Reimagining retail; connecting brands on the cloud

23rd Nov 2016
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This story is sponsored by IBM

Economic uncertainty and the increase in the number of internet users across the globe is redefining the way the traditional retail industry functions. The entry of online retailers who offer deep discounts to woo customers is challenging the traditional brick and mortar stores who are under enormous pressure to restructure themselves to stay competitive in the market.

Unlike the emerging e-commerce market, traditional retail is largely unorganised and comprises over 92% of the total retail market. Here, the key stakeholders - comprising retailers, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, banks and payment service providers- operate in a disconnected world, thereby making it a challenge to study and gain actionable insights about the actual market demand and consumer behaviour.

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In today’s competitive retail domain, convenience is the new mantra of success. Brick and mortar stores will have to bring in new point-of-sale systems to enable them to better understand what sells best and then accordingly refine the offerings they make to their customers.

While many of today’s start-ups are trying to bridge the gap between online and offline retail by strengthening the brick and mortar stores, the industry still has enormous scope to improve and evolve.

Understanding this need, 99 Retail Street, a new cloud-based start-up is enabling small establishments to have a connected Point of Sales device, an online platform, and a mobile application – thereby enabling a common commerce platform on cloud for retailers and their ecosystem partners.

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99 Retail Street is the brainchild of technology experts- Alok Jayant, Joydeep Dutt and Sandeep Mahapatra - who have been associated with the retail and consumer packaged goods industry for over 2 decades. Their solution provides a media and advertising platform for stores enabling them to advertise brands, promote products and services, build customer loyalty and also create interactions with end customers to get real-time insights on consumer behaviour. All this data is maintained on the cloud and takes advantage of IBM’s Bluemix™ rich platform to create cost effective and efficient applications and solutions.

“For a solution like this, we felt the need to partner with the best and most flexible platform that would be able to handle massive loads, have strong processing capabilities as well as built-in intelligence. IBM Bluemix, with its BLU in-memory acceleration, In-data predictive analytics with built-in Netezza algorithms, and where everything is offered as a service - provides an ideal platform for us to be able to deliver in-depth analytics and solutions that our customers are looking for. I think the IBM Bluemix™ service model is ideal because it gives you an open source platform to write applications,” said Alok Jayant, CEO and Co-founder, 99 Retail Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Elaborating the advantages of using IBM’s Bluemix™, Jayant added, “We are one of the most extensive users of the entire BlueMix Stack- namely IBM dashDB, IBM Object Storage for storage architecture, IBM Predictive Analytics, IBM SendGrid for a single view of communication between retailers, distributors and manufacturers, & IBM Load Impact. IBM Watson’s ability to analyse unstructured data and understand complex questions, enables our platform to provide an amazing and unique analytics experience with fully automated intelligence. Although we started with other cloud services, we moved to IBM Bluemix as this is a product that works effectively with the partner ecosystems to bring tremendous benefits across the entire value chain.”

Enabling the brick and mortar retailer with the power of digital technologies is the first step to empowering a shrinking segment of businesses, and the addition of cognitive technology will revolutionize them. To learn more about how start-ups in India are redefining the digital retail ecosystem using IBM’s Bluemix™ signup for the IBM India Onward event.

3-point summation

  • With Bluemix™, 99 Retail Street is enabling small shops to leverage online and mobile platforms thus strengthening the reach of traditional brick and mortar.
  • IBM Bluemix’s solution stack comprising IBM dashDB, IBM Object Storage for the storage architecture, IBM Predictive Analytics, IBM SendGrid, IBM Load Impact & Bluemix PHP runtime- provide a plethora of solutions in an in-memory computing environment on Cloud to allow users to create flexible but robust solutions.
  • IBM Bluemix helped 99 Retail Street to create an open source platform to write cost-effective applications and solutions.
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