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Privalia enhances online sales with IBM Smarter Commerce
Jan '13
Privalia, the online leader in fashion "flash sales," with operations in Spain, Germany, Italy, Brazil and Mexico, is working with IBM to boost its expanding online sales business through mobile and social channels to meet the dynamic needs of its 11-million digital consumer base. Privalia organizes online flash sales, a phenomenon that offers personalized, limited-time offers to consumers at attractive prices.

IBM Smarter Commerce: Connecting with the Digital Customer

Privalia is using software from IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative to connect with the growing marketplace of digital consumers who prefer to buy across online, mobile and social channels. Smarter Commerce provides intelligent automation of marketing, sales, customer service and procurement to help chief marketing officers, chief procurement officers, sales, e-commerce; supply chain and customer service executives do their jobs more productively and efficiently.

Venture-backed Privali organizes short, single-brand campaigns lasting between three to five days. Registered members are invited to shop based on expressed personal preferences.

Lucas Carné, Privalia’s co-founder, points out that “for a technological investment of nearly two million euros, it was crucial to find a multi-channel solution that gives us the maximum modularity and enables us to continue innovating, a key to our success. Being able to work with a trusted partner such as IBM was critical to our decision."

The flash sales model that Privalia represents is helping smaller retailers gain a competitive edge while appearing more exclusive. For a limited time, boutique items at special discount prices are displayed on the Web site.

This can be a more effective sales method than conventional Web sites that may be viewed as cheapening a brand’s value or in the case of brick-and-mortar stores, where a lesser-known company is lumped in with major, household names. Flash sales provide retailers with an easy and profitable way to sell excess inventory and club members are able to obtain brand-name products at affordable prices.

As a barometer, in North America, online commerce has reached an all-time high with 30 percent growth on the busiest day of the year, November 26, dubbed "Cyber Monday," as reported by IBM's Digital Analytics Benchmark, a cloud-based analysis of the online retail marketplace. 

IBM's Social Sentiment Index showed that a leading reason for this growth is the convenience with which consumers can shop and buy seamlessly across channels, especially with the prevalent use of smart phones to surf, research competitive offers, and check product reviews on social networks.

“Consumer buying habits are changing with the rise of social networks and smart mobile devices,” said Diego Segre, IBM software vice president for Spain, Portugal, Israel and Greece. “As a result, more CMOs are finding ways to surprise and delight today's digitally empowered consumers by delivering marketing as a personalized service.”

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