Speaking German could be complicated, your CMS doesn’t have to be

CoreMedia has a pretty funny series of videos of people like me (horrible German speakers) attempting to pronounce ridiculously long German words and then try to figure out what that word means. I actually did about 5 of these things and they pick the one that means “demo“, how fitting. 🙂 NRF is so fun, thanks guys!  Make sure you check out CoreMedia and their awesome CMS solution that integrates with Watson Commerce and the Watson API’s.

In case you don’t remember, I did a Partner Connect video with CoreMedia where we showed off their Watson API integrations:

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CoreMedia’s Advanced Digital Asset Management with WebSphere Commerce

I had the pleasure of seeing this demonstration at Amplify in Tampa this year and I was immediately impressed with what CoreMedia has accomplished. I am just amazed that every year CoreMedia seems to provide an amazingly easy to use digital experience integrated with the IBM Commerce platform.

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Homebase hits home run with WebSphere Commerce and Coremedia

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Homebase in the United Kingdom went live at the end of last year with their new site built on WebSphere Commerce, Coremedia LiveContext, and the Bloomreach search plugin. In May, at the Amplify conference, Rachael Jones from Homebase spoke about the results their new site has brought in and the figures are outstanding:

• Average Order Amount vs. previous period last year: 8% increase
• Sales based on SEO increased vs. previous period last year:
17% increase
• Traffic to website vs. previous period last year:
36% increase
• Multi-channel sales (mobile optimization):
60% increase

If the sales numbers are not enough, Coremedia has transformed the way the different teams work on the site, offering a full collaboration suite centralized on Coremedia’s content management.. Barriers between business, creative, and IT teams were removed so all can now collaborate directly in CoreMedia. This also freed a lot of time for creative to undertake more strategic initiatives.

Search landing pages are managed in WebSphere Commerce and augmented by content from Coremedia. This is a prime example of which I spoke about in my previous post where Coremedia supports all three options for “owning the glass”. This enables the business users to get an optimum experience in the tools that make the most sense for the job. This also enables the site to promote specific content for search terms, for instance, if the shopper searches for “drills“, Homebase can now easily show promotions related to drills or specific brands of drills like Black & Decker.

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Brand sites like Dulux Paint are now much easier to realize. This drives revenue for Homebase because partners pay for this sponsored content.

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Adobe, Coremedia, and WebSphere Commerce

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Ever since Adobe and IBM announced their partnership, many have been asking “well which CMS should I pick?”. I am not going to cover Portal or WebSphere Content Management in this post, I am just going to stick with the partner solutions Adobe and Coremedia, so that will have to be for another day.

Now of course this is just my opinion and others may have a different opinion but this is in the world according to Bob.

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Big Win for CoreMedia LiveContext

content_logo_coremedia_gr_1spalteRegular readers of my blog know that I’m a fan of CoreMedia and the impressive content management integration that they have developed with WebSphere Commerce. They launched the product last year at the Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Tampa and have been hard at work developing enhancements and lining up customers.

I’m happy to announce that all of their work has really paid off. Their first joint WCS integration project officially went into production last November and I’ll tell you more about that in this blog soon.

On top of that, however, the company announced last week that retail giant, Office Depot, will deploy CoreMedia LiveContext (Office Depot press release) to enhance the customer shopping experience for officedepot.com. Based on the strength of the REST APIs that they developed with the WCS team, CoreMedia was able to integrate their technology with Office Depot’s homegrown e-Commerce system in less than a week.

This is not only big news for CoreMedia but for the retail e-commerce space in general. Since merging with OfficeMax back in 2013, Office Depot has  become one of the biggest players in Internet retailing with over $7 billion in web sales according to Internet Retailer. Given the high volume of online visitors that Office Depot supports as well as its large presence in the B2B space, this is a great validation of CoreMedia’s ability to operate in a very challenging enterprise environment. This is as challenging as it gets!!!

