Cognitive Commerce

Reinventing Retail Service for Shoppers on the Move

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In a Darwinian retail marketplace that demands the survival of the fittest, individualized service is a differentiator and a competitive advantage.

Unlike the traditional definition of service, when a hotline and a store greeter might suffice, today’s uber-ization of every industry means that the last best experience that anyone has anywhere, becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere. Customers have no patience for mediocre; they expect premium interactions all the time and the instant gratification once reserved for royalty. They want their favorite brand to not only to anticipate their arrival at the store, but to also have a parking spot waiting and entertainment for the kids while they shop.

The connected car is the ultimate nomadic device. It gives retailers a spectacular opportunity to extend the brand experience, far ahead of the customer’s arrival and long after they have left. Until now, the only way for brands to reach people in their cars was through the one-way medium of broadcast radio and out-of-home signage. IBM & GM’s launch of the industry’s first cognitive mobility platform, OnStar Go with Watson, gives retailers new ways to identify and engage their customers on the move. According to a study eMarketer study, 75.7 percent of purchases are now made on a mobile device. Cognitive mobility extends the retail experience into the connected car as a device and puts every brand in service to the customer.

Whether in the car, on a train or on foot OnStar Go delivers location-based conversational commerce, chatbots, and natural language interactions that allow retailers to design experiences that let customers:

  • Pay for gas and ancillary products without cash or credit card, from the comfort and safety of the car.
  • Pick up purchases and have them loaded into the vehicle curbside, within five minutes of arriving at the store.
  • Get total recall with timely task reminders en route, one mile prior to passing the store.
  • Receive an exclusive invite to a flash sale of their favorite brand, in proximity to the store.

Frictionless retail experiences have never been easier to design and deliver using cognitive mobility. OnStar Go ecosystem partners, such as MasterCard, enable drivers and passengers to safely make simple, secure and seamless payments for goods and services from the comfort of their cars.

And, Glympse enables retailers to use traffic patterning data to anticipate the customer’s arrival or track in progress deliveries. This is just the tip of the iceberg that delivers reinvented customer experiences; optimizes supply chain operations to meet demanding customers in digital channels, and ultimately, creates new revenue opportunities with higher margins.

The cognitive mobility platform gives retailers new insights about their customer, from the moment they set out, to the moment they decide to pull into the parking lot and enter the connected store. It brings different elements of the store, from the end cap to actual transaction into the car and completes the experience with opportunities for advocacy on the customer’s ride home.

With precise knowledge about their customer’s state of mind and what they are shopping for, retailers can deliver intelligent guidance getting the customer to the right location, aisle and product with the ease of a tap or voice command unlocking incredible value and redefining retail service for the cognitive era.

Global Chief Creative Officer, IBM iX

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