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Posts Tagged ‘social analytics

Back To School Goes In For Analysis

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Jay Henderson told us in his recent interview that IBM would soon be building upon its Holiday Benchmark e-commerce trend analysis for the holiday shopping period with the addition of a “back-to-school” analysis.

Alas, Rodney Daingerfield is no longer with us, but the IBM Benchmark can be your roommate this go ’round, the only analytics-based, peer-level benchmarking solution that measures online marketing results from the web sites of more than 500 leading U.S. retailers.

Here’s a snapshot of the back-to-school trends:

  • July and August Online Sales: Overall sales for July increased more than 11 percent over July 2011 while August slowed with sales up 3.9 percent compared to last year.
  • Social commerce: In July, shopper referrals to retailer sites from social networks generated 1.6 percent of all sales, an increase of 25.1 percent over last year. This trend continued in August reaching 1.8 percent, an increase of 69.7 percent over the previous year.
  • Mobile commerce: Mobile commerce remains strong with sales from mobile devices reaching 15.7 percent in July and 15.4 percent over the month of August.

As for vertical industries the following categories experienced success over this timeframe:

  • Home goods: In July online sales grew by just over 30 percent and 25.5 percent in August with consumers shifting some back to school purchases toward the home. Over this period mobile sales also thrived, reaching 19.1 percent in July and topping out at 20.1 percent in August.
  • Department stores: Online sales grew 22.1 percent in July and 28.7 percent in August. Over this period mobile sales were strong, hitting 19.2 percent in July and 18.9 percent in August
  • Apparel stores: Online sales were up 9.2 percent in July and 9.8 percent in August. Over this period mobile sales reached 15.1 percent and 16.4 percent in August. Apparel stores also experienced strong social commerce with shoppers referred to their sites from social networks generating 1.4 percent of all sales in July and 2.2 percent in August, up more than 113 percent over 2011, more than any other industry.
  • Office Supplies/Electronics: Online sales grew by 6.3 percent in July while dropping by .92 percent in August. Mobile sales reached 5.7 percent in July remained steady in August a 5.9 percent.

Part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, the IBM Benchmark provides intelligence on how consumers are responding to the products and services being offered to them.

With these insights CMOs and teams gain deeper insight into each customer which they can use to present personalized recommendations, promotions and other sales incentives across the wide variety of channels—including social networks and mobile devices.

What’s It All Mean?

While U.S. consumers shopped this July and August, they were not buying clothes and notebooks for their children but rather items for the home.

According to findings, the biggest retail gains this back to school shopping season came from home goods purchases which increased 30 percent in July and more than 25 percent in August over their respective months in 2012.

While experts speculate that consumers were holding off on back to school purchases to eye the choices of their peers, social networks appeared to drive purchases with social sales increasing 69.7 percent. 

The social influence was especially apparent when it came to apparel, where shoppers referred to online stores through social networks generated a 2.2 percent of all sales in August, an increase of more than 113 percent over 2011.

Mobile commerce also continued to grow with sales increasing 15.7 percent in July and 15.4 percent in August. For home goods mobile sales reached a high of 20.1 percent.

The growing influence of both mobile and social media further validates the need for a Smarter Commerce approach that helps retailers attain, understand, and act — in real-time — on deep insights about their customers in order to meet the unique needs of each.

“When I speak to executives at the leading companies, one of the discussions that continues to come up most frequently is around harnessing big data and their efforts to try and understand how to take all the noise and word of mouth that is being generated and make sense of it,” explained W. “RP” Raghupathi, Professor of Information Systems, School of Business, at Fordham University.

“Today, with so many consumers shopping and sharing their opinions online, we are seeing more and more retailers tap into the power of sophisticated analytics technology to help them react faster to evolving trends and customer needs.”

Read this blog post from IBM’s Mike Rhodin (or better yet, watch the video interview we conducted with him in Madrid this past May) to learn more about “insight-driven” computing and IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative.

IBM’s Combination Of Social & Analytics = Social ROI

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The embedded experience of the news feed in IBM Connections, also known as an activity stream, allows employees from any department inside an organization to explore structured and unstructured data such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, weather data, videos, log files, SAP applications, electronically sign documents, and quickly act on the data as part of their everyday work experience.

Big news today from IBM re: social analytics, and for some key customer wins on the social business front.

First, to the news about social analytics. Today, IBM unveiled new software and services that bring the power of big data analytics into the hands of a social savvy workforce anytime, anywhere.

With this new capability, organizations will be able to apply analytics to their social business efforts, allowing them to gain actionable insight on information generated in social networks and put it to work in real-time.

IBM’s Lead In Social Business

Today, more than 60 percent of the Fortune 100 have licensed IBM social software to activate their workforce to improve productivity, and gain insight on data to anticipate individual customers needs.

