ARMONK, N.Y. and TAMPA, Fla., May 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that online fashion portal abof.com is working with IBM to provide an enhanced personalized shopping experience tailored to millennial shoppers. IBM solutions offer abof.com a scalable platform, seamless order fulfillment options and innovative customer engagement features.
According to a recent study by ASSOCHAM and PwC, almost 55 million consumers made online purchases in 2015 and the number is expected to grow to 80 million this year.* abof.com, a part of Aditya Birla Group, is an online one-stop fashion portal for apparel, footwear and accessories for men and women. The retailer targets millennials, with an aim to offer the latest style tips, fashion content and trends. The company needed a well-integrated e-commerce solution that would help it create a dynamic and interactive online platform that could better target consumers and increase brand loyalty. IBM delivered abof.com customer engagement and order fulfillment capabilities that allow it to constantly refresh the e-commerce experience and seamlessly add new content catering to the dynamic demands of millennials.
For instance, to enrich the shopping experience, abof.com has added a 3D virtual trial room to the store front. Powered by IBM and integrated technology from business partner Metail, the feature enables customers to input their body measurement and virtually try any apparel before placing an order. The average return rate in the apparel industry is 20 percent with the most common reason being unsatisfactory fit. Since launching the virtual trial room, abof.com has reduced the product return rate to nearly zero. In addition, the conversion rates for products available with 3D trial is 400 percent higher than the industry norm.
Another set of interactive capabilities that differentiate abof.com is the superior search and curated fashion content it offers to shoppers. For instance, a shopper looking for a particular shirt can upload an image using visual search and seamlessly be led to a similar looking item. In addition, a shopper looking for a fashion trend inspired by a celebrity will be seamlessly led to their desired products with an intuitive search. By leveraging IBM's content management solution, abof.com is able to offer fresh, targeted and relevant fashion content to its customers. The fashion portal now reaches out to over 7,000 pin codes and across more than 500 cities in India.
"In order to tap and increase the market share in a highly competitive industry, it is imperative to differentiate ourselves from already established players. We aim to grow our market share by offering a curated range of merchandise that goes beyond conventional boundaries to deliver quality service to our customers," said Prashant Gupta, President & CEO, abof.com. "IBM helped us to set up our online business in a record time of five months. With IBM's global expertise and local experience in eCommerce space, we are optimistic that the company will emerge as the most admired player in online fashion segment."
Once a customer has made a purchase, abof.com is leveraging IBM's Order Management and Supply Chain solution to provide customers with an accurate view of order status and real time inventory. This capability has helped streamline warehouse processes for an on time and convenient delivery.
"Many online retailers struggle to engage millennials in meaningful, thoughtful ways, all based on their behavior and preferences," said Harriet Green, General Manager, Watson IoT, Commerce and Education, IBM. "Through this collaboration with IBM, abof.com will create truly unique buying moments and ensure prompt delivery of each item, exactly the type of experience that builds brand loyalty."
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