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Engage your consumers with cognitive technology

Engage your consumers with cognitive technology 

From gaming to blogging and everything in between, we create massive amounts of data every day – 2.5 quintillion bytes to be exact. Cognitive technologies harnesses the power of data and analytics to achieve greater knowledge of consumers on an individual basis. They can aggregate vast volumes of information with a profound level of intelligence that enables companies to pinpoint the wants and needs of their customers. These systems understand, reason and learn over time and can distinguish nuances of tone, sentiment and environmental conditions to provide expert in-the-moment advice, insights and recommendations to help professionals make better, more informed decisions. Businesses can even forecast future opportunities with not only consumers, but also with partners and suppliers to create a synchronized, predictive value chain.

Buffalo David Bitton understands the value of cognitive. Currently, the wholesaler has incorporated advanced analytics and performance management tools within its business channels to recognize sales trends and increase product and vendor performance insight. To stay competitive, the company is exploring how cognitive technology can help uncover new opportunities and achieve greater customer insights. With cognitive, employees can identify a person’s specific interests; predict his or her wants based on individual behavioural patterns, and cater to the needs of each customer in greater depth. Armed with these capabilities, Buffalo David Bitton can develop deeper engagement with their customers and increase market share.

Cognitive commerce on cloud

As companies continue to move to a more digital space, retailers will need to improve the digital shopping experience. We believe cognitive technologies can deliver relevant, personalized and timely customer engagement, but what does this mean for online shoppers? To further transform the e-commerce business, grow revenue, extend brand reach and expand consumer loyalty, brands are turning to cloud.

Cloud computing refers to a high performance network of remote servers that are hosted on the Internet and dynamically process, manage or store data. It enables companies to deliver a superior online footprint by providing consumers with a seamless, flexible and comprehensive buying experience – from the moment a consumer browses a webpage until an order is fulfilled. Cloud’s infrastructure can manage flexible fulfillment orders across multiple channels and integrate with payments, promotions and e-mail marketing. What’s more, cloud offers security-rich payment processing to help prevent data theft.

For example, imagine a consumer recently takes up golfing. With cognitive computing, a sporting goods retailer can learn and understand that this individual might need gear tailored to beginners. The business can personalize the online experience by offering deals and packages that suit the consumers’ personal needs. With a cloud-based e-commerce platform, the company can maximize its online potential and offer real-time inventory visibility so that the shopper can select and purchase a variety of products that a novice golfer requires.

Consider cloud as a marketer’s ally: with insight into online customers’ buying behaviours, businesses can quickly adapt to changing consumer dynamics. Companies can streamline order management and enable global inventory visibility to give customers what they want, where and when they want it.

What’s next?

An abundance of data means endless opportunity, but it takes a new approach to harness that potential. A recent Econsultancy study shows that 76 per cent of consumers expect companies to understand their individual needs while 81 per cent demand faster response times. To do this successfully, businesses need to digitally transform; yet according to a report by Harvard Business Review, over 80 per cent of companies lack the digital readiness.

Businesses can achieve a state of “readiness”. By infusing cognitive and cloud technologies into the tools that IT professionals work with, businesses can understand, learn and predict consumer wants and needs and provide expert advice, guidance and recommendations to help consumers make better, more informed decisions and provide a complete – and positive –end-to-end customer experience.

Shunna Shaunna Conway is IBM’s commerce leader in Canada. With over 10 years of  demonstrated success in consulting, services, and leading a team of over 200 sales and technical professionals, Shaunna is responsible for IBM’s strategy to deliver innovative marketing, customer analytics, e-commerce, portal, payments, procurement and B2B solutions, all in support of helping Canadian clients grow and engineer deeper relationships with their customers.

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