Last year, Adobe acquired Magento Commerce for $1.68 billion. At the time of the acquisition, Magento CEO Mark Lavelle said that Adobe and Magento share a vision for the future of digital experiences that brings together Adobe’s strength in content and data with the open commerce innovation that Magento brought to the table. And that has been proven to be true based on all the announcements that Adobe made at Imagine 2019 this week.
Advances For Small And Mid-Market Businesses
In the fast-paced world of online commerce, companies across B2C and B2B need to engage with customers wherever they are and react faster to their changing needs. Plus they must improve the experiences they deliver based on actionable insights. For example, an important update was announced for Magento Commerce — which is the commerce solution in Adobe Experience Cloud for small- and mid-market businesses.
Merchants are able to target new audiences and easily reach more customers with Amazon Sales Channels and Google Shopping ads Channels. And these integrated capabilities empower small and mid-market businesses to better orchestrate the end-to-end experiences they deliver to customers across channels. And with PageBuilder, merchants can quickly and easily update the content on their websites. Plus merchants are now able to tap the broader capabilities of Adobe Analytics — which is part of the Adobe Analytics Cloud in Adobe Experience Cloud through the Adobe Experience Platform connector.
“We are as invested as ever in the mid-market” said Adobe’s VP of Commerce Product and Platform Jason Woosley. “We are continuing to invest in additional resources and capabilities to drive real revenue and profit growth for our mid-market merchants across channels.”
At the event, Woosley also announced the next-generation of Magento Commerce — which now uses the Adobe Sensei (AI and machine learning framework) for powering recommendations.
“As we near the 1-year anniversary of the acquisition, we are well ahead of our integration goals,” Woosley told the audience. “We’re driving greater value for our stakeholders, accelerating our product roadmap, leveraging Adobe’s scale to serve more customers across every industry, and advancing our mission of using technology to connect and empower more merchants than ever before.”
At Imagine 2019, Adobe announced the release of Google Shopping ads Channel in Magento. This tool is powerful since Google is the number one driver of business to retail sites. Google Shopping ads Channel in Magento is a fully integrated end-to-end Google advertising solution that helps Magento customers engage, convert, and acquire customers across the Google network.
The benefits of the Google Shopping ads Channel include native integration, an all-in-one solution (manages Google Merchant Center and Google Ads), the ability to advertise with Google Smart Shopping campaigns with a few clicks, the ability to set up smart shopping campaigns, and a simple onboarding process.
The Amazon Sales Channel in Magento enables merchants and brands to reach a wider customer base than any other marketplace in the world. As of now, Amazon accounts for 44% of U.S. online retail sales, according to Business Insider. Amazon Sales Channel removes the barriers to entry for merchants trying to gain a foothold on Amazon by quickly integrating into the catalog, establishing a bi-directional data flow, and start managing listings from their Magento admin. Some of the benefits include the ability to leverage Amazon’s vast product data, intelligent pricing and pricing rules, listing management, inventory management, multiple Amazon accounts, fulfillment and order management, and B2B pricing and quantity discounts.
Some of the new capabilities in Magento Commerce include the ability to expand customer reach, target new audiences, launch powerful behavioral analytics, accelerate time to market for high conversion mobile experiences, expansion of global inventory management, and speed up site content updates.
Expanding Customer Reach
Since Amazon Sales Channel is now generally available, merchants are able to seamlessly expand their footprint to the Amazon marketplace. And Amazon Sales Channel effectively removes the barriers to entry for merchants trying to gain a foothold on Amazon by allowing them to quickly integrate the catalog, establish a bi-directional data flow and start managing listings from their Magento admin. And by seamlessly integrating their Magento store with multiple Amazon accounts and regions, merchants are able to make their Magento admins the central hub for Amazon Marketplace activities — which reduces data silos and removes operational friction thus eliminating additional integration costs. This extension is available for download on the Magento Marketplace for Magento Commerce Pro and Magento Open Source 2.2.4 (and later) customers.
Targeting New Audiences
Users can target new audiences with a fully integrated end-to-end Google advertising solution that is now generally available as a free extension in the Magento Marketplace. Plus Google Shopping ads Channel for Magento Commerce and Magento Open source 2.2.4 and later can be directly integrated with Google Merchant Center and Google Ads for streamlining workflow by managing advertising campaigns and reporting across the Google network from the Magento admin.
