The software provider this week announced several upgrades designed to help companies use machine learning and other technologies to reach their customers with improved personalization in web content and marketing campaigns.

Sitecore, a software provider known for web content management, is taking a deeper dive into machine learning and other technologies in its web content and commerce platform designed to help its clients personalize e-commerce and marketing.

If you know a lot of information on customers, you can serve them the right content to get them over the finish line.

It also said this week it had agreed to acquire Stylelabs, a provider of marketing technology­ used by such companies as Proctor & Gamble and Microsoft Corp. to interact with customers through personalized marketing. Sitecore didn’t say what it will pay for Stylelabs; the deal is expected to close this month. “This is a great move for Sitecore and its customers,” says Melissa Webster, vice president of content and digital media technologies at technology research and advisory firm IDC. “With Stylelabs, Sitecore controls a much broader piece of the martech stack and can help marketing streamline the delivery of seamless, personalized experiences—with full insight into what content is best suited to each individual customer. That’s the key to improving reach and engagement, converting customers and maximizing lifetime customer value.”

Sitecore made the announcements at its Sitecore Symposium users conference in Orlando, Fla.

Ryan Donovan, chief technology officer, and Faraaz Khan, senior vice president, corporate strategy and development, said in a recent interview that a major part of Sitecore’s upgrades are its use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to collect a large amount of customer data related to how visitors click through websites. Sitecore also designed its platform to make it easier for digital marketers use machine learning to automate personalization rules to develop relevant, personalized content based on customers’ interests.

“We’re helping marketers identify the most likely to convert customer segments,” Donovan says. “If you know a lot of information on customers, you can serve them the right content to get them over the finish line.”

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Khan noted that Sitecore expects the upgraded technology to appeal to a wider range of JavaScript software developers, helping the company to expand its market with companies with revenue in the “mid-tens of millions to a billion-plus.” He said Sitecore’s customer base is evenly split between B2B and business-to-consumer clients. But he noted that B2B companies these days “are caring a lot more about their customers and their customers’ customers, especially as legacy distribution channels dry up.” As major retailers like Sears struggle to stay afloat, he said, Sitecore is finding that more manufacturers and distributors are focusing more on digital commerce to build new and stronger connections with both merchants and consumers.

The improvements to the latest version of its content and commerce platform, Sitecore Experience Cloud version 9.1, come in multiple capabilities:

  • Sitecore JSS, or JavaScript Services, provides a software development kit designed to let JavaScript developers build personalize web user interfaces; unlike other JSS programs, Sitecore JSS doesn’t require developers to have expertise in .Net technology, Sitecore says.
  • Sitecore Omni, which is an application development tool for building websites, single web pages and progressive web applications personalized to the needs of customers.
  • Sitecore Cortex is a data-processing engine designed to integrate and work with machine-learning engines and software algorithms to help online marketers develop automated personalization of web content based in customer interests.
  • Horizon web content editing technology, which Sitecore has opened up for broader use. It’s designed to let web content managers and marketers use built-in analytics and a drag-and-drop interface to design web pages, then preview them on different devices before publishing.
  • Built-in tools for governing email campaigns to ensure they comply with privacy regulations and guidelines for marketing frequency.

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