In this interview, Olivier Grenet - CTO of Wedia, talks about one of the most significant developments of the last few months: the built-in product view feature in the Wedia DAM solution. It begs the question: Why did the R&D teams at Wedia work so hard to provide a specific product image view in the Wedia DAM solution?
First of all, it's important to realize that the need for images has accelerated, become more complicated and standardized. Brands need countless images for each product and to adapt them to suit all channels: web, e-commerce, blogs, apps etc. Which is why we developed a Media Delivery and Digital Experience feature in our DAM. But they also need to be ready for every market - globalized markets where sales channels have exploded. Another issue is that at the same time we now expect to see inspirational rather than functional images. For example, Sony's website shows young people partying. But Japan is not the same as the US or Europe. So even in marketplaces, our customers need to promote product images that create feelings. Thanks to these lifestyle changes, marketers have massively increased sales.
Then they realized that to get consumers used to this, they had to put people in the photos. This meant scaling up product images that include local consumers. And that has been a revolution for marketers. Essilor only used to have 2-3 pictures of their glasses. Now, they are doing "inspirational" campaigns where they explain how changing glasses can change your life, help you see your children better or even offer glasses to protect your eyes without vision correction. It's not the same approach at all.
The product view in the digital ecosystem has only been of value recently. Previously this type of view was only used in paper catalogs. But two major events have turned everything around. Firstly, distributors with a "drive" offer have become more widespread, even though they need to up their game to improve profitability. Take the standardization of product images at Auchan. To highlight this new service, the Marketing Department had to produce more standardized, high quality images that can be adapted for all devices and channels.
The other game changer has been the speed at which e-commerce and marketplaces have advanced. With these globalized shop windows, the need to adapt images to local markets is more important than ever. Not having localized packaging or product views is just not feasible now. As an example, car manufacturers have to offer different pictures of left or right-hand drive cars depending on the country. Otherwise, it’s difficult to prove your credibility and customer knowledge at a time when it's all about a personalized, multi-channel customer experience.
We’ve created connectors or connectivity tools for Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator to make life easier for marketing teams who have to produce an enormous amount of alternative images. For example, at Royal Canin, designers have to produce packaging in every language, with the various mandatory legal notices for each country. To do this, they created visuals for each range with entries for each dog breed. A highly organized system which ensures that designers who create packaging have all the information they need in their software. We also have marketplace connectors so that each brand can make images that comply with the specific rules (format, background, cropping, file size etc.) for each marketplace and thus save time.
Wedia's Enterprise DAM also helps to speed up the workflow when preparing and distributing images. Now people who don’t speak the same language can upload assets using an intermediary – inspired by DIY and recipes - who explains the step-by-step process. So files are checked for quality control when they are uploaded and not retrospectively. And at the other end of the workflow, when images are distributed, we automated image-rendering with an automatic quality, resolution and crop tool to adapt the image to the channel. This means retailers can automatically make alternative product images for the 5 to 6 channels that they need (app, e-commerce site, marketplace, social media etc.)
With our DAM you can measure the performance (content scoring) of the various assets that you use. Content scoring measures the actual performance of assets (PDF, images, videos etc.). How many times was a certain image viewed before purchase, did the user zoom in, was my video watched in full etc. In short, all the interactions between a user and the images on display can be analyzed. And now this scoring is done automatically using trackers that can be integrated into any web content. So it's very easy to tell which images boost sales. For example, we know that a returning customer only needs to see 3 images, while a new customer needs to see 9 or 10. This helps you to work out which images should be produced in the future and conversely, identify those that aren’t profitable and should be deleted or redesigned.
So you can keep production lean and only produce essential content. Rather than a simple content-curation tool it becomes more of a value-adding production tool. Producing the right content for the right person at the right time and in the right place. Nothing is gratuitous, everything makes sense and you save time and resources.
When it comes to product information, PIM is what springs to mind. Does this mean that the DAM is treading on its toes? Not at all, the DAM was never meant to replace PIM solutions, but to complement them to make the best use of assets, increase sales and improve the experience.