Darryl K. Taft| Eweek
IBM recently announced that wehkamp.nl, one of the Netherlands’ largest online retailers, will use IBM cloud-based merchandising analytics to manage markdown pricing to better meet customer demand and improve profitability. With the addition of this solution, wehkamp.nl takes advantage of IBM’s cloud suite of marketing and merchandising solutions resulting in a more personalized shopping experience, improved overall service levels as well as margin and revenue growth, Big Blue officials said.
Headquartered in Zwolle, Netherlands, wehkamp.nl caters to a digital customer base, with 51 percent of new customers aged 35 or younger. With more than 122 million visitors to their site in 2012 alone and more than 15.6 million products sold, wehkamp.nl relies on big data and analytics to provide their customers with a personalized and tailored online shopping experience.
An existing IBM Digital Analytics, Cross Channel Marketing and Customer Experience Management customer, wehkamp.nl will now add capabilities from IBM’s Price, Promotion and Product Mix solutions that will help wehkamp.nl to maximize profitability and improve inventory productivity for items that have entered the clearance process.
IBM also recently announced a new portfolio of Cloud Suites designed to deliver cloud solutions to the C-Suite and the major line of business. Now a leading retailer in Europe is using analytics from IBM’s CMO cloud suite for marketing to provide customers a more personalized digital shopping experience. Wehkamp.nl, one of the Netherland’s largest online retailers, will use IBM cloud-based analytics to make more informed decisions about their end-of-season markdowns, ensuring they meet inventory, profit and revenue objectives. Wehkamp.nl will now take advantage of IBM’s cloud suite of marketing and merchandising solutions to provide customers with a personalized shopping experience and improved overall service while boosting its revenue.
As an online retailer selling fashion merchandise, at the end of every season, wehkamp.nl is faced with having to plan clearance pricing and markdowns to sell through remaining inventory and ‘make room’ for next season’s merchandise. With the help of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, wehkamp.nl can make more informed decisions on the depth and timing of their markdowns, ensuring they meet inventory, profit and revenue objectives. For example, online fashion retail typically involves a high percentage of returns due to customers ordering multiple sizes or colors.
This impacts remaining inventory and needs to be factored into the markdown process to make better decisions, IBM said. “As an online retailer, we realize the importance of taking a holistic approach to our marketing campaigns and providing our customers with the right products, at the right price, through the right online experience.” said Alexander van Slooten, marketing director at wehkamp.nl, in a statement. “Through IBM’s solutions, we are able to put our customers firmly at the center of everything we do, whether it’s managing markdown prices, delivering email campaigns, or improving our online experience.” “Wehkamp.nl is a valued customer, using our full IBM Smarter Commerce enterprise marketing management offerings to provide a personalized and relevant online experience for their customers,” said Craig Hayman, general manager of IBM Industry Solutions, in a statement.
“Through the use of big data and predictive analytics, wehkamp.nl has streamlined the marketing and merchandising processes, proving customization and informed planning, is the best way to meet customer needs.” Retailers around the world are looking to provide their customers with a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels, but it remains a challenge. One of the primary hurdles is the ability to track and engage customers when they interact with a brand from different channels and across multiple devices. Maintaining a centralized view of customer data is the “holy grail” of personalized marketing as it allows retailers to cater to the individual habits and preferences of each customer.
By teaming with IBM to leverage the advantages of cloud computing, Wehkamp.nl is among the few retailers in the world capable of doing this today. IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative features software and services that help companies transform their business processes to more quickly respond to shifting customer demands in today’s digitally-transformed marketplace.
The initiative is driven by C-suite executives who are increasingly looking for ways to bring new levels of automation to merchandising, marketing and fulfillment to secure greater customer loyalty. Through current IBM solutions, including IBM Digital Analytics, IBM LIVEmail, IBM Campaign, and IBM Customer Experience Management, wehkamp.nl has experienced a 271 percent higher sales-per-send ratio for marketing emails, including a 23 percent higher open rate and a 68 percent higher click-through rate, and a 500 percent increase in the click-through rate for its banner ads. With the addition of IBM DemandTec Markdown Optimization wehkamp.nl can now look to achieve similar benefits within their merchandising function.