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Friday, 10 February 2012 18:39

IBM fills its shopping bags with multi-million dollar DJs deal


IBM has secured a multi-million dollar deal to develop a complete cross-channel retail platform for Australia's longest-standing department store group, David Jones, which IBM says will allow consumers to buy on their terms, according to their preferences.

Under the contract, IBM will integrate social media, promotions and rich analytics features to give the David Jones customer the ability to view items online, post items to wish lists, and share their purchases with friends and family.    IBM will also integrate the solution into David Jones' core corporate systems to provide order and inventory management and fulfilment capabilities that support both the online and store channels, enabling the retailer to provide faster and more efficient delivery of products and services to customers.

'David Jones believes that its future lies in its ability to offer a fully integrated multi-channel retail experience to customers,' CEO Paul Zahra said.  'IBM has a proven track record of enabling increased brand advocacy and profitable growth for major department stores so it was logical for us to appoint them to enable us to leverage their experience. We want our customers to be able to shop around the clock utilising whichever channel they choose be that in-store, on their PCs, tablets, smartphones or a combination of two or more.'

According to Zahra, for David Jones, 'retail is about more than just a transaction - it's about how the customer interacts and communicates with us at all points of the shopping process.' 'We are no longer just a bricks and mortar store - with the continued evolution of e-commerce and social media, shopping has become even more personal than ever before. By leveraging IBM's expertise in rapid deployment of customer-centric online solutions, we intend to help shoppers meet their individual purchasing needs and emerge completely satisfied with their retail experience.'

IBM managing director Australia and New Zealand, Andrew Stevens, said IBM would draw from similar large-scale implementations overseas, where it is achieving 'significant transformation and profitable growth for major department stores globally.' Stevens said the first phase of the solution will be rolled out in the second half of 2012 as part of a stepped approach, with the following phase going live in 2013.

'David Jones' reputation as one of Australia's iconic retailers makes this a momentous partnership for IBM's Smarter Commerce business,' Stevens said. 'With online shopping changing the face of retail at an ever-increasing rate, we're looking forward to developing a solution that is truly cross-channel and will transform the shopping experience for David Jones' customers.'

According to Stevens, the IBM Smarter Commerce portfolio helps retailers achieve brand intimacy by more effectively automating their purchasing, marketing, sales and fulfilment processes to better serve their customers.   'David Jones will become the first major Australian retailer to provide customers with a true cross-channel shopping experience.  Customers will not only have the ability to browse and buy, but also pick-up and return items through the channel of their choice, including their mobile phones, online or at a physical store,' Stevens added. 

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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