IBM has expanded Smarter Commerce to help companies manage and adapt to consumers’ ever-changing shopping behaviors. The Commerce-as-a-Service upgrade accelerates and extends Smarter Commerce to improve how retailers track and report marketing and sales actions. It connects mobile, web and social channels to physical stores, providing a powerful tool for analyzing customer behaviors and creating a personalized customer experience.
Specific Commerce-as-a-Service features include:
- A Cloud-based Configure, Price, Quote offering, allowing merchants to bundle offers automatically;
- A Cross-Channel Selling tool that connects web storefronts to mobile devices, social networks and other channels. Cross-Channel Selling allows retailers to personalize customers’ online shopping experiences as well as control online sales surges during peak shopping seasons, without site crashes;
- The Payments & Settlement solution, delivering a flexible and secure PCI-compliant payment capability at checkout; and
- The Supplier Integration & Management feature, which connects and automates supplier interactions for a streamlined, dashboard view of customer activity in real time.
AutoTrader.com, PETCO, Sears Holdings Corporation, Target, True Value Co., and Winn-Dixie are among the retailers transforming their commerce capabilities with the Smarter Commerce expansion.
AutoTrader.com Improves e-Commerce
With Smarter Commerce Upgrade
Online automotive marketplace AutoTrader.com has implemented Commerce-as-a-Service to streamline e-Commerce operations and track purchases more consistently. “We needed to decrease order-to-cash delivery time; streamline product release; introduce consistent product and pricing rules; and automate the provision and de-provision of purchased/cancelled product selections,” Gib Finley, Director of Business Applications for AutoTrader.com, told Retail TouchPoints.
To address these goals, AutoTrader.com tapped the new Configure, Price, Quote offering, used in conjunction with its Electronic Sales Order (ESO) system to simplify how its enterprise customers select promotions and configure, capture and complete orders. In doing so, the e-Tailer significantly decreased automotive delivery time. “With the initial launch, we were able to reduce delivery from about six days to only 2.9 days,” noted Finley.
AutoTrader.com can now guide car dealerships with creating marketing items to promote the newest used or pre-owned vehicles for sale. It then helps them decide on marketing campaigns and components that would best reach prospective customers.
“The Configure, Price, Quote software has allowed us to reduce manual operations significantly when entering an order,” Finley said. “We’re also on track to reduce duplicate work between Sales and Customer Operations. Configure, Price, Quote sets the foundation for true order orchestration for fulfillment and invoicing, as well as for more accurate forecasting and electronic customer signature.”
About Smarter Commerce
IBM’s Smarter Commerce toolset includes the following features designed to help improve retail business processes:
- Business Analytics and Optimization: Analyzes a merchant’s sales and marketing segmentation approach to provide recommendations about optimal messaging delivery;
- Enterprise Marketing Management Assessment: Evaluates the overall marketing approach and provides a guide to improving customer engagement, cross-channel integration and marketing operations; and
- Supply Chain Visibility Assessment: Provides a blueprint to improve supply chain visibility to shorten time between order and fulfillment.