Analytics and artificial intelligence improve customization

Thanks to Google Cloud, Benetton Group has launched a new omnichannel experience and a recommendation engine based on machine learning.

Posted on Tuesday May 3rd, 2023 by Redazione

 A casual and elegant style at the same time, a bold use of colors, a communication centered on the value of inclusiveness that has been ahead of its time: for decades the Benetton brand has been synonymous with all this. Founded in 1965 in Ponzano Veneto (Treviso) as a textile company, Benetton Group today boasts a solid presence in the world, with a network of over four thousand clothing and accessories stores. Digital channels have been added to traditional stores, and in 2020 the company took advantage of the forced lockdown break to improve the omnichannel customer experience.

The project was carried out with the help of Google Cloud, whose services allowed to build a marketing data lake to better understand customers and their preferences. On this basis a new "omnichannel experience" was created.

At this stage, Benetton Group was already using a system of recommendations integrated into the content management platform for its e-commerce. A useful but limited solution. The company wanted to better customize the recommendations proposed to users, based on variables such as buying patterns, store performance and geographic market reference.

In order to achieve such a sophisticated level of customization, we needed state-of-the-art analytics and artificial intelligence tools: this is why the company from Treviso turned to Google Cloud again. "We needed a system that would use artificial intelligence to better understand our customers' needs and provide them with personalized recommendations," says Antonio Patrissi, chief digital officer at Benetton Group. "Google Cloud was the only platform available on the market that could provide us with what we needed".

The project was carried out with a multi-site approach and aggregating the different national markets in which Benetton is present by language groups: thus, recommendation models based on the specific characteristics of users were created. More precisely, a proof-of-concept has been created based on three technologies: the Google Analytics Web service, the bigquery managed data warehouse service and Recommendations AI, a managed service (GDPR compliant) that employs machine learning to produce recommendations and deploy across multiple channels.

For the proof-of-concept, data was collected via Google Analytics in each country over a period of 90-120 days. Imported into Recommendations AI, these data allowed to instruct a model for producing recommendations that was put to the test, demonstrating its effectiveness. The company then developed and launched the new system based on analytics and machine learning within three months.

Customers now receive suggestions of different types also depending on where they are in the purchase process (for example, "Frequently purchased together" in the product detail pages and "Recommended for you" and "Other products you might like" on the checkout page). "With Google Cloud, we have created a recommendation system that helps us personalize the shopping experience of our customers", Patrissi summarizes. "It adapts dynamically in real time, increasing engagement and sales".

Benetton Group has also designed the user experience of its e-commerce, leveraging the analysis of customer preferences and integrating the new system based on Recommendations AI. "We wanted to direct customers to the recommendations panel, increase the time spent on the site and reduce friction in the sales funnel," explains Patrissi. After a series of tests, the design of the homepage, product pages and shopping cart has been changed.

The interface changes combined with the new system of recommendations have paid off. Following the redesign, the company found that, if you click on the recommendations panel, the conversion rate increases by an average of six times that of users who don’t click. Sales made through a recommendation grow more than those that do not pass through this step. " We have always been looking for a data-driven solution that supports the company in achieving real business value through data collection and analysis", comments Patrissi. "Google Cloud has proven to be the perfect choice".

Benetton Group has now introduced the new user experience and AI-based recommendation system to its five core markets, but is considering extending it to other geographies. It is also continuing to enhance the system by adding automated features, with the aim of engaging customers even more.

Tags: google cloud, e-commerce, customer experience, analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, omnichannel, fashion

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Opentext pushes information management to the cloud

During its World Emea 2023 event, the vendor presented Cloud Editions 23.2, which introduces more than 75 thousand innovations. The Titanium project is advancing along this path.

Posted on 03 May 2023 by Roberto Bonino

A few months after the acquisition of Micro Focus, opentext gathered its ecosystem at the opentext event World Emea 2023, focused on the integration between the two companies and the presentation of Cloud Editions (Ce) 23.2, strong of beyond 75 thousand innovations introduced in last the twelve months.

As you know, opentext offers an integrated information management platform, with which it aims to help companies manage, store and protect their content. The great development started two years ago by the company on this front is called the Titanium project and is transformed into a unified platform for the use of the information management suite on public or private cloud.

In this framework, we place the update of the reference platform, opentext Cloud Content, which follows the quarterly release periodicity defined and maintained so far by the manufacturer. Ce 23.2 introduces numerous innovations, especially in the digital experience, supply chain, content services and business network products.

Especially important is the fact that the new release leverages artificial intelligence to reduce the most repetitive tasks and provide insights into the data to make more informed decisions. Among the most immediate consequences of the acquisition of Micro Focus, there is the integration of Idol technology in Extended Ecm and Documentum, in order to automatically identify business-critical content also taken from third-party applications, in order to reduce the dispersion and enrich the metadata already integrated in the repositories of Extended Ecm and Documentum.

In addition, content management is now connected to process automation, in particular through Connectors for Microsoft Power Automate, which allow to extend processes from opentext technologies (Extended Ecm, eDocs and Core Share) virtually any type of application, without requiring the direct intervention of It.

The drive for automation is also found in ValueEdge23, a suite of devops tools in the Application Delivery Management portfolio, which now sees the addition of new strategic planning, codeless quality and performance engineering capabilities.

Rapid integration and exchange of information with customers and partners is now more vital than ever and opentext Active Risk Monitor has been introduced for proactive assessment and management of supply chain risks and for ESG compliance, also aggregated with information from third parties, such as Ecovadis and Dun & Bradstreet. At the same time, Trading Grid provides a consolidated supplier life and helps to keep under control the potential risks associated with specific business activities.

Another upgrade of Ce 23.2 concerns Experience Cloud, a portal designed to give employees of companies greater visibility on tasks, tools and content useful to improve decision making, putting the experiences of internal staff and customers in direct connection.

  • Many other innovations are introduced by opentext, but better than other descriptions, to define the historical moment in which they arrive thought, during the event World Emea 2023, the CIO of Evonik Dirk Ramhorst: "Today, sustainability and business modernization are increasingly at the forefront of the industrial sector and we are more committed than ever to delivering effective, efficient and compliant innovations. Cloud content management helps us reduce technical and legal risks, manage unstructured content, and accelerate the path to modernization".
  • Tags: document management, devops, ecm, enterprise content management, cloud computing, information management
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  • • Environmental benefits will come with 5G
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  • • Siemens Xcelerator speeds transition to digital twins
  • • Integrated, controlled and error-free sales planning
  • • Artificial intelligence, new rules to limit risks

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