Technology Featured Global

DXP Sitecore launches new CMS offering, ‘Experience Manager Cloud’

California, USA – Digital experience management software, Sitecore, has launched its new CMS offering, ‘Experience Manager (XM) Cloud’, completely transitioning its core CMS solution including personalisation and the content authoring experience, to a modern cloud architecture.

Sitecore XM Cloud aims to help solve the globally recognised problem of powering instantaneous, global digital experiences in the cloud without sacrificing the customer experience. This latest product release will provide brands with unrivalled speed to market in the implementation of customer experiences, simplifying design and deployment, and eliminating upgrades, which dramatically decreases the cost of ownership. With XM Cloud, marketers can instantly create, manage, and deliver engaging omnichannel experiences with an industry-leading enterprise-ready CMS.

Moreover, Sitecore XM Cloud provides a comprehensive SaaS CMS for the Enterprise solution for brands by overcoming global scaling problems including variable traffic, supporting multi-brand architectures, and site security. 

Meanwhile, for business users, XM Cloud offers the ability to build pixel-perfect digital experiences via a WYSIWIG authoring experience that can access content anywhere as well as embedded testing & personalization, and integrated visitor analytics. For developers, XM Cloud can also be used with headless development techniques and will work with modern frontend frameworks and support all deployment scenarios.

Dave O’Flanagan, chief product officer at Sitecore, shared that consumer behaviour has changed rapidly over the past two years, and audiences have become very digitally savvy and have an expectation from brands to deliver highly personalised customer experiences.

“This puts marketers in the unenviable position of trying to meet this expectation, but with tools and solutions that don’t deliver, and in some cases hamstring, the needed agility to meet demand. Sitecore XM Cloud provides marketers with a truly end-to-end, SaaS-based solution that not only helps brands meet consumer expectations but also delivers a best-of-class omnichannel customer experience,” said O’Flanagan. 

Through Sitecore XM Cloud, the company’s entire digital experience platform can now be delivered through a modern cloud architecture, providing brands and marketers with continued innovation, elastic scaling, composability, on-the-fly engagement, and multi-channel content management, as well as simplicity for marketers, and agility for developers.

Technology Featured APAC

Consumers from SG, HK expect brands to connect with them at a deeper level: survey

Singapore – About 80% of consumers in Singapore and Hong Kong want brands to connect with them personally, and 70% say that brands have deepened their relationship in the past year through positive online experiences, according to a survey by digital experience management software Sitecore.

The survey showed that seven out of 10 consumers have deeper relationships with brands, while the key to securing better experiences for consumers was to deliver quality customer service support and interactions, good customer experience when making a big-ticket item, positive initial interaction with a new brand, and through providing a relevant, helpful experience. The elements that trumped price were the high quality of products with 66%, reliability with 55%, and transparency and believability with 46%.

The same survey also found that consumers still greatly value the excitement of the in-store shopping experiences, with 36% saying they want to buy everything online, and 53% saying they ‘live for the experience’ and love to shop in person. Meanwhile, consumers place top priority on the ability to shop on mobile devices where apps or websites work well with 54%, and sites that remember their shopping preferences with 42%.

Joey Lim, Sitecore’s president for APJ, noted that consumers expect outstanding digital commerce experiences and they also expect online platforms and apps to work seamlessly, and their desire to shop in-store is very strong, however, the shift to digital is putting more pressure on brands to deliver quality customer service online. 

Lim also shared the survey showed that one in three consumers believe brands that show empathy and understanding will build stronger relationships with customers.

“Brands can pursue actions that build a stronger relationship with customers, such as illustrating empathy and understanding what they need at the moment. They can do this by providing insightful recommendations and deploying imagery and language that makes them feel represented by the brand,” she added. 

Moreover, the report revealed that loyalty changes frequently, as less than 25% of consumers are very loyal to their favourite brand store but consumer technology, banking services, and consumer goods deliver the strongest brand loyalty. It also found that consumers say that they have confidence in their favourite brand because it meets their expectations, gains trust, and guarantees satisfaction.

