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Adobe, IBM partnership offers potential for personalization

BY Mike Troy

An expanded relationship between IBM and Adobe promises to give retail marketers new dynamic personalization powers to increase sales.

Adobe announced an integration with IBM WebSphere Commerce that the companies believe give marketers the ability to create and deliver powerful experiences across all digital channels.

The new partnership is said to leverage the power of Adobe Experience Manager and IBM WebSphere Commerce to deliver highly personalized, experience-driven commerce. For example, the partnership allows marketers to automatically synchronize creative assets to provide a seamless flow from creation to execution for all content, creative and digital assets without relying on IT.

According to the companies, other benefits include the ability to personalize and curate assortments while optimizing the experience in response to real-time conditions and responding to unique shopping behaviors by seamlessly connecting digital and physical retailing environments.

According to Errol Denger, head of Adobe’s commerce program, being noticed and differentiating sites in today’s crowded digital world requires high fidelity shopping experiences that bring products to life or provide rich information to simplify complex procurements scenarios.

The Adobe and IBM integrated solution will empower line of business to create and deliver high fidelity experiences across all digital channels because the latest version of Adobe Creative Cloud automatically synchronizes creative assets while Adobe Experience Manager provides a seamless flow from creation to execution for all content, creative, and digital assets, according to Denger.

“Consumers and buyers expect iconic brand experiences which enable them to interact with a brand across any medium," said Adam Orentlicher, director of e-commerce offerings and strategy for IBM. "With this new partnership, our most creative clients can leverage the full power of IBM WebSphere Commerce and Adobe Experience Manager as a compelling option to deliver highly personalized, experience-driven commerce."

The problem is that most shopping sites are not meeting these needs, according to Denger. A 2015 study by Razorfish found more than half of all shoppers agree that online shopping sites need improvement. As customers switch channels, this dissatisfaction increases due to inconsistent experiences, lost context, and misaligned capabilities. The proliferation of new touch points such as wearables and interactive store displays further compounds these challenges, according to Denger. 

For more of Denger’s thoughts on the topic of experience drive commerce, check out his blog posts here.

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McKesson adds heavy hitter to its government relations team

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO – McKesson on Tuesday announced that Pete Slone has been appointed to SVP corporate public affairs, effective June 22. Slone joins McKesson from Medtronic where he served as the VP global government affairs for more than 13 years.
 
In his role at McKesson, Slone will serve as McKesson’s chief external policy representative and head of the McKesson PAC as he and his team of 15 will focus on policy analysis and development, legislative and regulatory advocacy, policy communications and stakeholder engagement. His team will also interact with the executive branch agencies, members of Congress, state officials and all relevant trade associations, patient groups, customers and third-party stakeholders on issues of importance to the company or its customers.
 
“We are delighted to have Pete lead our Public Affairs team,” said Lori Schechter, EVP, general counsel and chief compliance officer, McKesson. “Pete’s strong background in government affairs work as well as his experience in developing and advocating for critical public policy positions make him uniquely qualified to lead our team and help shape our approach to health care policy in a time of dynamic change.”
 
Prior to joining Medtronic, Slone spent 17 years at the government affairs firm BKSH and Associates (now Prime Policy Group) in Washington, D.C., including tenure as managing director. While at BKSH, his clients included a number of leading healthcare interests such as Baxter Healthcare, Medtronic and the Santa Clara Valley, CA Health and Hospital System.
 
Slone holds a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Keenan-Flagler School of Business. He is a frequent lecturer on topical healthcare reform issues for hospital administration, clinical and academic audiences.
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Back-to-school shopping already on parents’ minds

BY Dan Berthiaume

LOS ANGELES — Although summer vacations have just begun for many schoolchildren, parents already have back-to-school shopping on their minds.

According to the new Consumer Pulse survey of parents with kids in grades K-12 and college from Rubicon Project, 56% of respondents said they plan to spend more money per child than they did last year to prepare the students for the upcoming school year.

K-12 parents plan to spend on average $873 per student, while parents who also have college students are planning to spend more than $1,100 per student. Parents have also started their back-to-school shopping early. Nearly one-quarter of K-12 parents (23% have already begun and will continue to spread their purchases throughout the summer.

As signs of the improving economy and the growing student use of technology in the classroom, the Rubicon Project survey found that nearly two in five parents (38%) intend to purchase technology products such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones specifically to meet students’ in-class needs and requirements. On average, elementary and secondary school parents expect to spend nearly $400 on technology products, compared to $278 on apparel.

Saving money and finding great deals still lie at the heart of back-to-school shopping for many parents. Nearly two-thirds of parents surveyed (61%) said store sales and promotions are the top determinant of when they conduct their back-to-school shopping. Nearly three in four parents (74%) said they prefer to shop at a big box retailer or large chain store if it meant getting a better deal.

While the majority of parents continue to purchase most of their back-to-school items in-store, online shopping and even mobile shopping are becoming increasingly popular alternatives. Fifty percent of parents with college students clicked on an online ad in the past seven days, and nearly half of them (48%) also clicked on a mobile ad. About two in five parents of college students reported making a purchase within the past week based on a mobile ad (41%) or an online ad (42% they saw.

Half of parents surveyed (50%) said they typically spend the most time shopping or researching products online during the regular business hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Two in five parents (39%) reserve their shopping until evening hours from 5 p.m. – midnight, while 11% are night owls or early birds who shop online from midnight – 9 a.m.

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