IBM named as Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

This is good news for IBM and while Gartner mentions Watson Commerce Insights for predictive merchandising and predictive search, I am not sure why it doesn’t include products like Dynamic Pricing – which is clearly stated as a primary initiative for most B2B sites by 2018.  Analytic’s and augmented intelligence is a big area IBM is investing in and it ties closely with managing customers for both B2C and B2B sites. As stated in this report, by 2020, smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 15%. I don’t think products like IBM Predictive Customer Intelligence or Watson Customer Experience Analytics are well represented in this report and by next year there will be even more augmented intelligence features in the IBM suite. At some point, the Digital Commerce quadrant has to recognize these add-ons as a base part of doing business in this report and this year they should have clearly been listed as strengths in the industry.

Another area I think the report falls short on is order optimization. With more and more companies moving to buy on-line pick up in store or more specifically buy on-line ship from store, you are going to see more demand for order fulfillment optimization, something Watson Order Optimizer covers very well.

Some key messages from the report IBM is focusing on:

  • IBM is a Leader, based on its product functionality, ability to support B2C and B2B business models, and its supporting ecosystem of applications that connect to its commerce platform across the globe.
  • IBM maintains an extensive set of partners in the digital commerce ecosystem, which was highly thought of by its reference customers — all scored it “very high” or “outstanding.”
  • By 2018, 40% of B2B digital commerce sites will use price optimization algorithms and configure, price and quote tools to dynamically calculate and deliver product pricing.
  • By 2020, 25% of leading online sellers will have enabled first-generation “commerce that comes to you” capabilities.
  • By 2020, smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 15%.

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Webinar: Cloud Customer Reference Architecture for e-Commerce

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Be sure to join my colleagues and me in this webinar about a new cloud reference Architecture for eCommerce the Cloud Standards Customer Council have recently published.

Click here to register for the webinar.

WEBINAR: CLOUD CUSTOMER ARCHITECTURE FOR E-COMMERCE

October 4, 2016 from 11:00am – 12:00pm ET / 8:00am – 9:00am PT

The Cloud Standards Customer Council has published a new reference architecture that details how to support e-Commerce solutions using cloud computing. The architecture describes the flows and relationships between business capabilities and architectural components for e-Commerce applications that use cloud computing infrastructure, platforms and/or services. This presentation will outline key considerations for building out advanced e-Commerce capabilities and determining how best to instantiate an e-Commerce system using private, public or hybrid cloud deployment models.

Register today for the webinar!

You can also access the white paper here.

Get to know the IBM Commerce Business Partners

Next time you fee like bingeing on a video series you might want to check out the 68 IBM Commerce partners in this YouTube list. Break out the popcorn and open this list on your smart tv and just sit back and enjoy!

Alibaba just jumps ahead of everyone

Color shot of a young woman looking through some VR glasses, a device with which one can experience virtual reality on a mobile phone.

I have been talking about virtual reality shopping for a bit with my colleagues and Alibaba just confirmed the direction many are headed.

Alibaba spreads its wings into VR sector

“VR could enable customers to shop virtually on New York’s Fifth Avenue from the comfort of their own home,” said former Facebook engineer Zhao Haiping, who is on Alibaba’s GnomeMagic Lab team, in a press release.

Pick and pack just got a little easier

Pick and pack

Fulfilling orders is a key element to any online presence and part of fulfilling is picking and packing the product to be ready for shipping. It is funny, this article is getting attention now but my colleagues and I have been demonstrating similar bar code scanners in our demonstrations for years. So to many I don’t think this is news but it’s certainly getting a lot of attention now. Check out some of the information in the article, it is a good read and it clearly shows you the direction people are going because of Amazon. They want to be better, faster and cheaper.

Global sales of mobile scanning devices used in warehouses reached about $850 million in 2015, up 33% since 2013, according to VDC Research. – link

The article really focus’s on the Zebra TC8000, which I think is pretty slick, but the editorial around the topic of shaving minutes off an operation is really the focus to most businesses, especially in the eCommerce world.

Check out the full article here.

Every eCommerce site should have this one simple feature

I really don’t see this often and I have written here about being notified when inventory on a specific product is available for purchase. Well, today I saw an advertisement on Facebook (these guys are getting good) and decided to click on it. Unfortunately when I attempted to order the Marines Exclusive Under Armour MARINES Performance Tee it was not available. A side bar then popped up stating “Email When Available“, I clicked on it and got the dialog below. Well done MarineCorpsDirect, well done. Now let’s see how long it takes for me to get one…

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Is Pinterest in your marketing plan?

We all have our favorite stores and products and usually expect marketing emails to come from the company itself. But did you know Pinterest has been sending “Price drop emails” since last year (2013)? This is great for people who pin products to a “Wish List” board or simply “like” a product and may have intentions of buying it later.

From a consumer perspective I really like the Pinterest model for two primary reasons:

  1. I provide no information to the actual company and don’t receive “tons” of emails daily or weekly on things I could care less about
  2. I only receive price updates for the products I personally pin

I pinned this watch last year, unfortunately I pinned it because I got the watch as a Christmas present so I really don’t care about the price changes. Maybe Pinterest should have a “Did you purchase this?” option when pinning a product so these emails are not sent.

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Today, I received an email telling me the price has dropped:

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