Adobe Cloud Integrating Magento: Personalized, Experience-Driven Commerce Just Became a Thing

Adobe announced they are integrating Magento commerce cloud into the Adobe Experience Cloud at MagentoLive in Barcelona. What does this mean? Adobe will make every experience personal while Magento is making every moment Shoppable.

Magento has developed a reputation over the years as a shining example of what an open source community-driven development team should look like. Interestingly, much of its code originates from developers that are not even on the payroll.

However, this was always the point. It is less about where the code comes from and much more about improving the quality to enhance the service of its clients. There is an argument that the e-commerce giant has enjoyed massive success on the back of their community rather than being held back by internal processes like their competitors.

Many members of the community were understandably concerned that things would change when Magento was acquired by Adobe earlier this year for a cool $1.68 billion. While the global community debated what the new partnership would mean, an announcement at MagentoLive in Barcelona earlier this week attempted to ease any fears.

The Heart and Soul of Magento in Barcelona

Refreshingly, there isn’t a separate user and developer conference, the event encourages collaboration between the community, clients, and sponsors all under one roof. Despite the acquisition by a tech behemoth, from what I saw, the vibrant community is still the heart and soul of Magento.

Predictably, all bases in the customer journey are now being covered as Adobe announced they are integrating Magento commerce cloud into the Adobe Experience Cloud. In a nutshell, Adobe customers that have access to marketing, advertising, and analytics services will now be able to seamlessly add a shopping cart to their digital presences too.

Adobe makes every experience personal while Magento is making every moment Shoppable

Ironically, it’s the rising expectations of customers that are driving these changes rather than the tech giants. Whether it be offline and or online, the quality of the customer experience is rapidly becoming the new battleground for businesses looking to secure quick wins with engagement and loyalty being the ultimate prize.

Engagement Across the Full Customer Journey

In acquiring Magento, Adobe has secured access to every step of the customer journey and is making it easier for brands of all sizes to create engaging experiences. The speed of change is gathering pace, and everyone is expected to continuously adapt and move forward. But will big businesses struggle to keep up the pace when their legacy systems continue to hold them back?

The innovations we are bringing to market enable companies of all sizes and across industries to make every experience shoppable

In the same way that Blockbuster Video, Kodak, Polaroid and Borders failed to tackle digital disruption, I cannot help but think that we are heading for another showdown where household names will once again disappear. Our internet history has already taught us that no brand is too big to big to fail.

There is already a long list of big brands that users have fallen out of love with. Facebook, Electronic Arts, Sears Holdings, United Airlines, and even former tech darling Uber have all suffered a rough year. In many ways, they have become easy pickings for competitors to move in and provide superior experiences.

The experience curve is changing – it’s the new Moore’s law. – Shantanu Narayen

In a year of significant acquisitions, Adobe is leading the way in the experience industry by managing more than 233 trillion data transactions and $141 billion in online sales transactions annually. Make no mistake, experiences are not just another buzzword. It’s big business.

The Right Kind of Personalized Experiences

“If it moves, personalize it, and if it doesn’t, customize it anyway,” is a trap that a few could fall into. If done right, tools such as Adobe Target, powered by Adobe Sensei, which uses AI and machine learning could efficiently deliver contextually relevant shopping experiences.

Brands should find it much easier to drive customer loyalty and enable businesses to compete more effectively. Although personalized experiences make our lives easier and more efficient, you can still have too much of a good thing.

For example, there are occasions that I want to go rogue and look outside of what algorithms recommend for me. Whether it be on Netflix, reading an entire magazine or browsing through bookshelves, those happy accidents in life that lead to great discoveries are an experience that is equally as important.

I suspect that it’s the brands that get this fine balance right will be the ones that succeed. But, in a digital age, I doubt that the size of the business will not determine their success, it will be the experience they provide.

The Experience Business and TV on the Cloud — Adobe Summit 2017

According to Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, transformation is all or nothing. You either commit to it, or you don’t achieve it. And Adobe came to Vegas to commit to the “Experience Business.”

