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    What Is SXM?

    A Digital Shelf Guide

    Retailers dream of collecting error-free product data from suppliers and publishing it efficiently across channels.

    They put so much time, effort, and money into collecting the proper data from suppliers. But, more often than not, there are data inaccuracies that translate into poor online shopping experiences for customers.

    Data collection — especially at scale — can be a nightmare for retailers.

    There are very few solutions on the market that can comprehensively manage all the relevant types of product data collected from suppliers at scale. Existing solutions often value walled gardens rather than collaboration.

    Retailers are faced with a difficult trade-off, having to choose between solutions that lack responsiveness, accuracy, scalability, or all three. Updating product data with speed and accuracy is critical to providing winning omnichannel shopper experiences.

    That’s where supplier experience management (SXM), also called SupplierXM, provides value.

    What Is Supplier Experience Management (SupplierXM)?

    A SupplierXM platform is software that supports retailers in the collection, centralization, listing, enrichment, and publication of product data from suppliers. It serves as a product data management solution.

    SupplierXM enables retailers to win the omnichannel shopper through deep collaboration with their suppliers at every stage, from item setup and product discovery to enrichment.

    What Information Does a SupplierXM Manage?

    SupplierXM can replace existing processes, such as the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN), managed service providers (MSPs), and vendor portals, by allowing for real-time feedback and collaboration with suppliers.

    It can also serve as the source of truth for all the data — including listing data, metadata, and enhanced content — needed to deliver enriched consumer experiences.

    An effective SupplierXM platform supports retailers by empowering them to take the five critical actions necessary to build winning omnichannel shopping experiences:

    1. Collect product data from suppliers — no matter the source or data format.
    2. Centralize product data from wherever it is currently stored.
    3. List product data in each retailer’s product information management environment.
    4. Enrich product data to ensure it's optimized to deliver content-rich ecommerce experiences.
    5. Publish product data across multiple channels, including brick-and-mortar retailers, ecommerce channels, and click-and-collect channels.

    Why SupplierXM Is Essential for Modern Commerce

    Retailers need to deliver differentiated consumer experiences in an increasingly competitive retail environment. Staying competitive means you need more product options, more content, and more product details — all available within a few clicks.

    Retailers should consider these modern commerce requirements that make implementing a comprehensive SupplierXM platform essential.


    Supplier Data Is Crucial to the Shopping Experience

    Consumers shop using attribute-based searches, meaning retailers must collect more content from suppliers than ever before to support these digital shelf experiences.


    Product Data Volumes and Touch Points Are Ever-Increasing

    Product data volumes have reached a tipping point due to increased online consumer shopping and consumer and regulatory pressure. There are an unprecedented amount of consumer touch points — and they all need to have up-to-date product data.

    Consumer touch point examples include:

    • Retail sites
    • Direct-to-consumer (DTC) sites
    • Marketplaces
    • Social commerce
    • Customer support solutions

    To keep customers satisfied, retailers must publish enriched, shoppable experiences in an omnichannel strategy to meet them everywhere they are. 


    How SupplierXM Supports Retailers’ 3 Primary Objectives

    Thanks to its unique capabilities, an effective SupplierXM platform allows retailers to meet all these needs and requirements while achieving three primary objectives.

    1. Quickly Engage and Collaborate With Suppliers
      Retailers have to work with thousands of suppliers to receive, approve, and optimize product data. This process requires having an automated and frictionless supplier onboarding approach built on a platform that supports omnichannel product data.
    2. Publish Product Data More Efficiently
      Retailers have to publish error-free product data as quickly as possible. This need requires building responsive and collaborative approval processes that are flexible to serve their suppliers.
    3. Keep Up With Ever-Increasing Data Quality Volumes
      Retailers have to manage supplier data quality at scale while simultaneously and continually optimizing their publishing requirements. This need requires continuously adaptive data quality management tools for an increasing number of suppliers, products, and attributes.

    Do You Need SupplierXM? 10 Questions to Ask

    Retailers looking to improve responsiveness, accuracy, and scalability should implement a SupplierXM platform. There are several important indicators that your organization could benefit from SupplierXM. Ask yourself the following questions:

    • Are you dealing with old tools and different file formats that aren’t suited to the new, more dynamic reality of retail today?
    • Do you have several teams using fragmented systems for collecting all the data required?
    • Do you have antiquated processes for iterating and correcting data?
    • Does the data you collect end up stored in different systems?
    • Whenever corrections or attribute updates are needed, does it become a nightmare to deploy them?


    • Do your current tools require significant maintenance efforts?
    • Is inaccurate data affecting your time to market?
    • Are you inundated with faxes and phone calls to suppliers?
    • Can you see where suppliers are in the data collection process?
    • Could you benefit from a responsive, customizable platform that allows you to scale quickly and accurately?

    If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, it’s time for a SupplierXM platform. A powerful SupplierXM platform can help simplify your supplier product data-management process, reduce time and effort put into locating accurate data whenever you need it, improve your time to market, and more.

    By controlling your supplier product data, you can improve product experience, which then increases customer satisfaction and grows your business.


    What Are the Benefits of SupplierXM?

    An effective SupplierXM platform can help retailers find continued success in the “new” normal of commerce by exhibiting responsiveness, accuracy, and scalability. 

    The core benefits of SupplierXM include the ability to:

    • Quickly engage and collaborate with suppliers;
    • Publish product data more efficiently; and
    • Manage supplier data quality at scale. 


    SupplierXM Improves Responsiveness

    A SupplierXM platform that offers frictionless supplier onboarding allows retailers to quickly engage and collaborate with thousands of suppliers.

    Implementing a SupplierXM platform that offers a proven onboarding methodology tested suppliers of all sizes, automated notification tools to identify and send requests to the right supplier contacts, and a dedicated and experienced support team to facilitate supplier onboarding is essential.


    SupplierXM Improves Accuracy

    A SupplierXM platform must support collaborative data collection, which helps retailers:

    • Publish error-free product data;
    • Customize their data-collection process according to different business scenarios;
    • Centralize multiple components of supplier data collection on a single, unified platform; and
    • Simplify product data exchanges with suppliers through integrated collaboration features.


    SupplierXM Increases Scalability

    SupplierXM’s flexible data quality management enables retailers to keep up with ever-increasing product data volumes.

    An effective SupplierXM platform should also:

    • Offer a flexible data model customizable to the retailer’s unique needs;
    • Monitor suppliers throughout the data collection process and track overall data quality; and
    • Have artificial intelligence (AI)-based correction suggestions that enhance product accuracy and searchability.

    SupplierXM Supports the Future of Commerce

    An effective SupplierXM platform will allow you to provide winning omnichannel shopper experiences without having to sacrifice responsiveness, accuracy, or scalability.

    Not only will it help you give the differentiated experiences consumers crave, but you’ll also strengthen your supplier relationships and your product data — a win-win situation for brands and retailers.

    Salsify SupplierXM

    Request a guided demo of Salsify to learn how Salsify SupplierXM could help your team win over omnichannel shoppers and strengthen supplier relationships and product data.

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