inriver unveils its next-gen Brand Store to provide customers with self-serve micro digital storefronts

The Brand Store is a completely remade version of a product inriver has had for many years, and while not itself a lucrative opportunity for their partner base, it will contribute to the overall value of the inriver solution and to partners’ advisory roles.

Johan Boström, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Ambassador at inriver

Swedish firm inriver, which makes software that enables revenue-driving Product Information Management [PIM] for their customers, has announced the availability of the inriver Brand Store, a next-generation version of their self-service digital storefront designed to provide customers with easy access to select elements of content.

Inriver is stressing that the Brand Store, a multi-tenanted SaaS solution, represents a next-generation product, which fundamentally evolves the PIM space, and represents a major leap over what inriver had been previously offering in this area.

“The Brand Store replaces our Content Store, which was also self-service but was  much more limited in terms of things like navigation and search results,” said Johan Boström, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Ambassador at inriver. “We have had similar solutions since 2008, but everything has been improved from the last one, the Content Store. The Content Store was a modern SaaS based solution. There was nothing technically wrong with it. But in the last couple of years, the requirements and standards in the PIM industry have scaled up. So we built a brand new store from scratch based on our content delivery API. It’s not just us delivering a new capability. It’s also part of our new modern infrastructure.”

Boström explained how the Brand Store works, and contrasted it with the multi-tenanted, omni-channel software that is the core of their business.

“A PIM grabs data on upstream processes, and is enriched based on that purchasing information,” he said. “Then we publish to the customer’s own site, or to Amazon or to Home Depot, depending on what channels they want to reach. But then you have a very big chunk of resellers, distributors and sales people who don’t actually need access to the full PIM, but do need access to parts of it so they can publish on their own web sites. Amazon is the exception rather than the norm, as most sites don’t provide this capability. The Brand Store makes it possible to sell services and share their content with their dealers and distributors and sales people, who only need access to one or more Brand Stores, rather than the PIM. That way the customer gets products to market faster, and they also tie resellers and distributors closer to them. That’s the idea with a Brand Store – effortlessly share your content with a whole ecosystem, and do it in a few minutes.”

Boström said that typically the Brand Store is operated by a dealer or distributor, but it is set up to be so simple that the customer could do this themselves.

“An inriver end customer can do this easily in an intuitive way,” he said. “We wanted to set it up so they didn’t need to call us or even a partner. They can do it without writing a single line of code. It’s so super simple to manage, that the customer can do this themselves.”

Stephen Kaufman, inriver’s newly-appointed Chief Product Officer, gave an example of how a typical enterprise would utilize this.

“One of our customers is Michelin, and they have dealerships that are only interested in certain lines,” he said. “For example, a German dealer may be only interested in Michelin snow ties and in German collateral. Michelin can make that for them with this. If they have another dealer in France, who wants tires for just cars, they can also customize a microstore for that.”

inriver uses a hybrid Go-to-Market strategy, with partners being a growing part of their bookings.

“Customer demand is for self-service while the partner network wants to find billable hours,” Boström noted. “There is really no systems integration work for partners with the Brand Store, but there is more of an advisory role. There’s still a lot of work for partners in a PIM project because we still have an average of seven integration points per customer. These are not so much for the Brand Store itself, but the value that partners bring from their work is funnelled through the Brand Stores so that it becomes very valuable information.”