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Smart Merchandiser Launches Industry’s First Visual Ecommerce Merchandise Management Solution

By January 21, 2015Press Releases

New tool enables merchandisers to make better-informed, real-time decisions, increase productivity and boost sales by integrating data from IBM WebSphere Commerce and others

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., January 21, 2015 – Smart Merchandiser, the industry’s only provider of a visual ecommerce merchandise management solution, today announced the launch of the company and its flagship product. Smart Merchandiser is the only commercially available single tool that streamlines the online visual merchandising process based on critical analytics, ratings, conversation rates, inventory and other data. The tool empowers ecommerce professionals to make faster, better-informed decisions about how to improve their online catalog layouts, enhance their customers’ experiences, respond in real-time to changing markets and increase productivity levels to meet and exceed sales goals. 

Online B2C retail sales are projected to reach $414 billion by 2018, according to Forrester Research. Smart Merchandiser enables marketers, merchandisers and ecommerce professionals to dramatically reduce the time required to create, edit and update online storefronts. With a simple drag-and-drop interface, the solution overlays analytics, ratings, conversion rates and inventory data from IBM WebSphere Commerce and other sources within sales and marketing onto graphical depictions from actual product catalogs. This deeper insight all in one place helps merchandisers make online layout decisions based on up-to-date sales reports, color and size inventory fluctuations, social activity and promotions.

“Smart Merchandiser has increased our efficiency from a merchandising perspective,” said Victoria Reuter, eCommerce director at JanSport.  “We’ve seen a 60 percent increase in productivity, which has freed up the team to do in-depth personalization and testing on the site, something our manual processes didn’t allow for previously.”

Smart Merchandiser’s features include:

  • Easy-to-use, unobtrusive graphic layout that overlays data such as page views, abandonment rate, conversion rate and sales revenue on product images;
  • Drag-and-drop and single-click interface to simplify catalog management, as well as mass adding, removing and updating departments, colors, materials and other attributes;
  • Visual alerts for low inventory items or out-of-stock items, as well as missing attributes;
  • Simplified color sequencing to quickly downplay or promote items based on seasonality, inventory level or trending and popularity; 
  • Improved searchability and customer experiences with advanced sorting and filtering by attributes, inventory, sales and announcement date; 
  • Social analytics overlays, including likes, shares, views and searches, to gauge sentiment across social media.

“Smart Merchandiser represents everything we’ve been looking for in a tool that will help streamline workflow for our merchants, as well as provide additional business intelligence to assist in merchandising decisions,” said Greg Pulsifer, vice president, digital development at The North Face.

Smart Merchandiser is the brainchild of Zobrist Consulting Group, a team that drew from nearly 15 years of experience developing fully integrated ecommerce stores to create a solution that combines real-time analytics with visual assets.

“When we repeatedly saw clients clipping items from physical product catalogs to visualize an online store mock-up, we realized there was a need for an ecommerce solution that could manage multiple data sources and provide a visual layout,” said Teresa Zobrist, president and CEO at Smart Merchandiser. “Our mission is to help merchandisers simplify this time-consuming task and make better decisions based on all the available data. We’re excited to launch Smart Merchandiser and are committed to providing innovative ecommerce solutions as merchandisers continue to push the boundaries of web commerce.”

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Angeline Namai
WebSphere Commerce
Project Lead
Meet the Team

Angeline Namai is a WebSphere Commerce project lead at Smart Merchandiser and Zobrist Consulting Group. In this role, she is responsible for the architecture as well as project management of Smart Merchandiser, a visual ecommerce merchandise management solution that enables better-informed, real-time onlinemerchandising decisions.

She joined Zobrist eight years ago, focusing her entire career on ecommerce solutions. After four years as a developer, coding back-end solutions for ecommerce sites, Angeline took on an architect role. With dual responsibilities as an architect and project manager, she acts as the liaison between clients like The North Face and translates customer requirements into technical applications.

Angeline graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa with a double bachelor’s degree in computer science and French. She holds certifications in Java programming, Java web component development and WebSphere Commerce application development.

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Mariann Godkin
IBM WebSphere
Commerce Developer
Meet the Team

Mariann Godkin is an IBM WebSphere Commerce developer at Smart Merchandiser and Zobrist Consulting Group. In this role, she is responsible for product development and programming related to Smart Merchandiser, a visual ecommerce merchandise management solution that enables better-informed, real-time online merchandising decisions. She developed the beta version of Smart Merchandiser and supports all clients, including Lee, Wrangler and JanSport. Mariann also helped launch JanSport’s new website in 2013.

An expert in online retail and merchandising, she has worked with IBM WebSphere Commerce for a decade.Before joining Zobrist Consulting Group, she worked as a programmer analyst at the Interamerican Motor Corporation, where she was responsible for multiple software projects related to the company’s e-commerce, knowledge management and collaboration business strategy. Prior to that, she developed custom applications for public and private sector companies while at WebSciences and ABCS.

Originally from Belarus, Mariann received her bachelor’s degree in computer science from California State University – Northridge.

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Gerry Taylor
Director of Services
Meet the Team

Gerry Taylor is the director of services at Smart Merchandiser and Zobrist Consulting Group. In this role he is the lead strategist, architect and developer responsible for user experience and Smart Merchandiser, a visual ecommerce merchandise management solution that enables better-informed, real-time online merchandising decisions.

Gerry joined Zobrist Consulting Group in 2012, following a 12-year career at Ritz Interactive, a specialty online retailer and e-commerce service provider. As the director of information technology, he led the strategy, design, deployment and growth of 11 e-commerce sites with peak revenue of $111 million.

Before joining Ritz Interactive, Gerry honed his developer and coding skills at Capita Technologies. He began his career at Smarthome as a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist.

Gerry is an IBM Certified Associate Developer and a member of the IBM WebSphere Commerce Customer Advisory Council and Business Partner Advisory Council. He earned his bachelor’s degree in information and computer science and master of business administration from the University of California, Irvine.

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Teresa Zobrist
Founder & CEO
Meet the Team

Teresa Zobrist is the founder and CEO of Smart Merchandiser, a visual ecommerce merchandise management solution that enables better-informed, real-time online merchandising decisions. She has extensive experience in helping businesses launch online stores to gain more customers, increase revenue and compete globally.

Teresa founded Zobrist Consulting Group, an IT services consulting firm, in 2001 with the goal of providing a healthy and collaborative working environment for a talented team of e-commerce consultants.

Prior to starting her own company, Teresa worked at IBM for 15 years as an IT consulting architect, building custom projects for large corporations such as State Farm and AARP. Additionally, she spent five years at CF Braun & Co., a large engineering firm. As a piping engineer, she built a 3D computer design program along with a team of experts.

After graduating from college, she worked as a programmer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. There, she worked on the Voyager mission as part of the command team. She left in 1980 after getting her master’s degree at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Born in Vietnam, Teresa moved to the United States at 18 to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science at the University of Southern California.

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