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September 10, 2019

Adobe Adds Photoshop Tools to Retail Analytics

George Leopold

Adobe, the content manager that has increasingly been migrating toward digital marketing, is attempting to bring its popular Photoshop capabilities to bear in its updated retail analytics platform.

San Jose-based Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) said Tuesday (Sept. 10) its analytics framework provides a fuller picture of customer preferences based on upgrades that attempt to leverage Photoshop’s foundational logic and functionality. Those analytics tools run on top of Adobe’s platform that links online, off-line and third-party data.

The “Experience Platform” targeted at retailers and the service industry is tailored to support customer data such as point-of-sale transactions. AI and machine learning capabilities through Adobe Sensei are designed to add automation and predictive capabilities.

The platform includes pre-built AI and machine learning models that can be trained to make better predictions about customer preferences. Other recommendations features include identifying the best way forward to automate business processes.

Predictive analytics features include anomaly detection, contribution analysis and segment comparisons. Sensei also adds metadata and generates recommendations such as when to send special offers to customers.

Adobe is attempting to split the uprights with an analytics platform that is sufficiently advanced for data scientists but accessible to business users. To that end, a reporting engine generates visualizations that in turn create better ways to query data relevant to a manager’s responsibilities. Data can be queried using SQL or integrated with business intelligence tools like Microsoft Power BI.

Visualizations cover consumer preferences ranging from best-selling products to the most popular brand names as well as how online customers tracked down a product to metrics such as revenue-per-visit and conversion rates.

Among the consumer data proving more useful to retailers are device analytics, which Adobe touts as a way “to understand customers as people and not just devices.” Hence, its customer experience platform leverages graphs and data to track device usage, then merges those data into a single stream. The idea is to give retailers a better idea how consumers navigate across different devices.

The analytics platform upgrade reflects Adobe’s steady shift into retail analytics since it acquired early web analytics pioneer Omniture a decade ago. The company eventually rolled Omniture and other analytics acquisitions into its marketing cloud around 2012.

Since then, retail analytics vendors such as Adobe have been striving to deliver tools that can cope with an explosion of data sources ranging from e-commerce to social media as well as new BI tools. One result, industry observers note, are organizational structures that aren’t properly aligned to get the most out of analytics infrastructure.

Hence, retail analytics specialists like Adobe are touting new tools that squeeze more productivity out of existing tools while adding Photoshop-inspired data analysis to business intelligence operations.

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