Gorilla Group

On June 8th, in the heart of Chicago, Gorilla Group served as the lead sponsor for the first Adobe Commerce Reconnections event. The turnout was excellent with 200+ industry leaders and practitioners who were excited to be back in person again, to learn more about how to leverage Adobe Commerce to apply to their organization’s digital goals.

There was a lot of conversation both in the Adobe product roadmap and in the customer sessions about how to leverage Adobe Commerce Cloud in a more headless manner to engage with customers across a variety of digital channels. So let’s get into it!

New Feature Releases

Adobe is releasing a new API platform, called App Builder, that will enable merchants to expose new data sources to power the commerce experience, both within Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Commerce. This long term architecture approach will continue to push Adobe Commerce ahead of its peers as it advances to true headless capabilities.

The product roadmap provided insight into the new features that were released such as AI-driven product recommendations and live search results, a game changer for Adobe Commerce. Powered by Adobe Sensei, these features can help B2C brands deliver fast, highly relevant and personalized results and recommendations. Eventually the same will be applied in B2B scenarios involving customer specific catalogs and pricing.

Additionally, Gorilla’s Martin Casey and Jim Vogel, along with Adobe’s Emma Lockwood, provided expert guidance on taking Adobe Commerce headless in their session, “Unlock Exceptional Experiences across Touchpoints using Adobe Commerce’s Headless Capabilities”. Merchants now have the ability to deploy Adobe Commerce in a more flexible manner to meet the needs of customers across digital channels. 

Merchants can use a progressive web app leveraging Adobe’s PWA Studio for their primary site experience to better engage users across devices; or they can use Adobe Experience Manager as the presentation layer in complex customer journeys; or they can also support additional digital channels such as custom frontends, third-party marketplaces, punch-out or procurement systems, and more.

Customer Stories

Some great customer stories were shared throughout the day ,both within the sessions such as Boehringer Ingelheim, as well as live Q&A with customers like Boehringer Ingelheim, Univar and Wheel Pros.

Boehringer Ingelheim

Pawru, a recently formed Boehringer Ingelheim company whose remit is to expand Boehringer Ingelheim’s digital collaborative animal healthcare platform, PetPro Connect. After expanding into the US, Pawru utilized Adobe Commerce to enable veterinarians in local markets to prescribe their products in a way that could effectively compete with those already established in the market. Adobe Commerce was deployed in a fully headless capacity, integrated into PetPro Connect, Pawru’s existing React Progressive Web App (PWA). PetPro Connect supports the spring flea, tick, and heartworm prescription refill campaigns as well as veterinarian onboarding, along with price, account, and order management. Utilizing Adobe Commerce headlessly Pawru is able to support vets and their customers with a B2B2C ecommerce channel to ease prescription refills and enhance retention.

Univar Solutions

Univar Solutions, a leading chemical distribution company, discussed how they leverage Adobe Commerce to jump start their digital transformation by aligning their current digital properties and expanding them into new markets. By doing so, Univar was able to reimagine their flagship site and create a cohesive framework for deploying additional lines of business onto the digital platform more seamlessly. Those additional lines of business included B2B channels, Univar’s historic business, as well as new markets for direct to consumer and small business. As a result Univar was also able to expand into international markets.

Steve Martinez, Vice President of Digital Solutions at Univar Solutions takes a lead role in helping Univar’s ongoing improvement of its strong presence in B2B ecommerce. According to Steve, “the chemical industry has generally been slow to embrace ecommerce historically because of the nature of the products that are sold. Selling chemicals online requires a shift in paradigm and new customer-centric approaches. We’ve had to change how we think about serving our customers for the online channel to focus on convenience, speed, and simplicity.”  Univar recently reported a 92% increase in the number of orders placed through in Q2, 2022.

Wheel Pros

Wheel Pros serves the automotive aftermarket with a wide selection of vehicle enhancements from its portfolio of lifestyle brands, including Fuel-Off-Road, American Racing, KMC, Rotiform and Black Rhino. Utilizing its global network of distribution centers Wheel Pros serves over 13,500 retailers and has a growing ecommerce presence to provide enthusiast consumers with access to the products they desire.  

During the Reconnections customer panel, we learned about some of the amazing work that Chief Digital Officer, Khalid Saleem, is responsible for at Wheel Pros.  Historically, technology decisions were aligned to each brand, but under Khalid’s leadership Wheel Pros selected Adobe Commerce Cloud to support its digital business for B2B and Direct channels across its current brands, encompassing over 40 web properties. 

“Adobe reconnections appeared to be the perfect recipe for a small conference aimed at a specific audience geared at achieving meaningful learnings and partnerships. A brilliant combination of rapid insights, creative and thought provoking conversations, but most importantly innovative  solution designing that serves as the cornerstone of continuous improvement driving digital transformations across retail, omni-channel and manufacturing paradigms. The sessions were meticulously curated and the partner ecosystem presence was strategically aligned with their core competencies to facilitate attendees ideation and future partnerships." - Khalid Saleem, Chief Digital Officer, Wheel Pros

Key Takeaways

Enterprise organizations investing in their digital channels continue to not only grow but also mature.  We learned from many organizations that are leveraging digital to connect with their customers and have already evolved their digital strategy to continue to strengthen the channel.  Whether it is Univar embarking on its Digital Transformation journey or Wheel Pros doubling down on its digital investment as it expands, the future is bright for digital leaders whose organizations have committed to digital.

Adobe Commerce Cloud remains the primary platform for organizations that have multiple digital channels. Adobe recognizes this market differentiator and continues to invest in the architecture to enable greater modularity by digital channel from a common codebase.  Leveraging Adobe’s Commerce Integration Framework (CIF) organizations can further bifurcate their commerce and experiences infrastructures to ensure customer experiences remain flexible while maintaining a stable commerce foundation. Additionally, Adobe is embedding AI into its Experience Cloud suite by integrating Sensai into core products like Adobe Commerce Cloud, lessening the need for third party tools to augment the base technology platform.

Adobe Summit is a great avenue for bringing together a multi-cloud narrative, but lacks the commerce focus Reconnections was able to offer. Bringing merchants, Adobe Commerce leadership, and select ecommerce partners gave us all the opportunity to connect, share best practices, and seek answers to prevailing questions common to our industry.