Sitecore has just announced a partnership with .NET e-commerce platform provider Znode aimed at developing personalized customer experiences. This is the second major announcement around .NET platforms from Sitecore in the past three months. Its purchase of commerceserver.net in November aroused considerable interest in the e-commerce space.
It also announced a new partnership with Microsoft to integrate its v7.0 CXM platform with Microsoft Dynamics for Retail. The deal is designed to give businesses the ability to design and execute fully connected digital retail experiences.
Sitecore’s E-Commerce Strategy
While the Znode integration may not be as big a deal as commerceserver.net, it underlines Sitecore’s combined e-commerce and content management strategy of offering online retailers the capability to provide personalized content to customers.
Sitecore has identified this as the way forward in bridging the gap between e-commerce and content management, a problem industry experts describe as very common.
Last month, we looked at how Sitecore was bridging the gap between content management and e-commerce. We also examined how e-Sprit is dealing with the same issue by providing best-of-breed applications to enterprises, while Elastic Path is using APIs to integrate the content and e-commerce elements of retail sites for better customer experiences.
All strategies appear to be gaining traction, but Sitecore executives said it would continue to develop its portfolio to ensure and continue the development of its strategy. Sitecore explained it as follows:
The intel gained with each email, social, mobile and web interaction with customers feeds into one platform. This delivers two very important benefits: 1) you can efficiently orchestrate your teams to create and manage interactions and 2) immediately apply that customer behavior for more relevant and personalized experiences."
Sitecore and Znode
So where does Znode play into this? Znode is the developer of an e-commerce platform called Multifront, which enables the personalization and customization of online shopping experiences.
By integration with v7 of Sitecore’s customer experience management (CXM) software, the two companies will be able to personalize the customer experience and offer agile development that will considerably decrease the time to market for products.
The Multifront platform does this by providing access to source code and integrations with back office systems making it easy to scale, as well as highly flexible and adaptable for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) deployments.
The integration leverages Sitecore's new OBEC (Out of the Box Engagement for Commerce) integration framework to bring cross-channel engagement to e-commerce. OBEC aims to make clients with an exceptional customer experience.
The result is that customers’ shopping experience can be customized based on their activity in other channels like email, mobile and print.
Specifically, Multifront adds an e-commerce engine to the Sitecore experience platform, enabling the combined offerings develop payment services, promotions, account information, price, inventory and shopping cart functionality quickly and efficiently through API web services.
There are many other new functionalities that come with this integration. What is important, apart form this specific deal, is that Sitecore continues to push its personalized content and experience strategy through integration with whatever vendors it sees as feeding into that strategy.
Sitecore, Commercerserver.net, and SMITH
Meanwhile, in a final curtain call on the commerceserve.net acquisition, Sitecore has announced that it has just partnered with SMITH, from which it originally bought the commerserver.net platform.
SMITH is a digital experience agency that specializes creating .NET B2C and B2B global commerce implementations. It also has considerable experience with commerserver.net.
If the partnership is a little bit unusual given that it has already bought commerceserver.net, SMITH CEO Chuck DelGrande explains it as follows:
The addition of commerceserver.net to the Sitecore ecosystem allows us to offer rich omnichannel experiences on a platform where clients can seamlessly manage their content, commerce and digital marketing needs. Sitecore now is uniquely positioned to offer the only true enterprise class .NET customer experience platform and we’re pleased to partner with them to bring this solution to market.”
In a nutshell, SMITH will be working with Sitecore to help it integrate and develop commerserver.net as a commercial offering along with Sitecore’s v7.0. No one’s mentioned acquisition here, but never say never.