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Global Industry Leaders Connect to Customers With IBM Smarter Commerce


SAN DIEGO - 20 Sep 2011: At its first Smarter Commerce Global Summit, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a range of wins with clients across global industries. By deploying solutions for Smarter Commerce, these clients are capitalizing on rapid shifts in customer demand, improving their performance and appeal to new digital age consumers.

Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110920/NY71393

Industry leaders working with IBM to transform commerce in their industries include AutoTrader.com, DBS Bank, GuideWell, McKesson, PETCO, Sears Holdings Corporation, SMA Solar Technology AG, Target Corporation, True Value Co, Whirlpool Corporation and Winn-Dixie, among others.

The IBM Smarter Commerce initiative is focused on helping companies more effectively market, sell and secure greater customer loyalty in the era of social networking, mobile computing and online buying.  In fact, 64 percent of consumers make a first purchase based on a digital experience. That makes it critical for companies to be able to detect rapid shifts in online behavior and refine their marketing, sales, customer service and supply chain efforts accordingly.

IBM is defining and leading this new market, which it estimates will grow to a $20 billion opportunity in software alone by 2015, driven by the demands from organizations increasingly looking for ways to automate marketing, sales and fulfillment to support a customer-centered approach to commerce.  

Working with IBM, Staples, the world's largest office products company, reported an initial 55 percent improvement in customer experience. The company tapped IBM to realign the technology that powers its Web site, Staples.com. By deploying IBM Smarter Commerce solutions on POWER7 systems, Staples created an easier, more efficient online purchasing experience for its customers. This customer-friendly storefront is now better prepared for high volume transactions.

Leading European retailer Carrefour installed a new IBM merchandise planning and supply chain re-order system to connect point of sale data to its customer loyalty coupons program. Carrefour used IBM technology to integrate more than 3,500 trading partners conducting 3,000 interactions per month.  As a result, Carrerfour is improving customer satisfaction by ensuring suppliers efficiently deliver fresh product daily to its stores.  

"IBM Smarter Commerce features a modular design with our solution that integrates more like interchangeable building blocks than jigsaw puzzle pieces," said Herve Thoumyre, CIO at Carrefour Group. "A puzzle piece can only be used once and fits in only one space, but Smarter Commerce and our solution reuse pieces that solve multiple business pain points."

Clients presenting their best practices in Smarter Commerce at the IBM conference include David's Bridal, Inc., GuideWell, HP Hood LLC, Kramp, Sears Holdings Corporation, True Value Co., Whirlpool Corporation, wehkamp.nl and xpedx.  Sears' keynote at the Smarter Commerce Global Summit demonstrates the linkage of players in the Smarter Commerce value chain, using data analytics to better anticipate and understand customer needs and behavior. Whirlpool describes the new kiosks it has developed for customers buying its products at partner stores such as Sears.

"We recently launched our new Target.com site, partnering with IBM to deploy Smarter Commerce software as our multi-channel e-commerce platform," said Phil McKoy, vice president of Target technology services, Target Corporation. "With the new Target.com, we are in a better position to satisfy our guests' constantly evolving preferences – whenever, wherever – in the same way we have earned their loyal support in our stores for decades."

When using IBM's analytics-powered marketing technologies for Smarter Commerce, clients have achieved new levels of success:

At the selling stage of Smarter Commerce, businesses are closing transactions securely and cost-efficiently, satisfying customers in the process. Staples improved its online sales conversion rates by more than 60 percent with IBM technology.

Companies are also learning to improve customer retention and shift into new modes of operation quickly and efficiently in the service phase of Smarter Commerce. Communications service provider, XO Communications, has improved its customer churn rate -- a significant challenge in telecommunications --by as much 18 percent per year.

For more information on IBM Smarter Commerce, visit:
http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/smarter_commerce/overview/.


Contact(s) information

Sally Forge
UK External Relations
+44 (0)208 867 8086
sally.forge@uk.ibm.com

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