Hong Kong Department Stores Hooks Scandinavian Fishing Market with IBM Smarter Commerce


WEBWIRE – Monday, November 19, 2012

ARMONK - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is collaborating with Hong Kong Department Stores to help them expand internationally and increase customer loyalty by deploying a new digital analytics commerce initiative. Built on solutions that support IBM’s Smarter Commerce approach, the digital experience will deliver a personalized shopping experience to consumers, deploy social networking capabilities and create an online community that drives both customer satisfaction and increased sales.

The retailer’s new site in Sweden, Happy Angler, www.happyangler.se, is one of the largest fishing specialized online store in the Nordic countries. To orchestrate a positive customer experience throughout the sales cycle, IBM’s e-commerce platform offers Hong Kong Department Stores a more robust digital experience to drive improvements ing marketing and sales processes to drive customer loyalty. This includes product ratings and reviews capabilities and tailored product recommendations and emails to turn visitors into repeat customers and loyal advocates. The company also uses social media, especially Facebook, and online videos to build customer loyalty. For example, with Bazaarvoice’s Ask and Answer feature, customers are able to have their say on the assortment and with the Stories feature they share their fishing stories.

Hong Kong also is using IBM’s cloud-based Web analytics capabilities to gain a scientific method to gain actionable insight on buying trends to provide a personalized experience for potential and existing customers. By capturing near real-time visitor activity, the solution provides Hong Kong Department Stores with an aggregate view of customer activity to enable targeted marketing campaigns that appeal to shopper preferences and improve shopper-to-customer conversions.

“We have a vision to create the largest online fishing store in Europe and, as we look to expand in Sweden and beyond, IBM and its partner Descom play a critical role in that effort,“ said Miika Malinen, eCommerce Director, Hong Kong Department Stores. ”We hope to continue to deliver an online experience that will help customers succeed in fishing by offering everything they need in one place combined with a powerful community to make it easier to choose and purchase the right equipment.”

The Swedish site is an expansion of the retailer’s strategy to create a number of specialist sites for its main product categories that create a dynamic community of like-minded shoppers. The first site, in Finland, has more than 25,000 members of fishing lovers and enthusiasts who’ve completed more than 10,000 product reviews to benefit this growing social ecosystem of anglers. The Finnish online store http://kalastus.hongkong.fi/fi/, has sold more fishing equipment than the company’s largest physical store. However, since the site has gone live, sales in the physical stores also have increased significantly, spurred by the social referrals and product reviews of the community formed around the online shop.

“Shopping has changed where consumers are turning to friends for product advice, and, with their new site, Hong Kong Department Stores is able to trade in more traditional tactics in favor of smarter approaches that make that engagement easier while still delivering a more personalized shopping experience – it’s the best of both worlds,” said Tero Junttila, Director, e-Commerce and Product Information Management at Descom Oy.

Hong Kong partnered with IBM business partner Descom Oy, to develop and put the www.happyangler.se site into operation. Descom is an IBM Premier Business Partner that specializes in e-commerce, electronic work environments, social networking, process management and integration solutions. Descom developed the site and linked it to Hong Kong’s back-end systems, and continues to provide application management and development services to maintain the site.

Based on the Finnish store’s success, Hong Kong Department Stores recently was awarded the IBM Smarter Commerce Innovation award for its Web shops strategy. The award (http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/37769.wss ) recognized the organization that has put the customer at the center of all operations, turning customer insight into action, enabling new business processes that help them buy, market, sell and service their products and services. The retailer has developed new innovative Web shops for social commerce, which were designed with direct input from customers.

More information on Smarter Commerce can be found at: http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/uk/en/smarter_commerce/overview/

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