Bringing order to content chaos

An IR design conference speaker offers tips on managing content.

Bill Briggs

Many web retailers have a deep pool of product data, including descriptions, prices, images, specifications and inventory. And  the rise of mobile devices means e-retailers must deliver that data to consumers in new ways and through a variety of delivery systems. Most of them find standardizing that data is a major—and unmet—challenge, says Brad Hileman, web design and development manager at retail chain Meijer Inc.

Hileman will talk about how Meijer is addressing the complex task of content management across multiple platforms at the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference 2012 in Orlando, FL, on Feb. 14, from 2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The session, entitled “Under the hood: The infrastructure it takes to support anywhere, anytime, any device design,” also will feature co-presenter Leslie Hand, research director at IDC Retail Insights.

Today’s retailers store data in content management systems and central data repositories, then must parcel data out to a growing roster of consumer touchpoints, including the e-commerce site, e-mail campaigns, mobile apps and in-store kiosks. “Managing all that data and content is changing with the way devices are changing and evolving,” Hileman says. “A couple of years ago there were no iPads. Now customers are using them to shop online, but also walking into stores with them, and we have to deliver content to them along with smartphones.”

Hileman will tell attendees how to manage data at the enterprise level and how to filter the output into different channels, such as modifying e-commerce site data designed for a PC for a mobile web site. “I’ll give the audience some ideas for approaching data management across multiple platforms, and whether to use a ‘Big Bang’ or iterative approach,” he says. “I’ll also share ideas on how they can look at their own content management systems and know if they are optimized for anywhere, anytime access.”

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Hileman to speak because he has more than 10 years of experience in web design and content development. For the last five years, he has been with Meijer, No. 319 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, a retail and grocery chain with more than 190 stores in the Midwest. He was a key leader in launching Meijer’s e-commerce site in 2007 and helping it grow into an Internet Retailer Top 500 and Hot 100 retailer. Prior to joining Meijer, Hileman spent seven years as an art director working with clients such as Sprint, RE/MAX, Motorola and US Robotics.


Brad Hileman, content management, inventory, IRWD 2012, Leslie Hand, Meijer, product data, product descriptions, product images, site design