E-COMMERCE & RETAILINDUSTRIESTOP STORIES OF THE WEEK

IBM’s CRM-as-a-Service Platform Gives Wildcraft a 360-Degree View of its Customers

Wildcraft is a brand associated with outdoor adventure and camping gear. A head–to–toe outfitter, the company’s product portfolio includes jackets, shoes, rucksacks, sleeping bags, tents and travel accessories for trekking, camping and other outdoor pursuits. It also sells W95 masks and Hazmat (hazardous materials) suits used in industrial environments. Wildcraft products are available in over 120 exclusive stores and 2,500 multi-branded stores across Indian cities. Its products are also sold on leading e-commerce portals like MyntraJabong, Flipkart and others. The company’s inspiring growth story has seen it develop from a hobbyist ‘garage’ brand 25 years ago to a Rs 200+ crore (approx. $27 million) company committed to enabling and enhancing India’s pursuit of the great outdoors. Wildcraft wanted to implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as-a-service-platform to drive customer advocacy and enhance customer experience. This would also enhance ‘The Circle’, Wildcraft’s customer engagement program.

‘The Circle’ provides consumers with a single window to get all relevant information about Wildcraft’s brands, products, and services. This initiative is part of the company’s growth plan to drive higher customer engagement by understanding their preferences.

Wildcraft India Pvt. Ltd. selected IBM India/South Asia to implement the new CRM-as-a-service-platform to drive customer advocacy and enhance the customer experience. The solution developed by IBM Services is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) capabilities and analyzes customer interactions with Wildcraft at multiple touchpoints. This 360-degree view of every shopper will help the company provide its customers with a personalized shopping experience across all its channels.

AI is used to analyze customer behavior and preferences. These insights are then leveraged to provide personalized recommendations, including next-best-products for the customer when they are either browsing the site or visiting the store. Campaigns are designed around those preferences and behavior. ML helps in continuously refining the understanding based on patterns identified in these behaviors.

“At Wildcraft, we have always believed in harnessing the power of the unknown. In the last couple of months, we have been able to reach out to some of the remotest areas in the country to enable everyone to be safe and be ready. A lot of these consumers are first time users of Wildcraft, and it was necessary to create a mechanism to reach out to them effectively. Partnering with IBM allows us a robust technology-driven platform to understand our consumers and their wants. This will help us make our products better and customize them according to the larger needs,” said Gaurav Dublish & Siddharth Sood, Co-Founders, Wildcraft India Pvt. Ltd.

Virtual Chatbot

As part of this new CRM solution, Wildcraft is introducing a virtual chatbot on its website and via WhatsApp. This virtual chatbot will be available in English and eight Indian regional languages (Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Oriya, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam). It will handle a high volume of inquiries, from general FAQ’s to questions about multiple topics including products, policies and procedures and even customer complaints.

The virtual chatbot will authenticate users and facilitate user-specific information and transactions. In addition to understanding the intent of customer conversation through natural language processing (NLP), it will analyze the sentiment of customer responses and transfer the conversation to a live agent, if need be.

Why IBM

CRM-as-a-service is an IBM Global Business Services (GBS) offering which executes CRM services such as running personalized campaigns targeting Wildcraft customers both on the B2B and B2C front.

Wildcraft’s selection criteria were based around global partnerships; industry knowledge to grasp the consumer business; global learning to be adapted from the Indian market and in-depth experience working with a retail company.

“IBM’s CRM-as-a-service platform has equipped Wildcraft with a 360-degree view to map their customers’ journey–from prospect to customer, to brand advocate. Every customer will be nurtured at each stage to harness the real power of CRM, in today’s challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Kamal Singhani, Managing Partner, Global Business Services, IBM India/South Asia.

Brian Pereira

Brian Pereira is an Indian journalist and editor based in Mumbai. He is Editor-in-Chief of Digital Creed, which he founded in 2015. A technology buff, former computer instructor, and software developer, Brian has 27 years of journalism experience (since 1994). He is sound and confident about his knowledge of business technology concepts. And he is a believer in continual education/learning. Brian is the former Editor of CHIP and InformationWeek magazines (India). He has written hundreds of technology articles for India's leading newspaper groups such as The Times of India and Indian Express Newspapers (among others). And he has conducted more than 300 industry interviews during his journalism career. Brian also writes on Aviation, cybersecurity, startups, and topics directed at small and medium businesses. He achieved certifications from the EC-Council (Certified Secure Computer User) and from IBM (Basics of Cloud Computing). Apart from those, he has successfully completed many courses on Content Marketing and Business Writing. Follow Brian on Twitter (@creed_digital) and LinkedIn.

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