IBM has added new software and created a new consulting practice dedicated to the emerging category of “Smarter Commerce,” which is focused on helping retailers adapt to rising customer demands in today’s digitally transformed marketplace. IBM estimates the Smarter Commerce market opportunity at $70 billion, driven by demand from clients that must bring new levels of automation to marketing, customer engagement and sales, as well as core processes for production, fulfillment and service for much more immediate responses to changes in markets and buying trends.
The new software and services offerings, supported by global sales and marketing resources, address the spectrum of enterprise commerce activities — new ways to buy, sell and secure greater customer loyalty in the era of mobile and social networks, according to the company.
More than 2,000 retail companies currently are working with IBM to more effectively compete in the challenging multi-channel environment. “Being competitive today means being a lot smarter about all facets of commerce, from initial marketing efforts to customer interaction in the buying and selling phase to the product delivery and subsequent service that ensure customer satisfaction,” said Steve Bozzo, CIO of 1-800-FLOWERS. “We optimized our entire order lifecycle and improved the customer experience with a comprehensive solution from IBM that manages incoming orders from multiple channels like the web and call centers in a timely, accurate way.”
A selection of other IBM retail clients include Danone, McKesson, Moosejaw Mountaineering, Staples and US Lumber.
Acquisitions Strengthen IBM Commerce
IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiatives draw on its WebSphere Commerce platform and cloud-based software that have been partially built upon the company’s acquisitions including Sterling Commerce, Unica and Coremetrics.
IBM will deliver new integrated software building on these capabilities and services. The company emphasizes the connection of “the entire Smarter Commerce ecosystem,” which is built on the advancement of monetization and automation technologies for higher efficiency.
“It’s a buyer’s world now,” said Craig Hayman, General Manager, IBM Industry Solutions, in a company release. “Businesses require a tighter and highly responsive network of suppliers and partners to ensure they deliver the right product or service at the right price, time and place. The key to business success in this unfolding environment is predicting trends and automating market responses in advance to eliminate the gaps between buy and sell, supply and demand.”