BloomReach debuted its first major product release since its acquisition of open-source enterprise content management provider Hippo last October.
The release integrates BloomReach's machine-learning ecommerce personalization platform with the Hippo content management offering to create an "open and intelligent" digital experience platform (DXP).
Company officials describe the platform as a "self-learning DXP with semantic understanding of content" that allows marketers and brands to determine consumer demand and visitor intent.
Mountain View, Calif.-based BloomReach demoed the new platform officially to customers and partners at BloomReach Connect in New York City on Thursday. The platform was promoted on its website before today, but today is its official public release.
Engagement Meets Transactional
"We've merged the worlds of artificial intelligence and content management and merged the world of digital merchandizing and digital marketing to provide an end-to-end, open and intelligent platform," Kevin Cochrane, Chief Marketing Officer of BloomReach, told CMSWire in an interview this week.
BloomReach's DXP integrates the front-end systems of customer engagement and marketing campaign execution with all the back-end transactional systems that drive sales, commerce and service, Cochrane said.
The platform also plugs into third-party systems — marketing automation, commerce, CRM, etc. — via APIs, though Cochrane stopped short of mentioning specific providers. The company will have partnership announcements later this year, he said.
CEO Raj de Datta noted this extensibility in his keynote speech at Connect, stressing the open nature of the platform makes it an "investment in a platform for the future."
BloomReach's DXP unites search, behavioral, channel and content-specific data for marketers to determine the "next-best" product offer or content delivery.
"The era of cheap customer acquisitions is over," Cochrane told CMSWire. "What rules the roost is customer loyalty, customer advocacy, customer lifetime value and one-to-one digital experiences."
In a demo at the event, Arjé Cahn, CTO of BloomReach Experience walked the audience through an online customer journey, demonstrating how the system gathers data points at every step of the online shopping experience in order to deliver more relevant and personalized results — and carrying the data over in a smooth transition when the customer moved from desktop to mobile.
The example site displayed a mix of ecommerce elements and content elements to keep the customer engaged and informed as she made her purchasing decisions, while giving those working on the back end a clear menu from which to choose, populate, modify and inform the system.
Headless CMS Approach
BloomReach officials told CMSWire the DXP platform supports a microservices architecture with an experience orchestration layer that delivers transactional data and services from external systems. De Datta noted the open source elements acquired from the Hippo acquisition will remain "open in perpetuity."
BloomReach's DXP leverages a "headless CMS" approach, which separates the content and presentation layer to allow marketers to reuse content and services across multiple environments more easily.
Cochrane said BloomReach calls this "experience-as-a-service" that recognizes digital touch points beyond desktop and web channels (mobile app, kiosk, digital display).
The BloomReach DXP breaks down into three modules:
Offers artificial intelligence (AI)-driven personalized site-search, category pages, recommendations and merchandising analytics and impact-tracking tools. It also includes intelligence algorithms designed to understand content, layout, customer journeys, channels, behavior, language semantics, intent, performance optimization and user personalization.
BloomReach Personalization is offered as a single product with a unified user interface. Independent applications — Search (formerly Commerce Search), Merchandising (formerly Commerce Categories) and Insights (formerly Compass) — are also available individually.
BloomReach Experience (formerly Hippo CMS Enterprise Edition) integrates data, content and application services and is based on open standards. Officials called it a new web infrastructure stack tailored for on-demand, personalized, transactional experiences.
BloomReach Organic offers organic search at scale, linking related searches and products, surfacing a business’ most-relevant content for search engines and automatically identifying content gaps to create category pages.
"The DXP platform builds on the historical legacies of the BloomReach and Hippo businesses," Cochrane said. "Hippo really pioneered the use of artificial intelligence to drive one-to-one experiences to drive traffic, to drive conversions and to drive optimized revenue and performance for online businesses. BloomReach was built on one of the world's largest databases for consumer demand signals and consumer intent with semantic understanding, natural language and knowing how people describe what they're looking for .... It created optimized, curated landing pages to improve organic search results."