IBM’s leadership role in analytics has been established through a thoughtful strategy that required the expansion of R&D, acquisition and business initiatives across its hardware software and services portfolio.

As part of today’s news, IBM announced the availability of its industry-leading social software platform, IBM Connections.

IBM Connections incorporates sophisticated analytics capabilities, real-time data monitoring, and faster collaborative networks both inside and outside the organization, whether on premise, in the IBM SmartCloud or using a broad range of mobile devices.

You can check out a demo here.

IBM Customers Becoming More Social

IBM also announced today that leading companies around the globe, including Bayer MaterialScience, Colgate-Palmolive Company, LeasePlan, Primerica and Teach for America, are using its social software to achieve real returns on their social business investments.

The rise of social media is prompting business leaders, from the CMO to the chief HR officer to the CIO, to evaluate how to create opportunities that drive business transformation through the use of social technology, creating real business value.

At the same time, business leaders lack the tools to gain insight into the enormous stream of information and use it in a meaningful way. According to IBM’s CEO Study, today only 16 percent of CEOs are using social business platforms to connect with customers, but that number is poised to spike to 57 percent within the next three to five years.

Do you want to know what becoming a social business can do for your company? This video will help you understand how you can create exceptional customer experiences and a smarter workforce to empower your business. Find out how you can compete with — and win against — the world’s best by giving customers what they want. You can view the video here: http://bit.ly/SASGdi

A recent IBM study of more than 1,700 chief marketing officers reveals 82 percent plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years.

“To truly realize the full potential of a social business, leaders need to empower a company’s most vital asset — the information being generated from its people,” said Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM. “Now is the time for business leaders to embed social into their key business processes to shift their business from the era of ‘liking’ to ‘leading’.”

Social ROI

Today, more than 60 percent of the Fortune 100 have licensed IBM social software. There is strong demand for IBM’s social business platform in regulated industries, with 41 percent of Connections 4 beta participants in banking, finance and healthcare institutions.

Primerica, a leading distributor of financial products in North America, will utilize Connections and WebSphere Portal, to transform how its agents engage with its 2.3 million policy holders on the fly, to provide increased value for its customers.

The company plans to use social business software to improve the overall client experience, drive competitive edge and stay on the forefront of innovation in the financial services industry.  You can read more details on Primerica’s adoption of IBM social software here.

And in the video at the bottom of this post, you can check out my interview with Digital Influence Group’s Glenn Engler about the challenges and opportunities for social media in heavily regulated industries.

Expanding IBM Social Capabilities In Key Growth Markets

To support the burgeoning demand for social business solutions in growth markets, in the fourth quarter of 2012 IBM will open two social business customer support centers to serve IBM’s Asia-Pacific and Latin American clients.

Located in Manilla, the Philippines, and Sao Paolo, Brazil, these centers will support the rapid adoption of social business tools in these growth markets. The Philippines and Brazil centers join a roster of IBM social business centers in North America, Dublin, Japan, China and India.

IBM’s growing business partner network of more than 39,000 business partners are also bringing new, cutting-edge capabilities to IBM’s social platform every day in areas including gamification, video, compliance, project management and mobility.

For example, Actiance provides leading compliance capabilities to thousands of organizations globally, SugarCRM helps sellers use social networking and analytics for effective selling, and Bunchball provides gamification capabilities to IBM Connections.

Making New Connections With IBM Connections Social Software

IBM Connections, a cornerstone of IBM’s social platform, is available on premise, in the cloud, and on a broad range of mobile devices.

IBM Connections integrates activity streams, calendaring, wikis, blogs, a new email capability, and more, and flags relevant data for action. It allows for instant collaboration with one simple click and the ability to build social, secure communities both inside and outside the organization to increase customer loyalty and speed business results.

The new Connections mail capability provides simplified access to email within the context of the social networking environment.

Empowering Your Employees

The new capabilities empower employees from every line of business, such as marketing, human resources and development to gain actionable insight into the information being generated in their social networks.

For example, the Connections landing page features a single location that allows users to view and interact with content from any third party solution through a social interface, right alongside their company’s content, including email and calendar.

The embedded experience of the news feed, also known as an activity stream, allows employees from any department inside an organization to explore structured and unstructured data such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, weather data, videos, log files, SAP applications, electronically sign documents, and quickly act on the data as part of their everyday work experience.

To learn more about IBM’s social business initiative, participate in a simulcast on September 13, 2012 at 1 PM ET at bit.ly/Pn9sqd or sign-up to attend IBM’s Connect conference in January 2013.

For more information, please visit www.ibm.com/press/socialbusiness.

