Savvy shoppers wait in anticipation, while Australian retailers are gearing up for the onslaught. Amazon’s arrival is imminent.
UK-based PC and video game GAME will use IBM's cloud-based marketing automation tools to support the company's transition to focusing on online sales.
Having previously had a strong high street presence, retailer GAME Group went into administration in 2012 leading to the closure of many of its bricks and mortar stores. The company subsequently relaunched with a stronger focus on online and mobile game sales - a market said to be worth up US$83 billion (AUD$90bn) by 2016 - with GAME leveraging its existing database of 12 million reward card holders.
In order to boost online sales and meet the demands of online shoppers, GAME has sought to increase customer loyalty by creating a more personalised sales strategy. This will improve customer engagement with a view to keeping visitors on the site for longer, and enabling up-selling of products.
"We identified the need to deepen our customer engagement and put a clear focus on the UK gaming community as key to our new strategy," said Andy Grainger, chief technology officer at GAME. "Our aim is to be the first choice for gaming, enabling customers to research, play, buy, and download the latest gaming content both online and in-store."
GAME chose to implement a variety of software as a service (Saas) marketing software tools available as part of IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative, aimed at providing greater automation for C-level marketing executives. The automation and analytics tools include IBM Digital Analytics, IBM Product Recommendations and IBM Marketing Center, and are delivered through IBM's SmartCloud.
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Andrew Jackson-Proes, enterprise marketing management (EMM) leader for UK & Ireland, IBM, added that the analytics tools will help GAME meet the requirement of online customers.
"Customers are ever more demanding in the ways they interact with and expect to be served by retailers," Jackson-Proes said. "Data on how consumers interact with the site will help GAME reduce bounce rates and uncompleted orders, and personalise the customer's visit based on their online activity and previous purchases."
IBM has made a string of acquisitions in recent years to build out its SmarterCommerce platform, spending US$1.4 billion on software vendor Sterling Commerce, as well as buying cloud analytics marketing firm Coremetrics and marketing automation software supplier Unica.