This week the retail gurus of the world have been hobnobbing at the Jacob Javitts center in New York City as part of the National Retail Federation's annual gathering.
So I thought it an appropriate opportunity to highlight a retail partnership between IBM and Signet Jewelers Ltd., the largest specialty retail jeweler in the US and UK.
IBM and Signet have worked together on a major e-commerce strategy and digital marketing redesign for Signet's national US store chains, Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry.
IBM and Signet Jewelers Ltd., the largest specialty retail jeweler in the US and U., have worked together on a major e-commerce strategy and digital marketing redesign for Signet's national US store chains, Kay Jewelers and Jared, the Galleria of Jewelry.
Building a multichannel strategy
The initiative has transformed the multichannel experience for Kay and Jared customers, and resulted in consistent sales growth, including a year-over-year increase of 49 percent in online sales, as reported in the company's recently announced holiday sales for fiscal 2013.
To advance its existing multichannel retail strategy, and supplement its e-commerce and information technology expertise, Signet Jewelers US Division engaged consultants from IBM Global Business Services and its digital consulting and design practice, IBM Interactive.
IBM and Signet US collaborated to develop a unified strategy for delivering a more consistent, branded, and personalized customer experience to Kay and Jared customers everywhere they shop -- whether in a physical store, online, or via mobile.
Key components of the multi-phased strategy include the launch of new transactional mobile sites, which enable customers to shop and purchase Kay and Jared products from their mobile phones, and a redesign of the Kay.com and Jared.com websites, which went live before the busy holiday shopping season.
The new sites combine best-practices in optimized navigation and functionality, making it easier for shoppers to find, compare, and purchase products online, along with new custom features that deliver a more guided, personalized shopping experience for which the company is known.
For instance, shoppers can now chat live with a customer service representative, compare product details side-by-side to help determine their selection, track recently viewed items, and much more.
Mi amigo Paul Papas, IBM's Smarter Commerce Global Leader for Global Business Services, had this to say about the partnership:
Much of Signet Jeweler's success in building Kay and Jared into two of the most trusted retail brands can be attributed to the expertise and superior customer service they deliver to create a world-class shopping experience. In an industry known for being married to tradition, Signet Jewelers is a shining example of how bricks and mortar retailers are redefining the customer experience and embracing digital channels, like mobile and social, as part of their overall strategy to deliver personalized interactions to their customers at every touch point.
Behind the redesign
Initially starting with tactical enhancements to the Kay.com and Jared.com websites in late 2011, Signet US launched complete redesigns of both sites in October 2012.
Signet introduced new mobile sites for each brand, with transactional capabilities, in mid-November.
The company has also launched a mobile app available on iTunes and the Android Market, and introduced catalogs on the Google Catalogs app to tap into the growing population of mobile shoppers.
To elevate Signet's social media presence, the company worked with IBM to define an engagement strategy, which Signet US has begun implementing by launching a social media presence for Kay and Jared.
Each brand platform is focused on engaging consumers in the spaces that are most relevant to them, like Facebook and Twitter, to develop and sustain relationships, build loyalty, and foster brand advocates who shop both in-store and online.
To help define Signet's e-commerce strategy and roadmap, IBM executed research that included a customer segmentation analysis, voice of the customer surveys, and in-store observations.
With deeper insights into customer needs and distinct shopping scenarios, as well as the capabilities required to support them online, Signet US was able to deploy an integrated solution that extends the Kay and Jared in-store shopping experience to the web and mobile platforms.
About Signet Jewelers Ltd
Signet Jewelers is the largest specialty retail jeweler in the US and UK. Signet's US division operates more than 1,325 stores in all 50 states, primarily under the name brands of Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry. Signet's UK division operates more than 500 stores primarily under the name brands of H.Samuel and Ernest Jones.
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