Akeneo (credit image/Pixabay/Gerd Altmann)Akeneo has acquired Unifai, an AI platform for data collection, cleansing, categorisation and enrichment. The strategic acquisition is poised to revolutionise Akeneo’s Product Cloud offering, infusing intelligence and cutting-edge technology.

The company expects the acquisition to further elevate product experiences for brands, manufacturers, retailers and distributors globally.

Despite the frenetic hype surrounding AI, Akeneo says it has taken a pragmatic approach to working with customers on how best to leverage AI for Product Experience (PX). This is managed by providing direct access to more than 20 AI apps available on its App Store.

Activating product experiences

These apps focus on three steps in the process of activating product experiences:

  • Product data collection and cleansing. Companies still struggle with collecting, categorising, cleansing and completing core product data. These AI apps apply deep learning to automate this process.
  • Product information enrichment. Companies are leveraging a PIM to centralise complete, accurate and properly categorised product data. As a result, these companies are in a good position to leverage Gen-AI apps to help generate copy. In addition to formatting product descriptions.
  • Product content translation. Once companies have enriched product descriptions in their PIM, they are now able to leverage apps in this AI category to translate and localise their content for additional market reach.

Onboarding process

  • Supplier data onboarding. Cleansing, normalising and enriching supplier files into PIM systems to increase productivity, speed time to market, and increase product searchability.
  • Supplier pricing integration. Turning supplier pricing files into PX-ready data feeds through a uniform and centralised workflow feeding simultaneously ERP and PIM software. Akeneo suggests this increases productivity and reduces errors.
  • Marketplace seller onboarding. Cleansing and enriching supplier data into marketplace back office systems. This helps marketplaces with their seller data onboarding, reduces manual errors and accelerates time to market.
(credit image/LinkedIn/Fred de Gombert)
Fred de Gombert, CEO and co-founder of Akeneo

We’ve all seen the flashy demonstrations from some CX or commerce companies related to generative AI for product content. We became immediately worried for the teams that are responsible for that part of the business,” said Fred de Gombert, CEO and founder of Akeneo.

Magically generating product descriptions in an eCommerce site or marketplace without centralised, complete and accurate product attributes will only lead to failed product experiences, poor customer touchpoints, and ultimately a damaged brand image.”

Unifai making an impact

Unifai has already made a significant impact in the industry. Rexel, a B2B distributor and joint Akeneo and Unifai customer achieved an 80% reduction in manual efforts. Additionally, it saw a 3x time-to-market acceleration. Sporting goods retailer, Intersport, drove a 50%-time reduction in product data processing.

By integrating Unifai’s AI/ML capabilities alongside Akeneo’s supplier data onboarding solution, a typical customer can aim to achieve 50%-time savings with 95% accuracy in data onboarding processes.

Michaël Alimi, CIO at Intersport, said “At Intersport, we know that investing in product experiences is a different investment than in customer experiences. It is important for us that Akeneo’s laser focus on PX. The incorporation of AI/ML from Unifai into Akeneo’s platform is a great improvement. We are excited about the future possibilities this partnership will bring.”

Akeneo will also be leveraging this acquisition to create the first-ever AI for the PX Center of Excellence. The Center is aimed to further help businesses protect their brands from careless AI mistakes. This initiative will share with PX professionals the best practices for applying AI to PX, the pitfalls and the latest innovations. Unifai’s success is attributed to its exceptional team of AI experts and acute focus on the retail and eCommerce space.

We are excited to join forces with Akeneo and apply our expertise in AI/ML to elevate the Akeneo Product Cloud offering and to educate PX practitioners,” said Jesse Créange, Co-founder and CEO at Unifai. “Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in product experience management.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business

This strategic acquisition will revolutionise Akeneo’s Product Cloud offering, incorporating intelligence and cutting-edge technology. The integration of Unifai’s AI-based capabilities into Akeneo’s Product Cloud solution optimises the platform data enrichment processes. It will allow enterprises to improve their customers’ digital experience by providing them with differentiated product data.

Akeneo says the acquisition creates the world’s first intelligent product cloud without clearly defining what an intelligent product cloud is. Last year the company launched its Akeneo Product Cloud. A blueprint for enterprises to consolidate, better orchestrate and optimise all the components that go into creating a product story across any customer moment.

Perhaps the intelligence comes from the Unifai purchase? Akeneo is also launching the first-ever AI Center of Excellence to guide organisations optimising AI for enhanced PX strategy. A sensible step to positively position the company in the current bustling AI marketplace.


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