Meanwhile, discounts, loyalty programmes, and clear communications are highly valued when brands have to change prices, and more than 90% agree that brands need to prove that they treat their customers and their employees fairly. The survey also showed that while more consumers under the age of 44 are digital converts, most consumers love to shop in person for most of their purchases, and 40% say they chose to shop at brands with values that align with their own, as well as a third of consumers say that they have chosen to shop at brands with ‘real life’ vs. ‘perfect life’ experiences.

Main Feature Technology Global

Expert Up Close: Steve Tzikakis, Global CEO of Sitecore

As digital experiences continually see unprecedented changes, MARKETECH APAC sat down with a leader in the tech space to share with us how it is to carry leadership at a time of great transformation on the internet and among digital consumers. 

Steve Tzikakis, the global CEO of Sitecore, one of the leading digital experience platforms (DXP), conversed with us to share his principles as a tech and growth leader as well as his insights on the further realisation of Web 3.0 and the evolution of customer experience management (CXM). 

Watch some of the highlights of the interview with Sitecore’s Steve Tzikakis

Steve, who’s had extensive leadership in the tech industry, and was formerly president of software development SAP for EMEA South, joined Sitecore as its CEO in 2020. 

“We really wanted to push the company forward towards innovation,” Steve says of his jump to Sitecore.

Products innovation, customer-centricity, and the partners in the ecosystem are what Steve believes to be the three most important focuses for any company eyeing innovative growth. 

“For me, it’s not just about the leader’s mindset, but it’s what the leaders do to enable [and] accelerate growth,” he said. 

With the inevitable pivot of businesses such as Sitecore to strategising for the new Web 3.0, Steve imparts his views on the new dimension of the internet. 

“It’s all about democratising data on one hand, at the same time, accelerating the metamorphosis of content, and how you go into augmented realities, how you have more uses of artificial intelligence – all of these things are core parts,” said Steve. 

In the conversation, Steve shared further about his significant learnings as a tech leader, his views on the looks of CXM in the post-pandemic as well as the role of the evolving corporate work structure in delivering excellent customer experiences. 

Head on to Spotify to listen to the full podcast on the interview.

If you are a marketing or tech leader who wants to share your industry journey and insights, email us at [email protected] 

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

DXP Sitecore officially beefs up tech off quartet of acquisitions

California, USA – Digital experience management software, Sitecore, has fully integrated its core products from the acquisitions of Boxever, Four51, Moosend, and Reflektion into its Digital Experience Platform (DXP). These integrations come at a critical time for brands looking to revolutionise digital experiences to meet customers at the moment with more relevant, intuitive, and human experiences. 

The new additions have been fundamental to expanding Sitecore’s advanced, SaaS-enabled composable DXP that empowers brands to deliver unforgettable customer interactions, and will enable businesses to provide real-time, personalised digital experiences across every touchpoint, from content to commerce.

Dave O’Flanagan, Sitecore’s chief product officer, noted that they are committed to delivering a composable DXP that meets the continuously changing needs of brands – unifying content, experience, and commerce, enabling them to offer exceptional customer experiences while continuing to innovate for whatever demands are around the corner. 

“Ambitious brands have outgrown the one-size-fits-all vendors, and they will not settle for piecemeal point solutions – they need a stack of best-in-class features that work in harmony together – and this is what Sitecore delivers,” said O’Flanagan.

The updated offerings include Sitecore OrderCloud, which expanded its marketplace support capabilities with a new release of order routing flexibility, supplier empowerment, and pricing flexibility. In addition, OrderCloud released a new Inventory Records feature to provide inventory management flexibility to enable manufacturers, distributors, and retailers for seamless operations and commerce business success. The capability comes from the acquisition of Four51, which delivers modern B2B, B2C, B2B2X, and marketplace experiences for enterprise brands.

