At this week's National Retail Federation, IBM is showcasing Presence Zones, a new solution for bringing together in-store and mobile marketing. Combined with our recent acquisition of Xtify, IBM now is offering an extensive set of capabilities for integrated, immersive retail shopping expereinces -- benefitting both consumer and retailer. Mobile and retail has some pretty compelling use cases, basically the mass customization that Lotus CTO John Landry talked about two decades ago is really coming to the fore. Presence Zones and Xtify bring that together by providing offers and information in the context of the shopper's physical location, as well as their buying history and loyalty.

Craig Hayman, IBM's General Manager of Industry Solutions and Smarter Workforce, offers some thoughts on the IBM Smarter Commerce blog, "Mobile Shopping: The new digital concierge":

Developed in our research labs, IBM Presence Zones use an intelligent location-based technology to engage shoppers with personalized offers and promotions as they move through a physical store. Just as my smartphone can get me out of a traffic jam in an unfamiliar city, it can now help me discover a one-day jewelry sale, or snap up the last next gen gaming console from a sister store 20 miles away.
He is also interviewed in Forbes, "IBM's New 'Presence Zones' Help Retailers Transform In-Store Experience":
One is ensuring the customer is willing to participate.  Without consent, no personal data is exchanged and the customer goes about their day.  Another is the ability to reward loyalty by delivering a tailored and connected shopping experience through a mutual exchange of information.  The retailer understands more about the customer, and in turn, the customer receives a much more personalized and targeted promotion.  In addition, and enabled by that deeper understanding of in-store traffic, the retailer is able to direct sales associates for better face-to-face service or optimize the physical location of new in-store promotions.
There is also a video outlining Presence Zones on YouTube, well worth 2 minutes and 6 seconds >

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  1. 1  Stu Downes http://www.sdownes.co.uk |

    I can see this having real application in the workplace too where I'd expect it gives an excellent view of space usage and potentially could give real time usage information to workers. Any plans for workplace analysis or could it be adapted that way during implementation?

  1. 2  Ed Brill http://www.edbrill.com |

    Stu, good question. The technology is adaptable. Another use case we have looked at is sport arenas. It seems logical it could be applied to other types of physical layouts and use cases.


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