CATEGORY: Analytic Applications

REVIEWER: Lee Leonard, president of DLS Outfitters.

BACKGROUND: DLS Outfitters, a full-service buying office located in New York City, represents more than 140 upscale men's and women's retail clothing stores across the U.S. DLS Outfitters' goal is to enhance their retail clients' marketing capabilities using the e-commerce powers of the Internet. These marketing enhancements are provided through a consumer Web site – This site is designed to showcase both the retailers and the upscale clothing and accessories that they sell. Consumers can use the site to locate a retailer in their area for in-store purchases, they can shop online and select from seasonal catalogs or they can go to a selected merchant's online store front to buy a more extensive selection of products.

PLATFORMS: PC-based POS registers connected to a back-office server running Windows 95, 98 or NT that access the Internet using dial-up, ISDN or DSL connections.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Paradigm's Enterprise Intel-ligence Suite, provided on an application service provider (ASP) basis, fulfilled all of our stated client objectives without requiring any additional hardware or software either at DLS headquarters or participating retail stores. The merchants' only technical requirement is to be able to access Paradigm's Enterprise Intelligence Portal, their gateway to the ASP application, using a standard Web browser. Through this interactive portal, referred to as the e-port, the merchant is able to administer all aspects of the program. This includes the ability to:

  • Enter administrative information about their stores into the merchant data mart and create their personalized user name and password access to the system.
  • Enter logos, digital images and narrative descriptions about their stores to build their individual front pages.
  • Enter product information into the category data mart to build and administer their individual store fronts.
  • Enter customer lists (name, address, birth date, telephone, e-mail, sizes, preferences, etc.) to the customer data mart for CRM administration. Consumers can self-enroll by filling out the online application on the site.
  • Create marketing campaigns in the data mart using either traditional mail or e-mail.
  • As the data marts are populated, merchants can use the Enterprise Intelligence Suite to understand customer preferences and build purchase profiles used to mass- customize targeted campaigns.
  • Merchants will also utilize the e-port to order products directly from DLS and/or their vendors and pay for these orders electronically based on the electronic billing provided by the system.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Paradigm's Enterprise Loyalty Suite offers an integrated set of e-business tools that include CRM, campaign management, category management, channel management and competitor analysis provided on an ASP basis. Each application is integrated to an associated data mart, and these marts are linked to provide an online data warehouse. The suite also provides online reporting and OLAP capabilities for data mining and analysis.

STRENGTHS: The Enterprise Intelligence Suite's strength is the ability to let merchants manage all of their e-commerce and CRM needs in one integrated ASP product. The administrative e-port is available on a 24x7 basis so merchants can administer the program as time permits.

WEAKNESSES: While the ASP model can deliver extensive functionality across multiple retailers with differing technical environments, a significant amount of coaching is required for the Web-based interface.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Minimal hardware/software requirements at merchant locations, e-commerce (e-tail) capabilities that integrate closely with our merchants brick-and-mortar retail operations, and full CRM and eCRM capabilities in a single, integrated platform.

DELIVERABLES: The Enterprise Intelligence Suite provides our retail merchants with all the tools they need to build and administer their e-tail business in a way that is fully integrated with their brick-and-mortar retail business. The CRM tools support customer loyalty requirements both in store and online. The OLAP components provide retailers with an in-depth understanding of their business.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Paradigm's vendor support has been excellent. Although all of the information needed to administer the program is available on the Web, Paradigm provides knowledgeable help desk personnel via an 800 number at no additional fee.

DOCUMENTATION: All of the documentation is provided on the Web site.

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