IRCE 2018: Navigating the Wilderness for Your Business Goals

Three Trends to Navigate for Your Digital Presence

IRCE’s conference offers a dizzying array of digital solutions, implementation partners, and toolsets. Over 130 sessions cover various topics and trends and the exhibit hall features nearly 600 top solution and technology vendors, all providing services they claim will grow your business and further your digital goals.

With so much to offer, and so many people to see, how can you decide which is best for you?

Simply put, trust the company that’s been there the longest, implemented technology that has been displayed there both past and present, and one that has achieved consistent year to year growth - not from venture capital and private equity - but by making companies real profits from their online solutions. That would be

So, here’s an honest look at IRCE from one of the most trusted technology and digital marketing partners in the space.

1. Magento Questions Loom Large

Many companies have chosen Magento on the community and enterprise level as a plugin-based, quasi-open source solution for their website - a goldilocks between fully custom, and fully open source that delivered strong value per implementation. Like many platforms, there are always the questions of long-term reliability, upgrade path and futureproofing, and how the CMS will evolve over time.

However, the single largest question is now, “What will happen because of Adobe?” With Adobe’s latest acquisition, the future of the platform is a question mark. Will they continue to support the platform? Will they sunset lower tiers of their implementation? Will they roll it into Adobe’s suit of cloud offerings?

No one knows, but as history shows with systems such as Demandware, you can never truly be sure until a formal announcement. Even then, be cautious. Your CMS should be chosen for your specific business needs.

Magento may be that solution, and other times it may not. That’s why it’s always best to discuss your CMS solution needs with a partner that integrates across all systems and platforms. That way, you cut through the hype, and are working with a company that has real-world project experience and proven solutions.

2. Automation and AI for the Masses

AI and automation have never been more accessible to growing e-commerce businesses, nor been more advanced. With Google changing the model for how AI is evolving into machine learning instead of rule based, and how these systems are becoming scalable and more dynamic, the cost of entry is also beginning to slide.

These are powerful, rapidly evolving tools, so our recommendation is not, “Should we be using AI?” to, “What business problem would AI solve?” AI and intelligent product faceting services are powerful tools unlike any other. The key component is building a strategy around how and why to implement it, which builds value and ROI, instead of just building an implementation project with no clear goal in mind.

3. All the Marketing Tools, None of the Marketing

Personalization, automation, dynamic search tools, CRMs - the halls of IRCE are full of tools, dashboards, and technology stacks to give single marketers the power of an entire team. However, after these tools are implemented, they lay dormant.

Why? Because there’s no content or strategic outlook beyond getting the tool installed.

These tools can only drive value with a strong strategy for how they will be used, along with production and content budgeting to keep content flowing through them. If you’re interested in installing an advanced marketing suite, make sure to budget not just for the tool, but the staff and agency time to fully utilize that tool.

As always, it boils down to ROI. If it makes dollars, it makes sense.

Any questions about our IRCE wrap-up? Feel free to contact us. See you at IRCE 2019!

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