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Industry News - October 17th, 2008



SkyMall Launches Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews  

Multi-channel retailer SkyMall launches Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews on its Web site, skymall.com. SkyMall is a multi-channel marketer that offers unique merchandise from direct marketers and manufacturers through its SkyMall catalog and Web site. The in-flight SkyMall catalog is seen by approximately 90% of all domestic air passengers reaching more than 650 million air travelers annually.

SkyMall went live with Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews in July 2008, allowing its customers to share their opinions on products to help each other make more informed purchase decisions. In just the first week, SkyMall amassed reviews on almost 1,000 products and leveraged the ratings throughout the site to merchandise featured products called 'hot items.' SkyMall also identifies top contributors with a special button, calling attention to reviewers who provide numerous, helpful product reviews.

"By allowing our customers to engage in a frank, open dialogue between themselves and with our company, we have not only found many ways to better satisfy our customers, but have gained additional insights into which products are popular, which are not, and why," says Christine Aguilera, president of SkyMall.

SkyMall plans to eventually include review content in the in-flight SkyMall catalog and is already using it in its e-mail marketing programs. The company also integrated all Ratings & Review content within their CRM tool - allowing call center representatives to share product ratings with prospective customers and help increase overall purchase satisfaction.


Rockport Adds Innovative New Features to Web Store

The Rockport Company redesigns its Web site to include parametric navigation, multi-product views, social bookmarking and various other innovative functionalities. The latest features added to Rockport.com help customers find the perfect shoe and improve the overall user experience.

Rockport selected gsi interactive, the marketing unit of GSI Commerce, to spearhead the redesign. Rockport has partnered with GSI since 2003 for services including e-commerce technology, customer care and marketing services.

"It's important that the Rockport Web store incorporates the latest tools and functionality so that customers can easily browse our innovative footwear collections and quickly find the perfect shoe," says Russ Gallant, digital marketing manager, Rockport. "gsi interactive's design and photography solutions not only improved our customers' online shopping experience, but also helped Rockport to effectively communicate the offline brand experience on the Internet."

Features of the redesigned Rockport Web store include:

- Parametric navigation allows shoppers to sort shoes by standard product attributes such as heel size, style, and by additional attributes such as color and 'machine washable.' It also sorts shoes by categories unique to Rockport such as collections, technologies and occasions.

-All new product photography with alternate views help bring the products to life and allows shoppers to make informed purchase decisions through multiple product views and a variety of stylized angles that show off product details, such as stitching.

-Streamlined shopping with Express Shop and Mini-Cart. Express Shop allows consumers to stay within Rockport's online brand experience by allowing them to view an item in more detail. Mini-Cart enables shoppers to add items the Web store's mini shopping cart without having to load an additional page.

-Internationalization/retail locator helps enable multi-channel integration, drives in-store purchases and supports Rockport's global market with geo-location software. The software automatically displays the nearest Rockport brick-and-mortar stores for both U.S. and international users.

-Expanded product technology icons identify the type of technology used in products that make Rockport shoes unique and innovative, such as 'dynamic suspension'.

-Social bookmarking encourages shoppers to share their favorite Rockport product and connect with other users within the global Rockport online community by providing a quick link to their favorite social networks, such as Facebook, Delicious, Digg and StumbleUpon.

-Featured products using Flash technology delivers a unique experience that highlights 'Styles of the Season' that complement Rockport's innovative fashion and technology.


Moosejaw Mountaineering Adds Web 2.0 Interactivity

Moosejaw Mountaineering, an outdoor equipment retailer, revamps its Web site based on the IBM WebSphere Commerce Enterprise platform to feature new interactive Web 2.0-based games, contests, chats and promotions, adding new service capabilities and community features to online shopping.

Moosejaw has redesigned its Web site and replicated its immersive store experience to help drive increased customer advocacy and loyalty across multiple channels.

The 16-year old company built its brand by integrating games and socialization techniques to make the shopping experience more fun. To bring that same playful and interactive experience online, the retailer sought the use of technology to communicate with its growing global audience, launch creative marketing campaigns and extend the Moosejaw brand through viral networking efforts. In addition, the company wanted to help consumers make peer-based purchasing decisions by integrating customer reviews and product ratings. Another priority was to make it easier for customers to locate and buy products across various channels. Lastly, the company wanted to solicit real-time feedback from customers to better gauge their likes and dislikes, to determine future promotions and purchasing decisions.

