available on its web sites.
EDGE: We read a statistic in a periodical indicating that catalog errors are pervasive and commonplace. Have you heard of similar statistics? What will this deal do to limit or eliminate similar errors?
CC: I have personally seen how catalog errors and incomplete product information have had a negative impact on dealer sales. Many industries, including the automotive aftermarket, have commissioned studies to quantify the effects of incorrect, incomplete and unsynchronized product data.
One particular study found that 1 out of every 10 SKUs had costly and significant errors in the product information essential to ecommerce. Another in the consumer packaged goods industry found that 30% of item data in retail catalogs had errors….30%!
Here’s how the 50 Below and Edgenet partnership will help eliminate this problem:
Edgenet’s Ezeedata places a Software as a service (SaaS) right onto the desks of OEMs, distributors and manufacturers to help them correct and complete their product information. Once product data reaches a score of 75 or higher, it is certified and then published electronically to 50 Below. Ongoing changes are synchronized with 50 Below to ensure the certified product data is always available where it matters most, dealer web sites and search engine feeds.
EDGE: We’ve discussed what’s to be gained through the Edgenet/50 Below partnership. But what can be lost if a business doesn’t get involved? Couldn’t a business sit on the sidelines a little longer and see how retail develops?
CC: There’s a phenomenon going around in many circles called ‘digital disruption’. It basically means that anything digital, the Internet for example, can significantly disrupt normal retail activities. We’ve already seen what digital disruption has done in our industry: it is very easy for customers to discover, research, shop and buy any of our products without even thinking of engaging with a brick-n-mortar dealer. To make this disruption even worse, customers can do it anyplace, anytime…right from their phone, tablet or desktop.
Now, can owners make a conscious decision to do absolutely nothing and expect to grow their business? Not a snowballs’ chance!
EDGE: I’m sure you’ve piqued some interest in this 50 Below/Edgenet partnership. What does an interested person do next?
CC: OEMs, distributors and manufacturers, contact me directly or go to the 50 Below/Edgenet program info page to find out how participation is free in the 50 Below program.
Dealers, contact 50 Below for details on how certified product data is going to help your online product offerings with the search engines and your web site. Also, please make sure to ask ALL of your vendors a simple question: “Is your product information certified?” If the answer is “no” or they don’t know what that means, have them contact Edgenet.