PUMA’s Data-Driven Digital Transformation with Informatica

PUMA is one of the world’s leading sports brands, with an established history of designing, footwear, apparel and accessories for some of the most talented athletes on the planet.

The Original Challenge: Decentralized Business Structure and Siloed Systems

Data-Driven Digital Transformation
(c) RALF ROEDEL / Puma

A couple of years ago, PUMA’s growth was largely driven by its decentralized business structure. Regional general managers approached their territories as entrepreneurs, driving business growth locally. As a result, teams operated independent of one another. Likewise, product information was housed and managed in several siloed and independently operated systems.

For example, regional teams at PUMA had to deal with numerous enterprise resource planning (ERP) and financial systems, and had no central product information management (PIM) system to feed ecommerce. The sport brand’s ecommerce sites were also managed locally using multiple, disparate platforms. PUMA lacked a consolidated database that provided teams with a single trusted view of product information.

This independence and lack in overall consistency resulted in:

  • Redundant processes
  • Duplicate workflows across the different regions
  • Inconsistent product information
  • Lack of unified customer experience across online and offline channels

For instance, when PUMA released a new pair of sneakers, the regions would select the color variants based on local market requirements. So, Russians might only get to choose between two colors, while Brazilians had a choice of four different colors. A lack of synergy between the teams and online and offline channels resulted in duplicate product images, descriptions, and other marketing collateral being created.


Example showcasing the same product in two different markets

A Central Approach to Product Information Management

Today, PUMA has centralized its ecommerce teams in its German headquarters, and uses Informatica MDM – Product 360 to manage product information of approximately 20,000 products and 120,000 SKUs per year. Informatica is the core of PUMA’s commerce strategy and the foundation of the company’s retail business.

Internal and external collaboration and workflows, are now streamlined, leading to improved operational efficiencies. With Product 360, PUMA re-engineered and automated business processes for creating items, product texts, and digital media assets. This has reduced costs associated with data management.


Data-Driven Digital Transformation

For brand consistency and a unified customer shopping experience, products in PUMA’s stores are arranged similarly to the way PUMA presents them on the website. Product 360 helps provide a consistent shopping experience offline (e.g. displays in shops) and online. PUMA’s different teams and regions collaborate on a central repository leveraging a single, trusted source of product information while considering global and local market requirements, complex data and language barriers, and specifications for PUMA’s 540 stores in 120 countries worldwide.

“With a 12-week product life cycle, speed, agility and time-to-market are key for PUMA and we need to act fast before margins drop,” explains Heike Zenkel, Team Head Content Management Global E-Commerce at PUMA. “Thanks to high quality and rich product information, improved workflows and data management processes with Informatica MDM – Product 360, PUMA benefits from a huge competitive advantage and digital transformation success.”

A Successful Online Redesign with MDM – Product 360 and Salesforce Commerce Cloud

A major driver for PUMA’s Product Information Management (PIM) initiative was the need for high-quality product data for ecommerce. PUMA is running most of its ecommerce sites on Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Using the certified Salesforce Commerce Cloud Accelerator for MDM – Product 360, PUMA can easily feed its ecommerce systems with rich high-quality product information, providing a unified customer shopping experience at puma.com.

(Video courtesy for Salesforce Commerce Cloud)

The integration of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and Informatica was integral to the success of PUMA’s latest online redesign project. The proof lies in the results: in the first nine months of 2016, sales increased 10% to €2,669 million based on growth across all regions and product segments. (Download full Salesforce Commerce Cloud and PUMA Case Study)

To feed different channels, ecommerce platforms or e-marketplaces like Zalando, eBay, Zozo or Rakuten (Japan), PUMA uses Product 360 to maintain product information in a central repository with accurate data files that can be quickly and easily integrated. Product data accuracy is ensured by embedded data governance processes of Informatica Data Quality (IDQ).

The ability to manage multiple, regional assortments and taxonomy; global and regional product views; flexible and proven data templates; cost effectiveness; and a simplified workflow are just some of the reasons that Informatica lies at the heart of PUMA’s new ecommerce strategy.


(c) RALF ROEDEL / Puma

“We reached our ROI targets within less than two years with the Informatica investment,” explains Zenkel.  “Between 2015 and 2016, PUMA has significantly increased traffic in online shopping and sales. Having MDM – Product 360 in place is helping us better prepare for our extremely strong growth ahead in international ecommerce sales and supporting conversion rate boost of 10% to 20%.”