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Adobe Summit 2021: Personalization as a Top Priority in Digital-First World

If you thought you lived in a digitized world in 2019, you didn’t know what was coming. Due to unprecedented COVID-19 new reality, digital has essentially become the only way for people to connect, work, learn, and be entertained.


The pandemic sped up advancements in digital commerce technology. What would normally take two to three years to develop happened in just months. During this time, customer expectations also changed dramatically as more people shopped online.


Not only are their expectations about the buying experience much higher, but the amount of e-commerce spending also exploded.


Global commerce continues to see record-breaking growth with $876 billion in the first three months of 2021 (up 38% YoY) and $4.2 trillion expected for the year. The boom has resulted in customers of all types who are much more discerning about their shopping experience.

Shantanu Narayen, Adobe CEO:

We’ve gone from a world with digital, to a digital-first world — and there is no going back because today, every business has to be a digital business.”

Last year Adobe Summit, like the rest of the world in general, was looking a bit different. In 2020, the conference went virtual for the first time ever.


The Adobe Summit 2021 was a virtual event once again, hosting entirely digital, and free. Different speakers and experts from a diverse range of backgrounds and skillsets across Adobe Experience Cloud shared their experience, tips and tricks.


Moreover, with a brand new Developer Ecosystem track, in-house, agency, or third-party developers had the opportunity to learn the latest Adobe tech advances and developer tools. The Developer Ecosystem track covered a variety of products, among them Magento Commerce, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Experience Platform and Project Firefly.


7 Key Innovations Announced at Adobe Summit 2021

This year, Adobe introduced innovations and new features across Adobe Experience Cloud to help businesses accelerate their digital transformation.


At Summit, Adobe introduced innovations across Adobe Experience Cloud, unveiling new enterprise applications with Adobe Journey Optimizer and Adobe Customer Journey Analytics, its next-generation Real-time Customer Data Platform (CDP), its industry-leading Marketing System of Record through the integration of Workfront, and new Adobe Experience Platform capabilities to deliver real-time personalization at scale. Additionally, Adobe announced new content and intelligent commerce capabilities, including a strategic partnership with FedEx.


Adobe Customer Journey Analytics

Adobe Сustomer Journey Analytics

Consumers today are more attentive to the data they share and privacy-aware, at the same time they also want to connect to brands in an easy and personalized way. Thus, successful enterprises are looking for a data-driven approach to know their customers and to optimize and improve engagement continuously.


With that aim, Adobe announced Adobe Customer Journey Analytics, a new enterprise application in Adobe Experience Cloud. It enables brands to integrate and standardize their online and offline customer data for analysis by anyone, not just data scientists. With easy visualization, brands can better understand the complete customer journeys to better perform marketing strategies. 


75% of Fortune 100 Companies now use Adobe’s Enterprise Applications. Among them drug company Pfizer, global courier FedEx, adhesives-to-laundry giant Henkel, General Motors, Mastercard, Sephora and many other companies leading in digital. (speakers at Adobe Summit 2021).

The new AI capabilities and features in the new Adobe Customer Journey Analytic :


  • With intelligent alerts in Adobe Customer Journey Analytics, brands can rely on Adobe Sensei – Adobe artificial intelligence technology. Intelligent alerts will automatically surface insights that would have otherwise gone unnoticed, and the more the alerts are used by brands, the smarter the AI capability gets.
  • The Customer Journey Analytics dashboards mobile app is giving executives a cross-channel view of the customer and access to key metrics from multiple data sources in an executive-ready view for the first time. With a comprehensive cross-channel view of the customer, it becomes easier for executives to evolve business strategies in real-time.
  • Newly released data views allow reducing the time and energy spent cleaning data sets.
  • Simplified data collection features help brands to improve website performance and giving brands the flexibility to send data wherever they determine it needs to go.
  • Through Adobe Experience Platform Edge Network, a company can receive and send an event, or piece of data, in milliseconds. All of this is designed with privacy and governance controls.


Adobe Journey Optimizer

Adobe Journey Optimizer

Consumers are in control when it comes to how they engage with brands. Consumers expect brands to understand them and anticipate their needs and want to connect in a way that feels personalized and relevant throughout their unique journey.


The new Adobe Journey Optimizer is the industry’s only enterprise application that brings together customer signals and intelligent analytics from across the Adobe platform. It is designed to help marketers optimize and personalize the customer journey through any outbound or inbound customer engagement (e.g. weekly promotional emails or personalized, real-time interactions like delighting customers with contextual information as they engage with the products and services they already bought).


