IBM powers SHOP.CA’s new Smarter Commerce online marketplace
SHOP.CA, Canada’s largest online eCommerce marketplace, is using analytics software from IBM’s [NYSE:IBM] Smarter Commerce Initiative to help engage increasingly empowered online consumers in a unique shopping experience, and build loyalty and a sense of community.
SHOP.CA’s online marketplace features millions of products across 26 categories and billions in multi-merchant inventory. Its site offers Canadians one-stop access to national and international brands, free shipping, free returns and no cross-border fees. Also hosting a powerful loyalty program, SHOP.CA Rewards dollars TM are offered for both purchases and online activities that generate a purchase, such as sharing a link to a favorite product with a friend, or posting written or video reviews to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
“With SHOP.CA, shopping will be forever changed in Canada,” says Don Tapscott, author and world leading business strategist. “It’s going to make shopping ‘social’. People will become deeply engaged in a community. They’ll learn from each other. They’ll be able to collaborate, and because of the loyalty programs, they’re going to want to come back.”
SHOP.CA selected IBM’s technology as the eCommerce engine to power its consumer storefront, multi-merchant product catalog and SHOP.CA Rewards program. IBM will also provide analytics on how site visitors behave and interact, as well as track their searching and buying histories. This data will give SHOP.CA insight on how, when and where to reach shoppers with content and offers personalized to their tastes and preferences via mobile or social vehicles. “We want to push the envelope of what’s possible online and through a mobile device, and significantly advance the state of smarter commerce,” says Trevor Newell, SHOP.CA president and founder.
IBM has defined Smarter Commerce, a new, unfolding market estimated at $20 billion for software alone, driven by Web, social and mobile technologies which put more power in the hands of customers. Today, 70 per cent of a consumer’s first interaction on a product or service takes place online, and 64 per cent of consumers make a first purchase because of a digital experience.
A recent IBM® survey of more than 2,000 Canadians showed friends and family are by far the most trusted influencers on purchasing decisions, but that retailers are also gaining trust among shoppers here. The same research also identified a growing movement among consumers to use social media to build communities with others who share their interests and tastes, and who consume the same. These strangers then help the consumer make more relevant discoveries and satisfying purchases.
“In the era of mobile and social networks, consumers are becoming more connected, and more demanding in their expectations of how they interact with retailers,” says Jamie Spiller, IBM’s smarter commerce lead. “By applying the principles of Smarter Commerce, SHOP.CA is creating a rich online experience that's personalized, timely, and relevant, and spans the entire commerce lifecycle of buying, marketing, selling and service.”
Under the terms of the agreement, IBM is providing SHOP. CA with Coremetrics Web Analytics delivered through the cloud and IBM® WebSphere® Commerce Professional.