Sterling Commerce Delivers New Multi-Channel Selling Capabilities


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New Merchandising and Marketing Capabilities Optimize Both Business and Consumer Experiences Across Multiple Channels

DENVER, Sterling Commerce Customer Connection – Aug. 22, 2007 — At its annual user conference, Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) subsidiary, today announced the availability of new merchandising and marketing capabilities, which will drive profitable growth for businesses while optimizing the consumer experience. The new capabilities are part of the Sterling Multi-Channel Selling solution. The power of each channel — Web, call center and store — has been expanded with these new capabilities to help companies improve customer loyalty and increase share of wallet.

The challenge facing companies is not how to attract customers to their multiple sales channels but how to keep them there to buy more. Sucharita Mulpuru, senior analyst at Forrester, writes: “Now that more than half of online consumers have shopped online during the past three months, the challenge is no longer how to get new customers but rather how to drive more incremental dollars from existing core online shoppers.” [February 20, 2007 report titled, “Trends 2007: eCommerce And Online Retail.”]

When companies consider a transition from customer acquisition to customer retention, the primary focus moves from mass marketing to enabling an optimized customer experience across the multiple channels in which the consumer interacts with the company. Consumers and businesses alike expect a personalized experience to be available regardless of how they interact with a business. In this new environment, interactions across channels will be critical in maintaining customer retention and loyalty. For example, ordering online and picking up at the store has gone from a nice-to-have option to an expected one. Consumers expect to be able to start shopping for any item in any channel and seamlessly complete the sale — including associated services — in any other channel. Sterling Commerce is delivering on this vision by leveraging the company’s expertise in providing a true cross-channel customer experience and advanced merchandising capabilities.

“Because consumers are demanding more out of their buying experience, companies are being forced to look at different techniques to address loyalty,” said Cory Wiegert, vice president of applications product management for Sterling Commerce. “Our vision is to enable our customers to deliver on the multi-channel or cross-channel customer experience. While other vendors in the industry are focused on B2C being only the Web channel, we believe the Web is only part of the actual multi-channel B2C interaction. We are focusing on delivering a solution that enables our customers to quickly and consistently deliver a seamless personalized experience to their customers regardless of which channel they choose.”

The new merchandising and marketing capabilities support multiple business models — business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), or a combination of the two — and enhance the business and consumer experience across all channels. The company already provides merchants with a robust solution with particular strengths in discovery (catalog, search, guided selling) and support for all types of products and services, including configurable products, bundles and services. Sterling Commerce is expanding this offering to provide merchants and the groups that support them, such as marketers, with the new functionality to plan and execute on their strategic activities. With this new functionality, merchants can:
– Track Behaviors for Personalized Targeting. New analytical capabilities improve the ability to track important behaviors and purchase history and make those events actionable for merchandising and marketing purposes.
– Categorize and Group Users for Improved Cross-Selling. Dynamic behavioral segmentation capabilities group users for merchandising and marketing purposes based on their profile and interactions
– Streamline Merchandising and Marketing Execution. Built-in merchandising and marketing processes can be executed against the groups of users to personalize the experience for individuals and businesses and can enable companies to more effectively target customers with the most applicable offers and take advantage of cross-sell/up-sell opportunities.

Sterling Commerce also has added support for new cross-channel merchandising and marketing activities that will further simplify consumer shopping, including:

– Availability, store-pickup, gift cards, split payments and order-fulfillment integration for the Web.
– Advanced pricing and promotions in the call center and store.
– Customers’ personalized merchandising and marketing data to all channels.
– Shopping cart and enhanced wish list access to the call center and store.
– New gift-registry capabilities through all channels that leverage the company’s strengths in discovery, customization and services offerings.

These capabilities are part of the Sterling Multi-Channel Selling, a complete solution that allows customers and partners to accurately find, configure and order complex products and services through every available touch-point. The solution helps companies increase revenue by enabling sales through multiple channels and varying business models, and it reduces costs by automating the sales process.

About Sterling Commerce
Sterling Commerce, a subsidiary of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), helps customers thrive in a global economy by connecting their business communities, processes, people and technology. More than 30,000 customers worldwide – including 80 percent of the Fortune 500 – use Sterling Commerce solutions for business process integration, multi-channel selling, and supply chain execution to improve profitability inside and outside their company walls. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Sterling Commerce has offices in 19 countries and most major cities around the world. For more information, please go to

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