IBM has announced a new analytics appliance that analyzes petabytes worth of big data, including consumer sales data and online shopping trends to help retailers gain insight on buying patterns.
The new appliance, the IBM Netezza Customer Intelligence Appliance, is part of IBM's Smarter Commerce strategy to help its retail clients use analytics to better understand buying patterns across multiple channels, and build stronger, more profitable customer relationships, IBM said. Customers can now run complex, real-time analytics in a matter of seconds to improve the customer experience, shift marketing campaigns on the fly and boost sales.
Through its Smarter Commerce initiative, IBM is defining a new market that it estimates will grow to a $20 billion opportunity in software alone by 2012, driven by the demands of rapidly shifting customer buying patterns in the era of mobile and social networks, the company said.
According to IBM, 70 percent of a customer's first interaction with a product or service takes place online, placing more importance on the digital consumer experience. Thus, retailers need to understand their customers, from browsing through purchase, and across all channels in order to be more competitive. Tapping into analytics is the key to converting petabytes of customer data into actionable insight, revealing their needs and wants, and driving smarter decision-making across a retailer's organization.
The new IBM Netezza Customer Intelligence Appliance addresses these issues by providing retailers with big data analytics that enable them to analyze all customer interactions within their brand. IBM Netezza appliances are based on IBM BladeCenter technology that can analyze petabytes of data faster than competing options at a lower total cost of ownership, IBM said.
IBM officials said by using a combined offering from IBM and business partner Aginity featuring Cognos software, retailers can gain a single view of the customer spanning all channels and sales touch points including mobile, online and in-store shopping. This means retailers can gain insight on the fly, better predict and target products and promotions, as well as improve store design and pricing, IBM said.
For example, Bass Pro Shops adopted IBM's new appliance to gain insight on their customers' needs and provide better products and shopping experiences across all their channels, consisting of retail stores, boat dealerships, Internet and catalog sales, wholesale, and hospitality, including restaurants and resorts.
"IBM analytics allowed us to quickly get information across our multiple channels and lines of business in one place to deliver meaningful analytics that drive top line and bottom line results," said Leslie Weber, CIO at Bass Pro Shops, in a statement. "We can now create and deliver more targeted promotions, circulars and catalogs to create a better customer shopping experience."
Moreover, using the new appliance, IBM's retail customers can now also expand their predictive analytics capabilities with SPSS Predictive Analytics and IBM's Global Business Services, allowing them to go deeper in customer segmentation and business analytics, the company said.