Adobe wants to make every online retailer more analytical

Ron Miller

In its most recent earnings report, Adobe reported record revenue, but CEO Shantanu Narayen admitted he was a bit disappointed with the Experience Cloud results. That's the part of Adobe that includes the Analytics Cloud. Today, the company is announcing an update to the analytics product aimed specifically at the lucrative retail/ecommerce market. Perhaps it's not a coincidence.

Nor is it a coincidence that Adobe took aim at retail for this specialized product. It's one that's felt the sting of disruption more acutely than perhaps any other sector in recent years, as competition from Amazon in particular has challenged retailers and forced them to find better ways to understand their customers on and offline.

As Nate Smith, senior product marketing manager for Adobe Analytics puts it, "We've seen a dramatic shift this year in retail with dozens of bankruptcies and store closings -- and it's due in large part to how digital is disrupting the industry," he told TechCrunch.

As successful online retailers get more sophisticated in understanding their customers and delivering a better experience, it results in a corresponding rise in consumer expectations. Proper use of analytics can help even the playing field. "Analytics plays role in helping the retailer to understand who their customers are, especially who the highest value ones are and how they behave," Smith explained.

It's clear that you need to be data-driven, regardless of your business, and this is even more critical in retail, but Smith says those companies that are behind or lack maturity in their analytics approach may feel stuck or overwhelmed by the prospect of playing catch-up.

That's where Adobe hopes to help with today's announcement. The company has created analytics workspaces aimed specifically at the retail sector. These templates are designed to jumpstart retailers' analytics and help them to understand their customers better.

Photo: Adobe

 

But they don't just want to show these companies how well their various online merchandizing plans have been working (or not), they want to expose gaps in the analytics strategy. That involves helping to guide them to build more complete and smarter analytical approaches. Specifically, templates have been designed with Adobe Sensei artificial intelligence  built in with anomaly detection and contribution analysis.

This provides retailers with real-time access to data like conversion rates, product performance grids, domains driving visits and other data essential for retailers to understand their customers and how well they are doing in getting visitors from entry to purchase.

Adobe hopes the new products give those companies that are not that far along in analytics, a head start, while helping those that have more mature analytics strategies the ability to keep building on that. "It's an iterative process. You start small and don't try to boil the ocean. Get some data points, see a blind spot, improve and make it better. Any type of analytical insight will help advance the ability to engage with customers," Smith said.