Monday, September 19, 2022

Adobe Commerce & Adobe Experience Manager: More Than the Sum of Their Parts

Phillip Jackson, Chief Commerce Officer
Strategy / Innovation

When software tools Adobe Commerce and Adobe Experience Manager are deployed together, the result is more than just the sum of their parts. Combined they are enabling a new breed of businesses to exist in the world. What’s more, this software suite lets these businesses scale much faster, achieving household name recognition in just a few years rather than the decades it once took to achieve widespread brand awareness. 

Let’s see how Adobe Commerce and Adobe Experience Manager allow brands to deploy content in ways that create new purchasing journeys that simply never existed previously.

Commerce: A Basic, Yet Vital Human Activity

Commerce is an important human activity without which we’d all need to be farmers, bakers, clothiers, toymakers and so on. Commerce is a division of labor, one that allows all of us to meet our basic human needs for food, clothing, medicines and so on quickly and easily, freeing us to specialize in some other skillset.

While commerce is undeniably functional, it’s also true that both brick-and-mortar and online stores have become more experiential. Some commerce brands want to entertain us when we’re in their facilities so that we’ll stay longer and visit more frequently in the hopes that we’ll ultimately buy more.

 

Increasingly, there’s another type of commerce experience emerging: entertainment brands that also create commerce opportunities (think Netflix, whose online store sells show-themed merchandise or a movie theater that sells Star Wars themed merch).

There are numerous other expressions of content plus commerce that exist in the world, and it’s a category that will continue to expand if we can solve some of the key challenges they face. For instance, Trex, a Rightpoint client that makes sustainable decking materials, can hardly be considered an entertainment brand, and yet its commerce strategy is wholly dependent on delivering engaging content at myriad junctures, many of which are in the entertainment channels.

About Trex

Trex manufactures long-lasting decking materials out of recycled plastics. To prove that an outdoor deck made from its materials is as beautiful as one made from traditional cedar or stone pavers, Trex’s site is loaded with experiential images and videos.

 

But images and videos alone won’t move the product. Trex has multiple distinct audiences: the consumer who will opt to use its product for their outdoor living infrastructure, the suppliers who will carry it in their facilities, and the contractors who will do the actual building. Each requires a well thought out education journey.

By making this new investment in digital experience, Trex had to lay a foundation for program-based investment, versus a traditional project-based mindset. This means continual, rapid improvement, based on a steady replacement of legacy technology. 

 

Like a lot of companies that are innovating a category, Trex needs to tell a bigger story, which means they need to add storytelling to its skillset. Consumers who save over a period of time in order to afford a new deck may not be keen to use an unknown material, and need to be educated as to its benefits (which are substantial, by the way). Suppliers may be reluctant to carry a line of products that are unfamiliar to their customers and require specialized tools. Contractors also have a learning curve, and must use tools they may not own in order to build with Trex’s materials.

Trex approached Rightpoint for help in delivering the right content to the right audience across every conceivable touch point in the buyer’s journey, including Trex.com, digital ad campaigns, and the point of sale at their retail partners’ sites and stores. To meet this need, we created a multi-channel content strategy, which we built on Adobe Experience Manager. 

 

Adobe Experience Manager provides a central location to manage all this content destined for multiple audiences. But that is just the start. Adobe Experience Manager exposes the right content to the right audience in the right channel. It also tracks how users engage with the various content components, and uses that insight to prompt each audience through the education journey.

“Our customers should dream, design, buy, build and own at Trex.com” – CMO Leslie Adkins

Here’s why this is so important: Let’s say a homeowner enjoys watching home renovation shows, and is consequently exposed to a lot of content that either features Trex or is sponsored by the brand. If television is that consumer’s only touchpoint, he or she may not remember the brand when it comes time to build a deck. But if that consumer watches those home renovation shows via CTV, Trex can make the connection, and target that consumer in both the online and offline world. 

 

All of this content can push the consumer through a buying journey, which is precisely how Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Commerce work together to merge content and commerce.

TV as Purchase Portal

Trex is hardly alone in viewing TV as an engine for commerce. Earlier this summer, Walmart and Roku announced a partnership to “to make TV streaming the next e-commerce shopping destination.” NBCUniversal, meanwhile, has been promoting shopping while watching TV since 2019. NBCUniversal viewers can use their camera to scan a code in order to one-click purchase an item that’s featured in a TV episode.

While companies like NBC and Roku are innovating new points of purchase, the brands themselves still need a digital experience platform (DXP) like Adobe Experience Manager to manage, maintain and deploy all that content across multiple journeys, segment customers based on their interactions with that content, as well as deploy all that segmentation data across other channels for advertising and brand awareness purposes.

In the case of Trex, the DXP needs to support an array of one-click conversions: order a sample, find a supplier, find a contractor, obtain vital product information. Adobe Experience Manager, which when used with Adobe Commerce, offers one software suite that supports a customer relationship over a lifetime and in every channel they happen to be. And that, in turn, is what enables category innovators to exist, thrive and scale quickly.