IBM blogger and tech evangelist Todd “Turbo” Watson interviews Digital Influence Group CEO Glenn Engler at SXSW Interactive 2012 about the opportunities and challenges of social media for heavily regulated industries.

Live @ Lotusphere 2012: Day 1 Press Announcement — Social Analytics For Business

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Today at Lotusphere 2012 here in Orlando, Florida, IBM unveiled new software and services that delivers comprehensive networking capabilities to the increasingly social savvy workforce.

Alistair Rennie, General Manager, Collaboration and Social Software, IBM

Now, organizations can apply analytics to their social business initiatives, allowing them to gain actionable insight on social networking sentiment anytime, anywhere and put it to work in real-time.

Social Business Requires Social Analytics

As part of today’s news, IBM is announcing new cloud services and the next-generation of its social networking platform, IBM Connections. The new software incorporates sophisticated analytics capabilities, real-time data monitoring, and faster collaborative networks both inside and outside the organization through IBM’s SmartCloud services.

Now, organizations can integrate and analyze massive amounts of data generated from people, devices and sensors and more easily align these insights to business processes to make faster, more accurate business decisions.

By gaining deeper insights in customer and market trends and employees’ sentiment, businesses can uncover critical patterns to not only react swiftly to market shifts, but predict the effect of future actions.

Analytics In Action

For example, marketing professionals can now gain real-time access to data that highlights patterns and consumer sentiment related to marketing trends and services allowing them to adjust campaigns on the fly.

With one simple click, professionals can react to this insight by automatically creating a social network bringing together experts across geographical and market intelligence and swiftly respond to these insights.

Social Is Growing…Are You? 

The growing popularity of social networking is impacting the enterprise as the next-generation workforce expects more socially enabled applications at their fingertips. According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social enterprise apps is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016, reaching $6.4 billion, compared with $600 million.

At the same time, organizations are embracing social capabilities to transform virtually every part of their business operations, but lack the tools to gain insight into the enormous stream of information and use it in a meaningful way.

To address these challenges, IBM is delivering new software and cloud services that brings the power of analytics to the social business:

  • New social analytics software that integrates wikis, blogs, activity streams, email, calendaring and more, and flags relevant data for action. It allows for instant collaboration with one simple click and the ability to build social communities both inside and outside the organization to increase customer loyalty and speed business results.
  • New software that integrates social networking capabilities with enterprise content management to better connect people with information so they can make informed decisions and act quickly.
  • The new IBM SmartCloud for Social Business simplifies access to business-grade file sharing, social networking, communities, online meetings, instant messaging, email and calendar. In addition, IBM SmartCloud for Social Business will deliver a cloud-based productivity suite allowing users to co-edit documents in real-time.
  • New messaging and collaboration software that brings the power of embedded experiences to the Web and mobile devices providing a single point of entry for all business processes.

In support of today’s news, IBM also announced new clients using its social software and cloud collaboration services making it one of the world’s leading providers of software-as-a-service (SaaS).

New clients, including employees of Kraft, Electrolux, MIT Lincoln Labs, Colgate-Palmolive, 3M, BlueCross Blue Shield of Florida, Dutch Tax Office, Premier Healthcare and Brunswick and are among the millions of users of IBM’s social software and collaboration services on premise, in the cloud and via mobile device.

To hear how the leadership and IT teams at IBM client TD Bank Group are working across the company to become a social business, participate in a Livestream broadcast on January 17, 2012, at 8:30 AM ET at livestream.com/ibmsoftware.

Getting Social In the Workplace

With today’s news, IBM is announcing the beta of the next release of its industry-leading enterprise social networking platform, IBM Connections. Powered by analytics, IBM Connections delivers the widest range of capabilities, including wikis, blogs, activities, to help organizations collaborate on the fly.

IBM Connections includes the ability to access enterprise email, calendar and business tasks from inside the Connections platform, further unifying the collaboration experience.

The IBM Connections Activity Stream brings together the best of enterprise software and public social networks to help employees become more productive by bringing the information they need to their fingertips.

The Connections landing page features a single location that allows users to view and interact with content from any third party solution through a social interface, right alongside their company’s content, including email and calendar.

The embedded experience of the news feed, also known as an activity stream, is expected to allow employees from any department inside an organization to explore structured and unstructured data such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, weather data, videos, log files, SAP applications, electronically sign documents, and quickly act on the data as part of their everyday work experience.

For example, an employee could share a document with colleagues, approve a transaction from an SAP system, act on a notification required in a business process like an insurance claim, and share content such as status updates and files, all from IBM Connections.

The embedded experience and single point of access allows users to have insight at their finger tips and share data from any place, whether on the road or in the office.

