Thursday, November 12, 2009

IBM Beefs Up Support for Mobile Commerce

According to InformationWeek, IBM has introduced software that it says will allow consumers to shop online through mobile devices more easily while letting retailers reach customers more effectively.

The software, the Mobile Store component of WebSphere Commerce 7, includes social networking features and hooks that retailers can use to add personalized messages and offers to individual consumers.

"New sales channels and points of interaction now define and fragment consumers' retail journey, forcing companies to change the way they market, build relationships, and deliver brand value," said Beth Smith, IBM's vice president for its WebSphere brand, in a statement.

The application provides an eCommerce front-end for online merchants that lets them provide consumers with advanced features like side-by-side product comparisons, real-time inventory updates, and store finders on their mobile devices. It also links to back-end services such as IBM's WebSphere Application server and DB2 database.

Retailers can use the software to deliver targeted text messages or e-mails to shoppers or reach them through Facebook or other social networking sites.

"WebSphere Commerce is designed to help retailers around the world execute marketing campaigns and build rich customer relationships that span sales channels and interaction models," said Smith.

According to IBM, the new software underscores IBM's commitment to the mobile space. In June, the company announced a five-year, $100 million research initiative aimed at improving mobile services and capabilities for businesses and consumers worldwide.

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