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Smart Merchandiser Launches SaaS Version of Visual eCommerce Merchandising Tool

Cloud-based tool provides real-time analytics to enable merchandisers to make better-informed decisions, increase productivity and boost sales

Smart Merchandiser, the industry’s only provider of a visual eCommerce merchandise management solution, today announced at IBM Amplify 2015 in San Diego the launch of a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) version of 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. With the new cloud-based version, merchandisers can now take advantage of Smart Merchandiser’s latest feature updates instantly and more affordably.

With a simple drag-and-drop interface designed for catalog sequencing, Smart Merchandiser overlays analytics, ratings, conversion rates and inventory data from IBM WebSphere Commerce and other sales and marketing sources onto graphical depictions of actual product catalogs. This deeper insight in a single location helps merchandisers make smarter online layout decisions based on up-to-date sales reports, color and size inventory fluctuations, social activity and promotions, saving them time and increasing revenue.

“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 of VF Digital Platform, Commerce, The North Face.

A recent study of IT and business professionals by CompTIA reports more than 90 percent adoption of cloud computing at some level. With businesses moving increasingly toward this faster and more accessible delivery model, Smart Merchandiser is well-positioned to empower digital merchandising professionals to make faster, better-informed decisions.

Smart Merchandiser enables marketers, merchandisers and eCommerce professionals to dramatically reduce the time required to create, edit and update online storefronts, thanks to a more streamlined workflow, better control of online product displays and the ability to quickly respond to trends in social networks. In fact, Smart Merchandiser clients experience up to a 70 percent reduction in time required for merchandising tasks, as well as up to a 20 percent increase in conversion rates.

Smart Merchandiser’s features include:

  • Easy-to-use, unobtrusive user interface 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 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 availability date;
  • Social analytics overlays, including likes, shares, views and searches, to gauge sentiment across social media.

Smart Merchandiser’s SaaS version is hosted on IBM Bluemix, an open-standards, cloud platform for building, running and managing applications. The tool will also integrate with two leading enterprise search platforms, EasyAsk and Solr, for easy-to-use, powerful site search and navigation designed to boost revenue opportunities and strengthen customer relationships.

“With cloud computing increasingly powering the ecommerce and merchandising industry, we realized there was a need for a tool that could be deployed in the cloud for faster and more affordable access,” said Teresa Zobrist, president and CEO of Smart Merchandiser. “We’re excited to launch Smart Merchandiser’s SaaS model and continue providing merchandisers everything they need to be more productive and successful.”

Smart Merchandiser will showcase the new SaaS version of its visual eCommerce merchandise management solution at booth #116 during the IBM Amplify 2015 conference, May 11-13 in San Diego.

About Smart Merchandiser
Smart Merchandiser is a provider of the industry’s only visual ecommerce merchandise management solution that enables better-informed, real-time merchandising decisions. Smart Merchandiser empowers ecommerce merchandisers and increases sales, productivity, and website performance by integrating IBM WebSphere Commerce’s data analytics and retailers’ visual product details in a single graphical interface. It 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. Proven to dramatically reduce the time and resources spent creating, editing, and updating online storefronts, Smart Merchandiser provides a drag-and-drop interface that previews how products will be displayed, even on mobile devices and kiosks. The brainchild of Zobrist Consulting Group, Smart Merchandiser has served various leading apparel, accessory and retail brands, including The North Face, JanSport and Lee. For more information, visit https://www.smartmerchandiser.com and follow on Twitter @Smart_Merch.

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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