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Ramin Eivaz, SVP Strategy, Insight and Analytics, HSN

Ramin Eivaz, SVP Strategy, Insight and Analytics, HSN

By Ramin Eivaz

If you think back to the best gift you ever received during the holidays, I’ll bet for most of you it’s not just the most expensive present or the one that came in the biggest box. No, the best gifts usually come from people that really know you and put a lot of thought into personalizing that gift just for you.

At HSN, we feel the same way, and it serves as a motivating force that guides how we engage with our customers during this important time of year. We believe we know our customers better than any other retailer in the market, and that connection and intimacy we share with them really shines during the holidays. It’s much more than just providing our customers the best products at the best value – it’s about offering the products that are just right for each and every customer.

But with millions of loyal customers, we can’t just mass market our holiday offerings to them by making an email list and checking it twice. Those one-size-fits-all techniques are long gone and are about as welcome by our customers as a holiday fruitcake. Today retailers need to be able to deliver the right offer at just the right time, and for HSN, we need to do this on a massive scale across all platforms – from television to mobile devices. Continue Reading »

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SP Melbourne FashionBy Lucan Creamer

Each year, the City of Melbourne is proud to showcase the best in Australian fashion through the internationally recognised Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW).

Audiences both local and global engage with the event online and offline, and increasingly we’re seeing the impact of their conversations on the retail industry over the course of the event. From the rise of bloggers to a surge in e-commerce, fashion is going digital and for an iconic event like MSFW, the opportunity to lift our share of voice online was too compelling to ignore.

Our goal for the event this year was to amplify MSFW online, create a unique experience for Melbourne locals and businesses alike, and in doing so gain some invaluable insights into our audience. Continue Reading »

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Steven Rodriguez & Alexa Genova, Students at Fashion Institute of Technology

Steven Rodriguez & Alexa Genova, Students at the Fashion Institute of Technology


By Steven Rodriguez & Alexa Genova

While attending the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Annual BIG Show, it became apparent what an impact technology is going to have on the future of retail.

Sure, we see and use technology to shop now, whether it’s shopping online, using our Smartphone for a coupon or just “checking in” via social media at a store. But what we saw at NRF gave us a glimpse into how technology will change retail as we know it.

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By Sima Nadler

SP Stocking Shelf

Field testing the IBM mobile digital shopping assistant app.

Whether it’s finding those gluten-free crackers, getting the best price for sunblock, or just navigating inside the store, new technology is changing the way we shop. We can already compare prices and products using our smartphones, and soon we’ll have a cognitive, digital shopping assistant ready to answer all our questions.

This week IBM announced an augmented reality technology with Tesco, one of the world’s leading retailers, that will enable the company to do things like manage more effectively how products are displayed on shelves – ensure they are arranged according to plans that specify the best position, amount, and arrangement. This same core technology can also be used to help shoppers compare products or find what they’re looking for. Continue Reading »

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Paul Papas, Global Leader, Smarter Commerce, IBM Global Business Services

Paul Papas, Global Leader, Smarter Commerce, IBM Global Business Services

By Paul Papas

The swipe of a finger is all that it takes – to lose a customer to a competitor – forever.

In today’s digitally-driven economy, the reality is that consumers hold unprecedented levels of power to make or a break a business. Social technologies have amplified the voice of the customer to broadcast every positive or negative experience to everyone, everywhere.

As such, it is critical for businesses today to focus on engaging customers with exceptional experiences each and every time they interact. And businesses must do this seamlessly and consistently across all digital and physical touch points.

While many know that customer experience has become a powerful differentiator for organizations, the majority of businesses are only at the brink of shifting their strategies in order to keep up. The majority of CEOs (63 percent) polled in IBM’s recent C-suite Study said that their organizations still do not have an integrated physical and mobile strategy for customer engagement. Continue Reading »

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Scott Burnett, Director, Global Consumer Electronics, IBM

Scott Burnett, Director, Global Consumer Electronics, IBM

By Scott Burnett

Despite an impressive track record of pioneering technology, today’s consumer electronics industry finds itself in the throes of a of massive transformation, driven by the proliferation of Internet-enabled devices that offer new intelligence and connectivity rivaling the ubiquity of electricity.

The tectonic shift is compelling electronics companies to search for new and sustainable growth opportunities as they set course to ride the next wave of the Internet of Things. The solution for a growing number of companies lies in the increasing possibilities of data analytics and cloud computing. Continue Reading »

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Billy Yuan, Consultant, IBM Global Business Services

Billy Yuan, Consultant, IBM Global Business Services

By Billy Yuan

As smart phones become an indispensable part of our daily lives, companies in every industry are trying to develop ways to make this “second screen” enhance their marketing efforts, extend their reach, and most importantly, better serve their customers.

The purpose of the second screen is to augment the primary experience, whether that’s watching the game, grocery shopping, or buying a cup of coffee, and help connect the user to the brand.

A growing number of leading brands understand this and have embraced the second screen into their marketing strategies. ESPN has done a stellar job of serving its customers through multiple channels with their “Sportscenter” and “Watch ESPN” apps. No matter where the ESPN viewer is, he or she can follow the game by either streaming it or following the scores. If the user is watching the game on TV, the smart phone becomes a social tool and an encyclopedia all in one – tweet about a game-winning basket and look up that player’s stats in a matter of swipes and taps. Continue Reading »

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Larry Bowden, Vice President, Portal and Digital Experience Software, IBM

Larry Bowden, Vice President, Portal and Digital Experience Software, IBM

By Larry Bowden 

There’s a new kind of consumer in town and they mean business – digital business.

The growth of mobile, social and online commerce has given rise to the digital consumer and that has, in turn, prompted more and more companies to reevaluate how they conduct business across their various touch points. For many, the new strategic priority is to attract and retain this new consumer by providing personalized customer experiences.

A digital experience strategy takes into account the emerging trends around the use of web and social analytics, more advanced rich media management and delivery, deeper social engagement and robust responsive design for mobile delivery. Continue Reading »

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Jill Puleri, Vice President, Global Retail Leader, IBM

Jill Puleri, Vice President, Global Retail Leader, IBM

By Jill Puleri

These are crucial times for brick-and-mortar retailers as they evolve to put the consumer at the center of all that they do. Those that make good decisions are going to prosper; those who don’t are going to slip to the back.

Central to retailers’ ability to remain relevant is their response to the mobile opportunity. Mobile commerce is expected grow 115 percent over the next 12 months. Though the opportunity is clear, capitalizing on it is full of complexity as retailers integrate web sites and supply chains together with the numerous mobile devices that consumers are using to shop.

Just a few years ago, many retailers were working feverishly to push out shopping applications for mobile devices. There was good reason for the rush: tens of millions of consumers are jumping on the smart-phone band wagon and using them to shop. Continue Reading »

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Michael Haydock, Chief Scientist, IBM Global Business Services, Retail Analytics Leader

Michael Haydock, Chief Scientist, IBM Global Business Services, Retail Analytics Leader

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 »

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