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Latest Trends in the Technologies for CRM / Ecommerce

Written by: D

These days in the E-commerce and Marketing Technology field, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are the buzz words. Artificial Intelligence is the concept of making intelligent computer programs that can learn on their own and can work like human brain. Machine learning is the subfield of Artificial Intelligence where computer programs takes data and iteratively learns from that data. Based on the learnings these programs automatically create data patterns. Although Artificial Intelligence (AI) sounds similar to Business Intelligence (BI), both are totally different. Business Intelligence (BI) is the process of analyzing data and presenting information for making business decisions.


The era of Artificial Intelligence has begun and like any other sector its presence was felt in ecommerce too. Artificial Intelligence has so much potential that it can reshape Business Intelligence. The developers are doing great work and market is offering solutions for different levels of understanding or ability to use these latest technologies. There are solutions/ products with in-built machine learning functions that consultants can use and also there are solutions/ products that needs technical know-how and are designed for technical people.


In the CRM field, Marketing Automation or MA Tools are also getting popular. MA Tools are the computer programs or techniques that automate marketing actions. For example, automating repetitive tasks such as sending personalized emails to leads, scheduling social media posts or publishing landing pages. With the help of technology of marketing automation these tasks become easier. It can generate more leads, qualify/ prioritize leads and report on the success of marketing campaigns.


Below figure illustrates various products/ solutions available for Marketing/ Ecommerce, reflecting these trends.


<Technologies for Marketing/ E commerce>

Since NTT, NEC, Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce offer solutions for various sectors so they are plotted separately. Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce Einstein, NEC’s Chatbot, NEC the Wise, DMP Stratos, NTT’s NUOPT, Oracle’s IoT Cloud are some of the solutions by big companies that are bundled with functionalities of artificial intelligence.

You would notice that there is some portion which is overlapped and there are products/ solutions in this overlapping area. This portion where one circle overlaps another circle is an area that reflects the products/ solutions that contains the features of both areas. For example, products in the overlapping portion of MA and CRM are the solutions for CRM that comes with MA. Similarly, the overlapping portion of Machine Learning and CRM are the solutions for CRM that comes with Artificial Intelligence.


For example, Yellowfin (2) and Tableau (1)are plotted in red portion because they are business intelligence tools. Similarly, the solutions Info Marks (6),Eltex (7),Karte (9),User Local (10),Criteo (11)and Market Analyzer (12)are mainly for ecommerce so they are plotted in blue area. The solutions Zoho CRM (17) and uSonar (16) are focused on CRM, so they are plotted in yellow area. Although, there are many solutions in single section but it does not mean that all of them have similar functions. For example, Info Marks and Criteo are in same section. However, Info Marks supports internet shopping by providing functions like creating websites or providing consulting for ecommerce websites etc. On the other hand, Criteo helps in digital advertising for the ecommerce websites. Now, if we look at Market Analyzer, then it is also unique in its way because it analyzes the markets. It is global information system that enables real-time market scanning for area trade or marketing. It superimposes various statistical data on map and by having just a glance at the picture one can easily grasp the market volume or target distribution.


Solutions like Flow-cockpit (8) and Treasure Data (13) can be used either in CRM or ecommerce so they are plotted in overlapping areas. Again, as said earlier, although they fall in the same category but their functions are totally different. Flow cockpit is used to capture data using Wi-Fi sensors. Just by using Wi-Fi of mobile phones of store visitors, it can collect data even of those store visitors who do not buy anything. It can provide data such as number of store visitors, number of repeat visitors, time span visitor spends in the store etc., something similar to weblog details of online customers or visitors on website. So apart from POS history, such data can be used to analyze customer behavior. On the other hand, Treasure Data is a DMP (Data Management Platform) solution which is used to store and manage data from different resources.


