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The Sync Up: An Interview with Tony Solliday

1WorldSync's Tony Solliday shares his strategic vision around its centralized global content creation services.
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1WorldSync centralizes content creation services; immediately helps retailers and brands better meet consumers on their path to purchase

Meet Tony Solliday. A former CNET Content Solutions executive, Solliday’s newly announced leadership role leading the strategic vision of 1WorldSync’s content creation services propels the company even further to produce the highest quality content at the speed of commerce.

Responsible for all 1WorldSync omnichannel product content creation services in North America and Europe, we sat down with him to better understand what implications those actions have on suppliers, recipients, and the shopping experiences they provide for today’s consumers.

If the next 8 months are to mimic the same business growth trajectory that 1WorldSync experienced in 2021 thus far, what can current customers and new end users expect?

Solliday: From the moment a supplier comes up with a new product, we can help them through every single aspect of the process required, through every single channel, to the end stage of getting that product into consumers’ hands. From ensuring a company has the required GTINs, GLNs and other product attributes, to properly exchanging product data with their retailers and trading partners, to ensuring that information is accurate to prevent product go-to-market delays—we’re the only ones that can provide that holistic experience worldwide across different industries.

How do you envision streamlining some of our newer content creation services into the wider 1WorldSync omnichannel product content platform?

Solliday: With some of our recently added capabilities in Augmented Reality content, Amazon A+ content integration, ContentCast Inline Content builder and more, the good news is we can already provide all of this excellent content to suppliers and their retail partners today. In the short term, this is already helping brands and retailers with their seasonal back-to-school product sales goals and will help set them up for revenue success come Black Friday and the holiday season. Long term, we’ll continue to optimize and streamline our backend processes. For example, combining our legacy products from the CNET Content Solutions acquisition—such as Retail Partner Access—within 1WorldSync Item Management is of paramount importance. As we continue to integrate our products and platforms from newly acquired businesses, the brands and retailer’s utilizing our services will enjoy a continuously improved experience. In the end, our vision is to create a single, end-to-end solution where suppliers can input content on their SKUs and apply them to e-commerce pages across the world.

One of the challenges when it comes to supplier and retailer relationships is the constant evolution of individual retailer requirements—beyond the GDSN. As suppliers look to enable more interactive, automated product content creation to meet their customer demands, how must their retailers and trading partners keep up? 

Solliday: The conundrum in 2021 is that retailers want to maintain their own custom look and feel on e-commerce sites but still have access to great interactive content such as videos, 360-degree spins, hotspots, logos and more. However, the delivery of such content can be difficult and expensive the more that retailer-specific customizations are required. To solve this, both suppliers and retailers need to understand there’s a difference in structured and rich content (also referred to as “above the fold” and “below the fold”) in an e-commerce store. Structured content is necessary to allow retailers the ability to set up their unique categories, attributes, images and marketing copy. Rich, below-the-fold content will allow the supplier to add their videos, hot spots, 360-degree image spins, and other interactive content that really sets their Product Detail Pages (PDPs) apart from the competition. At 1WorldSync, we are able to create all of that content for the supplier and provide the tools necessary to the retailers to correctly display these awesome e-commerce pages. 

As consumers become more comfortable with in-store shopping, what are some of the content opportunities or capabilities retailers and product manufacturers alike can leverage to meet consumer expectations in-store versus online?

Solliday: Research has shown that across all demographics and age groups people are more likely to research a product online even if they intend to drive to their local store to purchase it. Even my 81-year-old mother does this on her iPhone. If brands concentrate on creating excellent online content, they will see an uplift in both online sales and in-store sales in a post-COVID world.

Are there specific industries that have more to gain from certain product content capabilities than others?

Solliday:  Every industry in the world needs to focus on their specific product content moving forward. And the industries with the most to gain are the ones that have, up until recently, largely ignored e-commerce and content. Commodities are a great example. When I was a kid following my mother into a grocery store to buy milk, there was one brand of milk on the shelf with just three options (Vitamin D, Low Fat and Skim). We bought that brand because it was our only option. Now, thanks to the Internet and companies like ours, the ability to bring a product to market and ship it to consumers has become so streamlined that competitors exist in every industry for all types of products. Go to the milk aisle of your local grocery store today and the options are endless, almost overwhelming. Should you buy from the organic company? Should you buy soy milk? Or should you buy regular milk from one of the 15 different brands you can now choose from? The problem is many of these brands have content that needs some TLC in order for consumers to find and educate themselves. And if they don’t fix this soon, their very existence will be jeopardized.