More and more furniture stores want to go digital but find that having one consistent source of information about products is a real challenge. Product data problems in the furniture industry are characterized by the fact that stores have a lot of complex products with even more attributes and assets like images and videos. 

Furniture can also have a wide range of colors and be made of various materials. Add to that different configurations of some elements—such as left- or right-side corner sofas, beds with different types of legs, tables of various sizes, and many more—and it is plain to see why there is a need for smart technology solutions. 

With so many products, attributes, and assets, the eCommerce entry for each product may be worked on by a range of people, from product managers to photographers. In practice, it is very difficult to manage this quantity of data and retain the quality of data that is vital to any online listing. If a given furniture company sells its products not only in its home country but also abroad, that also leads to the issues of translating information to local languages and communicating shipping options for large products.

This feature analysis will show you how common product data problems in the furniture industry can be easily solved using the Akeneo PIM (Product Information Management) platform. It will explain which specific functions should be used to solve each problem and what results can be expected. 

Business challenges

  • Increase trade in furniture stores through digital innovation
  • Create one consistent source of product knowledge
  • Significantly improve product data quality
  • Personalize multi-channel product data experiences
  • Facilitate the management of multiple product attributes
  • Automate the process of enriching product data
  • Easily manage multiple assets, different language versions, and a number of distribution channels

What is Akeneo?

Akeneo is an intuitive PIM platform that is an open-source enterprise solution designed for B2B and B2C companies. It helps you organize your product information quickly and neatly, the way you want. The company was founded in 2013 and over 60,000 Akeneo PIMs have been installed to date. The main features of Akeneo are a flexible product structure, dozens of import and export profiles, bulk actions, an asset manager, reference entities, advanced rights management, validation workflow, a teamwork assistant, a rules engine, versioning, and data quality insights. 

How does Akeneo solve product data problems in the furniture industry?

Numerous sources of product data

No consistent data source about the product is an issue that affects the furniture industry. It is difficult to integrate many sales channels in one place without the right tools. However, it can be easily solved with an Akeneo PIM. You can very quickly connect your PIM with other applications and solutions directly from the user interface like distributor stores. Regardless of how many sales channels and solutions you have, you can easily manage your product data in Akeneo and distribute it over those channels from one place. 

This ensures that you have one consistent source of data about the product. You only have to import your raw product data from Excel or CSV files, connect to source systems, and centralize your product data. In Akeneo, there are over 30 different import profiles so you can import products, attributes, rules, categories, and more without needing help from developers. Another neat feature the export and import is that you can create them by yourself and supply only the data you need. 

A large number of attributes 

A large number of attributes for products is overcome by Akeneo as it lets you easily create new attributes or import them from the external system. There are about 17 different default attribute types such as asset collection, date, image, metric, price, and text. You can use them to build your own product data structure by creating attribute groups and assigning them to the right product family. Thanks to that product family feature, you can divide your assortment into small groups with the proper set of attributes; for example, you can create a separate family for tables, chairs, sofas, beds, and so on. It then works like a template. If you would like to add a new chair or table to your PIM, you don’t have to choose the attributes as you can use the previously prepared family.

You can create entities in Akeneo, which are more complex objects where different information can be stored and combined with products. For example, you can create a new entity for a particular brand if you need more information like logo, address, URL, and so on. What’s more, you can make some references between different entities and create even more complex objects. It allows you to create different configurations of furniture and combine them into sets like for example dining room furniture sets. In Akeneo, it’s also possible to create a configurable product with many variants, meaning you can create product information with three levels of enrichment.

Assets management

Having numerous assets for the same product is a common product data problem in the furniture industry. However, Akeneo has its own built-in assets manager that lets you collect and manage your assets from the same place as the products. You can easily upload and create new assets for your furniture like images, videos, specifications, and installation instructions directly in your PIM platform. You can also categorize your assets by creating as many asset families as you want and defining your own structure, such as defining furniture by the room for which it is intended. What’s more, you can assign tags to any specified image, video, or document to make it easier to find and choose the right media item. From the level of editing an asset, you can also see the list of linked products. 

Multiple language versions

Different output sources for multiple languages are essential if you want to go global with your brand. Every product has to be translated into the language of each country in which it will be sold for sale. This is not an easy task in the furniture industry with so many different product types and attributes. In Akeneo, at the product edition level, you can simply switch between configured locales and choose which are visible on the product card. You then provide the right content for different languages without any tailoring. What’s more, every attribute label can be translated into other languages at the attributes settings level.

Non-automated product enrichment processes

Manual data addition for tens, hundreds, or even thousands of products is a real headache for Product Managers. With the Akeneo PIM platform, such manual processes are quickly automated by simply creating the appropriate rule. The rules engine in Akeneo allows you to automate your data enrichment. It is possible to automatically fill in attributes, categorize new products, assign values to products, and more. You can essentially create a new rule from the settings level and execute it whenever you want. 

Results

Thanks to the solutions described above, Akeneo makes it relatively easy to overcome product data problems in the furniture industry. In doing so, it helps you achieve the ultimate goal of your eCommerce: selling your products more easily. 

Akeneo also cuts down the time spent and the number of people involved in the product enrichment processes, by switching from a manual to mostly-automated system.

And last but by no means least, you create one consistent source of product data and you will be able to go global with your brand. With better quality data, you’re able to create consistent, appealing product listings that elevate your brand and really show the best of your products to your customers.


If you are looking to go global and considering Akeneo as a potential PIM solution, check out or ‘Global Rollouts for eCommerce’ ebook. It guides you through everything you need to know before you commit to selling in new countries and how to give yourself the best shot at ongoing success.

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Magdalena Marut

Project documentation specialist and business analyst with over 4 years in eCommerce. She has worked with such technologies as Sitecore, Magento, Shopware, and Akeneo for global market leaders. Believes that all problems can be solved and multitasking is second nature.

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