Eight seconds. That’s how long you have to engage a typical visitor to your site before they bounce.

That was just one of the insights Amar Chokwala, CEO of Reflektion, shared in his Sitecore Symposium 2021 session: “The Truly Digital Experience Starts at the Core.” In his session, Chokwala joined Arianne Parisi, JD Finish Line’s Senior VP of Digital Operations, JD North America, to share how JD Finish Line is using Reflektion (now Sitecore Discover and Sitecore Search).

In this blog (based on Chokwala and Parisi’s discussion), we’ll first look at JD Finish Line’s journey with Reflektion, including the huge benefits they’ve seen from the platform. We’ll then take a brief look at Reflektion’s core technology, how it will be integrated into the Sitecore solution suite as Sitecore Discover and Sitecore Search, and how it fits into our product roadmap.

Why JD Finish Line chose Reflektion and what they’ve achieved

With a background in merchandising, Parisi came to JD Finish Line with a deep understanding of product assortments and consumer relevance. After five years, she’s now focused on digital — her main goal being to move customers from landing on the site to finalizing their cart. A large part of this is ensuring every experience is tailored to and relevant for each individual customer. It takes money to get them to the site, after all, so once they land, Parisi wants the experience to be exceptional.

When Parisi began exploring the digital commerce space, she saw others attempting to demonstrate ROI with site-merchandising tactics. JD Finish Line wanted to see how technology, and specifically AI, could provide a leg up with real-time, intuitive merchandising. Reflektion was the only player offering this. They began working with Reflektion about two years ago, focusing on search and preview search. While they expected great results, the results they achieved exceeded their expectations:

  • Double-digit conversion gains initially
  • Year-over-year double-digit conversion gains
  • The Reflektion platform became a shining star of success

Once they had the Reflektion platform up and running, the merchandising team quickly pivoted away from tactics to focus on strategy. This was a huge shift. With their new focus on strategy, the platform insights, including those offered by A/B testing, are implemented quickly to further optimize experiences. Parisi said Reflektion’s technology “has fundamentally transformed the way we think about site merchandising and our digital operations org.”

This year, JD Finish Line launched the category pages and recommendations modules. Category pages are critical, since around 70% of those who land on their site engage with them. Having rolled out the category pages module only a couple of weeks before Symposium, they’re already seeing big gains in conversions across the site. The next step is connecting this across email and in-store engagements.

Parisi took the leap with Reflektion because the technology’s promise was so compelling when it came to JD Finish Line`s goals — knowing their customers and determining the best strategies for engaging with them. Through this partnership, JD Finish Line can focus on their key competencies while trusting that the platform will be continually pushed toward new, useful directions.

What is Sitecore Discover?

Let’s take a closer look at the technology that gave JD Finish Line a powerful leg up. Sitecore Discover (previously Reflektion) uses advanced AI and machine learning to adjust shopper’s experiences in real time by offering personalized results to organic and site search queries. It can:

  • Identify purchase intent and adapt to it in real time (within 50 milliseconds)
  • Offer on-demand analytics and insights
  • Consistently improve conversion rates
  • Unleash disruptive e-commerce capabilities

Because it’s built on an API-first, microservices architecture, Sitecore Discover is easily integrated with other platforms in the martech stack.

The core of the technology: Customer profiles, analytics, and search

At the core of Sitecore Discover is the customer profile — based on data from cookies, search history, location, shopping history, and click stream. With each interaction, Sitecore Discover updates the customer profile to better understand real-time intent and anticipate the next best action. It uses this profile to drive preview and full-page search results, as well as recommendations across dynamic landing pages, the rest of the website, and emails.

Many other commerce platforms claim to have analytics, but they often rely on analytic solutions like Adobe Insights. The problem with this is that these analytics were created for websites, not e-commerce, so they miss a lot of important information. Sitecore Discover and Sitecore Search built their analytics exclusively for e-commerce, offering the commerce-specific insight that brands need.

Chokwala was keen on highlighting another point these unique analytics have proven — if you move people from browsers into searchers, you have a better chance of conversion. One way to increase the use of search is through auto-complete. When Google introduced auto-complete, they saw searches go up. When Sitecore Discover and Sitecore Search introduced it, they saw the same thing.

The integration journey outlined

Reflektion’s integration journey will begin with Sitecore OrderCloud®, Sitecore’s composable commerce solution. The next integration will be with Sitecore CDP. By deepening the insight of both solutions, this integration will benefit both marketers and commerce professionals. After this will come an integration with Sitecore Send, enhancing the automated email capabilities of both. The last solution to be integrated in this 12-month sprint will be Sitecore DAM.

An important step on Sitecore’s journey to a fully composable DXP

As everyone who watched the Day 2 keynote from Sitecore Chief Product Officer Dave O’Flanagan at Sitecore Symposium 2021 knows well, Sitecore is in the midst of transformation. From our beginnings as a decoupled CMS, we’re moving toward a fully composable DXP. This not only means customers will be able to design their own unique solutions, but also that our entire suite “will be a good neighbor in your martech stack,” O’Flanagan said.

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We’re thrilled to have Reflektion join the Sitecore suite as Sitecore Discover and Sitecore Search, and we’re looking forward to sharing many more stories of customer success. Learn more about Sitecore Discover here.

Dan Olson is a Senior Copywriter at Sitecore. You can follow him on LinkedIn