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IBM software helps Bon-Ton Stores’ website boost holiday sales


Armonk, N.Y. -- IBM on Wednesday announced that the Bon-Ton Stores website and its seven leading brands have experienced a double-digit increase in their online sales using IBM software to advance their online and mobile commerce features.

Bon-Ton and its top nameplates -- Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers in apparel, cosmetics and home furnishings -- are enhancing customers' online shopping experience by proposing relevant products and automatically providing coupons and discounts based on customers' preferences through IBM WebSphere Commerce software. For instance, when a shopper puts a sweater in their online shopping cart, Bon-Ton's new site is able to identify shoes, accessories and pants to complete the order. Loyal customers can receive coupons and discounts automatically during the checkout process.

With its new websites, Bon-Ton is also able to develop targeted marketing campaigns tailoring the shopping experience for specific customer segments using new media capabilities and mobile coupons. For instance, during this year's winter formal season, Bon-Ton is targeting teen shoppers across multiple sales channels. Teens can try on formal dresses in the store, receive a mobile coupon delivered to their smart phones, share photos of their favorite dresses with their family and friends via any social networking site and complete their purchases in the store or online.

“We see our new e-commerce capability as one of our most important growth initiatives. The growth in our customer’s use of the Internet for finding product information and making purchases is a key driver behind making significant improvements to our website,” said Jimmy Mansker, senior VP Internet Marketing, The Bon-Ton Stores. “We are experiencing very favorable results using mobile coupons and online social networks. This is one step of many that we are taking to develop a richer online shopping experience.”

By using IBM WebSphere Commerce, Bon-Ton is able to streamline day-to-day back office functions such as managing inventory and shipping. Bon-Ton is making more merchandise available to customers with faster delivery methods. Now 30,000 more SKUs are available to online shoppers easing the store's burden of carrying excess inventory. Improvements in distribution methods allows Bon-Ton to reduce items on back order and quickly ship merchandise to customers directly from the manufacture, another Bon-Ton store or from distribution centers which serve their area.

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