  • Adobe Journey Optimizer combines a variety of data types, including behavioral, transactional and operational data across multiple touchpoints into a single, centralized customer profile that is constantly updated. Thus, brands have a full 360-degree real-time view of their consumers and can derive real-time insights to anticipate the next best action to take. Intuitive goal setting, reporting, and dashboards enable marketers to see and report on key metrics to optimize their business.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) based intelligence is an integral part of the application. A central decision engine analyzes customer data to select the right offer for each unique customer at the appropriate point in their journey.  It helps brands to produce the best outcomes for individual customers.



Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento)

Adobe Commerce Capabilities

In order for brands to win at customer experience management (CXM), they have to anticipate and understand their customers’ needs as well as address their pain points. To help brands to do thate, Adobe is delivering exciting new features within Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento) that provide a differentiated and engaging commerce environment.


The platform has three very attractive new features that are worth exploring:

  • intelligent Live search for relevant results on a merchant’s website
  • visual product recommendations for customers.
  • e-signature from Adobe Sign in the checkout process, along with tie-ups to FedEx, Paypal and Wayflyer.
AI-powered live search

AI-powered live search for relevant results

When it comes to online shopping, consumers expect to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. For merchants, directing shoppers to the most relevant search results without delay can become a competitive advantage.


Available now is AI Live Search, which auto-suggests products in the search field for users who already use Adobe’s product recommendation engine. The Live Search feature provides customers with fast, personalized search results that enable them to find what they want quickly.


The feature, powered by Adobe Sensei, Adobe AI and machine learning technology, also has numerous back-end reporting capabilities that allow brands to better understand buyers’ search activities and to enhance algorithmic search functionality to continually improve the overall CX.


Adobe Commerce merchants will soon be able to integrate Live Search to their storefront by downloading the extension in the Magento Marketplace.
The new capability will be generally available to Adobe Commerce merchants in the second half of 2021.

Extending product recommendations capabilities

Visual product recommendations for customers

According to the Epsilon survey,  80% of customers would rather do business with a brand that offers personalized experiences.


Since Product Recommendations powered by Adobe Sensei launch, the feature has been embraced by many Adobe Commerce merchants, enabling brands of all sizes to use consumer data and insights to drive real-time relevance and personalized experiences.


Today, the Product Recommendations feature is being implemented in over 300 Adobe Commerce-powered sites globally to deliver contextually relevant recommendations that respond to consumer preferences.


While B2C involves one-to-one recommendations, B2B often includes a many-to-many model. At Summit, new enhancements were announced, allowing merchants to set up Product Recommendations for B2B selling scenarios.


Adobe Commerce’s product recommendations engine can be configured to serve recommendations to different buyer types from the same company. It will also allow for different pricing for different customers, which often occurs in B2B commerce.

The new B2B enhancements to Product Recommendations will be available to Adobe Commerce merchants in Q2 2021.


Moreover, Product Recommendations can now be embedded in a PWA Studio-based storefront. And a new preview feature for Adobe Commerce Admin allows the merchant to see a preview of their product recommendations as it’s being configured, providing merchants with peace of mind knowing that their recommendations will yield appropriate results.


Adobe Sign

E-signature from Adobe Sign

B2B and B2C commerce processes are often interrupted when any digital commerce process requires a written signature. This disrupts the buying process and could lead to lost sales for the supplier.


And in the age of COVID-19, e-signatures have thrived even more as businesses shifted to a digital-only or digital-forward model.

Adobe Sign has seen over 200 percent user growth year-over-year when comparing last February to this year.

Adobe Sign helps to reduce friction in the buying process. With the upcoming Adobe Sign integration, collecting e-signatures becomes a natural part of the checkout process. This is an important feature for both B2B and B2C brands.


Adobe Sign embedded in e-commerce


Adobe Sign features can be easily integrated by merchants into their storefront via the Adobe Commerce Admin by downloading the Adobe Sign extension in the Magento Marketplace by Adobe. This feature will be rolled out globally in the second half of this year.


Merchant financing solution from Wayflyer

Merchant financing solution from Wayflyer

To help eliminate challenges that merchants face when seeking capital, Adobe is partnering with Wayflyer to provide access to their financing solution via an extension for Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source merchants.


This new financing option will provide merchants with access to competitive working capital loans to help them improve and scale their online businesses. Merchants can use the loans to purchase inventory, support marketing and digital advertising activities or invest in discounted shipping and returns programs.


Moreover, loans may also be leveraged by qualifying legacy Magento 1 merchants to upgrade to the latest Magento version or modernize the brand experience by working with Adobe’s many Solution Partners.

