Company News • 12.06.2023

New GS1 Germany requirements in force for better data quality

Brands facing new challenges to providing product content to German retailers through the GDSN

GS1 Germany released two new requirements impacting brands selling food/beverage (and food-adjacent) products to the German market aiming at increasing product data quality passing through the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN).

A screenshot of the Salsify PXM Platform
Salsify PXM Platform - Readiness Reports visualizing data quality.
Source: Salsify

With over 635 billion EUR sales turnover, the German retail market size is noteworthy - representing a remarkable revenue source and opportunity also for international brands. An important local specificity to take into account is that the vast majority of German retailers (over 80%) requires GDSN data, a fact that has been fostered by regulations like EU 1169 and increasing online business. The GDSN standard in Germany is developed and maintained by GS1 Germany, together with the main retailers and brand manufacturers.

Looking at the consumer side, Salsify’s latest Consumer Research revealed that accurate, complete and high-quality product content is a major potential online revenue driver, with 62% of German shoppers abandoning an online purchase because of lacking product information, and 43% of them returning a product if it does not match the online product images. 

GS1 Germany’s initiative of introducing new rules goes hand in hand with customers’ need for satisfactory product information.

Media Asset Publication

The first new requirement has been in effect since February 2023 and is related to the Media Asset Publication, making it obligatory for brands to include at least one image for every product they sell using GDSN data. That image needs to adhere to GS1’s formatting specifications. This means that brands are required to provide new digital assets that they did not need to publish via GDSN ever before. GS1 Germany’s changes to publishing new media pieces aims at helping retailers support omnichannel (in-store and ecommerce) - and consumer expectations related to it. 

To face this new challenge, brands will most commonly use a manual process to find and download each asset, transform it to meet GS1 formatting requirements and upload it into the Data Pool, all with little visibility into whether or not brands have adhered completely with the business rules. Handling the imposed new rule this way reflects a reality where brands have an ERP (or other systems) directly feeding the GDSN Data Pool - but digital assets are stored separately. So this makes the Media Asset Publication requirement a challenge to be resolved in a more efficient way going forward.

Data Quality Excellence

The second requirement is related to Data Quality Excellence (DQX) and was released on 20th May 2023. DQX requires a visual inspection of the product packaging to ensure the consistency of data between the packaging and the GDSN product data. Non-compliance with DQX can result in costly fees, of which can vary depending on the method brands take to adhere. Brands can realize the visual inspection via two different methods: ComfortCheck or SelfCheck. For ComfortCheck, GS1 conducts the inspection to validate that published GDSN data matches the actual product packaging. For SelfCheck, brands take on the responsibility. However, the latter case can only happen after the brand has achieved a 97% Data Quality score and gets certified GS1 Germany to be eligible to do this on its own.  

Looking at the earlier mentioned consumer research data, any discrepancy in data tends to result in abandoned online purchases or returns and a generally poor customer experience. So while this new requirement might look like additional cumbersome work for brands to ensure compliance, it is meant to have positive implications for the impacted products and brands, their retailers, and ultimately the consumers. 

To handle this new requirement, brands will either enter data in their Data Pool, or it is sent from upstream sources (ERPs), with some validations being immediate. GS1’s weekly Data Quality reports will prompt brands to fix errors and repeat the process, but this may prolong time to market. Brands that elect to adhere with DQX via ComfortCheck must now send packaging artwork to the Data Pool for GS1 to inspect and will face the same challenges as the Media Asset Publication requirement. In addition, for each inspection GS1 conducts in which errors are found, brands will need to pay inspection fees. Brands that do the inspection themselves via SelfCheck will have to wait to know their Data Quality score and pay annual certification fees. 

These new obligations impact all food/beverage and food-adjacent categories including pet care, cleaning supplies, hygiene, cosmetics, ie. any product containing ‘ingredients’.

Risks of Non-Compliance 

While the new GS1 Germany requirements represent an opportunity for the affected product categories to deliver higher data quality according to GS1 standards, brands are facing numerous risks if not complying to them: product data is likely not to arrive at its ultimate destination - the retailers, and may result in delayed time to market, missed deadlines - which often comes with additional fees, and time-consuming manual rework to address data discrepancies.

