IBM Digital Marketing Optimization (a.k.a Coremetrics) integration with WebSphere Commerce

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In this video I show how Digital Analytics (aka Coremetrics) is integrated with the WebSphere Commerce business user tooling. I also show some of the out of the box reports specifically designed for a WebSphere Commerce site.

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Why inbound marketing is becoming key to retailers

I read this article today (How to Grow Your Business with Inbound Marketing) and totally agree with the writer about how a transition from the traditional outbound marketing is becoming less popular to inbound marketing. This is a fundamental premise of Smarter Commerce! It puts the knowledgeable customer at the focal point of the business and marketing machine. Having my friends recommend products or product reviews in general are much more powerful than an advertisement on television (outbound marketing).

I often, very often actually, get asked to review products and books on this blog. I generally say no unless I am personally interested in the product or book. The reason I get asked is because the companies know a blog article or a review on Amazon.com is a very powerful  element on the internet, regardless of how popular the blog is (or as unpopular like mine). When people search for that product, a blog post, tweet, or any kind of review, it will most definitely show up in the results.

Companies know the value of referrer sites and most likely even track where their sales are being generated from. Below you can see a screen shot from Coremetrics where you can quickly see how much revenue is generated on that commerce site based on the referrer:

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So if you are a very popular site you might want to ask for a bit of that money back or even charge for a product review – but then the value of your review declines. My motto is to really only review things I am truly interested in and I almost only review things I would write positive about. Keeps me out of trouble…

Using Campaigns and Coremetrics to drive sales on your web site

In this video I show how you can use campaigns in WebSphere Commerce to track content and product sales in your website. Campaigns allow you to tag things like web activities with the campaign ID and then pull reports about the performance of that web activity on your site. Web activities in WebSphere Commerce are scheduled content for your site. In this video I use a web activity to promote four products on the home page of our store. I also use a promotion for all furniture (a 20% discount) and the discount is visible in the web activity under each product.

Campaigns are great for pulling together content on the site and have it reported under a single entity. Use campaigns for seasons, holidays or promotional specials.

Stopping those abandoned shopping carts!

No matter what commerce tool you use, every company has a problem with abandoned shopping carts. Hopefully your tool gives you the ability to react to this “event” and attempt to get the customer to complete the order.

Some tips on making sure you get the customer to complete the order is maybe do some A/B testing on your checkout flow. I have seen some customers go from a three step screen to a single step screen with some great success. Getting customers to complete orders as quickly as possible is key. This is why single click buying on devices like iPhones and iTunes are so popular. With WebSphere Commerce and Coremetrics you can actually use the Abandoned Products report and key a coupon on specific products. This may tell you your pricing for a given product may be too high and needs adjusting.

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However, if you do get an abandoned cart then you should attempt to contact the customer and find out why, or even offer them a discount if they complete the check out.

In WebSphere Commerce you can create a Dialog Activity to handle this. In the activity below you see I key off the abandoned shopping cart rule and set the threshold to 2 days. Meaning the cart has been abandoned for two days. We then issue a coupon to the customer, which automatically gets put into their coupon wallet and then send them an email stating we will give them 10% off and make it valid for the next five days.

This is a pretty basic rule and you can put all kinds of logic in there. For instance, only do this if the cart value is over $100. Or only do this for a specific customer segment. Either way, I think this is an easy way to help get those abandoned shopping carts to go away!