Tesco's new non-food website, Tesco Direct, is using a web content management system from software supplier Interwoven as its single source of product data.
Interwoven's Team Site application is being used by Tesco for master data management, which the retailer needs to ensure it keeps just one source of product data across its channels, both for the sake of efficiency and to ensure that customers can buy the same goods online or in-store.
The master data management challenge is particularly acute for Tesco, as it is extending its range of websites and rapidly increasing its number of online orders. Its websites are currently generating about 220,000 orders a week.
The retailer's IT manager, Franco Bruno, said, "Until recently we had too many internal staff members contributing content. To overcome the problems this could lead to, we have started to use workflows so that only key staff members can approve final product content."
With the content management system in place, only 75 users are now able to generate new content for final approval. Tesco has also ensured that it has only one set of product images by sourcing all of them from product data company Brandbank.
Bruno said the content management system was crucial to managing product information arriving from Tesco's many suppliers. He said workflow wizards in the Team Site application were particularly crucial to enabling Tesco to more easily control and manage the creation of consistent product content.
By using a packaged system to control product data, Tesco has also been able to roll out its family of websites to international markets, such as Ireland and South Korea.
Tesco Direct launched in September and sells more than 8,000 products online, ranging from beds and sofas to kitchenware, electronics and bicycles.
It forms part of the retailer's push to try to overtake Argos as the UK's largest general retailer.