BloomReach & Elastic Path on DXP for Commerce Integration
As seamless commerce experiences are on the forefront in the technology industry, so are digital experiences. BloomReach is always finding a way to innovate and increase their customer experience so when they made the announcement early last week at the DMEXCO trade show in Cologne that they were launching a DXP for Commerce, I was eager to find out more.
The launch of this new experience is said to give “retailers, brands, distributors and manufacturers the ability to quickly offer a highly relevant and personalized digital experience.” but I really wanted to dive deeper into what exactly makes this partnership so unique compared to the previous partnership that was announced with Elastic Path back in 2017, so I reached out to Harry Chemko, CEO and co-founder of Elastic Path, and Clint Burgess, Product Marketing Manager at BloomReach to hear their thoughts.
Patrick Finn, Head of Global Channels at BloomReach commented in the press release to say "Traditional commerce platforms don’t handle content management well, nor do they meet 2018 expectations for site search and digital merchandising.
“Surmounting these challenges requires an experience-led platform with the trifecta of a super CMS, AI-driven search, and an open architecture to build quickly and get to business outcomes. At BloomReach, we’re delivering that with DXP for Commerce and bringing it to market with a world-class set of partners." He added. The DXP for Commerce can be integrated with other commerce platforms such as SAP Commerce Cloud, Skava, Symphony and obviously Elastic Path.
Follow along below to read more about the partnership from my exclusive interviews.
BloomReach Discusses DXP for Commerce & Personalization
In your press release it states “BloomReach launched their DXP for Commerce that gives retailers, brands, distributors and manufacturers the ability to quickly offer a highly relevant and personalized digital experience.” What are some of the ways you think businesses can best offer a personalized digital experience using the new release?
“Personalization is not just a 'you may also like' widget next to an article or product, which is how much of the market defines personalization. Many companies are still using only rules-based systems to personalize even though machine-learning has progressed beyond that (personalization rules still have their place, of course). Additionally, even when many vendors tout their 'artificial intelligence' capabilities, often they are simply referring to their 'you may also like' or email personalization features. We believe that personalization is much broader than that. Personalization is content, search results in e-commerce, ingestion of CRM data in order to understand previous purchases, etc. For B2B companies, this might mean showing different content or products based on availability in certain regions or pre-negotiated contracts. Or, it could mean personalization based on pre-defined segments like customer tiers.
We recently published a blogpost on this topic: 12 Steps to Perfect Personalization"
Raj De Datta commented to say “Historically, executives have looked to a commerce-led architecture to compete. These architectures, however, don’t provide the velocity needed to beat the Amazons of the world. The answer is a move from monolithic e-commerce platforms to microservices-based architectures that empower not just the web, but all digital touchpoints.“ Can you explain what an ideal microservices-based architecture looks like?
“A microservices based architecture is good at innovating fast. Because technologies are changing so quickly, systems should be agile and API-based to keep up with the pace. An ideal microservices architecture allows you to modify components without a full re-platform of your core infrastructure. Similarly it does not dictate the starting point for your digital transformation as you can choose what to replace and when, as part of an ongoing project. This approach makes it possible to scale using a test and learn culture, and integrate new technologies when they emerge.”
Patrick Finn commented to say "Traditional commerce platforms don’t handle content management well, nor do they meet 2018 expectations for site search and digital merchandising," What are some ways that traditional commerce platforms are lagging in this day and age?
“There is no one technology that can do everything well when it comes to the digital experience. They are focused on transactions, not the experience, so tools like content management and site search using machine-learning is beyond their scope. Historically, e-commerce platforms have also been very difficult to customize. Many sites begin to look the same and marketers have little control over the experience. That closed nature makes it very difficult to swap new technologies in and out. When a company wants a new personalization vendor or a new site search vendor, they are essentially 'bolted-on' instead of integrated into the experience, which creates a headache for CIOs.”
Elastic Path Discusses Partnership with BloomReach
Since your previous partnership that was announced back in 2017 with BloomReach, what is new about this next phase with BloomReach and Elastic Path?
"The partnership between our companies combines BloomReach’s machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, their commerce search expertise and Elastic Path’s advanced commerce solutions to help brands more effectively engage with consumers and improve customer experience. With this new phase in the relationship, the BloomReach team has enhanced their go-to-market strategy by focusing more on experience-driven commerce with the inclusion of the work they’ve done following their acquisition of Hippo CMS."
How do you intend on delivering a commerce true AI and personalization platform at scale with BloomReach?
"AI capabilities are part of BloomReach’s DNA and their ability to offer specific, personalized insights to commerce experience is more real than the large suite software companies with their avatars. Over the years, BloomReach has developed a massive amount of intelligence so that right out of the box with a new client, they already know what products or solutions will be engaging for the client’s target audiences. We can marry this insight with our commerce data from our centralized intelligence engine, Cortex.
One of Elastic Path’s strengths is our ability to segment to very specific audiences. These core competencies, combined with BloomReach’s intelligent product catalogue capabilities, mean joint customers can efficiently target their customers and prospects with the right products, at the right time, with little to no 'learning curve.' Marrying headless commerce and customer experience solutions also means customers can easily integrate with other tools, minimizing any legwork for our clients.
Both of our technologies focus on supporting best-of-breed, open solutions that make innovation easier. BloomReach has years of experience in AI and machine learning. This experience, combined with the flexibility of the Elastic Path Commerce solution, enables our joint customers to offer relevant and personalized digital experiences."
What are the glaring needs in the market that you feel this partnership will effectively address?
"Personalization is essential to the B2B experience, but current buying experiences aren’t on par with the sophistication of these transactions. Historically, B2B purchasing has been relationship-based, and the ability to personalize digital content and offers in real time to mimic that personal touch of a sales rep is what many B2B brands are clamoring for. BloomReach uses AI to more effectively personalize recommendations in real time rather than drawing conclusions from manually configured rules. That agility, combined with Elastic Path’s segmentation capabilities and pricing engine, creates a better experience for those making business purchases, encourages customer loyalty and makes it possible to monetize any point in the customer journey."
There’s no doubt that this partnership will bring an array of new enhancements to the market but BloomReach, in my opinion, has created a self-learning digital experience platform that will help businesses behind every customer interaction. Being able to utilize that knowledge to deliver personalization to any digital experience especially for commerce is so important.
My colleague Laura Myers and I are really excited to announce that we will be attending BloomReach Connect in San Francisco on October 11th so make sure you follow us for a busy month and to hear more about this exciting event and the engaging conversations ahead!
BloomReach was also recognized as Leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management systems. Click here to read our exclusive coverage of the report!