In Las Vegas last week, IBM and Adobe both revealed where the winds are blowing their marketing clouds. The companies held nearly simultaneous summits, and each one offered a new marketing paradigm along with new capabilities that would not have been imaginable a few years ago.

This week, I’m collecting my thoughts on Adobe. Next week, I’ll talk about IBM.

The Experience Business

On top of bringing out Peyton Manning, Ryan Gosling and Penn & Teller …

Penn & Teller at Adobe Summit
I knew who I was there to see.

… Adobe announced a transformed version of its cloud.

According to Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, transformation is all or nothing. You either commit to it, or you don’t achieve it. And Adobe came to Vegas to commit to the “Experience Business.”

What Adobe means is that successful businesses must be committed not to their products, culture or business processes, but to the customer experience.

According to Adobe EVP Brad Rencher, consumers have become very demanding. Connecting with them is not about the things companies are selling, but about the experiences they’re delivering.

“A great experience doesn’t just save time for your customers,” says Rencher, “it maximizes the time they spend with your brand.”

What does an experience business look like to customers?

  • Will know me and respect me.
  • Will speak in one voice.
  • Will make technology transparent and let’s the consumer dry the terms of our interaction.
  • Will delight me at every turn because it knows that today’s experience, although it wows me today, will disappoint me tomorrow.

According to Rencher, there are four imperatives for the company to be able to deliver those experiences:

  • Focus on context: Not just are they shopping, but where, when and why are they shopping? What’s the context? Tech can help deliver context at scale, but you must develop your data strategy into a context strategy in order to do that.
  • Design for speed and scale, across your company: Rethink your entire content supply chain so it can deliver exactly the right content for the context of their visit.
  • Real-time response is essential: “Milliseconds make the journey,” said Rencher. It is essential that you can respond to your customers in real-time (still at scale) in order to be able to leverage what you know about the context of their visit.
  • Put customers first: Your content and other responses should match what the customer needs regardless of contact channels or your own silos. Systems integration is key to this as channels expand. “From CEO to the newest hire, we are all responsible for the experience,” said Rencher, “and fractured technology doesn’t get you there.”

Every vendor conference has it’s share of spin, but I don’t think Adobe is off-base on this concept. The best businesses are remembered for the experiences they provide. For example, later in the conference I caught a session where Southwest said “We were always an experience business, we just happen to fly people around too.”

Adobe’s offering is designed to give you the tools to do that easier. And in order to better align their tools with those goals, they announced a new organization and several new pieces for their cloud.

Adobe Experience Cloud  … Now With TV!

The Adobe Experience Cloud and it's structure.
The Adobe Experience Cloud and it’s structure.

“Experience Cloud is where you do the work of the experience business,” said Rencher. And it’s now the name of the entire enterprise side of the Adobe cloud.

Underneath Experience Cloud, you have the enterprise Document and Creative clouds, along with Marketing Cloud, Analytics Cloud and the new Advertising Cloud.

Sensei

Within the Experience Cloud, marketers not only have access to all of those components, but also to a new AI, machine-learning digital assistant system called Sensei.

Sensei is not a single AI entity, but a category of learning, artificial intelligence tools that help marketers spot trends and anomalies, automate some marketing processes and help with the dirty work of crunching numbers and planning marketing.

Advertising Cloud

The new Advertising Cloud is probably the most exciting addition to the Adobe cloud. This tool leverages Adobe’s recent acquisition of TubeMogul’s programmatic advertising software to allow all of your media planning and buying to be integrated into one solution.

That includes both digital marketing and in-line television ads, and marks the first time I know of that TV ad buying can sit in your marketing automation platform and be accountable in the way.

To power that, Adobe is also launching its own, independent advertising network that you’ll be able to access through the app.

A Wrap

Those were my highlights of the Adobe Summit. Were you there or following along from home? Did I miss anything that impressed you? If so, let us know in the comments.