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Talk-Commerce Akeneo Kristin Naragon

Transforming Retail through Product Experience with Kristin Naragon

The future of retail lies in delivering exceptional product experiences. That’s the key message from digital commerce expert Kristin Naragon in this insightful episode of Talk Commerce. As Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Akeneo, Naragon has seen firsthand how centralizing product data and incorporating AI is revolutionizing online shopping.

Key Takeaways:

  • Implementing a product information management (PIM) solution led to a 36% sales increase for Rural King and 15 minute time-to-market for Staples Canada.
  • 61% of retailers are adopting augmented reality, with some seeing conversion rates double for AR-enabled products.
  • AI can be transformative but needs human validation – incorrect product details could be dangerous.
  • A comprehensive product experience strategy requires buy-in across the c-suite, not just marketing.

About Kristin Naragon

With nearly 20 years in tech marketing, including senior roles at Akeneo and Adobe, Kristin brings a wealth of go-to-market strategy experience. As a customer-obsessed, outcomes-focused leader, she’s passionate about developing partnerships and solutions that drive business success. At Akeneo, that means delivering product experience innovation that transforms retail.

Exploring Centralized Data and AI for Next-Gen Shopping

Kristin traces the genesis of Akeneo back to a frustrating shopping experience – her husband struggling to find compatible AV equipment across various retailer sites. The problem? Inconsistent and conflicting product information stemming from decentralized data. As Kristin explains, “You can control the product information. Having that core record, categorized, cataloged, complete, enriched…that’s what Akeneo uniquely solves.”

That product record lies at the heart of Akeneo’s product experience cloud. By centralizing all product data into a PIM, retailers can distribute accurate, up-to-date listings to every touchpoint – web, mobile, print, and more. The result, as evidenced by Rural King and Staples Canada, is operational efficiency, reduced time to market, and revenue growth. “It touches every part of the business,” Naragon states.

And that was just the beginning. The launch of Akeneo’s in-platform app store unlocked innovation opportunities through 3rd party AI integrations. As Kristin explains, “We had about a dozen applications developed leveraging AI to help different parts of the product experience management process.” From onboarding data to generating descriptions and translating content, AI is transforming PIM capabilities.

Ultimately, Akeneo’s acquisition of AI startup Unifi was fueled by demand for enhanced data enrichment. But Kristin cautions AI requires oversight. “Bad product information generated from these AI models can really serve the business in a bad way,” she warns, sharing examples of incorrect phone storage stats and dangerously mixed chemical data. The solution lies in Akeneo’s workflows – “introducing a checking system with employees, humans.”

The Future of Retail Will Be Experiential

As the podcast wraps up, Kristin points to AI, AR, and the blockchain as technologies that will converge to enhance shopping dramatically. But the biggest shift must start internally. “Making product experience strategy a C-suite initiative – that’s something we’re going to be focused on,” she predicts. Because as omnichannel retail blurs lines, the brands offering the most contextual, consistent and helpful product experiences will win consumer loyalty.

In closing, Kristin perfectly captures the ethos of our digital era: “It seems so obvious, I guess. And sometimes the things that seem so obvious are often overlooked.”

Memorable Quotes

“You can control the product information. Having that core record, categorized, cataloged, complete, enriched…that’s what Akeneo uniquely solves.”

Here Kristin eloquently sums up the universal product data dilemma facing retailers – and how a properly structured PIM solves it through centralization.

“Bad product information generated from these AI models can really serve the business in a bad way.”

A stark reminder that while AI delivers efficiency, its capability to propagate nonsense means implementing guardrails is crucial.

“Making product experience strategy a C-suite initiative – that’s something we’re going to be focused on.”

This prediction underscores Kristin’s belief that optimizing product content across channels needs to become a boardroom priority to drive sales.

Tune In and Join the Product Experience Revolution

If mindset shifts, emerging technologies and real-world use cases have you rethinking your ecommerce content strategy, be sure to check out the full episode. Subscribe to Talk Commerce so you don’t miss future conversations at the intersection of commerce and digital disruption.

