Dynamic Customer Segments and WebSphere Commerce

One very powerful feature of WebSphere Commerce(WC) is Dynamic Customer Segments. These are customer segments that can have customers dynamically added or removed with a business rule. This means any of the targets you have in your WC tooling can be used to put customers in or out of the segment. Then, other rules can use that segment to show promotions, content, change search behavior, or change the look and feel of the site.

Here is a sample segment, let’s walk through it:

First thing you need to do is create a new customer segment in Management Center and select the “Use marketing activities to add or remove customers”. This allows business rules to add or remove customers to the segment.

Next, we want this to be valid for customers who have made a purchase in the past 30 days and have spent over $100. So the first option we need to select is on the “Purchase Details” tab:

Next, we will create a Customer Dialog Rule that will place customers who submit orders with over $100 of total value.

Click to make larger

Let’s walk through what this rule does:

The trigger, this makes the entire rule execute when the customer places an order

 

The condition, if the first target of a condition path is met the rule will continue. If not, the next branch is evaluated and executed. In this case, if the condition is not met, the  customer is removed from the segment.

 

The target, this will only continue with the rule if the order is at least $100.

 

The action, this will dynamically add the customer to the “High Roller” customer segment.

 

Now, we can create other web activities and dialog that can key off of that customer segment. Let’s create a few and walk through them.

The web activity below will put an advertisement on the Home page in Row 2 for all “High Roller” customers. The advertisement shows they receive 10 percent off all purchases.

This next customer dialog activity checks the High Roller customer segment every seven days and sends out an email to each customer in that segment with a 10% off promotion for being a High Roller:

This next when the customer searches for anything we have this search rule that re-arranges the default order in which products are presented by having the products in a “High Roller Sales Category” listed first if the customer is in the High Roller customer segment:

Conclusion:

The precision marketing engine in WebSphere Commerce is extremely powerful and flexible. The various options (triggers, targets, actions) allow for some pretty complex rules to be created to give each of your shoppers a unique experience. The goal of WebSphere Commerce is to provide a “live” site for each customer based on things like who they are (profile data), their purchasing behavior, external site referrals (where they came from), and their search behaviors. The contents of a WebSphere Commerce site is only limited by your imagination.

 

 

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SEO made easy with WebSphere Commerce

In this video I show how SEO in WebSphere Commerce is a snap to configure. Short and human readible URL’s can easily be configured using the business user tooling Management Center for static pages, products, and categories. WebSphere Commerce also supports automatic 301 redirection when SEO tags are changed. This preserves the old URL to still work when referenced by search engines like Google.

Executing mass product edits using Management Center

In this video I show how you can quickly edit many products at once using the WebSphere Commerce Management Center. Using the spreadsheet like interface you can customize what columns are shown and you can easily edit a column with a single value.

 

Quick links for IBM Cross-Channel Commerce

I stole this little snippet for my reference. It has a lot of great links to various pieces of IBM’s Smarter Commerce story.

IBM Cross-Channel Commerce
IBM’s selling and order fulfillment products are the industry’s leading e-commerce and order management solutions, helping B2C and B2B brands deliver a consistent shopping experience across all customer touchpoints. With advanced social commerce, mobile commerce, web store, microsite, merchandising, and global order and inventory visibility, brands can allow their customers to buy or return anywhere, anyhow and across any touchpoint and truly deliver a Smarter Commerce experience on-premise or in the cloud.

Why Zynga is rocking the gaming industry

Gaming is a tough business. Throughout the years I have seen many companies come and go or small successful companies get sucked up by the larger companies. One thing I always found interesting about electronic games is they have pretty much┬ácatered┬áto the “young” and now with a segment of gamers in their mid-to-late forties games have a much broader audience but in general not complete.

Zynga on the other hand, has single handedly crossed that 40’s something generation and have now pulled in the retired generation – essentially anyone from 55 and up so it appears. My parents are in their sixties and I have many aunts and uncles in the same range and I am amazed how often they play these games on Facebook. My father says my mother is addicted to Farmville, CityVille and who knows what other “…villes”.

To me this is a game changer in the gaming industry, and it is probably not news to many who follow it. With talks of taking on education and gambling this will definitely spread to all generations. About a month ago Zynga announced their Platform for Play – once again, this is an old proven strategy to get as many developers on board as possible.

Soon after, we will be adding great games from other developers too. — link

Getting more developers on board and having their games be part of the Zynga arsenal has all kinds of growth implications. Just look at mobile applications on the Apple devices and the Android devices. If it wasn’t for the SDK (software development kits) then none of that would be possible.