Salsify Expands its Commerce Experience Management Platform with $32 million of R&D Investment in 2021
Customer-Inspired Innovations across Collaboration, Data Quality and Governance, Global Retailer and Marketplace Network Expansion, and Retailer/Brand Collaboration Capabilities
Salsify announced it invested more than $32 million in R&D in 2021, up over 40% from 2020. This investment resulted in 96 product innovations to customers across its Commerce Experience Management (CommerceXM) platform, all designed to empower brand manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to win on the digital shelf. In addition, Salsify completed two acquisitions in the year, significantly expanding its global retailer network.
Many of these innovations are inspired, prioritized, and brought to market directly from Salsify’s Voice of the Customer program, introduced in 2020 to ensure that customer needs are captured and integrated at scale into the company’s product roadmap. More than 2,500 Voice of the Customer submissions were recorded in 2021. In 2022, the Company expects to grow its R&D investment by another 46% to $47 million, a significant portion of that focused on expanding the world’s fastest-growing commerce experience management network.
“We are grateful to our growing customer base for their strong voice in influencing our product investments to help them best win on the digital shelf,” said Julie Marobella, EVP of Product, Salsify. “With the majority of our 2022 R&D investment focused on innovation, we look forward to helping our customers achieve their commerce business goals at an even larger scale and impact in 2022.”
The year’s key areas of product capabilities expansion included:
Workflows for Efficiency, Transparency, and Continuous Optimization
Collaboration between internal and external teams is a critical component of winning on the digital shelf, and the platform’s workflow capabilities were enhanced throughout the year to speed product data updates and approvals.
For example, Task Imports were added to Salsify Product Experience Management (ProductXM). This feature lets users export a task Microsoft® Excel® template, populate an external Excel spreadsheet with the draft product content, and then import that data directly back to the corresponding tasks. In addition, bulk Task Editing now allows customers to complete tasks in one simple view rather than clicking through multiple tasks one at a time, further accelerating time to market.
Expanded Data Quality and Governance
As the product system of record for brands, distributors, and retailers, Salsify invested heavily in security, transparency, and the breadth of data that can be managed. The new Custom Records capability extends Salsify’s data modeling capabilities to help ProductXM customers store and manage their non-product and product-adjacent data.
For example, teams can store and manage information about materials, brands, fulfillment centers, recipes, marketing campaigns, and more that, when updated centrally, can be reflected instantly across all affected products in Salsify.
Digital assets are critical to driving consumer confidence, brand loyalty, and conversion on the digital shelf. That is why in 2021, Salsify invested heavily in its ProductXM DAM (Digital Asset Management) capabilities, including new workflows that standardize and automate asset processes like metadata tagging, asset-to-product linking, and asset enrichment.
Additionally, a growing number of brand manufacturers are selling direct-to-consumer on their owned ecommerce sites. Salsify has made this even easier with recent enhancements to its PIM capabilities (like custom records) and native connectors to Adobe Commerce (Magento) and other ecommerce platforms. With ProductXM, brands can enforce brand standards across their product catalog and syndicate to their ecommerce platform with ease.
The World’s Fastest-Growing Retailer and Marketplace Network
To succeed, brands, distributors, and retailers must deliver accurate, complete product experiences wherever the consumer or B2B buyer is. Salsify has made significant investments to expand its Commerce Experience Management Network around the globe.
- International Expansion through Acquisition: Through Salsify’s acquisition earlier this year of Alkemics and its Supplier Experience Management (SupplierXM) platform that helps retailers to engage with suppliers, customers can now syndicate data across all of that platform’s retailer customers in EMEA, including E.Leclerc, Carrefour, Intermarché, and Metro. Additionally, in October, Salsify acquired SKUvantage, through which brands have seamless access to Australia’s biggest retailers through the continent’s most-trusted product content network.
- Retailer Expansion through Product Innovation: Salsify more than doubled the number of enhanced content destinations that ProductXM customers could publish to in 2021, across multiple regions and categories, including Wayfair, Sam’s Club, Office Depot, Albertsons, and Joann Fabrics.
- Marketplace Selling Expansion through Product Innovation: Salsify Orders & Inventory helps brands to scale their direct selling operations on marketplaces, social networks, and ecommerce platforms. The new eBay direct connection for content, inventory, and orders helps brands accelerate listing their products on eBay and facilitates direct fulfillment. In addition, the new D2C Performance Report aggregates sales from across sites and helps customers understand how brand activities impact sales performance.
- Amazon-specific enhancements: Salsify invested heavily in expanding both the functionality and global reach of the platform’s Amazon capabilities, including a unified direct connection to Amazon’s new Selling Partner API, as well as extending the ability of customers to publish A+ content in Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany.
“We manage everything across our B2B and D2C websites from a single system – as well as sending content across to our loyal customers and partners,” said Tom Chattaway, Digital Manager, LifetimeBrands. “The investments Salsify has made means we can get more accurate and up-to-date content in front of our customers. We can add a new product to Salsify, sync the channel, and it’s there in two minutes – available for all of our customers right away.”
Retailer and Brand Collaboration
The addition of the SupplierXM platform made the CommerceXM platform the only continuously-adaptive system of record and workflow for brands and retailers to collaborate on winning product experiences for the digital shelf. SupplierXM added new capabilities to allow brands and retailers to better work together, including introducing more automation into the data collection process, the ability to work with multiple suppliers for the same GTIN, and supporting more types of data such as pre-negotiated pricing data and sustainability “eco-scores.” SupplierXM also introduced support for the FAB-DIS standard, making it easier for retailers and suppliers in the building supply industry to win on the digital shelf.
“Collaborating with Salsify (formerly Alkemics) helped us reach four strategic business objectives including enriching our omnichannel shopper experience by better promoting product advantages, reducing time for data collection and time to market, reducing listing cost per SKU and making the processes easier for suppliers,” explained Cynthia Merope, Offer & Marketing Director at Metro France. “With more than 90% of Metro France suppliers onboarded, the product listing process is twice as fast as before.”