Latest Stories


Delivering better shopping experience to clients via Big Data


Not so long ago, it was called “window shopping.” Today, that term has evolved into “online window shopping.”

Today’s consumers are sophisticated and opportunistic, navigating between store and online environments interchangeably to meet their shopping needs of the moment. Traditional retailers with physical stores need new ways to keep up with fast evolving e-tailers to satisfy their empowered customers who demand satisfaction at all touch points.

Around the world, the retail industry and consumer habits are changing faster than anyone could predict. In emerging markets, particularly in Asia, the number of online users is equally large. The concentration of Generation Y and millenniums in Asia, the cultural emphasis on maintaining regular contact with friends and family, and the influx of mobile technologies and devices have contributed to this increasing online shopping habit.

Despite being home to four of the 15 largest shopping malls in the world, the emergence of online shopping stores in the Philippines has steadily changed the way Filipinos shop.  In fact, a majority of, if not all, the local retail giants have already established their online shopping presence.  Also, there are some notable standalone Philippine-based online stores like www.zalora.com.ph, www.lazada.com.ph and www.juanstore.com.  Buying pre-owned items online has also become popular with homegrown online shopping portals like www.sulit.com.ph and www.ayos.com.ph.

Omni-channel retailing


The digital experience is influencing major changes in the store and online. To be a winner in this race, retailers need to become smarter by transforming into an omni-channel retailing, concentrated more on a seamless approach to customer experience through all available shopping channels.

Big Data can allow traditional retailers to deliver better shopping experience to their customers across all possible channels—in-store, online and on-the-go with mobile devices.  The key is using data and analytics to better understand the behavior and preferences of shoppers to close the sale. Most consumers interact with brands or businesses with which they already have strong connection—a personal connection.

Still a personal journey


One of the ways to make the customer journey personal is through a personalized seamless customer experience whether online or in-store. If you know your customer in one channel, you need to know him or her in other channels as well. This means that your customer experience initiatives should not be devised as an isolated standalone program. They have to be thoughtfully integrated with other customer-facing initiatives.

An IBM study of 26,000 global consumers released in January at the 2013 National Retail Federation convention in the United States revealed that consumers were diversifying the way they shop for and acquire goods. They are becoming increasingly open to buying both online and in-store depending on their needs at time of purchase. While more than 80 percent of shoppers chose the store to make their last non-grocery purchase, only half are committed to returning there next time they buy.

Significantly, nearly a quarter of these online shoppers intended to buy their item in the store, but ultimately purchased online—primarily due to price and convenience. Retailers must connect their store and online presence to capture the sale to show roomers. Today, online-only retailers account for one-third of show roomer purchases. Younger, male and affluent shoppers are most likely to showroom.

Retailers must better connect their online and physical stores, blending benefits into both at various points in the shopping cycle—from research to purchase—to build brand loyalty and repeat sales. In the store, retailers must infuse digital experiences, enable store associates with the technology to save the sale and embrace consumer-owned technology. Online, retailers must optimize their websites for various devices—from iOS, Android to Windows platforms. The empowered customer expects seamless experience off and online.

Link online, physical store

Smarter retailers would use analytics solutions to provide the fact-based insight that they need to treat each consumer as an individual, meeting their growing expectation for personalization at all touch points. Analytics can also be used to identify why show roomers are shifting purchases online so retailers can act and adjust accordingly. With these unique capabilities in place, retailers would be able to see improved conversion rates and reduction in cart abandonment, leading to revenue growth and stronger profits.

(Ms Africa is the country manager for marketing of IBM Philippines)

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Business , economy , Internet , Marketing , News

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • Marketplace