  • Need any help with Magento? MageCloud team can help to grow your eCommerce business. 



Real-time Customer Data Platform (CDP)

Next Generation Adobe Real-time CDP

With consumers becoming increasingly attentive to what type of data they are willing to share and third-party cookies in browsers going away, quality first-party data is the best way for marketers to build trusted relationships with customers.


This platform enables marketers to build trusted relationships with customers through first-party, data-driven customer acquisition and engagement. This platform is available for B2B and B2C interactions.


Adobe Real-time CDP helps brands activate known and unknown customer data to manage the entire customer profile and journey in one system, without the need for third-party cookies.


It allows brands to combine first-party web, app and media data (from publishers) coming from interactions such as a prospect’s web browsing activity, as well as emails or phone numbers from customers who opt to register on a brand’s site.

Adobe also announced a B2B edition of the Real-Time CDP, expected to be available in summer, 2021.
The B2B edition of Adobe Real-time CDP
allows customers to bring together both individual and account profiles for complete intelligence and activation to help B2B companies think and act like B2C brands.


Adobe Experience Manager

Adobe Experience Manager

Over the last few years, almost every brand has felt the pressure to accelerate the shift to a digital everywhere world. Customers now expect rich imagery and video at every interaction across the customer journey and every brand must deliver.


However, many organizations still struggle to find a consistent approach to deal with the thousands of images, videos, and rich media used in the experience-making process.


Adobe announced new capabilities in its Experience Manager platform. The main aim of the enhancements is to allow creating digital assets for various personas through artificial intelligence and automation. These capabilities include a Headless content management system (CMS capabilities) which can deliver content as data over APIs. It can also help with content automation. Another feature is Experience Manager Assets Essentials, which is now the default asset management capability across all Experience Cloud applications.


Upcoming quick site creation features will enable rapid delivery of web experiences without the need for back-end development. Customizable and reusable site templates can be used to create production-ready sites, ready to be populated with content. Finally, a new workflow allows front-end developers to edit web design in their coding program before pushing the changes back into Adobe Experience Manager.


  • Centralized, collaborative workspace: Agile workspace with an easy setup to get the team up and running quickly with asset management. Content creators and collaborators can access digital assets in a shared cloud-based environment that is scalable, available, and accessible around the world.
  • Search and content discovery, powered by AI: easily organize, tag, and find approved production assets to ensure utilization and brand consistency across teams. With Adobe Sensei AI (Adobe’s AI and machine learning technology) within Experience Manager Assets, it will be possible automatically to tag product images with color labels (Color Tags), and automatically extract keywords from text, converting them into smart tags, thus enabling users to quickly find assets.NOTE: Color Tags will be available in the second half of 2021 and Smart Tags for text are generally available to customers today.
  • Intuitive, fully integrated user interface: A simplified, easy-to-use interface enables creative and marketing teams to stay within their everyday tools to access shared assets. Creative professionals can use Adobe Asset Link to search, browse, and edit digital assets directly from Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and XD — without ever leaving their creative context.


Work management solutions must help companies run more efficiently by centralizing work in a single application, so cross-functional teams can connect, collaborate, and execute the right work – from anywhere.

Marketing System of Record

Marketing System of Record


Adobe made one thing clear: it’s time for a marketing system of record.


Adobe introduced a new Marketing System of Record — a unified solution for sharing ideas, managing content creation and automating complex marketing lifecycle, from strategy and planning to execution and measurement.

Adobe Workfront, the recently acquired work management vendor, is now integrated the Adobe Experience Manager  CXM platform as a marketing system of record. 


Moreover, as additional data is added and richer customer profiles are built, brands can use another Adobe product, Adobe Target, to personalize experiences with real-time, machine-learning at scale, among other capabilities.

Adobe Experience Platform Collection Enterprise

Adobe Experience Platform Collection Enterprise

This leverages Adobe’s globally distributed edge network to collect and deliver data to Adobe applications, or any other system. Data collection SDKs also provide the ability to ensure apps are providing the ‘best’ customer experience.


The unprecedented environment has forced the world to quickly transition to a digital-first economy as digital has become the main way for people to connect, work, learn, and be entertained.


Adobe Experience Cloud is focusing on customer journey management, data insights and audiences, content, personalization, commerce and marketing workflows.


Today, the Adobe Experience Platform and ecosystem powers thousands of brands globally, delivering real-time personalization at scale across more than 17 trillion segment evaluations every day.


Mentioned above enhancements are to solve problems that have plagued digital commerce experiences. From the customer’s perspective, these features dramatically improve the customer experience. For brands that want to compete these innovations should be added to the list of priorities.

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