Sony has announced an extended partnership with ICEcat, the independent worldwide publisher of product content, by including support for 26 European languages and full integration with its own product information management system. Through this agreement, ICEcat is enabled to deliver the full range of Sony product content to all of its online channel partners in Europe in a universal open format. Development was based on requests from dealers to deliver an easier way to access accurate up-to-date product information from Sony and this agreement makes it easier for Sony dealers to create and maintain cutting edge websites, utilising the latest digital assets.
Hans Mastenbroek, director of sales strategy of Sony Europe, explains: "Sony wants to lead its dealers in the digital era, enabling them to present the brand and products of Sony in the best possible way. Sony continually invests in developing leading digital assets, and intends to offer its dealers the full benefits of their usage. Sony believes that Open ICEcat is the most attractive solution for dealers. The tools are easy to use and it is completely funded by vendors."
ICEcat will offer Sony content assets in conjunction with those of many other vendors, positioning open ICEcat as an important one-stop-shop for Sony dealers. Working with ICEcat streamlines Sony's channel support operation, and provides an important opportunity to reach larger numbers of dealers than previously possible.
Hans Mastenbroek adds: "Sony has a strong legacy of supporting its dealers in their stores by making the presentation of its products as attractive as possible. As today's consumers increasingly do their research and shop online, it is critically important for Sony to support its thousands of dealers across Europe in the same professional way. From our experience in the US we know that sales conversion rates are boosted by anything between 5% and 20% if products are presented more attractively. Therefore, Sony is confident that making all its assets available through open ICEcat will boost the online sales of our partners significantly."
Previously, business partners of Sony had to get materials manually from Sony's website, partner portal or from Sony staff which was deemed inefficient and could in some circumstances, provoke customer frustration. "The solution through open ICEcat is the most user-friendly option available in the market", said Hans Mastenbroek, "In the future our channel partners can be confident that the information they access through open ICEcat is accurate, timely and complete." The partnership with ICEcat will be strongly promoted on Sony's partner portal, called '1', (formerly known as Sony 1). At the same time Sony will email its registered partners to encourage them to sign up for open ICEcat.