Keys Towards Compliance 

In the light of these data quality related GS1 Germany requirements that came into effect recently, brands have new opportunities to reach consumers with better, more complete product content - despite the burden and potential costs that the changes may imply at first glance. In any case, to avoid the latter scenario, brands can (and should) rely on technology to help them remain in compliance with efficiency. 

Salsify’s Product Experience Management (PXM) Platform for example helps brands manage digital assets, transform and publish them directly to the GDSN data pool in the format required by GS1 Germany to ensure compliance with the Media Asset Publication requirement, and can help ensure data quality to adhere with the DQX changes.    

Moreover, PXM supports brands in delivering best possible product experiences across every selling destination by allowing the centralization of all product content, the connection to the commerce ecosystem and automation of business processes.

The implications, impact and solutions to the new challenges regarding GDSN Media Publishing and DQX are explained in 30 minutes in this on-demand webinar.

Source: Salsify

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: ISE 2024 - the future of retail
23.10.2023   #online trading #Tech in Retail

ISE 2024 - the future of retail

ISE will take place in Barcelona from 30 January to 2 February 2024

Since it began in 2004, Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) - the world's premier exhibition for professional audio visual (pro AV) and systems integration - has grown in size, strength and influence to become an industry-defining event. Every year, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Tips: Optimal shopping experience for  Christmas...
22.11.2023   #online trading #artificial intelligence

Tips: Optimal shopping experience for Christmas

How to prepare for the shopping days as an Amazon retailer

The promotional days at the start of the Christmas...

Thumbnail-Photo: Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Minimize mistakes, maximize success...
11.10.2023   #e-commerce #customer satisfaction

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Minimize mistakes, maximize success

Mistakes you can avoid on promotion days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The promotion days on November 24 and 27 raise the sales hopes of many retailers. Despite the huge potential, these events can also be a challenge. Competition is fierce, customers are critical and expect exceptional deals. Mistakes in preparation ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 5 tips for successful TikTok marketing for your online store...
06.09.2023   #online trading #marketing

5 tips for successful TikTok marketing for your online store

How to gain loyal fans for your brand

TikTok is the Wild West of social media: Everything is moving at lightning speed and you only have a blink of an eye to captivate users. If you spend a lot of time on TikTok, you'll know right away...

Thumbnail-Photo: The quiet hour – A contribution to inclusion in retail?...
31.10.2023   #customer satisfaction #marketing

The "quiet hour" – A contribution to inclusion in retail?

Finding calm in a busy world: supermarkets make their mark

The world of commerce is constantly looking for new ways to attract and retain customers...

Thumbnail-Photo: Social Commerce: Community sells?
04.10.2023   #online trading #sustainability

Social Commerce: Community sells?

Why the community approach is replacing fast delivery among customer demands and what that means for you.

For a long time it was said that fast or even "same day delivery is the key". For Fabian Mischler, this is no longer the only key to satisfied customers. In an interview, the CEO of the social commerce platform ooblee told us why community ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Scary and clever - marketing for Halloween
20.09.2023   #brick and mortar retail #online marketing

Scary and clever - marketing for Halloween

How do you make the most of 31 October for your business?

Small means, big effect: On Halloween, you can get in touch with your customers in a playful and not too serious way....

Thumbnail-Photo: Christmas decorations: set the scene for your store!...
09.11.2023   #customer experience #shop decoration

Christmas decorations: set the scene for your store!

From the floor to the shelves and lights to the shop window - here's how to get your store ready for Christmas!

The weeks leading up to Christmas Eve are considered to be the busiest of the year....

Thumbnail-Photo: Be different – be successful
24.08.2023   #brick and mortar retail #customer satisfaction

Be different – be successful

10 examples of how retailers can differentiate themselves in the market with unique shopping experiences

The grey blob – no one wants to be part of it. Small and medium-sized retailers in particular need unique selling propositions to be able to assert themselves against the competition from companies worth billions. But what can ...