eCommerce & Merchandising

What do retailers want? The power to act faster.

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One of my big take-aways at Shop.org is the appetite for a targeted solution to solve a specific challenge. Gone are the vague requests from retailers for help or something better than what they have. Absent are the inquiries about a complete platform solution.

Instead, what I heard were specific, often detailed descriptions of issues that needed to be solved immediately. Here are just a few examples of what retailers really want.

Pricing

One retailer is spending too much time trying to keep up with competitor pricing. They feel like they don’t see the whole picture and are unable to put together a true pricing strategy.

Customer understanding

Another retailer struggles with an overwhelming amount of data that is inaccessible or, when it is accessible, too time consuming to parse and apply to improve their customers’ experiences.

Digitally connected store

Several retailers are looking to make better use of their stores and associates, for instance, arming them to leverage online data and serve online customers with buy online pick-up in-store, even using the store to fulfill online orders.

Not one of the retailers I heard from is looking for a “rip and replace” end-to-end solution. Rather, they are looking for point solutions that enhance what they are already doing to help reveal new opportunities. The solutions need to be fast, flexible and easy to use. This drove some really engaging conversations that led to the question:

What’s driving this need?

The biggest driver is time. While a more comprehensive re-platforming might solve the problem, the investment of time and resources is too much – and it is risky. A targeted solution that integrates quickly and easily to enhance existing technology is a better bet and allows retailers to be faster to action.

While Shop.org has passed, you still have an opportunity to learn more about how Watson Commerce is addressing retailers’ needs at ShopTalk Europe at Booth 608, October 8-11.

To learn how Artificial Intelligence is currently changing the retail landscape, grab a seat for Richard Hearn’s session as he joins a panel of experts to discuss “The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Retail.” It takes place as part of Track 1 on Tuesday, October 10th at 9:15am.

Looking for more insights into what retailers are thinking and doing? Read “5 Challenges Retailers Face Giving Customers What they Want” to understand the most common challenges retailers struggle with and how the right strategy can help.

Global Product Marketing Manager, IBM Watson Commerce

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