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Empowering brand manufacturers to manage, syndicate, and optimize product content for winning shopping experiences.
Empowering retailers to create engaging, high-quality shopping experiences for the digital shelf.
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Diverse and rapidly changing, the digital shelf is how shoppers engage with brands online. It consists of multiple touchpoints where consumers discover, research, and purchase products—and is estimated to influence 58% of U.S. retail sales by 2023, including in-store visits.
Because the digital shelf is continually evolving, brands must also frequently review and optimize their shopping experiences and presence.
Founded in 1818, Libbey, one of the largest glass tableware manufacturers globally, long sold its products through traditional retailer and distributor routes. Just three years ago, in 2017, the legacy brand embarked on selling their products across a multi-platform, integrated approach to e-commerce.
Their strategy included selling direct-to-consumer (D2C) via their new website, direct to restaurant owners, and through multiple retailers and marketplaces such as Amazon, Zola, and Wayfair.
Ryan Griffith, senior director of ecommerce at Libbey, led the team on starting, streamlining, and scaling their digital shelf efforts. His primary focus: connecting consumers with the product and brand experience they want and that is consistent wherever they engage with the brand.
Griffith shared his strategy during a recent on-demand webinar with Salsify, “Moving at the Speed of Commerce: Introduction of Salsify Commerce Experience Management.”
Like many brands, Libbey had multiple internal ecosystems. The production plants, the marketing department, the sales team were all using their own outdated product management processes.
Griffith began by identifying team members across these departments “with technical depth, a passion for Libbey, and knowledge of our products.”
He handled the strategic elements of planning, while a colleague managed plan execution, and a third colleague oversaw Libbey’s new drop-ship capabilities.
His team formulated a channel strategy, which prioritized their biggest pure play and online retail partners.
“We focused on where we thought the most-likely-to-purchase consumers will be and built very robust partnerships with those types of platforms,” Griffith said.
Ensure Every Commerce Touchpoint Is a Consistent, Engaging Brand Experience
"Historically, Libbey was very traditional with print catalogs and designing visual displays for trade shows," Griffith said. "We needed to be on the platforms where consumers would be shopping for our products, and when they found us, we better look good."
Libbey executed a phased but quick modernization and digitization of their creative content and stored them in a centralized, cloud-based location — establishing a single source of truth.
Creative content for each individual product was then flushed out to create a robust library of marketable material. "All of our items got the exact same treatment," he explained. "Wonderful empty shots, filled shots, lifestyle videos."
Libbey also focused on expanding its brand story on retailer landing pages and product display pages (PDPs) through media-rich, below-the-fold product information known as enhanced content.
"We're really proud of our story, and when we control all elements of the story and tell it the way we feel it should be told – along with top-notch consumer support – we are selling more than a box with glasses in it. We believe our consumers are buying a relationship with Libbey," Griffith said.
With the manual, outdated product processes replaced with agile, automated, and syndicated product experience management (PXM) with Salsify, Libbey's teams were free to focus on expanding new channels, optimizing what worked, and listening to their consumers.
When they endeavored to build their D2C website, the team did so in just a few weeks. Their team loaded product content for 500 items on a lunch break — a step that would have previously taken months.
"We never thought that was possible," says Griffith.
The team also recognized standing out and winning the digital shelf required a deeper understanding of their consumers. Libbey has invested in reliable, information-rich data specific to their category and leaned on consumer behavior to deliver the detailed, personalized, and contextualized experience consumers demand.
"We're constantly gathering all the information we can get our hands on, like how consumers want to shop for tabletop products and how they expect to be serviced," Griffith said. "We've been very successful at farming reviews to see what consumers say about us. We cheer the great reviews, and we respond in an instant to things that are not so great."
Libbey also realized the value of social commerce on Facebook and Instagram's commerce-enabled sites along their journey. Because they had set up a well-managed omnichannel strategy, they were able to pivot more easily into those channels as well.
"Those aren't huge revenue generators for us necessarily, but we're playing the long game. Amazon, Google, Instagram, and Facebook have many resources, and they understand where the shoppers are. We're building capabilities that others don't have," says Griffith.
Each consumer touchpoint is an experience, an opportunity to spotlight your products. Some are shoppable, and some are not, but all lead to potential commerce — a fact Griffith and the Libbey team embrace.
"We're building not only to support the crazy growth that we're seeing right now but also to position ourselves for the future," he said.
Commerce and consumer shopping behaviors will only diversify more. Establishing a thorough and diverse omnichannel strategy now enables you to embrace and harness change as it comes —and, most importantly, before it arrives.
Watch the on-demand webinar, “Moving at the Speed of Commerce: Introduction of Salsify Commerce Experience Management,” to learn more about Libbey’s evolution with CommerceXM.
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