Orchestrating commerce experiences

A story about short dogs, tall beds, and digital marketing

A yellow shopping cart icon in the foreground on an orange background with purple line art of web search bar and a mass of consumer products.

Illustration by Jan Feindt

At my house, we have short dogs and tall beds. We love having our dogs in bed with us, but they are getting old and jumping up and down is becoming a health hazard for them. So we went online and found the solution: a dog ramp.
A black-and-brown Dachshund dog stares intently at the camera from his seat on a carpeted wood ramp that’s alongside a white bed.
Photography by Irina/Adobe Stock

But now we have a new problem: After making this one-time purchase, ads for dog ramps began following us everywhere online. Further, we began to get regular spam mails from the vendor, seriously messing with our Inbox Zero game. How many dog ramps did they think we needed?

Seven side-by-side images of the same black-and-brown Daschund dog staring intently at the camera from his seat on a carpeted wood ramp alongside a white bed.
Photography by Irina/Adobe Stock

Doubtless you’ve had similar experiences. This kind of digital marketing is annoying, and disrespectful of our time, intentions, and intelligence.

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The fact is, the marketer really doesn’t want this result either; it’s just that the technology is still young and crude, and all businesses are currently at various stages of their own transformations into digital technologies. Efforts to effectively target, and retarget, brand messaging to consumers can therefore come across as clumsy, irritating and, in the worst cases, creepy.

At Adobe, we’re working to solve this problem—and many others—by building technologies and designing tools to more effectively orchestrate digital marketing and commerce experiences that actually serve and delight us all. This suite of solutions is known collectively as Adobe Experience Cloud (AEC).

“Solving the retargeting problem is just the beginning; enabling Adobe’s customers to more effectively orchestrate end user experiences across time, channels, locations, and surfaces, creates the possibility for the orchestration of virtually any kind of experience.”
—Roger Woods, Director of Product Strategy, Adobe

Orchestrating consumer experiences

The digital marketing-driven retargeting solution described above is just one of many kinds of consumer experiences enabled by Adobe’s suite of Experience Cloud technologies. Imagine some of these other scenarios:

Operational experiences. A theme park’s transport system fails and they need a way to communicate to park attendees and reroute their activities in real time.

Utility experiences. You arrive at your destination airport and get a series of push notices on your phone regarding the progress and location of your baggage.

Product experiences. While using software, you’re presented with well-timed and well-targeted suggestions, insights, and information, all geared towards driving you to the successful completion of a task and a better understanding of the tool.

Concierge experiences. Arriving to your hotel room an in-room screen advises you of interesting nearby events, confirmation of dietary and service preferences, help with transportation, and pre-checkout.

Transactional experiences. You receive notifications when an item you’ve ordered has shipped, and you’re given a method for monitoring delivery progress or altering delivery instructions.

Event experiences. You attend a large public event sponsored by a movie franchise company. Based on your known engagements with them, and other data points in your profile, the staff at the event curates your experience in real time, effectively casting you as a character in their universe for the duration of your attendance.

These are just a few examples of how technologies enable better consumer experiences. When combined to address even more complex scenarios, truly mind-boggling results are possible.

“Instead of separating metrics from online and offline channels, we focus our attention on capturing everything including website activity, in-store sales, call center volume, return volume, order cancelations, and much more, thus enabling us to make the best decisions to improve the shopper experience across all touch points.”
—Ranjeet Bhosale, Director of Strategic Marketing, Home Depot

Orchestrating customer experiences

Home Depot knows that for their digital transformation to succeed, they must effectively orchestrate their consumer experiences.

Historically, consumers have navigated big-box stores like Home Depot by arriving with handwritten shopping lists, looking for available employees to help t locating items, or simply wandering the store wide-eyed and lost.

Now, using AEC tools like Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager, built on our Data Platform foundation, Home Depot can build detailed unified profiles for each of their known consumers. By knowing their customers better, they can serve their customers better.

Additionally, AEC tools like Adobe Target and Adobe Experience Manager use insights from those data-driven profiles to enrich online, mobile, and in-store experiences for their consumers. For example, customers can enter their shopping lists directly into the Home Depot website or mobile app and once they reach the physical store, they can pick up their order directly; or, if they are still shopping, the mobile app can direct them to the precise physical location of products. All of these experiential components increase value and efficiency for Home Depot and, most importantly, for consumers.

(Read In store. Online. The Home Depot makes it one experience. for more about how Home Depot leveraged Adobe Experience Cloud.)

“I am excited to design a new kind of digital marketing solution that our customers will use in the near future. This new offering–Journey Orchestration–provides my UX team with the opportunity to create innovative product experiences for our digital marketing users; and those marketers in turn will be able to create vastly improved consumer experiences for us all.”
—Alexis Tessier, Experience Design Manager, Adobe

Orchestrating user experiences

Adobe’s customers cannot be expected to orchestrate nuanced experiences for their end users unless they’re able to orchestrate their own internal activities as well. So, at Adobe we’re always working to improve the experience of our Experience Cloud tools for those of you who are using them for your employer or business, and spending minutes, hours, or days of your time working with Adobe Analytics, Target, Experience Manager, Magento, Marketo, AdCloud... or any of our other products.

More specifically, at Adobe Design it’s our job as experience designers to make complex problems approachable, to streamline workflows without sacrificing power or nuance, and to deliver experiences that will ensure success at whatever task you’re undertaking.

Adobe Design is a worldwide team dedicated to the creation of these products, all day every day. This team includes specialists in Visual Design, Experience Design, Content Strategy, Design Ops, Accessibility, Machine Learning, Research, and more. We aim to make the world a better place by enabling our customers to make the world a better place, and by making it easier for users of our tools to do their jobs.

If you’re a user experience designer in search of your next opportunity, if you thrive in the face of complexity, if you want to build new design muscles, and solve real problems for real people and giant brands, then Adobe Design could be the place for you.

This article originally appeared on Medium with the title "Making Our World A Better Place Through Experience Design."

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