Adobe just introduced another option for online retailers who are struggling to bridge the gap between content and e-commerce.
Only a week after Adobe enhanced its e-commerce options through a formal integration with Elastic Path, it announced it is integrating Experience Manager with Intershop, an omnichannel e-commerce technology vendor.
The integration could help businesses develop better and more personalized customer experiences, Adobe maintains.
We took a deeper look at some of the vendors that are trying to provide timely content to e-commerce sites earlier in the year. And we discovered a simple fact: online retailers that don’t provide engaging online experiences will lose customers as quickly as they can click away from a badly developed site.
A core part of that elusive, great customer experience is personalized content.
Providing it is a particularly pressing problem now as more people shop online. According to Forrester's most recent Five-year US Online Retail Market Forecast, more and more people are shopping online with the predictions for 2014 looking impressive:
- US online retail sales are expected to reach $248.7 billion
- The market is expected to grow more than 7 percent year-over-year
- E-commerce sales could represent 8 percent of all US retail sales
Last October, Jochen Toppe, president of product management at CoreMedia, suggested the divide between managing content to provide a positive customer experience and managing an e-commerce site is forcing users to decide between content and commerce.
Developing Customer Experiences
However, those companies that are ahead of the pack are enabling retailers develop their online experience in such a way that users don’t have to make that choice. For Adobe, the Elastic Path integration was one such move, the integration announced today with Intershop is another.
In a blog post about the integration, Darin Archer, product marketing manager for Adobe Experience Manager, explained the thinking behind the announcement. He said Intershop provides the information the customer needs as close to the front of the store as possible. Citing Jochen Moll, Intershop’s CEO, Archer wrote:
The brand experience is up front on the home page, but soon after the customer is navigating pages and pages of thumb¬nails in product category pages and search results. This less desirable approach not only minimizes product discovery, but as all of us will attest to, minimizes the potential for conversion as we often give up flipping through thumbnails."
He points out that while the shopping experience in the physical world has been carefully planned to drag the customer in, in the virtual world, this is often neglected:
Yet we all know that many of our e-commerce shopping experiences are uninspired or, at best, the inspiring part is disjointed and separate from the shopping area."
By bringing together the Adobe Experience Platform and Intershop's business-to-business and business-to-business-to consumer capabilities — along with the other capabilities of the Adobe Marketing Cloud — the companies think they can redefine the online shopping experience.
Because the integration uses Adobe’s e-commerce integration framework it can be customized easily enough by partners to meet individual requirements.
While the partnership between Intershop and Adobe was announced this morning the integrated product will be on display at the Adobe Summit, the Digital Marketing Conference, March 24 to 28 in Salt Lake City.
From there both companies will start pushing the product in target markets that include North America, the UK, and Germany through designated partners.