Comment & Blogs
Date:18 July 2012
IBM’s game-changing software could revolutionise ecommerce
A new analytics product from the original computer giant could take it to places it has never been before: the realm of the e-marketer, says Jonathon Ross, Business Development Manager UK at FACT-Finder.com
With its latest software package launch, IBM has managed to, once again, raise eyebrows among data analysts. Yet I have to admit the claims that its new predictive analytics package can pull meaning from big data is laden with promise. And it’s also attracting the interest of many a retail/ecommerce marketer – a niche that I would imagine IBM has, until now, failed to reach.
With its myriad products, and even larger number of integration and training specialists, we have often been left with our heads spinning around the idea of what IBM really is, without the resource or wherewithal to dare implement any of its offerings. As a result, IBM has failed to connect with the largely pragmatic bunch of geniuses guarding the ever-expanding goldmine that is modern day commerce. However, this latest announcement will have marketers around the world coming to a halt, if ever so briefly, to take in the timely placed news of Big ‘Data’ Blue.
IBM’s new baby is matched perhaps in essence, although not in kind, by a little-known franchise, Salesforce, and the somewhat dated announcement of its new social features to harness the power of trends among key market players and decision makers, and how they are shaping your industry. As a CRM tool, it is possibly second to none.
But here we see social taken to a whole new level. Not only are we now able to track relevant business intelligence data in order to make keen projection analysis concerning standard key performance indicators, but we are also finally able to leverage, in the same tool, how these internal business processes are developing as a result of real-time market trend analysis.
So if a retailer begins selling more of a certain product, it is now not only possible to react, but to even predict and prepare stock accordingly. Or even launch necessary campaigns or coupon activity to effectively nail any return on investment speculations surrounding search engine optimisation and paid search. This is truly game-changing tech from IBM, offering a real advantage in a socially unbound world, where consumers take it for granted that we know what they want and are ready to cater to their every whim.
Thank you IBM for putting all that useful brand and product data from our social feeds to good use! The question that presents itself now, though, is do I really want products to be so explicitly tailored to what I want? Whatever happened to the exciting days of merchandising, where I could discover something new, because I was dependent on brands telling me what was cool? Now, it would seem the customer is telling the brand.
One could argue that it was never any different. Although never before were we able to pinpoint such exact, reliable, market data at the touch of a button. Courtesy of IBM, marketers will no longer have to sift through data on the hunt for cause and effect. Quite how this will change the way products are presented to us and how we view merchandise and shop in general is not yet clear, but it’s likely to be significant.
These are definitely exciting times for eRetail, marking the coming of age of social media and the consummation of information technology.