Quantivo Extends Reach Of Analytics Tools By Hosting On Amazon’s Cloud Environment

Quantivo, a leader in on-demand Behavioral Analytics, announced this week that its SaaS service is now hosted on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon EC2.

While the utilization of deep customer analytics had traditionally been limited to larger organizations due to cost, computing power and time constraints, Quantivo’s CEO Brian Kelly pointed out that this new partnership will dramatically extend the reach of these tools.

“By combining Quantivo’s unique Affinity Analytics technology with SaaS built upon Amazon EC2, companies can act on the latest customer behavioral patterns for as little as $5,000 per month,” Kelly said. “This enables us to get customers up and running very quickly—in a matter of five or ten days for a very large scale analytic application.”

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Best Buy’s Twelpforce Rollout Launches Customer Support Into Social Stratosphere


By David Dorf, Director of Technology Strategy, Oracle Retail

Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from one of RetailWire’s recent online discussions. Each business morning on RetailWire.com, retail industry execs get plugged in to the latest news and issues with key insights from a “BrainTrust” panel of retail industry experts.

Best Buy recently launched a new service called Twelpforce that is aimed at using store and GeekSquad staff to answer product and technology questions via Twitter. Best Buy is also supporting the effort with TV spots. So I decided to see how this works.

The first thing I noticed was that most of the tweets were of the “hello out there” variety, but that may just be because the service is so new. It looked like there were tweets from both store associates as well as GeekSquad technicians. There’s no rhyme or reason to the account names. Some clearly represent stores (e.g. BBY1094), GeekSquad technicians (e.g. Agent 13700), specialties (e.g. CameraJenn), and individuals (Ingandela). BestBuy doesn’t seem to be limiting their creativity.

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Six Strategies Retailers Are Using to Expand Their Facebook Networks



Providing the ability to reach some 250 million users, the Facebook platform has been established as a pot of gold for retailers, and some are taking full advantage of its offerings.

“Retailers that have a presence Facebook can leverage the social network for extending brand recognition, attracting new customers and staying top of mind with existing customers, and gaining more insight into their customers’ preferences,” says Nancy MacGregor Hill, Communications and Social Media Strategist, Real Time Communications. “Fan or group pages on Facebook are a great way for retail brands to make announcements about sales, offer special promotions for Facebook users, particularly for those who refer their friends, and see comments about customers’ experiences, their questions and other relevant discussions on their wall pages.” All of this, Hill says, is useful in strengthening a brand, supporting other advertising and marketing initiatives and helping serve customers better. Continue reading “Six Strategies Retailers Are Using to Expand Their Facebook Networks”

1-800-Flowers Digs Into Mobile Commerce With Multiple App Storefronts


Long before mobile commerce emerged as a new channel, multichannel visionary 1-800-Flowers.com saw the potential market and launched a mobile Web site in early 2006, and tapped mobile software provider Digby in early 2007 to develop a complete mobile channel offering.

In the three years since the mobile launch, 1-800-Flowers.com has continued to evolve their mobile program, and now offers their customers a wide variety of mobile shopping options. Customers can access the 1-800-Flowers Mobile Gift Center using a mobile optimized commerce site as well, with rich, on-device application storefronts for Blackberry and iPhone.

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Family Dollar Fuels Sales Growth By Upgrading Merchandising Strategy

With 6,700 locations in 44 states and $7 billion in annual sales, Family Dollar hardly seems to have any issues driving sales growth. However, when the company’s frenetic sales growth slowed a bit a few years back, the company’s management quickly looked to upgrade the chain’s merchandising strategy.

“When we hit a bump in 2006 and comp store sales dropped, we realized that we needed to look at delivering product in more relevant ways to consumers,” says Shari Raznick, Divisional VP, IT Solutions Delivery, Merchandising & Supply Chain, Family Dollar. “We had literally been doing business the same way for a very long time—with the buyer as king.” Continue reading “Family Dollar Fuels Sales Growth By Upgrading Merchandising Strategy”

On Heels Of June Swoon, Some Retailers Roll Out Holiday Sales Early This Year

Sears - Christmas in July
Although retailers continued to slash prices on seasonal merchandise, June sales were once again a disappointment for retailers, decreasing 3.8% unadjusted over the last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Forecasts for back to school are not looking good either. The average family with students in grades K-12 is expected to spend $548.72 on school merchandise, a decline of 7.7 percent from $594.24 in 2008, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Back to School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch.
“Back to school is always a pretty good barometer for retail health and for what the fall is going to look like, and this year I don’t think it’s going to be any different,” says George Whalin, Founder, Retail Management Consultants. “I think parents are going to be very cautious on what they spend money on. They’re going to buy the least expensive things they can get away with, but people are always going to spend more on their children than they do on themselves.” The survey found that over half (56.2%) of respondents are hunting for sales more often, while 40% plan to increase their coupon usage. Continue reading “On Heels Of June Swoon, Some Retailers Roll Out Holiday Sales Early This Year”

Sears & Days Inn Execs Share Dos and Don’ts of Mobile Commerce

Mobile Marketer Panel

Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from one of Mobile Marketer’s recent online postings. Mobile Marketer’s daily newsletter provides news on mobile marketing, media and commerce.

Sears would have gone with a different product mix when it first launched it mobile site. And Days Inn would not have launched its mobile campaign before the mobile site was up.

Thus confessed senior executives from Sears and Wyndham’s Days Inn Hotel brand at last week’s Mobile Commerce Spotlight Conference organized by Mobile Marketer in conjunction with the Direct Marketing Association. In a session moderated by Mobile Marketer’s Mickey Alam Khan, panelists offered the audience of marketers and retailers a list of dos and don’ts for mobile commerce. Continue reading “Sears & Days Inn Execs Share Dos and Don’ts of Mobile Commerce”

ATG Recommendations

ATG Recomendations

Initially introduced in 2007, ATG Recommendations is an on-demand service designed to provide online merchants the ability to offer automated, personalized recommendations and merchandise to online shoppers. Unlike other solutions which recommend items based on what shoppers purchased in the past or based on shoppers with similar interests, ATG Recommendations aims to predict what each shopper wants to buy in each visit to an e-commerce site to help retailers increase conversion rates, order values, and customer loyalty. In May the company announced its spring 2009 release of ATG Recommendations, which includes new features: Email recommendations, enhanced merchant control over recommendations and cross channel and rich media support. Continue reading “ATG Recommendations”

Bringing Data to Life- Connecting the Dots between Content and Commerce



As retailers continue to expand selling to websites, kiosks, special order desks, sales associate terminals, and beyond, data is the enabler that makes it all possible.

Access real-world examples of how leading companies are bringing product data to life by providing rich product data downstream and taking advantage of consumer data upstream to optimize their product presentation.