Prior to the age of streaming, buying a TV was all about size, picture quality, and perhaps, if it could connect to a larger audiovisual system. Now, consumers need to know if it’s WiFi enabled, has an app store for accessing streaming networks, and if it can transport viewers to the front row of a football game. In short, buying a TV can be overly complicated but brands like SHARP recognized the need to take control of their digital sales experiences by taking product data and turning it into digestible, needs-based product content to ensure customers find the right TV for their entertainment needs.
Last month, we spoke with Kai Thielen, the Marketing Director Europe at SHARP Consumer Electronics, European division, to learn more about their TV division’s content discovery journey and the impact Zoovu has had on enabling customers to find the right TV and complimentary products for their needs with least amount of effort.
Zoovu: Every business has its own unique tech stack with different solutions to manage everything from inventory to product information and digital assets. Can you tell us about SHARP’s tech stack and how Zoovu fits?
Thielen: Our PIM system is the central point for all product information and assets, it holds all our marketing text and rich content for SHARP’s multi-language websites in addition to product data sheets that are automatically generated on the platform. When we were evaluating solutions to help with content discovery, it was important for us to find a compatible platform.
When we entered the sales cycle, the team we worked with did a great job highlighting the value of the solution and the impact it would have on us. I was very impressed with the attention to detail shown to us. So that experience coupled with seeing earlier how Zoovu would be easily integrated into our existing tech stack and work seamlessly with our PIM. With that guarantee, we were able to see the simplicity of integration with it – Zoovu’s automated integration of product specifications into the platform makes our work so much easier.
Zoovu: When you think about your team’s experience with Zoovu, what has stood out?
Thielen: From a user perspective, Zoovu’s ease of use stands out. It is very intuitive and requires minimal training.
When you are starting out with a new solution, experiencing significant time savings from the beginning is really important and it also allowed us to implement it quickly.
When it comes to our customers, Zoovu has helped us understand the needs of consumers even better. We get to understand their product and pricing preferences, what features are the most important, and much more. Getting information directly from our own source and most importantly, from customer interactions, is a significant advantage of using Zoovu. We get to see which product-specific topics or questions move the consumers to decide on a product, or not.
Zoovu: Where are you using Zoovu’s content discovery experiences and what has the impact been on SHARP?
Thielen: Currently, we are using Zoovu as a conversational assistant that allows consumers to find the TV that fits their needs perfectly. We’ve seen a lot of success on our German website and on our Amazon brand store in Germany.
In terms of the success of the assistant, we’ve been surprised by the high engagement rate with our TV finder experience. Consumers are willing to interact with it and make buying decisions based on the recommendation. For the consumer, it comes across as a simple tool aimed to support their buying journey. When you step back and think about why that is, it underscores the need for simple solutions for consumers to be able to compare products – they don’t need to know the complexity of the solution itself, they just reap the benefits of the ease of use and accuracy in what they are recommended.
Zoovu: As you look to the next few years, what are some of the biggest challenges on the horizon for consumer electronics?
Thielen: We are convinced that the future belongs to brands that serve the topic of “smart” and “AIoT” and position themselves broadly in the area of smart, interconnected lifestyles. With this top of mind, Sharp continues to invest in the development and manufacturing of smart lifestyle products and the expansion of AIoT (Artificial intelligence of Technology). Our goal is to be able to offer a full range of smart lifestyle products in the near future.