Number1Direct Chooses Thanx Media’s blosm Technology
Number1Direct is a retailer of furniture, household plumbing supplies, appliances and other home goods, based in St. Louis, MO. In 2008 CEO Steve Goedeker decided that it was time to expand, by taking the company online. Steve quickly realized that stocking virtual shelves required almost the same amount of labor and man power as physical store shelves. Plus, with so much competition within the industry from both large national chains and smaller family run businesses, Number1Direct knew that gaining an edge would have to come from offering a better user experience by providing consumers with more information about their products, creating a more personalized and complete shopping experience.
With 40,000 SKUs coming in from various manufacturers across several industries, gathering and inputting the necessary amounts of data was rather laborious and time consuming. In order to get things running more smoothly, Steve tasked Jeff Minor, CIO & CTO with overseeing the project. As Jeff recalls, “we tried manually gathering and entering the data, we tried scraping programs, and we even tried off-shore third party companies. Before blosm, our best approach was scraping data with a crawler and then manually entering the data. We had five full-time people and combined, they averaged about 200 products a day at their peak.” Because of the stiff competition, Jeff determined that in order to get ahead of the competition, he needed to not only gather more complete product information at a much quicker rate, but also needed to do it without taking on added expenses through new hire’s or reducing SKU count.
Knowing that there were inefficiencies in the process of manually inputting and updating their tens of thousands of SKUs, Jeff set out to find guidance on a better approach. “I wanted another way. I knew there had to be a better method so I did my research and laid out all my options and did my due diligence and in the end, I decided to go with Thanx Media and their blosm solution,” Jeff recalled.
What separates blosm from crawling aggregators is a proprietary technology which automates the way that humans do research and become experts. Gathering content from a source is just one step. Making sense of a product across multiple sources is the biggest hurdle blosm solves. The result is very detailed, usable content with control over where each value originates. This vetted content is then at the fingertips of your team.
In order to get a feel for what blosm was capable of Number1Direct started with a small segment of their data and let the technology do the rest. The results were better than Jeff could have ever imagined, “I don’t know how else to say it, other than, I was blown away with not only the quantity, but the quality of the data that blosm returned. After just six weeks we were able to touch 8,000 SKUs through the entering of new or updated information and in some cases, completely new product information.”
After seeing the first round and the results produced, Number1Direct decided to let go of the reins and open blosm to their entire catalog. Since letting it loose in early January, Jeff and his team have seen production go through the roof. “In three weeks, with one person, we were able to gather content on roughly 20,000 SKUs. With other solutions and technologies this would have taken me months and even then insufficient data was being returned and we needed four more people on the team to manage everything,” Jeff said while shaking his head.
Now that Number1Direct has streamlined the way they gather and import product information for their existing inventory, Jeff and his team can take another step toward getting a leg up on their competitors. Right now they offer around 40,000 SKUs due to their past resource limitations. With blosm, they can now on-board products more rapidly, expanding their catalog and SKU count. According to Jeff, “our suppliers and the manufacturers that we order from have always had a much more complete product line, but due to ceilings on our end, we’ve been limited in what we can offer. Now that we’ve seen blosm’s power we would love to double our product line in the next twelve to eighteen months.”
Number1Direct determined early on that in order to be number 1, they needed to offer unparalleled product information on their existing products, but also expand their catalog without jeopardizing the quality of the user experience. After trying other solutions including manually gathering data, third party crawling technologies and off-shore solutions, they settled on Thanx Media’s blosm technology and couldn’t be happier with the decision.
About Thanx Media
Thanx Media is an enterprise solutions company that focuses on three major parts of a consumers website: Gathering all relevant or necessary content, managing that content through a proven Product Content Management (PCM) or Master Data Management (MDM), and accessing that data through site search and guided navigation. With over 150 customers, partnerships with industry leaders, as well as breakthrough proprietary technology, Thanx Media is redefining the landscape of driving an effective website experience. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Thanx Media is a private company with North American operations. For more information, visit www.thanxmedia.com.
From humble roots in St. Louis, Missouri, Ben Goedeker started Goedeker Radio and Television Repair in his basement in June of 1951. Ben focused on providing the best possible service at the lowest price to his friends and neighbors. In 1953 Goedeker's expanded into sales, first with electronics then appliances. His first location was a 1,200 sq. ft. showroom located in south St. Louis. After outgrowing several other showrooms, Number1Direct now operates out of a 50,000 sq. ft. megastore and headquarters in the St. Louis West County suburb of Ballwin.
Number1Direct has the same principles and values brought into the business by Ben Goedeker almost 60 years ago. They strive to offer their online customers the best selection with the guaranteed lowest price available. Number1Direct feels that if a customer is anything less than 100% satisfied with the experience they have failed.
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