Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘e-commerce

AutoTrader.Com Pulls Into The Passing Lane

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In the market for a car?

AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers and is a leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers.

Well, IBM announced today that AutoTrader.com, one of the leaders in the online automotive marketplace, is now using IBM technology for smarter commerce as part of its electronic sales order system to simply and accelerate the ordering experience for its dealer and manufacturer customers.

IBM’s Smarter Commerce software makes it easier and faster for AutoTrader’s clients — auto dealers and manufacturers — to promote their vehicles to consumers.

It enables these clients to improve how they sell their cars through AutoTrader.com by simplifying the process to select promotions and configure, capture and complete orders for AutoTrader’s advertising programs.

“Providing access to leading-edge applications of information and technology are core to providing the best online automotive shopping experience,” said Gib Finley, director, Business Applications, at AutoTrader.com. “IBM delivered innovative ordering technology that make it as easy as possible for our clients to do business with us.”

AutoTrader.com is using IBM’s Sterling Commerce Configure, Price, Quote software to simplify the configuration and capture of orders for its advertising solutions.

The software integrates easily with AutoTrader.com home-grown applications to provide customers with easier, more efficient ways of ordering cars online.

It also guides a car dealership on how to quickly and easily put together an advertisement that best flaunts the dealerships’ new, used or pre-owned vehicles for sale — then helps that dealership select the best package to most effectively reach its prospective customers through context-sensitive capabilities.

AutoTrader.com IT delivered its Electronic Sales Order System (ESO) as a component of the company’s overall business strategy to dramatically improve the way people research, locate and advertise vehicles.

With Smarter Commerce, the company has been recognized for its use of service-oriented architecture (SOA), master data management, sales catalog, order configuration, information management and real-time business intelligence.

In fact, AutoTrader.com was named to the 2010 InformationWeek 500 (InformationWeek‘s annual listing of the nation’s most innovative users of business technology) for its work developing ESO.

Visit AutoTrader.com if you’re in the market for a new car, or IBM’s Smarter Commerce site if you’re in the new market for some award-winning e-commerce technology.

Written by turbotodd

November 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm

All Things Smarter Commerce

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The Wall Street Journal’s “All Things D” conference is taking place out in Rancho Palos Verdes, California this week.

A number of digital industry leaders and luminaries are speaking at the event.  (Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings is being interviewed by Kara Swisher as I write this post.)

Former Google CEO and executive chairman Eric Schmidt was onstage there event yesterday, and the Washington Post coverage suggested Schmidt was melancholy about missing out on how to contend with all those hundreds of millions of Facebook friends in the world (read: “the social graph”) while at Google.

Danny Sullivan delivered his own top 10 takeaways from the interview, but the headline that stuck with me was “failing at social,” or in Schmidt’s words, “disambiguating identity” on the Internet.  Schmidt mentioned he wrote memos on the subject four years ago and yet “did nothing.”

And hence chinks in the strategic Web armor are thusly created.  Glad I caught a replay of “Robin Hood” last evening, to get in the spirit of close contact Internet platform battles.

Also makes me wonder to myself aloud, hmmm, what memos might Mark Zuckerberg currently be writing about holes in the Facebook platform strategy!?

Well, the FB seems to have a pretty good head start, so he’s probably got plenty of time to miss a key inflection point.

Meanwhile, IBM had its own announcement to make yesterday around its smarter commerce initiative, one expected to help IBM Business Partners seize the growing market opportunity created by shifting buying patterns in the mobile and computing space.

The headline: IBM will be providing sales, marketing, and technical guidance, and BPs can also qualify to earn incentives of up to 50 percent of the software sales transaction and receive zero percent financing.

IBM’s estimates the Smarter Commerce market opportunity for software at $20 billion, driven by the demands from organizations who are increasingly looking for ways to bring new levels of automation to marketing, sales and fulfillment to secure greater customer loyalty.

IBM is investing in its ecosystem of partners, delivering the right set of skills, technical support, development resources, and industry expertise that will allow them to expand their capabilities to more effectively fulfill client demands brought on by social networking and mobile computing.

Smarter Commerce for Business Partners offers two options designed to help partners build and deliver a broad range of offerings — from integrated supply chain management, collaborative B2B networks and business-to-consumer solutions.

  • Software Value Plus Smarter Commerce Capability – business partners can now qualify to receive incentives as high as 50 percent of the sales transaction for Smarter Commerce software, including Unica, Coremetrics, Unica and Websphere Commerce offerings. To qualify, Business Partners must be authorized IBM software providers with certifications in sales and technical support.
  • The Smarter Commerce Solution Development Initiative — designed to deliver industry-specific sales and technical support, client focused workshops, access to IBM’s global innovation centers and sales assistance in client engagements. To qualify, regional integrators, ISVs, marketing service providers, must have IBM software and industry-specific certifications in retail, telecommunications, banking and consumer product industries.

Certified partners can also take advantage of the Smarter Commerce University to increase their skills.

Through virtual and face-to-face course materials, business partners can gain access to quick-start sales plays, role-based learning, competitive analysis and analyst review information as part of the training.

Visit here to learn more about IBM’s smarter commerce efforts.

Written by turbotodd

June 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm

All Tweets On Deck

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It looks as though Twitter may finally have settled on a deal to buy renowned Twitter client, TweetDeck (my still all-time favorite Tweeting tool).

According to TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington, the deal is finally going down for between $40-50M (includes both cash and Twitter stock), but it’s mainly a defensive posture, working to prevent UberMedia from grabbing all the key Twitter-related startups.

