By 2004, Tesco.com was in its fifth year, having leveraged its already successful online grocery brand by successfully expanding the product offering into several non-food sectors. The brand was by now the world's largest online grocery retailer and was managing hundreds of thousands of different non-food products, sourced from a large supplier base. Competition in the market had become increasingly aggressive during this period with threats to the Tesco.com business emerging on a global scale.
To compete, Tesco.com needed to strengthen the business further. As Jon Higgins, IT Director at Tesco.com explained, "Our strategy is to provide exceptional value and choice for our customers with an unrivalled choice of products. To deliver on this promise, we manage hundreds of thousands of products, sourced from a large number of different suppliers. When one of our suppliers or partners fails to deliver essential product data that we can use quickly and easily, it results in Tesco.com failing to provide that choice for our customers. It was very simple; we needed a solution that would help us to work collaboratively both internally and externally, reducing our reliance on our weakest links and to provide consistent and accurate product information for our customers to choose from."
Solution - Sonetto® Product Information Management
According to Higgins, having worked with the IVIS Group for almost ten years, the company had the right track record, level of trust and credentials to move into this next phase with Tesco.com. Higgins was confident that IVIS Group's Sonetto® Product Information Management (PIM) would provide the business requirements Tesco.com was looking for. They knew from the start that they would have great flexibility in the way they managed product information, as there was no prescriptive or restrictive definition to follow. IVIS Group also had a solid understanding of the Tesco.com business, having already worked as a virtual part of the Tesco.com team since its inception.