Meanwhile, Sitecore Send has revamped its platform with an improved design and more efficient user experience. It now operates with six additional languages, including Spanish, French, German, and Greek, as well as Japanese, and Portuguese. Moreover, Sitecore Send has announced a new pricing plan with a 30-day free trial for the full range of Send’s enterprise-level features. This capability came from Moosend, an innovative marketing automation and campaign management platform. 

Another offering update is Sitecore Discover, which now has enhanced its Commerce Engagement Console (CEC) with a revamped appearance library and editor to provide a better user experience and more control over merchandising. It also improved its widgets with type filters and rule exports to add more convenience for users. This capability comes from Reflektion, the AI-powered digital search platform that understands and predicts individual shoppers’ purchase intent based on patterns, context, and needs in order to convert shoppers into buyers.

And lastly, Sitecore Personalise has now completed its integration with Sitecore Experience Manager. It offers a channel diagnostic testing and real-time personalisation capability that complements Sitecore’s market-leading CMS and is delivered in the cloud. Sitecore also published several new connectors on the Sitecore Marketplace including Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Responsys, and Klaviyo in addition to adding new AI-powered product discovery capabilities to support a broad range of commerce-related use cases including intelligent search, product listing pages, and product recommendations. This capability comes from Boxever, the SaaS-based Customer Data Platform (CDP) providing decisions and experimentation.

Technology Featured ANZ

Switch, Sitecore partner to launch new initiative that accelerates digital transformation

Sydney, Australia – Sydney-based digital agency Switch has partnered with digital experience management software Sitecore to launch a new composable digital experience initiative, aimed at helping companies align and accelerate their transformation agenda.

With this new initiative, Switch will now be providing companies with the opportunity to implement composable solution architecture and software in a planning framework, which is designed to drive ROI on business plans, target operating models, and effective data architecture.

Moreover, Switch will be offering the latest platform components from Sitecore, including customer data management, content management, e-commerce, and marketing automation.

As part of the initiative, Switch has also developed a free workshop for organisations seeking to implement SaaS initiatives, helping companies understand their required digital experience strategy. 

Andrew Davenport, Switch’s managing director, shared that the nature of a composable DXP means that components can be smaller and quicker to implement.

“It also means customers can focus on key issues and key technical choices across multiple vendors which allows an organisation to keep evolving to meet its customer expectations without wholesale re-investment across its tech stack. We see this composability as critical to continued customer transformation,” said Davenport.

Marketing Featured APAC

Sitecore appoints Joey Lim as new president for APAC

Singapore – Digital experience management software, Sitecore, has appointed Joey Lim, former APAC vice president of ByteDance’s enterprise collaboration platform Lark, to be its new president of APAC operations.

Prior to joining Sitecore, Lim has worked as the sales director of cloud computing provider ServiceNow for ASEAN. She also used to work in the accounts business of cloud-based software firm Salesforce.

As the new president, Lim will help bolster Sitecore’s presence in APAC, which is part of the company’s ambitions in the wake of the US$1.2b funding secured in January. She will be overseeing the teams across the region, enabling organizations to digitize their content, commerce, and digital operations, as well as driving the overall sales strategy and growth.

Commenting on her appointment, Lim said that Sitecore has a brilliant culture and a vast network of dedicated partners across the Asia-Pacific and Japan markets and wanted to be part of that opportunity.

“In 2022, the pressure for enterprises to deliver seamless digital experiences, including best practice content and commerce services, will only intensify, and I am looking forward to helping our customers deliver on that opportunity,” said Lim.

Monte Wilson, Sitecore’s global chief revenue officer, shared that Lim has a tremendous track record in building successful software businesses in APAC and they are delighted to have secured her skills to lead Sitecore’s teams in the region.

“We were looking for an outstanding individual to take Sitecore to the next level and we know that Joey’s experience in building teams and delivering on ambitious goals will benefit our teams and clients,” said Wilson.