Given that the recently released WCS Release 7 Feature Pack 8 is designed to accelerate time-to-market for next generation B2B e-commerce, the timing of this announcement couldn’t be better. My sources tell me that CoreMedia has had Feature Pack 8 in their development environment since before its release last November and will be validated by IBM’s Labs in February.

The news around Office Depot – as well as the recent joint customer wins – will kick start some more well deserved attention for this solution.

Integrated content management and WebSphere Commerce Workspaces!

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One of the really big problems in the eCommerce space is you may have a custom or enterprise content management system and a really great eCommerce platform like WebSphere Commerce but the two are rarely ever connected into a single approval process. Workspaces are essentially the “sandbox” and approval process for publishing products, content, etc to your site where you can schedule it to be released on a particular day after approval – or have it released on approval. The workspace is sort of a sandbox of changes where a team can work on the site collaboratively and see the other changes in the system.

You may recall this video series I did about CoreMedia’s Live Context integration with WebSphere Commerce about a year ago, click here for the video series. Well, CoreMedia is back and with an even more important integration in my opinion – Workspaces!

In this video I show how CoreMedia Live Context has been integrated with WebSphere Commerce Workspaces for approval flow and staging.

Experiential Commerce is the future

katieFor those that saw the GreenWheels demonstration and the many sessions at the Smarter Commerce Global Summit this year you saw a very common theme – content, community, and commerce integrated into a seamless experience for the customer.

Social is changing everything in our lives, including the online shopping experience. Brands are looking for better ways to “connect” with their customers and offer more than just the flashy product catalog or the marketing cross-sells and up-sells to entice you to buy more. Brands are looking to “connect” with their customer by enabling them to have a dialog with like-minded shoppers. Tools like Pinterest and Instagram are changing the referral landscape and are proving that a brands name certainly extends way beyond their primary site. But guess what? All brands get that for free, so how do you distinguish your brand?

A growing trend is simply content and community seamlessly merged with a shopping experience. Through communities, articles, blogs, wiki’s, videos, and even forums, brands are taking a lot of this in-house and including this directly into their shopping experience. We saw in our story of Katie how she used the GreenWheels mobile application to join a community, sign up for a ride, and even buy a new bike from a local store. Katie was able to feel like she was part of something bigger – a community within the brand that she could share, engage, and even shop in a single application experience.

These scenarios are all about content. Educating and informing the shopper through style guides, how to articles and videos, and most of all connect them with other shoppers. It is no secret I have worked with CoreMedia over the past many months and they have recently published a very nice white paper “Bringing Content and Commerce Together“. I urge you to check this paper out and re-invent your brand today.

A must see at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2014

content_logo_coremedia_gr_1spalteYou have read about and have seen the material around Commerce Composer and the new widget framework in WebSphere Commerce introduced earlier this year and you have also seen my video series about CoreMedia’s content management system integration with WebSphere Commerce. Well, guess what? That is old news and at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit you will see the next evolution of that integration called LiveContext 2.0.

Take a look at this great 4 minute video and see the work the CoreMedia team has done to give marketers the power to fully control the look and feel of their site while offering a first class shopping experience.

If you are a leading edge eCommerce shop that wants a first class content driven site with eCommerce capabilities then make sure you check out CoreMedia’s booth at the Summit (booth G-4).

Feel free to email Pat Kerrigan today to setup your personal demonstration at their booth.

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The entire CoreMedia and WebSphere Commerce video series

I created a play list for the CoreMedia and WebSphere Commerce video series on YouTube. This way you can binge on these videos in the order they were created. Granted it is no Lord of the Rings series but it could fit in a half hour block on TV being about 28 minutes – the good news is there are no commercials!

CoreMedia – Combining content and product search results

In this video I close the CoreMedia video series with a customer facing scenario where I show how you can combine content from the CoreMedia system with product results from WebSphere Commerce.

You can learn more about CoreMedia and their LiveContext for IBM WebSphere Commerce at their site, click here.

Don’t forget to schedule a demonstration at this years NRF conference (next week) to see these kinds of demonstrations and a lot more!