Weber, one of the world’s leading providers of quality grills and unforgettable cooking experiences, is serving up an appetizing recipe of prime product content for its customers that is delivering sizzling results. Paired with precision content Syndication, the brand is ensuring no shopper misses the opportunity to head home with a new Weber grill. In partnering with Syndigo, the manufacturer has:
Founded over 70 years ago, Weber has evolved into a household name with revenues topping $1.6 billion. Today the brand brings unmatched experiences to millions of current and aspiring grillmasters across 78 countries. With a broad portfolio and wide market presence, the Weber team is responsible for managing around 400 active SKUs at 30 retailers and marketplaces.
A broad catalogue with constant new additions means a lot of work creating, managing and updating product information and assets. “In the last year when we’ve brought on new retailers, it saved about 20% of my day-to-day time, which is huge because then we can really prioritize quality over quantity.”
Previously, Weber struggled to keep up with the myriad demands of different retailers and manually sending updated content. Now, Syndigo’s intuitive UI and seamless integrations empower the Weber team to operate as lean as a sirloin tip side steak.
“Talking about our limited bandwidth, our lean staff, we were churning through and burning a lot of internal calories on dissemination of content,” explained Kyle Schlegel, Weber’s VP of Marketing. “In working with Syndigo, now we can focus on optimization of content so we can think differently about what is it that we need to create. That’s really great because we can kind of use the bandwidth and use the calories on the more logistical nature of getting content in front of consumers at every single retailer.”
A streamlined process and single point of access for their retail sellers makes Weber able to do more with less, improving efficiency and cutting time used sending content to stores by 20%. That translates to less effort spent marinating on repetitive, menial work and more time invested in strategy, creativity and quality.
Digital commerce has exploded in most categories in recent years. But big, relatively pricey items have lagged behind in eCommerce: hardlines like large electronics, appliances, and durable manufactured goods like grills.
This trend is shifting—26% of global consumers report more willingness to buy appliances online than before the pandemic, for instance. But the adaptation has been slow and Weber is faced with a tremendous challenge in persuading shoppers to feel comfortable buying online, especially for big-ticket items.
Consumers are cautious about making big purchases before getting the opportunity to examine them in person. Before making a major investment they want to feel confident the product will fit their needs; for instance, ensuring that a grill is the right size to comfortably fit on a deck or sturdy enough to withstand local weather conditions.
By providing an abundance of quality, up-to-date product data and comprehensive supporting assets, Weber is steadily bucking the trend and equipping shoppers with everything they need to make purchases as fearlessly online as they would in store.
“The grilling industry has changed a ton just on customer behavior,” Schlegel says. “The main thing that changed is the continued blurring of the offline and online shopping experience. It used to be black and white. You either shopped in store or shopped online and consumers are now interchangeably using those environments and so. It’s incumbent upon marketers to integrate that experience. It’s not an in-store experience or an online experience. It’s both and those need to connect for the consumer.”
In addition to flawless execution on essential core product information and contents, Weber turns up the heat even further with Enhanced Content: enriched experiences built into product pages on retailer sites. Enabled by Syndigo, Enhanced Content can include vivid lifestyle images, interactive product tours, videos, 360° views, and more. This capability is driving big results; Weber PDPs with Enhanced Content see a 25% increase in add-to-cart rate at high-profile retail sites like Lowes.com.
“We’ve gotten a lot more tools and insights on everything that we’re putting out there,” notes Digital Content Specialist Courtney Cheevers. “Things like hotspots, things like product tours, new carousels, below the fold experiences, videos…it just makes the whole experience of buying something online that much more reassuring, and you feel confident you’re getting the product you want.”
Weber uses this capability to great effect. For example, it makes excellent use of Enhanced Content to show off the benefits and differentiations of its newest innovation: the Lumin Electric Grill.
Critically, Enhanced Content helps Weber steer the story away from a simple list of features and express how its products benefit customers. It shows them how they’ll feel, what their lives will be like. “Our industry tends to be very feature-focused,” says Schlegel. “We want to get above that fray a little bit and talk about what’s in it for them; not who we are, but what they need. Features are not benefits, so how do we focus on what’s really in it for the consumer?”
“It just makes the whole experience of buying something online that much more reassuring, and you feel like you’re get your confident getting the product you want”
Weber is unique in its industry in that it has products in every category across grills, smokers, griddles, electric grills, accessories and more. That means it has a solution for every customer and need—but it also presents challenges in branding and scaling.
Managing a broad product portfolio is a lot like preparing for a big cook-out, preparing burgers, brats, chicken breasts and veggie skewers all at once. They each get special attention and their own place on the grill, but all need to keep that same satisfying signature grilled flavor.
In the same way, Weber’s products each need a particular framing and presentation for specific audiences—but all the messaging, assets and perspective must always be unmistakably ‘Weber’.
“How do we talk as one brand while participating in every single category?”
Consistent product content is one critical way marketers can enforce a consistent voice and preserve a strong brand across a variety of channels and products—whether it’s a grill or a cookbook.
“Everybody’s parents probably either as heard of Weber or owned Weber,” Cheevers says. “So now in our generation it’s the first thing we reach for. We want to really capture that in our content and make sure that we are showing up in a very quality format. We want to look professional, we want to have consistency across the web, anywhere you’re shopping. We want to make sure that you know our brand, whether you’re shopping for something small at Target or shopping for something huge at Lowe’s.”
But it’s not enough to just produce consistent product content. That content also has to arrive and at and appear uniformly across many different outlets: in various retail stores, eCommerce sites, marketing materials and more.
The Weber team uses Syndigo’s best-in-class syndication solutions to ensure its products get represented in the best possible light across the world’s largest retail network at 1750+ stores and marketplaces. By automatically getting the product data and content delivered in the right format for each specific recipient, they can be confident items and supporting content appear consistently across channels and outlets.
The one-stop-shop nature of the platform lets them easily share the latest data, descriptions, images and rich content to critical recipients like Target or Lowe’s.
“Syndication is incredibly important to us,” said Schlegel. “We don’t have the bandwidth to individually drive content engagement and content updates across every single retailer. The one stop shop nature Syndigo is a huge help for us. Looking at the retailer coverage, Syndigo has really met our top retailers and you guys continue to expand. That’s really important to us as we continue to expand our own business and our retail footprint.”