Provided Polaris with the means to easily display new products on marketplaces and change product information in a few clicks
Polaris is a Swiss brand of household and climate appliances. The active matrix of the company contains more than 700 items (the assortment is more than 1000 SKUs), including models based on Polaris own technical developments. Polaris occupies about 10% of the Russian market in the segment of small home appliances (according to the DISCOVERY RESEARCH GROUP and BusinessStat market researches): the brand steadily holds the first places here.
Challenge: Simplify and make work with product information more transparent
In 2020-2021, online store and marketplaces have become the main sales channel for appliances. Given this context, problems with storing and updating information about Polaris products have become vital:
- there was no single place to store product information: the data was scattered across dozens of folders and hundreds of tables;
- product information was not structured;
- Product cards on Ozon, Wildberries, AliExpress, Yandex.Market marketplaces were not unified; information on each of them had to be filled out or updated separately;
- changes in the information on all the marketplaces were difficult to track and monitor.
The Polaris product range is constantly changing: new items appear, old items leave, features or configurations may change. The rules of marketplaces, the structure of product cards, and image requirements are changing. That's why managers constantly had to duplicate their own work and double-check already uploaded items.
Polaris has set us the task to reduce the managers' workload and optimize the process of working with product information.
Solution: PIM system as a single center for storing information about goods
We have introduced into the Polaris ecosystem a single storage center for information about products, product categories, and product groups. We selected a PIM system that meets the company's requirements. Developed the structure of the product card, taking into account all the requirements of marketplaces.
Now the information about Polaris products is complete, reliable, and meets the requirements of all sales channels. And entering the new online marketplaces requires a fraction of the resources of both managers and IT integrations in comparison with previous costs.
Result 1: One product = one card, managers have less routine and duplicate work
Each of the marketplaces has its own requirements for the structure and content of product information. There are their own internal product hierarchies, information fields which describe the product, requirements for the format of files with information, etc.
For example, the list of "product features", the description of functions, the product set-up... There are hundreds of nuances.
We have developed an information model for a product card which describes all the nuances of the product and takes into account the technical requirements for product information for all the connected marketplaces.
One combination of fields is selected from this card for transfer to Wildberries, and another for AliExpress; images in the necessary format and size are drawn to the card. In this case there is no need to keep several cards of the same product for different marketplaces.
Result 2: The customer gets reliable information about the product — it's easier for him to make a choice in favor of Polaris products
The product card in the PIM system is designated as the reference source of all information about the product — the "golden record".
This means that if information is needed for an advertising campaign, for submitting to a new marketplace or for placement of a new product on all sales channels, it will be taken from the card in the PIM system.
The current product may have changed features: for example, a new nozzle will be added to the vacuum cleaner. To reflect these changes on all sales channels, it is enough to enter them once in the card in the PIM system. It will then be transferred via integration to the marketplaces and the online store with no extra effort on the part of the Polaris managers.
There will be no situations with "we didn't enter it", "we forgot it", or "it is still in the edit queue". And the customer won't have any discrepancies between expectations and the actual Polaris product after purchasing the equipment.
Result 3: Changes in systems on the marketplace side will not force Polaris to spend on additional development
Information from the PIM system is uploaded to marketplaces automatically. For that we could set up integrations between PIM and, for example, Wildberries directly. But in the long run, this option would constantly require Polaris to incur development costs.
So we integrated the ESB layer, an intermediary layer in the Polaris IT architecture, where it is possible to quickly create and reprocess integrations, and track how the information transfer processes are performed.
In the ESB layer, integrations are developed in a GUI. Universal blocks are used to provide integrations
- with a clear input — what information, in what form, and where it comes from;
- clear output — where the information goes;
- and names of blocks — what each block is responsible for.
It is enough to build a basic integration once, and then you will spend minimum time on changes and corrections of individual blocks. And a new developer would not have to spend dozens of hours to figure out the logic of integration and routing of information.