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Dan Pingree, Vice President, Marketing, Moosejaw Mountaineering

Dan Pingree, Vice President, Marketing, Moosejaw Mountaineering

By Dan Pingree

Businesses large and small are feeling the effects of huge snowstorms sweeping into the Northeast.

For some, wintry weather is derailing activity creating disruption to northeastern seaports, airports and rail lines.

Other businesses more attuned to the vagaries of the seasons, however, such as Madison Heights, Michigan-based Moosejaw Mountaineering, thrive even when the weather turns wintery.

Weather normally has a temporary impact on the economy. For retail, however, the impact varies by segment. Thanks to weather forecasters, snowstorms are known days in advance. In many instances consumers rush out ahead of the storm to stock up on key supplies such as food, ice melt and more. Timing is everything. Continue Reading »

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SP Yolanda Wang

Yolanda Wang, Retail Consultant, IBM Global Business Services

By Yolanda Wang

Even in a world where consumers consult multiple online sources for every purchase they make, the store associate remains the most important face of the retail establishment.

With over 70 percent of shoppers making their most recent purchase in a brick-and-mortar store, it makes good sense for retailers to invest in tools that allow their store associates to provide individually-tailored, real-time customer engagement.

Lately, that’s meant simple and intuitive mobile apps that can turn even inexperienced associates into expert advisors equipped with insights drawn from data and analytics, the collective intelligence of the enterprise, the latest market trends, and data specific to each customer.

And that’s just for openers, because retail customers want more savvy associates who can ensure each shopping trip has a successful outcome. According to IBM’s recent retail study, the number of consumers who consider it important for an associate to solve an out-of-stock problem via a mobile device increased from 41 to 46 percent in the past year. Continue Reading »

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SP Kohls Store


By Ratnakar Lavu

Kohl’s has put its stake in the ground with a new goal to be the most engaging retailer in America. Technology and analytics are a major part of reaching this goal.

Since the first Kohl’s store opened in 1962, so much has changed in the retail industry. Digital and mobile technologies are transforming the business landscape in key ways – blurring the line between physical and digital space and changing the way people and businesses interact.

Companies need to constantly redefine and innovate their strategy to keep up with the pace of change and this is especially true for retailers. At Kohl’s, we are constantly listening to our customers for insights into how we can best serve them. Continue Reading »

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SP Online Shopping Lilly2By Jay Henderson

We all knew it was coming eventually and IBM predicted it would happen this year as it indeed did – more Thanksgiving shoppers turned to their mobile devices than their desktops to browse through all of the Thanksgiving deals.

Specifically, from IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark  we saw 52.1 percent of traffic on Thanksgiving coming from mobile devices, a 22 percent jump from last year. Even more incredibly, if you go back to 2010 only 6.5 percent of traffic came from mobile. That is an eight-fold increase in traffic over only four years.

With regard to sales, mobile devices accounted for 32.3 percent, which percentage-wise was an even greater year-over-year increase at 25.4 percent than the observed increase in mobile traffic. Continue Reading »

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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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Stephanie Trunzo, Chief Creative Officer, PointSource

Stephanie Trunzo, Chief Creative Officer, PointSource

By Stephanie Trunzo

Mobile is predicted to account for more than 20% of online sales this upcoming holiday season and more than 80% of consumers are expected to perform mobile pre-shopping activities like browsing, finding locations, and adding items to their wish-lists.

The news follows the growing trend of mobile shopping. For example, more than half of all smartphone users use their devices to search for product and store information – and not only for the stores they’re in at the moment. The most common smartphone searches include comparing prices and looking for product information on different retailers’ websites.   Continue Reading »

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Peter J. Korsten,  Global Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value

Peter J. Korsten, Global Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value

By Peter J. Korsten

From high profile security breaches to technology failing in major product launches, CIOs are being pulled into the world of customer experience and engagement. CIOs formerly were “masters of the back office” making sure computers that didn’t crash, networks were fast and supply chains that didn’t lose products. That’s all changed as much of that day-to-day IT functionality has been automated and mastered. In fact, 66 percent of CIOs think their IT departments have mastered the basics of tech according to a new IBM report.

With customers gaining a virtual seat at the board room table over 60 percent of CIOs intend to focus more heavily on improving the customer experience and getting closer to customers. The study reveals that there is no distinction between business strategy and the customer experienceContinue 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.

YouTube Preview Image Continue Reading »

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Michael Haydock, Vice President, IBM

Michael Haydock, Vice President, Customer Intelligence, IBM Global Services

By Michael Haydock 

Making a buck is becoming progressively more challenging for brick-and-mortar retailers. Nearly two decades after and others began to chop away at the underpinnings of the traditional retailing business model, the pervasiveness of smartphones, the emergence of the digitally-empowered consumer, and the prospect of one-day delivery make the future of physical retailing seem ever more tenuous.

I use the word “seem” advisedly, because I believe smart retailers will learn to thrive in the future through a combination of Big Data analytics, omni-channel strategies and continuous reinvention.

These high-stakes issues are top of mind this week as the National Retail Federation stages its annual convention in New York City. IBM’s CEO, Ginni Rometty, is delivering today’s keynote address. She’ll describe how Big Data and changing consumer expectations are intersecting with a confluence of cloud computing, analytics, social and mobile to fundamentally reshape commerce—with huge implications for retailers. Continue Reading »

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