IBM releases e-commerce platform for social media, mobile integration

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IBM has released WebSphere Commerce 7, the latest version of its e-commerce platform, which includes integration with social media and mobile.

The overarching goal of the platform is to create a more personal experience at the consumer level. IBM is seeking to create a mobile commerce site, integrate commerce functionality on a social network and target messaging and promotions across channels, including creating coupons based on contextual content.

“This is about enabling our customers to deliver a consistent customer-centric experience across multiple channels,” said Bill Holtshouser, program director of WebSphere commerce and product management at IBM. “It is realized by using cross-channel precision marketing.”

One component of the program, the IBM Mobile Starter Store, lets users browse an online store, access product comparisons, view store locations, check inventory availability and make purchases via smartphone. Retailers can also send SMS or e-mails from the platform.

Argos Limited, a part of the Home Retail Group, is testing the platform, which has been available since October 30, in beta.

IBM client Li-Ning, an athletics equipment manufacturer in China, plans to add the social marketing functionality to reach customers through social networking sites.

IBM has shifted its global digital advertising account to Havas' Euro RSCG from Publicis Groupe's Digitas, its lead digital agency for more than a decade, according to AdAge.

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