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E-commerce News & Analysis

Maybe Customers Should Choose: Privacy or Free Content

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With all the amazing content available for free on the web, why are customers surprised or upset that companies track your online behavior? Are they seriously "creeped out" that their web searches today drive some of the ads they'll see for the next few weeks? Why?

Does anyone think all that content is pure altruism?

Adobe, Intershop Integration Boosts E-Commerce

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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.

Demandware Moves E-Commerce Applications to the Cloud

demandwareDemandware likes to boast that it enables the world’s premier retailers to move faster and grow faster in the changing face of retail. But in the past 12 months, the company's stock has grown just as furiously.

Shares of Demandware — a provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions used by retailers and brands — nearly tripled in the past year. Recently trading at $75.30, the stock earlier this month hit a new all-time high at $82.23 after getting a bump from a strong fourth quarter earnings report, with subscription revenue advancing 46 percent.

Sitecore Apps Offer Mobile Customer Experience Analytics

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Sitecore wants to put the customer at the heart of customer experiences. And now that the world has gone mobile, that means optimizing the mobile customer experience.

With Sitecore's release of mobile apps for its experience platform, it's acting on that business strategy.

While it hasn't put its entire experience platform on mobile, it has made the platform accessible on mobile — a timely move given predictions by Forrester and others that the lines are blurring between physical and digital worlds.

Microsoft Wants to Change Business Culture, Technology #CONV14

Microsoft is running two big conferences at the same time. The SharePoint 2014 conference began in Las Vegas yesterday, while Dynamics Convergence kicks off today in Atlanta with a keynote from Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions. According to the pre-conference notes, this year will all be about customer views and developing top customer experiences.

Rackspace Emphasizes Digital Marketing Infrastructure

Companies deploying digital marketing capabilities have the technology experts. And they have those who specialize in customer engagement.

On the surface, that's two "very different" disciplines, said Gerardo Dada, product marketing leader for open cloud provider Rackspace Hosting.

Rackspace wants to merge those two worlds and today announced the launch of a new practice focusing on digital marketing infrastructure needs, Rackspace Digital. The hybrid cloud platform, Rackspace said, will help marketers engage with customers via websites, portal/extranets, mobile apps or online stores.

Having an "online presence" is for marketers "becoming more important than ever," Dada told CMSWire.

WordPress Deal Transforms Bloggers to E-tailers

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WordPress is putting online retailing in the hands of bloggers by partnering with three e-commerce providers — Ecwid, Shopify and ShopLocket. The deal enables bloggers create slick, online storefronts.

The new plug-ins are only available to WordPress.com Business users, not to be mistaken with the self-hosted WordPress.org. That's the commercial arm of the WordPress parent company, Automatic, which offers fully hosted services to bloggers of all sizes, including TIME and CNN.

M&A Watch: Marin Software a Possible Target if Ad Tech Consolidates

Based on its valuation and growth profile, Marin Software — a provider of a cloud-based digital advertising management platform — could be an attractive buyout target for a larger player in the online marketing space.

At the recent market cap of $373 million, Marin’s forward revenue multiple of 3.9 times the 2014 consensus estimate of $95.8 million (within the company’s guidance range of $95 million to $96.6 million) is reasonable given expected growth of nearly 24 percent.

Marin is a so-called busted IPO because the shares trade below the March 2013 offering price of $14. In fact, Marin shares have been on a downward trek ever since the first trading session: they opened at $18.95 and hit a post-IPO high of $19.95 on the same day. While the stock has recovered a bit from the November low of $8.50, it’s still 18 percent short of the IPO price.

Sitecore Chases Personalization With Znode, SMITH Integration

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.

How Social Technologies Impact the Balance of Power

How Social Impacts the Balance of PowerOrganizations, businesses and entire industries are becoming more social. Does that really translate to better collaboration?

Extreme Goes Deep at the Super Bowl with Analytics

Networking hardware makers are seeing a unique opportunity in analytics. Why? All the data passes through their pipes. Extreme Networks has grabbed onto this trend with the release of an analytics product that was rolled out at the Super Bowl on Sunday, providing detailed information about the digital activity on the wireless network in MetLife Stadium.

Roadblocks to Epic Customer Experiences: Marketers

Roadblocks to Epic Customer Experiences: MarketersDelivering relevant and remarkable customer experience is easier said than done. It takes a special combination of data and analytics; great storytelling and visual content; delightful social engagement; a consistent, multichannel presence; strong customer service; and agile, long-term strategy. Throw in value-added apps, responsive design and personalization, and you’ve got a tall order for any company to fill.

How can one company -- let alone one person -- do it all? And how should aspiring digital marketers focus their education and training to become competitive in the (near) future? Before we get overwhelmed by everything today’s marketer must be, let’s start with what he or she is not. 

With $1B Acquisition, OpenText Swimming for Big B2B Integration Fish

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We now know OpenText’s Information Exchange portfolio was beefed up when it bought GXS for $1 billion this month. But how much better did it get? Who is OpenText going after — and where are they now in this space?

First things first — this is a serious acquisition for the now 8,200-employee Waterloo, Ontario-based enterprise information management software provider. Its investment into GXS represents about a third of the total price for nearly 50 previous acquisitions during the past 20 years.  

The move is so significant, one industry analyst said, that she now puts OpenText ahead of IBM and TIBCO, two of its major competitors in the B2B integration services space. TIBCO offers “B2B Next,” and IBM has "Sterling B2B Integrator."

"OpenText’s Information Exchange portfolio was somewhat limited in its capabilities, so this acquisition will greatly increase its capabilities, putting it ahead of IBM and TIBCO," Sue Clarke, senior analyst at Ovum Research, told CMSWire.

E-Commerce, Content and Closing the Gaps: A Look at Sitecore

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Over the past two days, we have looked at different approaches to bridging the gap between content management and e-commerce. In the first part, we saw that e-Spirit has adopted a best-of-breed approach. Yesterday we saw how Elastic Path is using e-commerce APIs to integrate content.

In the final piece today, we look at Sitecore, which has put customers at the heart of the retail process by providing personalized content and user experiences.

Just Show Me: Customers Like Google Product Listing Ads

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Google can dream all it wants about robots, smart homes and artificial intelligence. But as we explained yesterday in a story about its latest acquisition binge, Google is still basically an advertising company.

And Product Listing Ads (PLAs), which combine images and text, are one of the key tools it has in its increasingly large and sophisticated bag of tricks.

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