Engineered Serendipity – making moments personal

Engineered Serendipity – Making Moments Personal

27.10.2015 -

The unique, “once in a life time” deal just after you decided to start looking for new wireless noise cancelling headphones. The offered product is the correct brand, has all the features you want, is in stock and both the price and delivery service option match your criteria. Click here to buy. I would. Cognitive Commerce sets the stage for commerce evolution.

My last web store purchasing process started 11 months ago when I began looking for headphones. I’m analytic so I searched Google for all possible information. I read reviews, I visited forums, manufacturer pages, countless web stores and I actually even tweeted about them. I started seeing headphones on tabloid pages, Facebook and all over the internet. But they were general advertisements of products I was not interested in, even though I might have been on their product page at some point of the process.

At one point of my journey, I decided on which model I want. Sometimes the product in the ad was the right one but clicking the banner lead to a disappointment of not having the product in stock. Finally, while attending IBM Commerce Learning Academy in Dublin, at a headphone section of a large retailer, I found what I was looking for… from a Finnish web store using my iPhone. There was only one in stock so I quickly ordered it, or actually tried to but the shopping process did not work with my phone. Did I leave and go elsewhere because of the bad customer experience? No, I called customer service to make the order.

During the 11 months, I left an uncountable amount of information around the Internet of my intension of buying these headphones. But no one approached me with a direct possibility to buy. There was plenty of time. I spent less than 10 minutes on the actual buying process. How hard is it to reach me during that 10 minutes? Very. After the purchase I’ve been a living advertisement of the product and continued creating data in various services. Have I been offered with a related offer? No. I do need a protective hard case though. The big question is: How to get closer to cognitive Commerce and engineer that serendipity?

This fall, the IBM Commerce family is getting new products under it’s umbrella with a fresh and unified user experience. On the top is the new release Commerce Insights coming out at the same time with WebSphere Commerce version 8 on the 30th of November 2015. The Insights target group is eCommerce producers and managers. At a glance, you can see how your web store is performing on a custom built dashboard around metrics that interest you the most.

But Insights is more than just a fancy reporting tool. It provides the possibility to drill down to product information, get real time data of inventory and start making things happen directly from the Insights user interface. You can immediately react to individual products or categories that are not selling as predicted. Insights is a SaaS service and it is integrated in to WebSphere Commerce using IBM Digital Analytics tagging.

IBM is taking reporting to the next level by connecting Watson Analytics to Commerce Insights. It was eye opening to actually see, how Watson is able to generate graphs based on natural language questions like “What is the breakdown of sales by region for tablets?” Based on this question, Watson was able to generate 10 different relative reports about tablet sales. There are lots of new view points to your data in the Explore feature. It is possible to compare multiple visualizations and then run predictive analysis tests to find out the key drivers for your targets. This can be done without heavy preplanning and report requirement specification.

Watson is able to analyze data in a manner not available to us humans. Commerce Insights boosted with Watson analytics is developing towards personality insights and the notion of “customer segments of one”. Combining this information in IBM Marketing Cloud with Universal Behavior Exchange allows you to act on data from any channel in any channel. Making that unique offer available to the customer to buy is becoming reality – even inside Twitter, Facebook or at your local brick & mortar store. I’m looking forward to the new smart and personalized world of commerce.

Matti Suomalainen

I am a Chief Architect in Descom’s consultation team. I design digital omni-channel sales solutions that fit the customer's business environment. I meet clients that are in different phases of their eCommerce journey – starting from pre-sales and concepts all the way up to requirement specification, E2E architecture design and future roadmap visions.

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