The IBM intelligent store: Transforming retail support through innovation

By: Doug Knedgen


It’s 2018, and the retail world is changing more rapidly than ever before. Retailers must focus their efforts on digital transformation and create intelligent store experiences to retain and improve market share. As they do this, their technology infrastructure is becoming more complex. Join me for our webinar to discuss the range of innovations that IBM has brought to its Retail Technology Support Services to help retailers meet these challenges.

Focusing on the customer experience

Times are becoming tougher as large online players continue to eat into market share. Retailers must redefine their outlets to adapt. They must create a new kind of intelligent store that enables customers to change the way they interact with retailers. Today’s successful retailers create a pleasant shopping experience versus a chore that needs to be done.

Serving this new generation involves a focus on omnichannel selling, with a seamless transition between online and in-store interactions. Achieving this goal means implementing digital transformation projects that revamp business processes, putting data-driven experiences first. Expect new technologies such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and even IoT-based sensors to affect in-store customer journeys.

These intelligent store innovations are creating a need for more diverse, sophisticated devices that are likely to come from a wide range of vendors. Retailers already deal with devices from a broad range of manufacturers. Supporting and maintaining these devices is not a retailer’s core competency, yet store managers are finding themselves having to take time out of their day to deal with device failures.

Implementing the intelligent store

IBM provides innovations that allow retailers to enhance their customer’s experience.

  • Predictive analytics. By gathering data from devices in retail outlets, IBM can apply its artificial intelligence technology to analyze performance and predict device failures. It can then arrange for repairs in advance, minimizing unexpected downtime.
  • IBM Watson cognitive support. In the past, store managers would have to call a Level 1 support technician to explain their technology problem, perhaps escalating to a Level 2 technician and then an engineer in a complicated, time-consuming process. Now, IBM Watson’s natural language processing capability, combined with a rich knowledge base spanning many vendors’ equipment, handles incoming calls and provides concise, accurate recommendations for a broad range of fundamental product issues.
  • Augmented reality. In cases where store managers must still speak to a human technician, IBM plans to enhance their experience using smartphone-based augmented reality. Using this technology, technicians can walk managers through a repair process using contextual 3-D animations. AR technology will reduce the time taken to repair devices and free up managers to concentrate on their business.

By consolidating their technical support services contracts and taking advantage of these innovations, retailers can focus on anticipating and meeting the demands of a new customer base in a volatile market. By creating and supporting intelligent store solutions, they can turn a challenge into an opportunity.

For more information about how IBM can help build an intelligent store by transforming retail support, watch our webinar.

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About The Author

Doug Knedgen

IBM Technology Support Services, Director, Retail Industry Sales

Doug leads IBM Technology Support Services' retail business to outpace the industry in growth, guiding clients through technological shifts, delivering the satisfaction of a frictionless payment process and helping them achieve their customer experience objectives. He leverages the benefit of extensive experience in the areas of retail industry sales, executive management, leading a global divestiture... Read more