Launching Powerful Behavioral Analytics
Magento Commerce customers are able to gain a more complete understanding of customer behavior that can now easily integrate Adobe Analytics using the Adobe Experience Platform Launch extension. This new feature provides brands with the capability to quickly deploy the tag management required to enable the flow of data between Magento Commerce and Adobe Analytics in just minutes. This extension is one of the first community-driven projects that empowers brands to unlock the potential of bringing the solutions together for driving rich customer behavior insights.
Accelerating The Time To Market For High Conversion Mobile Experiences
Progressive Web Applications (PWA) Studio now integrates PayPal’s Braintree and makes it easier for merchants, partners, and developers to get started with debit and credit transactions with a trusted gateway. This integration leads to faster time to market and lower total cost of ownership. More than 60% of solutions partners are planning to develop PWA sites in 2019 and extend the core capabilities in PWA Studio. For example, Magento Enterprise Solution Partner Creatuity has built a next-generation mobile experience for farm supply retailer Rural King in order to serve the needs of rural communities.
Expanding Global Inventory Management
Adobe is helping merchants realize their omnichannel aspirations with Magento Order Management by bringing new capabilities such as multi-tender payment workflows, exception management for payments, more granular roles/permissions, full API coverage for omnichannel capabilities, microservices architecture for improved scale/reliability, and a fully dedicated staging environment.
Speed Up Site Content Updates
Nowadays marketers need to update their online site experience more frequently and more quickly than before. With PageBuilder’s drag-and-drop editing tool for site content, merchants can set up best-in-class shopping experiences ten times faster without creative limits or developer support. And now with the new BlueFoot Content Migration tool, merchants using BlueFoot on Magento 2.1.x or 2.2.x can quickly upgrade to Magento 2.3.1 with Page Builder 1.0.0 without losing their website content.
As Magento Commerce is now powering Adobe Commerce Cloud, these advanced commerce capabilities are natively integrated, enhanced, and managed within Adobe Experience Cloud to serve the needs of global B2C and B2B companies for supporting multiple brands, sites and countries and to orchestrate commerce across every channel. As an Adobe Managed Service, Adobe Commerce Cloud emphasizes performance and security to help brands improve time to market and streamline operations for exceeding customer and business expectations.
Adobe’s VP of Commerce Sales & Customer Success of the Experience Business Gary Specter pointed out that it is truly momentous time to be in commerce.
“We’re seeing changes in the way people shop and the way they interact with brands,” said Specter at the event. “And the expectations are that the experience will be personal and you’ll meet people where they are and whenever they want.”
And Specter explained that insights are needed to drive real-time relevance and personalized experiences that require even greater openness and collaboration to reach across functions within and beyond organizations in order to create a “cohesive experience for customers.”
Adobe’s SVP of Strategy & Growth Gloria T. Chen — who is credited for bringing Magento and Adobe together — said that the reason why Adobe acquired Magento is that they knew commerce would be important to their customers small and large. Since Magento is the leading open-source platform that spans B2C and B2B, it gained a large and active community of hundreds of thousands of developers contributing to new capabilities and extensions — which is helping accelerate innovation.
“Magento has brought many strengths to the Adobe family, and we are committed to nurturing and building on these strengths,” added Chen. “Magento brings a culture and a mission that fit Adobe like a glove. At the core we are empowering people. Our mission is to help our customers change the world through digital experiences.”
As consumers are increasingly consuming digital content, there is a good chance that every one of those experiences is made by one of Adobe’s customers using one of their tools, she noted. “While we’re well known for our creative tools for professionals, we’re investing in tools that empower anyone to create,” Chen noted. “We’re transforming Creative Cloud into the platform that powers creativity for all. That means all of us here in this room can design like the pros!”
Adobe’s customers were asking for commerce technology for years. And with Magento’s digital commerce, order management, and predictive intelligence capabilities, it enables superior shopping experiences across a wide array of industries.
Shoebacca Grows Revenue 15x In 3 Years
In the early 2000s, Marc Schlachter and Robert Schlachter started out selling small athletic shoes at local markets in Texas and they were shipping truckloads of shoes to third-world countries. This operation inspired the launch of SHOEBACCA.com — which is an online shoe retailer that became a reseller on eBay. Then SHOEBACCA launched their own e-commerce website in the spring of 2007.
By word of mouth, the store quickly became a leader in the online shoe market. Now SHOEBACCA has a large headquarters facility and a 250,000-square-foot warehouse in Irving, Texas where they stock more than 25,000 styles of shoes, accessories, and athletic gear for competitive prices.