With the help of services and solutions from IBM and IBM Business Partner, CrossView, the company rebuilt its Web site, gained improved visibility into its inventory and installed new point of sale systems in each of its eight retail stores. By implementing CrossView’s suite of products, Moosejaw uses its e-commerce platform based on the IBM Retail Integration Framework, to drive interactions at call center, Web pages and retail stores. The site provides community features such as online games like rock, paper, scissors, ability to chat with fellow outdoor-lovers, compare various product reviews and opportunities to download money-saving coupons, while they shop for the latest snowboarding gear.

"Socializing and shopping are two activities that go hand-in-hand, and that is why we chose to build the most engaging Web platform possible for the Moosejaw community," says Robert Wolf, COO, Moosejaw. "IBM is allowing us to spend less time processing web orders and more time marketing the products we are so passionate about."


Morrisons Supermarkets Deploys Integrated POS, Store and Fuel System

Morrisons, a UK-based supermarket chain adds Retalix software to increase operational efficiency and enhance the shopping experience across its 378 stores and 285 filling stations. In 2007, Morrisons announced a three-year IT investment program to replace its legacy systems.

Previously, Morrisons used four different systems for the different POS functional areas in its stores - the checkout lanes, in-store quick service restaurants, dry cleaning service counters and fueling sites.

After a thorough evaluation process of store systems, Morrisons selected an integrated system of Retalix software applications that includes Retalix StoreLine POS, quick-service-restaurant (QSR) and self-checkout applications for the stores, as well as Retalix Fuel for its fueling sites. In addition, Morrisons will use Retalix software to automate its back-office cash management process.

"Morrisons requires proven, world-class retail systems to achieve our business requirements for profitable growth today and in the future," says Gary Barr, IT Director at Morrisons. "We found that Retalix most suitably meets our needs, providing us with a single store system that is capable of delivering all of the functionality required to serve our customers and colleagues through an efficient, flexible, resilient and scalable solution which meets our current and future business requirements."

"The Retalix system provides scalability and flexibility to support stores of varying sizes with different selling formats and is rich with features and functionality," says Barr. "The new store system from Retalix will help us deliver an enhanced shopping experience to the 10 million customers that walk through our doors each week."


Imperial Trading Gains Continuous Support for Communication and Connectivity

Imperial Trading Company has renewed its relationship to have Inovis continue to support its communication and connectivity with the Inovisworks Value Added Network (VAN) for business community management communication and visibility between the wholesale grocer and its convenience store and grocery customers.

"We are excited to renew an important regional grocery and perishable goods distributor," says Steve Cochran, chief marketing officer, Inovis. "Imperial has a strong track record of stellar customer service, a corporate attribute that Inovis is happy to share with their company."

The retailer uses the Inovis' business community management and communication services as a single platform to manage the movement of transactions across communities, technology and support requirements. This connectivity is supported by the Inovis Multi-enterprise Expert Service Hub (MESH) platform and Inovis Business Process Protection Services. The platform supports a wide range of data formats as well as connectivity, access, transport and security options.


RadioShack Adds News POS and Store Management Software

RadioShack chooses GlobalSTORE, StoreCENTER and ReturnCENTER software from Fujitsu to automate its POS operations and create a centralized store management and returns management system. This software will be deployed in 4,500 RadioShack locations across the United States starting in 2009.

"Fujitsu's software was selected to give us flexibility and functionality in meeting our future business needs in a timely and effective manner," says Michael Kriesman, senior director of store systems at RadioShack. "We look forward to working with them to integrate point-of-sale solutions across our enterprise."

Fujitsu's GlobalSTORE application is a customizable POS, cash management and back office platform that runs on a Microsoft Windows-based integrated retail software platform and employs service-oriented architecture (SOA). RadioShack will use Fujitsu's StoreCENTER software to gain centralized store management by aggregating and reporting data from across the retail enterprise in real-time. The retailer will use ReturnCENTER as its centralized returns management application and will be able to manage returns across channels (in-store, phone and Internet).


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