Of course, after the Bin Laden episode, Twitter may need all the horsepower it can get.

TechCrunch also reported that the breaking Bin Laden news had the highest sustained Tweet rate in history, at 3,440 Tweets per second.

Guess you can’t really say Osama didn’t go out without a bang.

Meanwhile, the Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) network saga continues, with Joystiq reporting the company servers were offline across the board, and that the user data was stolen as part of the original intrusion.

Yesterday, Sony executives in Japan were seen taking their customary humbled bows of apology before a press conference.

Hopefully it was a deep bow, as this latest news indicated the attack resulted in roughly 24.6 million accounts possibly having been breached.  Ouch.

This could be a good time to head back to school.  If you’re in the business of providing access to information and services via the Web, the IBM Exceptional Web Experience Conference might just be the trick.

The event will be held May 16-19 in Orlando, Florida, and will feature some of IBM’s key thought leaders in this area, including Larry Bowden, our VP, Portals and Web Experience Software, and Sandy Carter, VP, Social Business and Collaboration Solutions.

This event sold out in Chicago last year, and is dedicated to helping organizations be more successful by highlighting proven business solutions and technical strategies designed to keep pace with rapidly evolving Web user demand and expectations.

You can learn more here.

Written by turbotodd

May 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Bon-Ton: Better Shopping With WebSphere

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The IBM e-commerce juggernaut continues.

Today, we announced that the Bon-Ton stores website experienced a double-digit increase in sales using IBM software to advance the company’s online and mobile commerce initiatives.

Bon-Ton Stores represents seven brands (including Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, among several others), all which sell leading brands in apparel, cosmetics, and home furnishings.

Each of these are now using IBM WebSphere Commerce software to enhance their customers’ online shopping experience by proposing relevant products and automatically providing coupons and discounts based on customer preferences.

By way of example, when a shopper puts a sweater in their online shopping cart, Bon-Ton’s new site is able to identify shoes, accessories, and pants to complete the order.

Here’s my question: Can I also identify somebody else’s credit card to pay for it all?!

Just kiddin’.

Furthermore, loyal customers can receive coupons and discounts automagically during the checkout process.

This holiday season, online sales are outpacing all other retail sales channels. Within a few months of launching, Bon-Ton’s new online store became its top-selling location in several merchandise categories, a trend they expect to expand over the next twelve months.

Bon-Ton, Inc. is using IBM WebSphere Commerce in several of its stores to enhance the mobile and social capabilities of its retail experience.

“We see our new eCommerce capability as one of our most important growth initiatives. The growth in our customer’s use of the Internet for finding product information and making purchases is a key driver behind making significant improvements to our websites,” said Jimmy Mansker, Senior Vice President, Internet Marketing, The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. “We are experiencing very favorable results using mobile coupons and online social networks. This is one step of many that we are taking to develop a richer online shopping experience.”

By using IBM WebSphere Commerce software, Bon-Ton has also been able to streamline day-to-day back office functions such as managing inventory and shipping.

Bon-Ton is making more merchandise available to customers with faster delivery methods. Now 30,000 more SKUs are available to online shoppers easing the store’s burden of carrying excess inventory. Improvements in distribution methods allows Bon-Ton to reduce items on back order and quickly ship merchandise to customers directly from the manufacture, another Bon-Ton store or from distribution centers which serve their area.

Bon-Ton expects other marketing campaigns such as using email marketing, advancing its recently launched Facebook page, in-store events, mobile coupons and content-rich video demonstrations to drive store traffic and deliver customers with a more personalized shopping experience.

Written by turbotodd

December 2, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Back In Black Friday?

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For those of you in the U.S., I hope you had yourselves a very happy (and long) Thanksgiving weekend.

They’re never long enough.

So did anybody out there go and do a little shopping?

It seems that quite a few of you certainly went shopping online.

Me, I beat the rush, heading over to Amazon on Thanksgiving Day to buy a couple of new photography toys.

But it was Black Friday, as we’ve come to coin the shopping day after Thanksgiving, where things really heated up.

comScore just released its numbers overnight, and indicated that Black Friday reached $595M U.S. in U.S. online holiday spending, up 11 percent over last year.

For the first 27 days of November, $10.57B had been spent online, a 3 percent increase over the corresponding days last year.

For Black Friday deal seekers, it was clear the discount shoppers were out in force, with the number of visitors to coupon sites growing 17 percent over last year, at 3.3M visitors.

And it was ShopLocal.com which ranked as the most visited comparison shopping site on Black Friday (2M visitors on Friday), helping turn local Web inquiries into local “brick and mortar” sales.

Now for the drumroll….the five top online retail properties surpassed four million U.S. unique visitors on Black Friday, with Amazon garnering a 28 percent increase unique visitors over last year, followed by Walmart (22 percent), Apple.com (39 percent), Target (2 percent), and BestBuy (24 percent).

Overall, a strong start to the holiday shopping season, but as they ask on Broadway, does it have legs?

Larry Dignan over at ZDNet cites discounts and promotions as having led to the early pop, and it’s clear that the Amazon v. Walmart match is proving to be the event of this holiday season.

Of course, it’s way too soon to tell who has been naughty, nice, or profitable, and who’s simply giving away the online store to get customers in and spending.

Santa still has plenty of rounds to make, including today’s round of “Cyber Monday,” when we worker bees head back to the office corporate networks to shop during our lunch break.

But the early holiday online shopping signs at least offer some hope that the kiddies will get more than charcoal this year.

Written by turbotodd

November 30, 2009 at 2:41 pm

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