Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Monday, April 19, 2021

Adobe Branches Out for Retail Analytics 

For most consumers, the name Adobe means one of two things: it’s either the program you use for editing photos, or the program you use for reading PDFs. But surprisingly the fastest-growing division of Adobe its its Marketing Cloud, which in the past few quarters has expanded at a rate between 20 and 25 percent year-over-year.

This growth has helped the division make an equally sizeable name for itself in retail analytics.

“$7.20 out of $10 spent at the top 500 online retailers in the U.S. goes through our Adobe Marketing Cloud,” said Adobe research analyst Tamara Gaffney to Venture Beat’s John Koetsier. “We are the enterprise leader in this space.”

Marketing Cloud works by first optimizing retailer websites for online shopping, then gathers information on purchase cycles, digital advertising, shopping cart trends and average purchase value. However, it steers clear of individual web surfing data, at least as far as Adobe can see.

“We aggregate all of that information, but we don’t see any shopper data,” Gaffney said.

Their conversation was focused around the upcoming holiday shopping season, in which the company is expecting record sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

When Koetsier asked how their predictions could possibly be that precise, Gaffney explained that Adobe has been pointing its marketing tools at 450 billion retail website visits over the past seven years, which proved itself during last year’s holiday shopping season with an astounding 99 percent level of accuracy.

“This is absolutely huge data,” Gaffney said of the information Adobe has gained over these past few years. “It’s pretty much unmatchable.”

And considering where Adobe sat in the 90’s and early 2000’s, the company’s jump into analytics seems even greater. But the speed of its transformation was the result of acquisitions, which helps explains the change.

Adobe bought Omniture in 2009 for $1.8 billion, making it the first analytics tool in the company arsenal. Following subsequent acquisitions of Business Catalyst and Demdex, the three separate business units were rolled into the single Adobe Marketing Cloud in 2012, paving the way for the presence the company has today.

At the time of its acquisition, Omniture was one of the fastest-growing companies in the world, but it doesn’t seem as though the changing hands has slowed its progress. In Q2 of this year Marketing Cloud grew 25 percent, which was boosted to 28 percent for Q3.

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