Platforms Featured ANZ

AU’s housing body partners with DX agency Switch to refresh digital portal

Sydney, Australia – Housing Industry Association (HIA), the largest residential building organization in Australia, has partnered with digital customer experience agency Switch which is also an implementation partner of DXP Sitecore, to overhaul its suite of web-based content platforms and provide a connected digital experience to its member businesses across the country. 

HIA is Australia’s only national industry association representing the interests of the residential building industry. It acts as the industry’s voice and promotes policies and provides services that enhance members’ business practices, products, and profitability. 

According to a press release by Sitecore, the association said it wanted to change its traditionally face-to-face membership model by expanding the digital experience and services it offers online. 

Together with both Switch and Sitecore, the transformation project sought to improve the association’s digital strategy, customer engagement, and website design, and deliver a cloud-based platform that would provide hyper-personalized experiences, e-commerce services, data-decisioning systems, and marketing automation capabilities. 

Ben Brooker, HIA’s general manager for digital, describes the project as a “huge step.”

“Our goal is to be the trusted, ever-present voice of the residential building industry in Australia, and provide a central digital experience that unites all customer segments under a proactive, personalized, and connected experience,” said Brooker.

Meanwhile, Switch’s CEO, Steve Nelson, remarks on the growing importance of digitization, “As digital natives become the norm, companies are looking at new service offerings to match expectations and create seamless digital experiences.”

Switch said it formulated a digital strategy centered around four key transformation goals: Raise and capitalize on awareness, increase sense of belonging, grow revenue, and build an efficient digital operating model.

The association’s digital transformation journey included an evolution of its onboarding and membership model, an overhaul of its e-commerce platform, and CPD (Continuous Professional Development) structure, and the creation of an engaging and informative digital resource library to assert HIA’s position as an industry expert. 

In addition, an integrated e-commerce solution was created across all of HIA’s digital to support the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell content online. The solution enables access to a number of resources that were previously only delivered in-store or through a customer service phone query. The digital transformation project also included a simplified user management UX that supports HIA’s membership structure, and the creation of a service prompting users to explore the website and learn about the features available. 

The strategy resulted in a multi-phased roadmap, allowing HIA to commence its digital transformation journey, starting with a new ‘Foundation Site’.

In accomplishing the project, the association deployed a suite of Sitecore technology platform services, including Sitecore XP (Integrated Digital Experience), Sitecore XC (Digital Commerce), and Personalisation technology. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SEA marketers need ‘stronger boost’ on campaigns for upcoming festive season: survey

Singapore – With concerns surrounding festive season marketing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting inflation of products, marketers in the Southeast Asia region say that they need a stronger boost with their current and upcoming marketing strategies as the holidays are fast approaching, data from the latest survey conducted by digital experience management software Sitecore shows.

According to their survey, 69% of marketers reported a decline in sales so far this year, and nearly 40% of marketers said festive season sales represents the bulk of annual sales: which is particularly true for businesses with less than 500 employees.

Meanwhile, around 96% of marketers are concerned about the impact of inflation on the Christmas shopping season

Furthermore, 97% are concerned that changing local health conditions could result in the need for fast marketing pivots. However, despite the uncertainty, marketers feel better prepared than last year to deal with product availability, balancing online and offline demand, and their customer profiling and personalization programs.

The survey also notes that last year has made significant changes on their supply chain endeavors, and that this year they expect that digital brands ‘will win more’ during the festive season, evident with the fact marketers have started their promotional campaigns earlier than ever.

“Most marketers expect digital brands will win the holiday season, and are planning to offer in-person and online experiences, including virtual give-aways, wish lists, and special festive experiences. The offerings most likely to be delivered in digital form are free gifts or product samples attached to online orders, personal shopping services, and a festive season wishlist to share with loved ones,” the company said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, Steve Hawkes, chief operating officer for Sitecore Asia-Pacific and Japan at Sitecore, commented, “We are seeing many consumer marketers increasingly relying on digital initiatives to capture the needed increase in sales this Christmas shopping season. We know there are rising concerns about the health status of communities across Southeast Asia.”

