Prepared to be Disrupted: IBM Shares How Online Sellers Can Stay Competitive at Retail Global in Australia

Featuring over 100 industry leaders, 1000+ attendees and an abundance of education-rich insight specific to online sellers and e-commerce at large, Retail Global took place this past May in Gold Coast, Australia. Headlining their main stage with an opening keynote session was Russell Scherwin – IBM’s Chief Marketing Officer for Watson Commerce – who discussed five strategies to help online sellers thrive in an age of digital disruption. His keynote, titled “Disrupt or Be Disrupted: 5 Winning Strategies in an Era of Digital Disruption”, shed light on the realities of commerce and how sellers need to be more prepared than ever before in order to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

“You can’t just play defense, you must play offense, as well, when it comes to selling online,” offered Scherwin this past May at Retail Global.

Approaching commerce like a competitive sport makes sense when you consider that you need to be prepared to react at any moment – even in the most unexpected moments. And as Scherwin’s matter-of-fact keynote presentation pointed out, “disruption’s pace is accelerating” and as an online seller it’s important to “go on the offensive against digital disruption with a maniac customer focus.”

Having a strong eye on your target audience and keeping pace in a constantly evolving commerce environment is no easy task, however. Among the ways to help do this include using artificial intelligence, which Scherwin explains as a must for today’s online sellers and those in the retail space at-large.

AI needs to be a part of your culture to stay competitive,” shared Scherwin.

Additionally, Scherwin offered the importance of needing to go “on the offense” when it comes to commerce, particularly as you consider what sellers today are up against. From AI to customer centric technologies to inventory management to real-time marketing strategies, merchants must be aware of all touch points that impact their brand and their customer engagement.

Staying Competitive

Gaining brand control with ease and speed allows online sellers to stay competitive – and stay relevant in today’s crowded marketplace. Asking yourself, as well, how your brand differentiates from others is an important question Scherwin challenged the audience at Retail Global – ultimately resulting in attendees wanting to better evaluate their own commerce efforts and how they can better support their customers, inventory operations, sales objectives and more. The catch, as Scherwin explained, was making sure profitably stayed top of mind throughout the process of optimizing their commerce goals.

Finally, Scherwin revealed some key points for attendees to consider as they aim to drive more attention to their businesses. –

“Marketing in the moment is a must,” explained Scherwin.

Expanding on this, Scherwin offered the following key takeaways:

  • Having the right content
  • Understanding the audience that’s right for you
  • Using the right channels for communication
  • Delivering on all necessary actions at the right time

Finally, among the most disruptive takeaways delivered by Scherwin was the reality that IBM is not just for big-box merchants or giant online sellers. Rather, it’s right for online sellers and retailers in general of all shapes and sizes.

“You might be thinking that you are too small for IBM or that your business model is too simple for IBM, but this is not the case,” Scherwin explained.

Explore more of what you may have missed from IBM and Retail Global here. 


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