Highlights of WebSphere Commerce Version 7

New features available with WebSphere Commerce Version 7 include: The latest advances in Web 2.0, mobile commerce, cross-channel precision marketing, and social commerce to deliver new levels of innovation and create a smarter shopping experience for your customers.

Cross-channel optimization

WebSphere Commerce Version 7 optimizes the cross channel shopping experience. Your customers are embracing technology and exhibit sophisticated buying behaviors as they interact with new touch points, channels, and content formats. Customers demand a seamless shopping experience as they traverse multiple channels. As customers move across channels, it is important to ensure a seamless experience. Shoppers expect the same price, the same merchandise, and the same promotions and discounts across every channel. WebSphere Commerce offers the following features to help implement cross channel optimization strategies:
  • Cross-channel business processes, including:
    • Buy Online/Reserve Online and Pick up/Pay in Store
    • Inventory availability
    • Store locator
    • WebSphere Commerce enables mobile devices as a new customer touch point. Customers can browse online catalogs, conduct side by side product comparisons, receive marketing and promotional messages, store location information, inventory availability; and complete transactions. Mobile device support is implemented as a supplement to the Madisons starter store:
      • Browse the storefront with an interface that is optimized for mobile devices
      • Complete a checkout flow with the store locator to pick up the items in-store
      • Send SMS messages to customers for order information

Customer-centric experience

You can deliver a dynamic and targeted customer experience with an enhanced web 2.0 starter store. Starter store enhancements include: new search capabilities, new precision marketing capabilities, support for social interaction, coshopping, and subscription-based and service-based offerings. Extend the brand experience for customers and retailers with remote widgets and social bridging.
Precision marketing enhancements
Precision marketing capabilities allow marketers and merchandisers to create, manage, and deploy personalized marketing campaigns across direct and extended brand touch points. Marketers can build and create a dialog with a customer segment or individual shopper by delivering targeted marketing messages to keep customers loyal to the brand as they cross multiple channels. You can market to individual customers according to their behavior:
  • You can target customers with relevant marketing information based on their personal browsing and shopping habits.
  • WebSphere Commerce EnterpriseWebSphere Commerce ProfessionalWhen customers interact with your brand, for example register with the store or abandon a shopping cart, you can respond with a relevant and timely marketing message.
  • You can target customers who participate in social media activities that your store offers. Build customer loyalty to your brand by encouraging and rewarding social participation.
Customer segmentation support
You can maximize the effectiveness of your marketing information by targeting it towards specific customer segments. You can define customer segments as follows:
  • You can define segments that are based on attributes that are related to demographics, purchase history, and registration status.
  • You can categorize customers into segments according to their online behavior.
New promotion features and types
There are four more promotion types on which you can base your store promotions. With these new additions, you now have a total of 21 promotion types to choose from.

B2B enhancements

Business-to-business (B2B) enhancements reduce your total cost of implementation and add flexibility to your B2B deployments.
Deprecated featureThe Elite starter store

The Elite starter store provides all the pages and features necessary for a functioning advanced B2B direct online store. It contains a full set of advanced B2B direct features, including organization and user registration, catalog browsing, promotions, and targeted marketing. The store includes the product quick info window, product fast finder, mini shopping cart, and a streamlined checkout flow.

The Elite starter store demonstrates best practices in store development with WebSphere Commerce, and can act as a base for implementing storefronts. It addresses many common web customization issues, such as using CSS and DIV tags for page layout, design, and styling, rather than overusing table elements throughout the page.

The store is fully accessible and is translated into 13 languages. The store also supports locale-specific bidirectional languages. Other features include search engine optimization, support for multiple web browsers and platforms, and options to accommodate various flows, depending on customer needs.

Order and quote capture integration
WebSphere Commerce provides integration features with external or back-end systems. You can integrate WebSphere Commerce with external systems where buyers place an order and propose quotes that are based on the price on the user interface of WebSphere Commerce. The details of these orders and quotes are transferred to the external system for processing. The buyers can also view their orders and quotes. With this integration approach, buyers can view the operational data, which includes order and quotes, which are captured through any of the channels of the backend system that serves as the system of records. The offer price and inventory availability data is available in real time through the external system, and displayed in the storefront with external web service calls.

Foundational leadership features

You can simplify the development, management, and delivery of business functionality, while minimizing the cost of solution ownership and maximizing reliability, performance, and scalability.
Management enhancements
  • Usability improvements in Management Center for creating customer segments, content, and E-marketing Spots.
  • Support for Polish, Russian, and Romanian in WebSphere Commerce tools, starter stores, and documentation.
  • Upgraded software stack, including support for DB2 pureScale.