2020 Year in Review: Leading Digital Thinking at brConnect

Donna-Marie Bohan
Donna-Marie Bohan

They came. They saw. They met virtually at brConnect. We may not have been able to meet in person this year but our annual digital experience summit was as inspiring and compelling as ever. Given the huge upheavals of 2020, it has perhaps never been more relevant. 

If you missed this epic virtual summit, here’s a quick snapshot of some of the key highlights, including a review of our 2020 product go-lives and some very important information on how to make a Bloomreach-Blue Negroni … 

Onwards and Upwards at Bloomreach

The demand for digital products and services has accelerated dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic, with businesses rushing to provide the best eCommerce experiences for their customers.

Our team is constantly innovating to make sure our clients can continue pushing boundaries and stay at the cutting edge of commerce experience. And at this year’s brConnect, we announced lots of new enhancements and exciting product road map developments.   

Our Chief Product Officer, Arjé Cahn , talked through the improvements we’ve made to brX, our market-leading digital experience platform, from its shift to becoming a SaaS product to new personalization and search capabilities. He also gave a preview of some of the exciting upgrades we’re working on launching in 2021. 

Our product experts, Clint Burgess and Jordan Roper , jumped in and explored some of these new features in more detail, giving you a real sense of the practical impact they could have on your business. 

You’ll have to watch their full talk for all the details, but here’s a taste of what’s on offer: 

  • The new content search facilities, powered by our indexing tool DataConnect, allow you to provide customers with a complete solution, so they don’t go looking for products on competitors’ sites.

  • We’ve increased segment relevance by harnessing a user’s behavior within a segment to rank products in a way that is most suited to their needs.

  • And the new easy-to-edit experience pages enable you to store page layouts and content in the same place, making it quicker and simpler to respond to your customer’s real-time activity. 


The Digital Landscape Today 

All of our products and services are designed to keep your business ahead of the digital game. To ensure we keep you ahead of the cure, we need to understand how the digital economy is evolving today, and in the future. 

The State of Commerce Experience 2020 study shines a light on the rapidly changing B2B and B2C eCommerce market. Our Chief Strategy Officer and host of The State of Commerce Experience podcast , Brian Walker, took us through some of the report’s key findings. 

The stats that made everyone sit up and take notice, include: 

  • 92% of consumers have fundamentally changed their shopping habits due to the pandemic.

  • 72% of B2B customers found online purchasing journeys frustrating.

  • 53% of all consumers won’t go back to a business they have had a bad online experience with. 

The message we heard from our research was loud and very clear: if you don’t want your business to slow down, your digital presence has to speed up. 

To do this, Brian recommended three key areas for you to make your priority: 

  • Put digital first. Invest in all your digital channels and put them at the heart of your decision making.

  • Prioritize customer convenience. Make it easy for them to reach the products they need online through personalization.

  • Stay agile. Nobody is sure how the economy will look next month, let alone next year. You need to be able to respond quickly to new demand and what your data is telling you about your customers.


Forging Your Digital Future With Us

Our customers understand that evolving with this shifting landscape is vital and that we can provide the tech solutions that help them do it. 

Our customers like Shutterfly are constantly innovating and view us as the perfect partner. Shutterfly’s president, Jim Hilt, spoke to Bloomreach CEO and Co-founder Raj De Datta about the challenges and opportunities of digital commerce, for the premier episode of Raj’s “The Digital Seeker” video interview series

Jim touched on what he’s learned during a varied career that has seen him take a digital path through several sectors – from tech to fashion and publishing, with companies as diverse as IBM, Barnes & Noble and Express. 

He has some brilliant insights on the importance of building integrated teams and how to make sure a business’s physical stores and digital offering complement each other. He also talks about the challenge of creating a product that meets the needs of different kinds of consumers. 

For example, how does Shutterfly’s popular photobook feature cater to the less tech savvy buyer who’s looking for ease and simplicity as well as the consumer who wants to create their own bespoke masterpiece? 

You’ll have to watch our customer spotlight to find out.      


A Round of Applause For You

As usual, we ended the summit in style by highlighting some of the innovations and successes our customers have achieved this year in partnership with us, at our Bloomreach Customer Awards. 

We had some amazing nominees in 2020 – such as Boden, American Express, Next, Puma and Kingfisher – across three categories: 

  • Outstanding Implementation Award

  • Search and Merchandising Award

  • Top Experience Award

To find out who all the contenders were and which three took the prizes, make sure you watch the full event recording


Now, back to that Negroni…

And don’t forget to celebrate with the Bloomreach-Blue Negroni. Brian Walker, Chief Strategy Officer by day, mixologist-in-chief by night, got the party going by giving a cocktail-making masterclass during the awards, which you can find towards the end of the video. Click here for the recipe if you want to get prepared .  

To watch all this content and hear from some of the companies we’ve help grow, simply visit this link where the full brConnect talks are available on demand


Donna-Marie Bohan


Donna-Marie is a senior content marketing specialist, writer, and editor with extensive experience in communications and B2B software marketing.

A former analyst, she enjoys exploring how digital marketing, media, and new technologies are shaping the future. She has authored a number of digital industry reports and her work has been featured across a number of publications, including City AM, the Financial Times, Forbes, Econsultancy, Marketing Week, Adweek, and MarTech Series.


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