According to a 2015 study, more than £150 billion in retail sales are now influenced by digital technology. Any retailers whose services don’t meet customers’ expectations could lose more than £12 billion a year in sales. Because most major retail stores run their core applications on IBM Z® mainframes or other enterprise IT infrastructure, digital transformation in the retail industry means connecting the mainframe or enterprise IT infrastructure to systems that can provide insights into the customer’s buying patterns. In our new pattern, Transform the retail customer experience with APIs on a mainframe, the system of insight comprises a personalization and recommendation engine that is connected to the mainframe through an API. There are any number of ways to design or add additional insights using other web-based applications, IBM Watson Analytics™, or other algorithms that can use retail data to increase revenues and enhance the buying experience. Start using it today and unleash your imagination! The pattern flow consists of a Virtual Shopping List mobile application and two supporting microservices or web services:
  • Virtual Shopping List Web Service and Virtual Shopping List Recommendation Web Service
  • Recommendation Service: a simple recommendation engine, that finds patterns in customer’s purchases, mostly around durations between purchases, and makes recommendations for new purchases
  • List Service: supports the mobile phone app by managing and persisting the list seen on the mobile phone app, merging customer-added items with selected recommendations
App users can add or ignore recommendations, enter free form items, and delete items at any time. The List Service has the smarts, and uses a Cloudant database behind it, to maintain the current list. The bottom line for retailers is, well, the bottom line. By using existing infrastructure and new systems of insight, they can digitally transform their customer experience and thrive in the new retail environment. Get started with our pattern today and take your skills to the premium aisle.

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