IBM delivers online merchants new cognitive capabilities that turn commerce insights into more powerful customer experiences

Watson Analytics Allows Brands to Use Everyday Language to Identify Hidden Data Connections and Drive Better Business Performance

ARMONK, N.Y., Dec. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new commerce capabilities that help online merchants easily gain the insights needed to evaluate category and product performance and make quick and effective merchandising decisions. Leveraging cognitive capabilities from Watson Analytics, IBM Commerce Insights allows practitioners to gain a real-time view into customer behavior and market factors that are impacting their business, proactively identify opportunities and roadblocks and take informed actions to increase sales and business performance.

In the era of the empowered consumer, customer needs and preferences are constantly shifting, driven by expected events such as major holidays or the changing of seasons and unexpected factors such as sudden shifts in weather, competitor pricing and new emerging social trends. While demand for instant gratification remains constant, many online merchants or marketers are making business decisions based on intuition or past experiences rather than real-time business data and analytics.

IBM Commerce Insights gives online merchants, product managers and marketers a single view of customer behavioral, market and business performance data directly on their storefront – the same view that customers experience when browsing for potential purchases. By combining data alongside the storefront view, teams can easily see how they are presenting their categories and products to shoppers, identify which are underperforming, pinpoint the underlying causes and take immediate action to keep sales on track and customers loyal.

Commerce Insights also takes advantage of the power of Watson Analytics, which through natural language interaction allows practitioners to use their own words to explore trends in their data, determine the best course of action and take immediate steps to improve the performance of their online business. These new cognitive capabilities will change the way online merchants, product managers and marketers gain insight, execute actions and achieve desired results.

For example, an online fitness retailer launches a new line of active wear and quickly recognizes that sales are underperforming against expectations. As part of their assessment, the merchandiser asks Watson Analytics for more details on performance and finds that while mobile traffic is high for the new line, and expectations are being exceeded, it is only in limited geographic areas. Using this information, Commerce Insights enables the merchandiser to immediately create a new promotion offering a 10 percent off discount on active wear for these mobile shoppers in underperforming regions that immediately drives an increase in conversions and sales.

"At Carhartt, our planners and web merchants are experts on the categories of products that we sell, but they often find themselves caught up handling day to day operations and sometimes aren't able to react quickly to opportunities that occur in the market. We are excited by the direction IBM is taking and applying Watson and cognitive capabilities to eCommerce," said Anna Cole, Senior Manager of Operations and Merchandising at Carhartt. "Now our users will be able to see how market factors are affecting customers, sales and inventory on in real-time. Then, using their own words, quickly visualize and explore potential trends behind the data, so they can initiate an immediate response and capitalize on the opportunity."

"In today's data-driven world, teams must be plugged into the pulse of their business and markets at any given time to assess performance and identify new opportunities in the blink of an eye," said Deepak Advani, General Manager, IBM Commerce. "Through cognitive commerce, businesses understand performance on entirely new levels, identify patterns and make the type of unlikely connections that in the end bring customers the right experiences at the right time, whether they are expecting it or not."

About IBM Commerce

IBM Commerce helps clients understand customer behavior and use insights to help deliver highly personalized and relevant experiences at every touch point. For more information on IBM Commerce, please click here.


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