What is Product Intelligence for Retailers?

March 27, 2023
by SPINS Marketing


If you’re a retailer, you probably know a lot about your shoppers. You know their demographics and values and already have a pretty good idea of what they’re buying and why. But that’s not always enough. Having the right assortment doesn’t mean anything if shoppers don’t understand which products meet their values, or worse, can’t find any of those products to begin with. 

To create differentiated offers that are directly relevant to a shopper’s values and interests, that transform the shopper experience from good to great, retailers need expansive and cohesive views of their assortment—data that spans everything from product images, to what’s on the label and beyond. This data set needs to tell retailers what categories and sub-categories the product falls into, the certifications and claims it has and is making, where it comes from, what diets it’s suitable for and more. Retailers need a comprehensive source of truth that provides them the same, or deeper, level of insight into the products they stock as they have on the shoppers that buy them. They need Product Intelligence. 

The retail industry has seen multiple iterations of Product Intelligence over the years, but as Chris Williams, Foxtrot SVP of Merchandising puts it: 

“Product Intelligence is a powerful utility for retailers of all sizes because of its algorithmic, beyond-the-label data enrichment and the fact that it centralizes all product data, including supply chain data, within a single source and transforms it into ready-to-use assets across teams. That alone has the potential to significantly streamline our business operations so that we not only understand the product but where the product came from and whether it meets our and our shopper’s values.” 

Product Intelligence significantly accelerates business transformation at all levels for retailers by ensuring each team is working with the same, unified data set. This eliminates the need for messy, time-consuming data transformations and the pain of not having basic data like product images on a website. Product Intelligence provides retailers with the data they need to move nimbly and get ahead online and in-stores. 

If we break it down, modern Product Intelligence solutions for retailers are keyed on three facets:

  1. Acquiring and maintaining an up-to-date product data set that covers a retailer’s entire assortment—including fresh and private label
  2. Data extraction and enrichment to create scalable processes that support faster assortment turnaround times and provide visibility into off-label product attributes
  3. Seamless data delivery including any data transformations to minimize wasted overhead and enable quick activation

The three facets of Product Intelligence solutions for retailers

In other words, Product Intelligence acts as a retailer’s data foundation to accelerate business transformation and provide an edge in modern commerce. Having Product Intelligence in a retailer’s toolbelt means a consistently refreshed—i.e., up-to-date—data set and the ability to maximize shopper discoverability. This ensures that shoppers are always engaging with the latest and greatest information on a product and that retailers always have the data on hand to provide shoppers with the exact products aligned with their preferences and values.

FEATURED EBOOK: How Product Intelligence Supports Modern Commerce for Retailers

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