Create customized behavior — and location-based offers

Retail companies are constantly looking for new ways to increase sales in their brick-and-mortar stores. To entice customers with offers they find relevant, they must unlock information from a variety of sources including past purchases, geo-positioning data, seasonal trends and inventory.

Many leading companies are using cloud platforms and capabilities like API lifecycle management and application integration to bring this data together, empowering their developers to more quickly create personalized services and offers.


“We're building out a cloud platform driven by allows [the business] to move more quickly but also opens them up creatively.”

– Rich Jackson, technical expert, Walmart


1. Create new — or use existing — integration servers

In this example, using the management console, a retail company defines two integration servers corresponding to orders and promotions.

Screenshot showing two servers in IBM App Connect

2. Define and create APIs and products

Defining a new product allows the company to bundle its APIs and make them available to DevOps or extended teams. Developers can subscribe to the product and begin using the APIs.

Screenshot showing new product creation fields in IBM API Connect

3. Mine ERP, analytics and data lakes

Next, the company builds integration flows to seamlessly connect disparate backend systems. It can connect an order management system with analytics engines to make future purchase predictions based on purchase histories. Here, a RESTful interface has been created. The company can also use tools like the JSON parser to parse the output from an HTTP invoke action or another application in a flow.

Screenshot showing backend system connections

4. Secure and govern APIs

Security is a major consideration for retailers as they bring in geo-location data or perform geo-targeting. As companies collect geographic information based on IP addresses and other factors, API management capabilities can help ensure data security.

Screenshot showing security definitions in API Connect

5. Invoke the right microservice

Rule conditions defined in microservices trigger specific integration flows. For example, rules can determine if a customer event, such as reaching a purchase threshold, qualifies for a special promotion. The integration flow signals the applicable promotion and performs an action — perhaps texting the customer a real-time coupon to use in the store.

Screenshot showing an integration-flow action being set up