By Michael Haydock
Jewelry sales are set to shine this year and expected to grow more than 11 percent in the second quarter and nine percent overall this year, according to a new Big Data-based retail forecast from IBM.
According to the analysis, improved consumer confidence, lower unemployment and enhanced stock dividends from the fourth quarter of 2012 have combined to leave people ready to start spending on luxury items again, like jewelry.
In addition, key retailers are buttressing the economic landscape and driving sales by leveraging Big Data analytics to better understand and respond to customers and trends. Sterling Jewelers, for example, which owns the popular Jared and Kay brands, overhauled its digital channels to better respond to changing consumer preferences. The move led to an increase in online sales of 49 percent this past holiday season. Continue Reading »
By Joanna Brewer, Writer/Communications, IBM
Growing up in a military family, Keith Mercier‘s fashion choices were limited to what was available at the military base exchange. At age 12, his love of fashion hit him like a bolt of lightning in the form of a bright red, v-neck, cashmere Lacoste sweater.
Dubbing himself the “fashionisto,” Mercier says, “In the fashion business you have to think like a fashionista – a truly devoted follower of fashion – if you are going to surprise and delight them and keep them coming back.” Continue Reading »
By Zoran Lemut
Kemofarmacija is the leading wholesaler of healthcare products in Slovenia, offering customers more than 16,000 different products ranging from medicine and medical devices, to nutritional and cosmetic products. Though we have enjoyed the industry leadership position, we only recently began to fully exploit our online sales channel. It was an area that we knew required analysis and insight of our growing data volumes – our Big Data.
While more and more of our customers were looking to make their purchases online, our competitors were over taking us with more aggressive web-driven sales models. We were not maximizing opportunities for cross-selling or more targeted online marketing and on top of it all, our website was simply not easy to navigate. Our challenge was as simple as it was profound: update our online operation to meet the needs of the evolving market. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Elizabeth Evans
For retailers around the globe, mobility, social media and Big Data are intersecting to create a bold new world of shopping. Consider what is possible in the matter of only a few minutes today.
A female shopper admiring a purse in the retail store can use her smartphone to take a picture of the purse and send it to her best friends via social media for their thoughts on the style and color. She can also do a quick price check via an app on the smartphone to compare prices elsewhere, as well as check for digital coupons or loyalty points. Once she gets her friends’ feedback, within moments, she can make a purchase using her mobile wallet.
The question for retailers is increasingly: will she buy the purse she’s holding, or buy it online from her phone? It’s a big question. Because once the company that sold her the purse will add the purchase information (customer, item, date, time, etc.) to their database and establish a digital communications and promotion program personalized for that specific consumer, possibly altering the way she shops in the future.
This simple illustration of what we call “mobile retailing” exemplifies the integrating effect that technology innovation is demanding of retailers. In order to deliver a satisfying customer experience IT, operations, merchandising and marketing must be fully aligned; whether the customer makes the purchase in-store or online will depend upon this alignment. Continue Reading »
By Karen Lowe
The beginning of every new year is a fresh opportunity to define strategies for success in the year ahead. Once again, I look forward to discussing the state of the retail industry with clients and influencers at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF’s) BIG Show when it kicks off this weekend.
This year, IBM continues its focus on making retail smarter, enabling retailers to put their customers first. One of the most profound challenges facing retailers today is the need to allow customers to connect and shop anywhere, anyhow and anytime.
We all know that technology has driven major changes in how we browse, compare and purchase products. Shopping from mobile devices is increasing exponentially. In fact, 70 percent more consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site on Cyber Monday in 2012 than 2011, according to the IBM Digital Analytics benchmark. Continue Reading »
By Miika Malinen
Finland is a beautiful country, marked by thousands of lakes and streams. It’s no wonder that so many people here love fishing. They’ve even formed a very close-knit online community to share their love and knowledge of the sport. In these communities, fishing enthusiasts interact with one another, sharing their thoughts and opinions. And this is where my company, Oy Hong Kong Import Ltd., which owns and operates 24 Hong Kong Department Stores across southern Finland, saw an opportunity.
Our stores sell a vast range of merchandise: gardening, tools, outdoor equipment, housewares, electronics and appliances, accessories and toys. In an effort to grow our business within the Finnish market, we took our business online with a new retail site that specializes in fishing equipment. Our goal was for this store to supplement our existing outlets, while making Hong Kong Department Stores a credible name in the fishing community.
By Dr. Kiseol Yang
(Third in a Series on the Holiday Shopping Season. For the Complete Package Go to the Bottom of this Post.)
The sales and consumer shopping patterns that came about on Thanksgiving and Black Fridaydemonstrated that consumers are more technologically empowered when it comes to finding better deals across channels.
This was evident in a 17.4 percent and 20.7 percent increase in online sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, respectively. When compared with the same weekend in 2011, an increasing number of consumers chose to shop online with their PCs, smartphones or tablets as opposed to waiting in lines at brick-and mortar stores.