One of the key findings from the 2011 IBM Social Business Jam — an online, real time discussion with 4,000 participants — was that social business activities need to be integrated and aligned with business processes to be truly effective.

To help clients address this challenge, IBM is announcing IBM Connections Enterprise Content Edition, an integrated social content management solution that combines the scalability of social networking with enterprise content management and enhanced compliance and control features sought by users in regulated industries.

Designed to manage the entire life cycle of office documents, Web and social content, IBM Connections Enterprise Content Edition increases the ability to share knowledge, gain expertise and create high-value content quickly through advanced content, document management and workflow use cases.

A New, Secure Collaborations Cloud

According to Forrester Research Inc., cloud computing will grow from a $41 billion business in 2010 to $241 billion in 2020.

To address this growing opportunity, IBM is announcing IBM SmartCloud for Social Business.  IBM is aligning its LotusLive services under the SmartCloud brand where it joins the ever-growing portfolio of business solutions that IBM delivers in the market that includes offerings in Commerce, Analytics, and industry-specific solutions like Smarter Cities.

The new service gives users one-click access to social networking, file sharing, online meetings, enterprise-class email, calendaring and instant messaging allowing clients to collaborate inside and outside the organization while pairing business transformation with the economic benefits of flexible cloud delivery models.

Additionally, a new capability of the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business is a cloud-based office productivity suite, IBM Docs. Now in beta and planned for availability in 2012, IBM Docs allows organizations, both inside and outside the firewall, to simultaneously collaborate on word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents in the cloud to improve productivity.

IBM Docs authors will be able to store and share documents in IBM SmartCloud, co-edit documents in real time or assign users sections of the document so they can work privately easing the management of  multiple revisions from multiple authors in team-based documents.

GAD, one of the largest specialists for banking IT in Germany, is evaluating the use of IBM Docs in a private cloud in 2012 to facilitate browser based document creation and change management. Approximately 450 banks will be able to reduce costs and become more responsive to their customers through GAD’s bank21 solution.

Delivered in 22 languages, a 60-day trial of IBM SmartCloud for Social Business is available at no charge here.

Social Requires Mobility

In response to the burgeoning mobile workforce, expected to reach more than 1.19 billion people by 2013, IBM’s new social software supports the most popular mobile devices, including tablets.

IBM is announcing the beta release of IBM Lotus Notes and Domino, Social Edition, a social-enabled messaging and collaboration platform built on open standards that provides users with the ability to act on any work flow process directly within the email inbox.

Whether accessing email from a browser or desktop, or sharing videos and files, users no longer have to travel to a third-party site. In addition, with the embedded experience of social mail, users are more efficient when engaging in activity and more responsive to day to day tasks.

IBM intends to support mail, calendaring and contacts in a beta release of IBM Lotus Notes Traveler for Microsoft Windows Phone on Nokia and HTC devices; the beta is expected in the first half of 2012.

IBM is introducing a new, lower-cost program for BlackBerry users to access email in the cloud.

IBM is also introducing a new, lower-cost program for BlackBerry users to access email in the cloud. Built on the world-class expertise of IBM Mobile Enterprise Services and the sophisticated security of the Blackberry Enterprise Server, IBM helps bring the type of security and reliability expectations of on-premise email to cloud email environments, including built-in end-user and administrative controls for mobile device management.

Live @ Lotusphere 2012: Day One Announcements – The Setup

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It’s become self-evident the profound effect social media and networking have had on society and culture: The Arab Spring, the Japanese earthquake, the World Cup, even the tragic sinking of Costa Concordia over the weekend.

What’s new, however, and has gone largely unnoticed, is how this shift is causing a ripple effect in the business world.  Though many companies are focused on building out their own in-house social networks, the real opportunity will be for those who can gain real-time intelligence on the data being generated within those communities and to use that information to be more competitive in their markets.

Here’s some facts:

  • With more than 800 million Facebook users and 200 Million Tweets a day, the growing popularity of social networking has also created a social savvy workforce.
  • IBM’s 2011 CIO Survey of 3,000 global leaders indicated that more than 55% of companies identified social networking as having a strategic significance to their company’s growth.
  • Forrester Research estimates that market opportunity for social software is expected to exceed $6 billion by 2016, an increase of 60% annually from 2010.

This shift of consumer to business networking, also known as “social business,” has become the next big challenge for organizations who are looking to more quickly adopt these skills into their businesses to better reach clients and suppliers, while swiftly gaining insight on the data being created in these networks.

The winners in this challenge will be able to react more swiftly to customer trends, and to out-innovate competitors.

IBM is unveiling this week new social business software and services that bring together the power of analytics and flexible delivery models such as cloud computing and mobile devices.

More to come very shortly…


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