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    November 5, 2019
    2 minute read

    The GDSN Does Work for the Digital Shelf

    by: Salsify

    The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) hasn’t lived up to its potential for the digital shelf. However, this isn’t a fault of the technology — it’s a fault of its implementation. The GDSN does work for the digital shelf, but it requires data pool providers to take advantage of changes in the retail environment.

    Watch Salsify co-founder and chief marketing officer (CMO), Rob Gonzalez, explain how the GDSN does work for the digital shelf in our “At the Whiteboard” video series.


    GDSN data pools must possess the following three factors for digital shelf relevancy.


    The current data pool landscape is missing complete connections between all GDSN providers. While these connections are crucial for brand manufacturers to ensure seamless information exchange, some data pool providers don’t offer a network path for every endpoint.

    GS1 Global Data Dictionary (GDD) support

    Every data pool should support the full catalog of GS1 Global Data Dictionary (GDD) attributes. However, this isn’t a GDSN data pool requirement — even though there are thousands of GDD attributes, covering almost everything related to the consumer experience, including 360-degree spins, video, retailer-specific content, and more. This inadequate support leads to category-specific data pools and missing connections.

    Transparent requirements

    Retailer product categories change frequently, but data pools don’t have full visibility into all endpoint requirements. This lack of transparency results in rejected vendor submissions and an extensive trial-and-error process. GDSN data pools should know the complete requirements of endpoints to keep all source systems up to date.

    Creating a world where the GDSN works for the digital shelf requires these three philosophical goals. These convictions are why the Salsify GDSN data pool supports all three, allowing both the offline and online worlds to work together to create the future of commerce.


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