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DLF partners with IBM Mobile Analytics Sol.; to tap customer insights

IBM (NYSE: IBM) has today announced the start of a collaboration with DLF Limited, one of the largest real estate companies in India. The two companies shall deploy an innovative mobile-phone based solution that channels data insights from customers visiting DLF Promenade, a high end shopping mall serving the metropolitan New Delhi area.

The technology performs real-time analytics to convert data gathered from shopper’s movements in the mall to provide meaningful interactions for smartphone users. For example, once a user opts-in for the service; the solution performs deep analytics to understand consumer preferences based on location and interests in order to provide customized services via a mobile app.  DLF is now using the solution to allow retailers in the mall to extend sales deals to shoppers via the app, based on footfall heat maps.

“At DLF, we understand that it is important to view today’s customers through the lens of connectivity and collaboration – which enables them to know almost everything about every product and brand, ultimately deciding which retailers have earned their trust. Trust is widely recognized as the foundation of interpersonal, consumer-to-consumer or consumer-to-business relationships. We feel IBM’s solution will help us better understand and connect well with today’s customers,” said, Dinaz Madhukar, Senior Vice President and Mall Head, DLF Promenade

On the backend, the collected data takes into account users’ contextual preferences, matching the services they want with the time of day they shop and at which store, for instance.   As a result, over 25 businesses in the mall are able to understand their customer’s habits more effectively and customers are provided with more personalized services.

The solution leverages Wi-Fi sensor routers to determine the location of the user and their proximity to the store, allowing customers who have signed up for the mobile app to gain access to preferential services or discounted goods based on the shopping preferences and past behavior they have put into the tool.

For instance, a shop in the mall selling sports goods, using the IBM solution, can identify potential customers who may have a strong interest in sports. By gathering insights through the app, potential customers who fit the store’s target market can be eligible for additional discounts should they choose to enter the shop.

“Connecting shoppers with contextual information will not only increase sales but also provide a higher level of customer satisfaction. Our solution combines technologies like social, mobile, analytics and cloud by remotely controlling sensors on smartphones from a cloud platform, and performing real-time analytics to convert mobile data into meaningful consumable information. Through this, back-end enterprise applications can analyze and transmit contextual data to customers” said, Ramesh Gopinath, Director, IBM Research - India.

The retail solution will allow for a more flexible model than that used by available technologies. Rather than sourcing data from all of a user’s applications on their smart phone, the solution gathers insights that are fed into the tool and from usage habits on the mobile phone, allowing for greater control over privacy levels.

IBM’s solution has potential applications in several other  sectors; for instance in environment monitoring and healthcare, the solution could pave opportunities for communities to contribute meaningful mobile data such as sound pollution readings, allowing governments to improve quality of coverage by instrumenting the “crowd of smartphones”.

In healthcare and rehabilitation services, the solution can provide the hospital with inexpensive means of monitoring activities of recently released heart patients. In travel and transport, the solution allows airports to conduct much better passenger monitoring and improve their end-to-end passenger handling processes.

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