IBM aims to make it much easier for shoppers to buy goods using their mobile devices and enable retailers to target those customers more effectively.
Mobile users will be able to browse an online store and compare products side by side using IBM’s software. If they find an item they like, they can check it’s in stock at a store of their choice and buy it there and then.
With the addition of social networking capabilities to the WebSphere Commerce 7 software, retailers will find it easier to offer personalised offers or coupons to customers through text or email or Facebook. So, if a shopper abandons their cart before reaching the checkout, a retailer could immediately send them a coupon or other incentive to help nudge them towards buying the item.
IBM is tapping into a huge potential market, anticipating the number of worldwide mobile users to skyrocket 191% from 2006 to 2011, when they will tip the billion mark. In June, the company invested $100m in a five-year initiative to improve mobile services for business and personal users.