It’s great to see leading retailers and grocers embracing a unified commerce vision and the need to drive all shopping experiences from one central platform. Our focus is to be that platform for them, providing a full suite of integrated commerce applications, and at the same time providing an extensible architecture with key 3rd-party integrations, helping them build unique, differentiating experiences for their customers.
In this latest release, you’ll see significant progress within our commerce applications, and a great example of this is the new addition of Experience Management within our integrated suite of applications. We also have key new partner integrations, including our new partnership with Microsoft Dynamics AX, working together to deliver leading unified commerce solutions in the cloud on Microsoft Azure.
Here are some of the new features we’ve released for March.
Advanced cart promotions with even more flexibility and control
We’ve made some major enhancements to our promotion engine to provide marketers the control they require to properly target and execute cart promotions consistently online and in-store. Among the newly supported promotion types are weight-based promotions that will give grocers and other businesses selling in ‘bulk’ the tools they need to model their in-store discounts, online.
Orckestra Commerce Cloud now supports the following promotion types:
- Weight-based promotions
- Targeted promotions for select products and variants based on their attributes and specifications
- Targeted promotions for select days of the week and/or times of day
- Promotions based on selected payment method
- Promotions with rewards applied on up to ‘x’ units of a product
- Promotions with rewards applied on all units of a product
- Promotions for integrated loyalty programs
In addition to the new promotion types, the engine now provides even more control to define how discounts are distributed among the line items of a cart as well as how cart promotions and discounted products (markdowns) interact with one another. Discounted products can now be excluded from cart promotion as either a conditional item or a reward item.
Sneak peek of our new marketing application
In this latest release, we will provide our customers a sneak peek into our brand new Marketing application. The new experience for business users is more intuitive and has been designed and implemented with performance and efficiency in mind.
While this remains a Beta release of the new application at this time, marketers will be able to provide feedback by getting an early view of the campaign interface, including their associated promotions.
Product price management made easy
In our fast-paced retail world, prices of products must be updated regularly across channels to stay on top of competition, liquidate excess stock, etc. Businesses need the tools to make these changes quickly and efficiently. Regardless of whether you’re at the corporate head office or in the trenches at a store, you’ll be able to use the Price Management module of our new Commerce Management application to make these changes easier than ever. As always, this is integrated with our business modeler and your sales scope configuration so you can accommodate complex pricing scenarios for multiple geographies/currencies, multiple retail brands, etc.
This function was designed with product variants in mind. Need to update the prices of all color/size combinations of a given style? No problem.
Experience Management is now fully integrated within the Orckestra Commerce Cloud application suite
In our last product update, we were excited to announce the addition of experience management capabilities into our commerce offering based on the acquisition of the Composite C1 CMS.
In this latest release, we’ve integrated Experience Management fully within our commerce suite as a new application called Experience Composer. You can access Experience Composer as you would any of our other applications, and with support for single sign-on (SSO) business users navigate between our various commerce applications with one set of credentials. This makes it even easier for retailers to move seamlessly through the process of updating their product catalogs, creating campaigns and promotions, and launching these new offerings and related experiences on the web, mobile and in-store digital touchpoints.
Search-based merchandising of discounted products
Price lists within Orckestra Commerce Cloud may now be classified to distinguish regular prices from markdowns or discounts. Therefore, it is now much easier for site designers and merchandisers to use this information to create and deliver targeted experiences for customers by distinguishing regularly priced products, from on-sale products or products being liquidated. Set up dedicated ‘Sale’ or ‘Clearance’ sections, or permit customers to easily filter search results to view discounted products only.
Reserved inventory management and product availability
As a customer, there are few things more frustrating than being given the impression that an item is available for purchase online or in-store only to discover that the information was wrong once you try to complete the transaction or worse yet, go to the store to purchase the item. This however is a reality and challenge for many retailers due to the complexities of having multiple backend systems performing specific functions and no single source of the truth at a given moment in time. Orckestra Commerce Cloud is architected to act as the unifying layer on top of all those systems with the intent of being that single source of truth guiding all digital commerce experiences.
In this release, we’ve enhanced our inventory management capabilities to be able to better fill that gap of a single source of truth around inventory and product availability and greatly mitigate the risk of over-selling. Available-to-promise (ATP) calculations allow us to balance supply information being periodically fed from existing backend systems with demand information constantly being captured from various digital touchpoints. By tracking transactions and the reservation of items across warehouses and stores as well as by managing higher risk items with concepts such as safety stock thresholds, Orckestra Commerce Cloud is able to accurately inform customers as well as make intelligent order routing decisions based on a single source of inventory information.
Retailers can now more easily provide organization-wide inventory access and visibility across customer touch points, and more easily enable customers to get the product they need wherever they are shopping with them, so they never lose a sale because they cannot access the right inventory.
Initiating returns and tracking returned items
Orckestra Commerce Cloud now provides a configurable method for tracking the item returns process regardless of if it was initiated and requested from a customer, if it is being processed via a 3rd party logistics provider (3PL), or if it had been completed in-store. Irrespective of the origin of the return or where the returned items are being processed, Orckestra Commerce Cloud can track the progress and provide customers and retailers alike a history of returned items regardless of channel. Customer service representatives can view and monitor returned items directly from the Order Management application.
Integration and certification of the Avalara solution for tax management
Our ecosystem of solution providers is growing with the recent integration and certification of the Avalara solution for tax management. Avalara is the leading US provider of Tax Management solutions, and their AvaTax™ product is now integrated so that we can easily automate tax compliance. Orckestra Commerce Cloud customers can now leverage the AvaTax™ cloud-based solution automatically to calculate the final sales tax amounts for all transactions during the payment process.
Orckestra Commerce Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics AX integrated solution
March 9ᵗʰ marks the official launch of the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics AX, a cloud-first version of their market-leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. Orckestra recently announced a partnership and integration with Microsoft Dynamics to deliver unified commerce solutions, all natively running in the Azure cloud.
Our integration with Dynamics AX allows retailers to easily launch fast and responsive ecommerce sites integrated with the Dynamics AX platform and POS capabilities to deliver connected experiences online and in-store. If you want to know more about the details of our Dynamics AX integration, check it out here in the Azure Marketplace.While the constant changes in the retail industry over the last few years have been challenging and uncertain, we’re excited to see so many leading retailers focused on innovation and proactively investing in new shopping experiences. We can’t wait to see what they do with this new version of the Orckestra Commerce Cloud. As usual, looking forward to hearing from you.