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IBM Amplify: Elevating the Customer Experience

In the age of the consumer, most retailers understand that customer experience is the point of differentiation to remain competitive. And it’s not just what happens on eCommerce channels – it’s the experience across all channels.
According to Forbes, physical retail is losing share to eCommerce at the rate of about 110 basis points per year. Digital commerce – especially on mobile – is gaining traction, and for retailers to continue their growth in the modern market they “must create a culture of customer centricity.”
During IBM Amplify, Watson Commerce hosted a tweet chat on technologies and tactics that can elevate the retail customer experience. Throughout this fast-paced discussion, the panelists shared some interesting points around the following questions:

How do you feel about chatbots? When do they make sense?

Opinions among the panelists differed on this one. Some deemed them irrelevant while others said that using this technology will help streamline operations/processes and can provide value for quick self-service. Tweet chat emcee Jay Baer had this to say:

How do you feel about customized Web experiences? Do customers love them, or are they annoyed/paranoid?

Brands (and marketers) still have to toe the line on this one. Depending on the customer, some are going to feel this is intrusive while others may love the experience. According to panelist Andrew Busby:

How can retailers personalize the customer experience to make in-store more attractive?

Understanding customer preferences (social listening, etc.), loyalty apps, and leveraging contextual data, such as geolocation, were some good options mentioned by the panelists. Angela Maiers, founder of Choose2Matter said this:

What are some long-term possibilities with cognitive and the retail industry?

Cognitive systems have the ability to transform retail, as noted by the panelists:

How can retailers leverage analytics to improve customer experience, increase sales & grow profits?

Analytics on time-specific trends and personal preferences will help retailers provide a more relevant and valuable experience.

How can retailers better predict the customer journey and product/marketing trends?

As an example, IBM Watson Commerce has some powerful analytics that can make a significant difference. Panelist Bryan Eisenberg summed it up best:

Consumers’ shopping habits are constantly evolving so how can retailers collect and use data to reach them?

According to Jay Baer, customers relinquishing their information can’t be the “quid pro quo” for marketers to endlessly solicit to them. Andrew Busby and Angela Maiers also made excellent points:

When should businesses NOT use personalization and big data to deliver customized experiences?

There’s a time and place for everything, and there is still value in face-to-face interactions. Jay Baer summed it up best:

Thank you to IBM Watson Commerce for hosting this enlightening discussion for those of us who couldn’t attend IBM Amplify in person!
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Stephanie Gallina, Senior Manager, Microsoft + CXC Partner Marketing

Stephanie has more than 15 years' experience in marketing communications, leading and executing marketing strategies for corporate and non-profit organizations. She elevates the awareness of relevant digital solution topics and thought leadership for Perficient.

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