He added, “Retailers and other consumer companies will need to be nimble and act swiftly in the face of a volatile economic landscape.”

Technology Featured Global

Sitecore acquires AI search platform Reflektion

United States – Digital experience management software Sitecore has acquired Reflektion, the AI-powered digital search platform that understands and predicts patterns, context, and needs in order to convert shoppers into buyers. This move aims to help marketers solve the information overload that is characteristic of traditional search solutions.

The acquisition, which is a continuation of Sitecore’s ongoing US$1.2b growth plan, will enable Sitecore to engage, educate, and empower shoppers to make purchase decisions faster, increasing buyer confidence, long-term revenue, and overall customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Sitecore said that about 93% of all online experiences start with search, making it an integral part of the customer buying journey. With Reflektion, it will elevate search into a conversational, guided experience that provides more personal, accessible, and tailored answers for the customer. 

In addition, Reflektion’s platform will also be leveraged across all aspects of the Sitecore digital experience platform, from transforming product data into an understandable consumer-friendly language to understanding shopper intent, behavior, and product preferences.

Steve Tzikakis, Sitecore’s CEO, shared that the search is about more than just entering words into a box and hoping for the right results, as it is the cornerstone of a digital experience, and with Reflektion, a brand can add various types of search including personalized search, preview search, conversational search, and voice search.

“This reduces customers’ effort and anxiety to find exactly what they need – with more convenience and speed – and leads to increased customer satisfaction with more conversions and revenue. Acquiring Reflektion reinforces Sitecore’s position as the leader in digital experience technologies that meet customers at the moment with more relevant, intuitive, and human experiences,” said Tzikakis.

Meanwhile, Amar Chokhawala, the founder and CEO at Reflektion, noted that since its inception eight years ago, Reflektion has become recognized for its unique approach to search-product discovery technology, and their technology uses AI to adjust each consumer’s digital experience, at the moment, based on diverse data from multiple channels.

“I am proud of the passionate team at Reflektion who has been successful in bringing our AI-first approach to many site-search deployments for large e-commerce and retailers’ websites. With Sitecore, the Reflektion team and customers will be able to continue to leverage the enhancement of digital experiences, leading to continued growth and results for all,” said Chokhawala.

Technology Featured APAC

Sitecore appoints new VP for Asia in quest of CX, digital transformation expansion

Singapore – In its continuing expansion in Asia for its customer experience (CX) and digital transformation strategies, digital experience management software Sitecore has appointed cloud and IT executive Saurabh Pandit as its newest vice president for Asia.

The appointment of Pandit strengthens Sitecore’s presence in the market and is part of the company’s ambitions to grow aggressively in the wake of the US$1.2b funding secured in January. His new role will include India, Southeast Asia, and the Greater China region.

Prior to his new role, he was formerly regional director for JAPAC at marketing automation provider Resulticks, as well as head of IBM Watson Customer Engagement across the ASEAN region, and has held senior digital marketing alliance roles at Adobe. 

Before moving to Singapore, Pandit held cloud management roles at Adobe and Microsoft in India.

“Sitecore has a plan to provide business with marketing cloud technologies that transform the way they operate, and I am excited to be part of that. My expertise is in technical transformation and change and bringing the benefits of IT and digital to enterprise and mid-market customers,” Pandit said, regarding his appointment.

Pandit will report to Sitecore’s Asia-Pacific and Japan President Mark Troselj. He brings more than twenty years of business and executive management experience.

“Saurabh Pandit has the proven leadership and experience in driving digital transformation and customer experience innovation to support Sitecore’s growth in the Asian region. Companies across the region are looking for counsel and guidance in meeting the challenges of becoming a digital-first organization, and Saurabh delivers that experience,” Troselj commented.