Works Applications (3) is one that offers solutions that can be used in ecommerce, CRM and business intelligence, plus it also includes the functions of artificial intelligence i.e. machine learning, hence it is plotted in overlapping position of business intelligence, ecommerce, CRM and machine learning. Active Core (19) and MarketO (15) are the solutions that again come with machine learning and marketing automation but the difference is that they can be used in Business Intelligence and CRM. Now Satori (14) and Customer Rings (18) are unique in its way because they come with marketing automation and machine learning functions but focused only on CRM. Kizuna (5) is a multilingual communication system based on artificial intelligence. So, it can be used in various domains and it is also very useful in ecommerce and CRM too. Our SWC (Smartwill Cloud) (4) is a noteworthy solution allowing the user companies to categorize their customers into several segmentations, providing insights for more effective and efficient approaches toward their customers by segment, based on their purchase histories and other related information



If we look at the latest trends then it can be easily seen that market is moving towards AI or MA tools because the latest additions of solutions for ecommerce, marketing or business intelligence such as Salesforce Einstein, Microsoft Dynamics, Works Applications, MarketO etc. are already bundled with these functionalities. It seems slowly and steadily AI will become part of most of solutions since it has more power to forecast or create patterns. This trend is noteworthy, and must be closely watched for some time.





(本稿は、弊社データサイエンティストDによる2017年2月のeコマース関連イベントに関するレポート“Latest Trends in the Technologies for CRM/ Ecommerce”の和訳です。)












<マーケティング/ Eコマースの技術>

※注)NTT、NEC、マイクロソフト、オラクル、セールスフォースといった大手ベンダーはCRM、eコマースとその他分野にまたがった、包括的なAI搭載ソリューション(NTTのNUOPT 、NECのChatbot、the Wise、DMP Stratos、マイクロソフトDynamics 365、オラクルIoT Cloud、Salesforce Einstein等)を提供しているため、別枠扱いしております。



ソリューション例として、Tableau (1)、Yellowfin (2)はBIツールなので、赤い円の中にあります。同様に、Info Marks (6)、Eltex (7)、 Karte (9)、User Local (10)、Criteo (11)、Market Analyzer (12)はeコマース中心なので青の円の中に、uSonar (16)、Zoho CRM (17)はCRM中心なので、黄色の円の中にあります。


但し、同じジャンルの円の中にあるからといって、全てが同様の機能を持っているというわけではありません。例えば、Info Marks (6)、Criteo (11)は同じ円の中にありますが、前者はホームページ生成、eコマースサイトへのコンサルティングを行いますが、後者はeコマースサイト上のデジタル広告支援機能となります。また、Market Analyzer (12)は指定されたエリア内でのマーケティング用にリアルタイムでマーケット情報表示機能を持っている点がユニークです。地図上に様々な統計情報を表示し、一目で市場規模やターゲット市場の分布図が分かるようになります。


Flow-cockpit (8)、Treasure Data (13)もCRM、eコマースの両分野で利用可能ですが、それぞれ機能は全く異なります。前者は、携帯電話のWi-Fi機能を使い、購入の有無に関係なく店舗の来店者情報を収集できます。オンライン上での来訪者ログ詳細情報のように、店舗の来店者数、リピート来店者数、店舗での滞在時間等が収集可能です。このような機能を用いれば、POSデータとは別に、顧客動向を分析することができます。一方後者は、様々なリソースからデータを蓄積・管理するデータ・マネージメント・プラットフォーム(DMP)です。


Works Applications (3)は、CRM、eコマース、BI、AI(機械学習)にまたがるソリューションです。Active Core (19)とMarketO (15)は、機械学習とMAツールの組み合わせですが、前者はBI、後者はCRMにまたがる機能があるという点で異なります。Satori (14)、Customer Rings (18)は機械学習とMAツールの組み合わせではありますが、CRMのみに注力している点でユニークです。Kizuna (5)はAIに基づいた多言語コミュニケーションシステムなので、CRM、eコマースにおいても有用です。

弊社が開発したSWC (Smartwill Cloud) (4)は、顧客購買履歴やその他情報を基に、顧客セグメンテーションを行い、セグメント毎により効果的、効率的なアプローチへの示唆導出を行うという点で注目すべきソリューションです。



Salesforce Einstein、Microsoft Dynamics、Works Applications、MarketO等eコマース、マーケティング、BIソリューションがAI、MA機能を組み込んできている点からも、最新のマーケット動向は、AI、MAツールへ向かっていることは容易に読み取れます。データパターンを予測・生成できる力を秘めたAIが、着実に主要ソリューションに搭載されてきており、目が離せない存在となってきています。