As SHOEBACCA grew in popularity, the needs of its customers changed so they expanded its line of products. Now the company has more than 700,000 SKUs in their system. So they needed to optimize their merchandising while handling a massive product catalog. Since SHOEBACCA’s customers shop at Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, and Walmart, SHOEBACCA decided to launch an e-commerce system for scaling the growth, integrating their current systems, and sell customers the products they want.
Since October 2016, SHOEBACCA grew their business on the Magento platform. And in November 2017, they migrated from Magento Open Source to Magento Commerce 2.1. This upgrade allows them to handle the large data processing required for massive product catalogs including new fashion seasons and new sneaker options.
Plus Magento Commerce 2 also provided a wide range of features such as an improved interface for tightly integrate back office systems. This new site was built with a single e-commerce platform where SHOEBACCA can manage the whole operation including inventory, pricing, shipping, CRM, and sales management. SHOEBACCA CTO Thomas Finney said that Magento gave the company a completely responsive design that displays an optimized depiction of its brand on nearly any device.
“We wanted a fully integrated solution that could handle our eCommerce needs across multiple sales channels, a warehouse management system, and finance — one that could also handle a high degree of customization,” Finney explained. “It also needed to scale and be flexible to meet our needs as we kept growing.” They pulled this off by integrating Magento with Acumatica Cloud ERP, while seamlessly connecting with third-party drop-ship solution providers. Magento not only increased the visibility of their products across all channels, it simplified their massive product catalog data and improved the user experience. Our partner, Kensium, has been integral in the success of SHOEBACCA.”
As Magento made the SHOEBACCA experience smoother for customers, it increased sales and traffic by 25%. And they enjoyed smaller customer acquisition costs and a 30% increase in sales from the marketplace. And in the last 3 years, SHOEBACCA’s total sales increased 1,400%.
Catbird’s Mobile Conversion Doubles
Catbird is a brand that builds beautiful custom jewelry on demand. The company’s necklaces, rings, and bracelets are all manufactured at the brand’s offices in Brooklyn. Catbird’s web store was built on Magento Commerce 1 — which worked very well on desktop. But the company needed to improve its user experience for mobile device users.
“We wanted our customers to experience our brand with a sense of discovery and curiosity,” Catbird eCommerce director Anna Mikkelsen commented. “We needed better storytelling through content pages, high-quality product detail pages, and a more intuitive navigation to help cultivate our customer base, and communicate our vision.”
In order to compete with its rivals, Catbird had to provide its customers options like same-day shipping and wish lists. Plus the company needed a platform on the back end to highlight sales periods and holidays. So they upgraded to Magento Commerce 2 last year. Now their site is responsible and it increased conversions and elevated its brands to new levels.
To set this operation up, Catbird partnered with Imagination Media. And Imagination Media founder Ali Ahmed highlighted that Magento empowered them to create the overall experience that Catbird customers demanded.
As a result of the changes, there was a 17% increase in conversions for Q4 from 2017 to 2018 for all devices. And Catbird saw significant improvements in mobile conversions after upgrading to Magento Commerce 2 as there was a 39% growth in mobile revenue.
Future Of Magento
“I believe the next chapter, for all of us with Magento and Adobe, is an opportunity to build something amazing,” said Adobe’s senior director of commerce product at John Stockton on Day 2 of Imagine 2019.“Across every industry, and in both B2B and B2C, people aren’t just buying a product, they’re buying an experience. This is challenging each of us to make every moment personal, and every experience shoppable.”
Magento Cloud Operations senior director Steve Krebsbach added that Adobe + Magento is also catering to large enterprises. In the first half of 2019, Adobe built out a two-tier architecture into the Magento platform. With this system, developers do not need to go through a costly or time-consuming upgrade to use these features.
And in the second half of this year, Adobe is going to start engineering work to take the front end and back end to cloud-native services in order to enable true auto-scaling. The Adobe + Magento community will get free training on using and developing this new cloud infrastructure for Magento Commerce. Adobe is going to make this generally available before the end of the year.
“This two-tier architecture allows you to horizontally scale on the front end, and it allows you to vertically scale on the back end,” Krebsbach exclaimed. “This allows you to take in more and more web traffic, and perform more and more transactions and queries. That means you can deliver more and more experiences to your shoppers.”
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