Adobe Analytics found that the 2017 holiday season saw a record US$108.2 billion in online sales (17.7% YoY growth), with US$35.9 billion in revenue from mobile (33.1% of revenue, with 28.0% YoY revenue growth). Adobe Analytics tracks 80% of online spending for the top 100 largest retail websites in the U.S., see more details here. Booming online sales does not mean brick-and-mortar stores are obsolete, however. In fact, a U.S. Census report in the summer of 2017 found that 90% of all retail purchases in America were made in brick-and-mortar locations. And 43% of millennials prefer to research brands and products online before shopping in stores.
This reinforces how critical it is that retailers deliver an exceptional, cohesive experience along the entire shopping journey. Regardless of how a consumer is engaging with a retailer ¡V on social media, shopping online, walking into a physical store or opening an email from a retailer ¡V the experience must be amazing. No matter when, no matter where. In addition to awareness, acquisition and conversion, retailers delivering an exceptional and seamless experience across physical and digital benefit from the holy grail ¡V customer retention and loyalty. Yet many retailers are challenged with achieving this, risking customer churn and the bottom line.
At NRF 2018, ¡§Retail¡¦s BIG Show,¡¨ Adobe announced retail specific innovations in Adobe Experience Cloud. These innovations infuse artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help automate mundane tasks and amplify creativity, empowering retailers to:
- Understand and act on in-store shopping behaviors: Adobe is previewing a project in development in its research labs that shows live foot traffic inside a store. The ability to segment those shoppers based on loyalty, last visit date or shopping preferences for example, and push in-store offers within a retailers¡¦ mobile app based on this information. Adobe Analytics captures shopper behaviors while Adobe Target performs A/B tests to further optimize offers and hyper-personalize the experience. Built on the Adobe Cloud Platform, retailers can also leverage third-party data from inventory, POS and CRM systems to further optimize offers for in-store shoppers.
- Leverage big data to personalize the shopper experience: Retailers can already access data stored in external databases within Adobe Campaign with its Federated Data Access (FDA) connectors. Today, Adobe is taking this a step further by expanding big data capabilities in Adobe Campaign that lets retailers leverage all their data stored in Hadoop such as pricing models and demand forecasts. Retailers can seamlessly connect to their Hadoop infrastructure to query and segment data without importing datasets or storing them within Adobe Campaign to drive richer customer experiences.
- Automatically tailor and optimize images for different screens: Dynamic Media capabilities in Adobe Experience Manager Assets are smarter through Adobe Sensei, available this spring. Retailers can automate tasks in bulk and deliver experiences faster. Smart Imaging capability automatically detects the available bandwidth and device type to minimize image file size by up to 70% upon delivery. There is no loss in visual fidelity, ensuring smooth, quick loading experiences that drive conversion. Smart Crop automatically detects and crops the focal point in any image, capturing the intended point-of-interest, regardless of screen size.
- Deliver 3D, Panoramic and VR imagery: To help retailers deliver immersive experiences without custom development, Adobe is introducing panoramic and VR viewers this spring. Retailers¡¦ workflows are simplified by replacing costly photography with photorealistic 3D assets and offering the flexibility to repurpose any asset, from any angle, any light, in any setting through the integration of Experience Manager with Adobe Dimension CC. These new capabilities work with any panoramic image, so consumers can experience a new couch in their living room virtually, for example.
- Customize omnichannel commerce: Adobe is introducing the industry¡¦s first set of flexible commerce microservices, built on Adobe I/O Runtime, to power experience driven commerce. They help retailers provide shoppers with a connected experience across touchpoints ¡V helping to find the right product or make a purchase, for example. By seamlessly exposing processes across digital, physical and back-end systems like CRM databases, retailers can contextually engage customers at each phase of their shopping journey without being constrained by the rigid or siloed systems and processes from other vendors. Adobe¡¦s microservices are pre-integrated with commerce and order management systems including CommerceTools, ElasticPath, Digital River, Hybris and Magento, and supported by integrations across Adobe Experience Cloud.