Adobe Showcases Labs Innovations for eCommerce
Despite all the growth that has happened in online shopping, the experience itself has not seen massive change in recent years. For good reason, innovation has largely focused on driving simplicity and convenience while refining how shopping is done on smaller screens. Retailers have made great strides here, and the quality-of-experience gap has narrowed between online and in-store shopping. This now places the industry in the beginning stages of another wave of change, one that will tap into maturing technologies such as AI/machine learning, augmented reality (AR) and voice assistants. It is a change that will benefit both consumers and the industry, enhancing the ways in which we shop online but also how retailers run their businesses.
At the Imagine Conference, Adobe gave a sneak peek into eCommerce innovations coming out of R&D. Attendees got an exclusive look at technology that will impact the industry most and what it means for their business. Best of all, this comes directly from the Magento community—heroes on the ground who drive innovation each and every day. From developers and agencies to technology partners, each inventor taps their specific area of expertise to build innovations on top of Magento’s robust and flexible platform. The aim is to make the technology broadly available, for retailers of any size to adopt and better compete. Technology has leveled the playing field in many cases, and any brand can now amaze shoppers and lead in customer experience management (CXM).
Adobe showcased “Commerce Sneaks” at Imagine including:
- Augmented furniture for the masses: Augmented reality (AR) is an incredible technology that has great potential beyond gaming. One of the more compelling use cases is around décor, where shoppers can visualize pieces of furniture in their home or office space. Seeing how items interact with an existing environment makes buying online feel much less risky. However, these types of experiences have been confined to a few large retailers, as cumbersome development cycles and having to build new apps are a high entry bar for small to medium-sized furniture shops. Nina Stocklöw, Senior Marketing Manager at PHOENIX MEDIA presents a new project that effectively breaks the entry barrier. Any merchant could now add AR functionality directly into their existing mobile website, launching an AR experience with the simple click of an icon.
- A new way to experiment: Despite the advancements that have been made in eCommerce, merchants are still in the dark when it comes to an area like setting optimal price points for their products. Existing methods, such as competitor benchmarking, manual price adjustments and discounts, are not effective in determining the real price sensitivity of shoppers. A few percentage points off the optimal price means a huge hit to revenue from existing transactions. Joe Rollinson, CEO of Best Worlds unveils a new project that will allow retailers to dynamically test everything on an online storefront including different price points and shipping thresholds, as well as how extensions like one-step checkout affect shopper behavior—all without needing to touch backend product orders, lists and customer databases.
- Machine learning for product search: Retailers with physical storefronts know that a key component to long-term business success is the ability to better blend the online and offline shopping experience. Consumers, nearly all equipped with smartphones, have the perfect “remote” to bring these services to life. One compelling use case is giving shoppers a quick and easy way to bring up information. Ratnesh Kumar, technical project manager at Webkul presents new technology that enables consumers to snap a photo of any product in-store and instantly pull up pertinent details such product specs and reviews or get out-of-stock items delivered to their house. It brings machine learning-driven image and text recognition to merchants of any size, creating a more engaging and convenient in-store shopping experience.
- Custom interior design projects: When decorating a new home or office, every piece of furniture or fixture comes with an extensive list of colors, fabrics, textures and more. Buyers are going online more and more to procure items, but they struggle to see all possible variations. Kaushal Shah, Magento practice director at Perficient Digital shows how a combination of Magento Commerce with Adobe Dynamic Media Classic, Adobe’s cross-media publishing system, enables any merchant to dynamically deploy product imagery. Drapery for example, can automatically be shown to online shoppers in every possible color, as well as all the differential materials that are in stock.
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