CMSC Media Takes: San Fran—BloomReach Connect 2019
On June 12th and 13th, CMSC Media was fully immersed in the creative power surrounding us at the BloomReach brConnect 2019 event. The first-of-the-year event was held in vibrant San Francisco, CA., a perfect backdrop for showcasing the innovations and developments of digital experience—both in the here and now and projecting what’s to come. The most inspiring portion of the event was meeting all of the incredible people behind the ingenuity that is driving today’s digital world. Erika Jones and I were privileged to sit down and speak directly with several of the keynote speakers on-site to delve deeper into new launches and hear what the leaders in the industry envision for the near future. CMSC Media is pleased to the have the opportunity to share those discussions in the coming weeks.
The Experience Economy
What do Apple, Lush, Disney, and Las Vegas have in common? They offer memorable, customized experiences. Today’s business currency is the consumers’ attention and time. Joe Pine, Co-founder of Strategic Horizons LLP, kicked off the brConnect 2019 speaker sessions with a talk about the importance of unique, memorable, and customized experiences in today’s economy.
Now, more than ever, people are looking to maximize their time; preferring to acquire ‘experiences’ over the acquirement of ‘things’. According to this study, “74% of Americans prioritize experiences over products.” Joe emphasized the need for businesses to focus on building enriched encounters at every touchpoint to fully engage the customer along their journey to offer a truly digitally connected experience. Regardless of the business type, brands should key in on having their customers immersed thoroughly with its products and services with every single interaction. The only way that this can be achieved? You guessed it! Through meaningful experiences.
Meaningful experiences offer far more than convenience and go beyond merely streamlining your customers’ time—they create memories. Your customers’ interactions should be less about their time saved, and more about their time well spent. Meaningful experiences are individually customized and tailored. That is how you create a digital manifestation of your business, and that is how you can differentiate yourself from the competition.
“Experiences are inherently personal.”
“If you didn’t create a memory, it means you didn’t engage your customer.”— Joe Pine
“In today’s competitive world, with the commoditization of products and services, delivery that can make distinctive experiences is the only lasting competitive advantage,” stated Raj De Datta, CEO, and Co-founder at BloomReach, as he opened his keynote speech. Bloomreach’s aims to offer advanced software that will enable their partners to provide those highly-sought, unique, distinctive experiences for their consumers.
“Connected experiences used to be a way to stand out. Now it's about survival.” — Raj De Datta
Technology is a fundamental tool to connect with the most important person in any business—the customer. Paradoxically, the abundance of that very technology has made it much more challenging to reach the increasingly busy consumer effectively, and brands are working harder and harder to achieve a lasting impact and stand out from the noise. The successful formula is finding both the opportune moment and medium to get through to the customer and deliver a meaningful, connected experience.
Technology like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data science can be harnessed to help optimize the digital experience and deliver the right content, product, or experience at the right time. “Bringing content and products together is the first most important connection in delivering a connected experience,” said Raj De Datta.
De Datta said the key to winning in commerce is to go headless and deliver an experience in a cloud-based, service-oriented way. Bloomreach’s goal is to democratize the unique, differentiating, connective experiences delivery for business users. The headless experience cloud encapsulates all of the services that power the experience in real-time, and include elements like better search, better clouds, better customization, content-as-a-service (CaaS), and other tools that can help marketers offer personalized experiences.
“If our experience cloud isn't making our experiences better while we’re sleeping at night, then your experience is actually getting worse.” — Raj De Datta
According to De Datta, Bloomreach is the best commerce search company in the world, and his objective is to leverage and expand their expertise by delivering far-reaching innovations. He introduced brX Summer ’19, the latest version of the BloomReach Experience (brX) platform, which offers new capabilities outlined below.
The first is brPathways (an add-on feature to BloomReach Search and Merchandising (UnlinkbrSM)), a set of guided selling capabilities that can help their customers deliver the right kind of product and experiences. Features include the new ‘Recommendation Pathways’, which will enable the merchandiser to “deploy and manage best-of-breed algorithms deployable on a site, app or email message,” and ‘Custom Pathways’, which will allow users to customize their guided selling experience expertly.
The new ‘brX Starter Store’ features integration with the best headless commerce platforms such as commercetools, BigCommerce, Elastic Path, Salesforce Commerce and SAP Commerce Cloud, allowing users to enjoy a truly efficient and effective commerce experience.
‘Headless Experience API’ will provide a complete set of developer tools that enable marketers and merchandisers to optimize and personalize experiences while having the architectural benefit of headless.
Lastly, their new ‘unified UX’ will integrate CMS, Search, SEO, Merchandising, and Pathways in a user-friendly way. This new feature will allow users to build, customize, personalize, and fine-tune the way they deliver content, products, and services.
BloomReach is committed to innovation and helping its customers leverage their digital experience platform to stay competitive in today’s economy. This resolve was evident after talking to BloomReach executives, and hearing firsthand, their vision regarding new developments and features being worked on by the company. In speaking with BloomReach’s clients and partners, we heard direct commentary about how BloomReach’s innovations help them improve their services and enhance the way they connect with their customers. The common theme of the event was the ‘customer experience’. With that in mind, BloomReach has developed new features that will allow their clients to go beyond simply providing a product and a service—they help their clientele provide unique, meaningful, and connected experiences.
CMSC Media will be featuring the first of our one-to-one interviews beginning next Wednesday, June 26, where we talk about the new developments and partnerships announced at the brConnect 2019 conference.