At its core, this podcast highlights that product experiences represent the new competitive battleground. As consumers increasingly demand personalized, contextual, and helpful shopping journeys, retailers must transform product content from a cost center into a revenue driver. The brands that invest in product experience now will shape the future of retail.

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Talk-Commerce Arv Natarajan

Decoding the AI Revolution: Retail Transformation with Arv Natarajan

Brent Peterson is joined by a special guest, Arv Natarajan, Director of Product at GroupBy Inc. Together. They delve into the exciting world of AI and its transformative impact on the retail industry. Brent and Arv kick off the conversation by discussing how retailers utilize AI to drive their sales. Arv, leveraging his expertise at GroupBy – a company renowned for powering some of the most successful eCommerce websites – explains the AI-driven mechanisms that help businesses thrive in a competitive retail landscape.

The conversation then shifts to comparing next-generation product discovery technologies and legacy solutions. Arv shares insights on the cutting-edge enhancements that GroupBy has introduced to their Product Discovery Platform in March 2023 and how these developments are redefining eCommerce search. In the final segment, Brent and Arv explore the future of personalized search and recommendations in the eCommerce industry.

They discuss the potential of AI to tailor online shopping experiences and how this could revolutionize customer engagement and conversion rates. Listeners will better understand AI’s role in reshaping retail, product discovery technologies’ evolution, and the future for personalized eCommerce experiences.

Notable Quotes

‘Aave Natarajan’, ’00:08:43′, “Over $300 billion online is lost each year from a bad search experience. That’s a huge number and clearly it’s a problem that needs to be solved.”

‘Aave Natarajan’, ’00:09:32′, “If you could combine both of those experiences and make that online shopping experience more as if you are in a store, not only is it compelling and helpful to the user, I think it would also obviously help the retailer by providing better cross-sell opportunities or upsell opportunities as well.”

Brent W. Peterson 00:23:49, “And then I see a lot of e-commerce stores maybe saying we will keep this internal, we’re not going to share it with anybody, but this will help your buying experience right? Just like you get a personal shopper for you that’s going to go to your local store, your local department store and buy stuff for you. This is an opportunity for trusted brands to have trusted personal shoppers that are bots, right?”

Aave Natarajan, 00:28:59, “Don’t sleep on this technology. It is right here, right now. It’s available to use. It is cutting edge. It will provide more relevant results with less effort and less cost to run, and it will be optimized for your specific objectives. This technology you should be taking advantage of it.”

When to find it in the Podcast

Challenges in Product Discovery [00:08:09]
Aave Natarajan discusses the challenges retailers face with product discovery, including the problem of customers not being able to find the products they are looking for quickly.

AI-powered online shopping experience [00:09:32]
Discussion on how AI can enhance the online shopping experience to mimic the assistance provided by a store associate.

Tailored recommendations based on AI [00:10:29]
Exploring the potential of AI to provide tailored recommendations for specific needs, such as building a garden shed or planning a family dinner.

Advancements in AI technology for e-commerce [00:12:04]
Highlighting the advancements in AI technology for e-commerce, including the use of Google’s search platform and the potential for better product discovery and customer experiences.

The Impact of AI-generated Content on Search Results This topic discusses the potential impact of AI-generated content on search results and the concern of penalization by search engines like Google.

Differentiating Content and Results in Retail This topic explores the difference between content and product results in retail, emphasizing the importance of personalized and unique content to avoid being generic. T

The Future of Personalized E-commerce Experiences This topic delves into the future of personalized searching and shopping experiences, including the role of social media, data usage, and the potential for chatbots to provide tailored recommendations.

Democratizing AI Technology [00:26:02]
Discussion on how democratizing AI technology can level the playing field for smaller brands in providing compelling shopping experiences.

GroupBy’s Unique Offerings [00:26:18]
Exploration of GroupBy’s unique offerings in omnichannel e-commerce search and product discovery and its potential impact on the retail industry.

Advantages of GroupBy’s Platform [00:27:06]
Explanation of how GroupBy’s platform enables retailers to create extraordinary digital experiences, optimize revenue, and benefit from flexible and modular technology integrations.

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What challenges do you think retailers face when it comes to providing a seamless product discovery experience for customers? Share your insights!

Get in touch

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GroupBy’s LinkedIn,