Monday, October 22, 2018

Using Sitecore to Drive Your Customer Experience

Thomas John, Senior Director and Commerce Practice Lead
Technology / Platforms

I attended the recent 2018 Sitecore Symposium and experienced a palpatable energy around the various sessions and much anticipated announcements. From the opening keynote with Mark Frost, the emphasis was on Experience. This was further detailed by Paige O’Neill, CMO of Sitecore, who showcased the Experience Award winners with Care by Volvo, Cannondale Bike and SickKids Foundation. The main thread of the sessions and follow-up discussions revolved around Experience. It is very clear that customer expectations are evolving and the opportunity to provide enhanced customer experience is enormous. Consumers are ready for a frictionless, fluid commerce experience. 

We recently held a webinar recapping the top takeaways from Sitecore Symposium and you can watch the 30-min recorded session with our commerce experts here. Here are some of the exciting announcements from Symposium 2018:

Sitecore Javascript Services (JSS) enables improved customer experience

Sitecore Javascript Services (JSS) enables an improved customer experience with faster time to market. It is a complete SDK for Javascript developers who want to build modern solutions using Sitecore and Javascript. The advantage of using JSS is that the developer can build the experience without Siteore knowledge. In addition, JSS sits on top of the headless capabilities of Sitecore which means content can be used across any digital channel.
Sitecore Cortex provides next level AI and machine learning
Since it was announced last year, we have been anticipating access to Sitecore Cortex. So it was quite exciting to see the announcement of general availability of Sitecore Cortex. Sitecore Cortex is embedded into the Sitecore Experience Cloud and taps into the power of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. With real-time analytical insights, Sitecore Cortex is a powerful tool designed to collect, connect, and process huge volumes of data, from many different systems, in the fastest and most efficient way. If that were not enough, Sitecore Cortex natively integrates context to the Commerce experience. The ability to act on contextual factors from the data will enable marketers to deliver a seamless and personalized experience before, during, and after every purchase.

Sitecore + Salesforce: more investment and tighter integration

The partnership between Sitecore and Salesforce has continued to strengthen with more investment being made into the tighter integration with Salesforces Marketing Cloud and Salesforce CRM. Utilizing Sitecore Connect, you can build comprehensive and personalized marketing campaigns with Sitecore content connecting to Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder and Email Studio. In addition, utilizing Sitecore Connect, you can also collect and connect bi-directional synchronization of data between Salesforce CRM and Sitecore Experience Platform. The best of both worlds provides the foundation to deliver one-to-one personalization at scale. 

Sitecore acquires Stylelabs

The most exciting bit of news to come out of Symposium 2018 was the plans for Sitecore to acquire Stylelabs, the creator of the Marketing Content Hub platform. By incorporating Stylelabs’ digital asset management (DAM), marketing resource management (MRM) and product information management (PIM), marketing teams will own the entire content enrichment life-cycle. With the acquisition of Stylelabs, the digital asset management (DAM) connector is slated to be in a 2018 release. In addition, the PIM connector for Stylelabs is also being discussed for 2019. As consumers continue to demand relevant and richer experiences, differentiated content is the driving force to deliver the elevated experience. 

Wrapping Up

As we left Symposium 2018, there was a general excitement on what the coming year holds in store for all of us. The roadmap contains some exciting features and capabilities especially in the Experience Commerce product line. I also want to point out the charity initiative that was part of this year’s Symposium to benefit SickKids Foundation. With all the participants and partners, Sitercore raised $50,000 for SickKids Foundation. I believe this is a great path forward on giving back that I hope Sitecore continues this next year. 
Sitecore Symposium gave us the opportunity to get a glimpse into the future of commerce. As consumers continue to expect a seamless, personalized, integrated experience the path forward can be complicated as companies consider all the areas of transformation necessary for a successful implementation. 

At Rightpoint we have the experience and expertise to help our clients approach complex business requirements and achieve their strategic vision. For more information, contact us today.