- The multi-year partnership between FedEx and Adobe includes sharing data across various stages of the e-commerce journey.
- By collaborating with FedEx, Adobe will be able to offer its customers free two-day shipping and easier checkouts and returns.
- Adobe’s customers will be able to access FedEx’s post-purchase logistics intelligence, which will help them lower costs while gaining customer insights.
The rush to build and integrate e-commerce platforms has accelerated thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that includes large companies such as Adobe and FedEx. By creating an e-commerce ecosystem across FedEx, FedEx’s ShopRunner and Adobe Commerce, the multi-year partnership is seeking to compete against the likes of Amazon by sharing data across digital sales and distribution networks.
Adobe is in the process of integrating FedEx’s ShopRunner e-commerce service, which it bought in December, with Adobe Commerce. Adobe bought Magento in 2018 and re-named it Adobe Commerce as a means to create an end-to-end system for marketing, building-ecommerce websites and completing transactions.
Adobe has been working with FedEx over the past six months to create the alliance, according to FedEx’s Sriram Krishnasamy, senior vice president, strategic programs and CEO of FedEx Dataworks. By collaborating with FedEx, Adobe will be able to offer its customers free two-day shipping and easier checkouts and returns.
ShopRunner handles the checkouts with its Express Checkout capabilities, which allows customers to shop and checkout across multiple brands on ShopRunner, according to Krishnasamy. FedEx enables returns for both brands and shoppers with a suite of solutions, including label-less returns, access to return-packaging at FedEx locations and drop-offs at more than 60,000 locations nationwide.
ShopRunner, which includes a $79 annual membership fee, free returns, two-day shipping and seamless checkout, connects more than 100 retailers and brands with online shoppers.
While the alliance is currently focused on retailers and merchants, Adobe Commerce’s integrated B2B capabilities enable B2B buyers to self-manage their company accounts. Distributors can set up multiple tiers of buyers with specific roles and permissions, track quotes and orders, define purchase approval rules, and manage their credit online, all of which makes day-to-day management of tasks more efficient for customers.
Adobe Commerce has built a consumer-like platform for its B2B customers that includes customer-specific catalogs and pricing, and targeted content and promotions. The platform also includes quick order forms and the ability to upload SKUs, create saved shopping lists, or request quotes 24×7. FedEx declined to comment on whether the alliance with Adobe will include B2B at a future date.
Post-purchase logistics intelligence will speed up deliveries
As a key ingredient of the partnership, customers will be able to access FedEx’s post-purchase logistics intelligence, which will help them lower costs while gaining customer insights. By using FedEx as their carrier, Adobe sellers will be able to readily access analytics that will help them with their logistics planning, including prioritizing certain orders for faster deliveries.
Prior to the advent of digital transformations, businesses of all stripes had siloed data information, which made it difficult to share or manage that data. With all of the devices in the field, supply chains and warehouses, there’s more telemetry available than ever before, but making sense of all of it is key.
“As a result of the collaboration, FedEx, ShopRunner and Adobe will have access to data and intelligence at different stages of the e-commerce journey — from demand generation to fulfillment, delivery and returns,” Krishnasamy says. “By combining our unique strengths and insights, we can create more reliable and convenient e-commerce experiences for brands, merchants, and shoppers.
“The size and scale of our network, and the more than 18 million packages that traverse it every day, gives us a bird’s eye view of global supply chains and trends. Our global network generates large amount of data, which is ripe for driving insights on supply chain visibility and optimization. This foundation enhances our ability to build better insights as a result of information from our network and the world around it.”
Building up edge compute for logistics
In November, FedEx announced it was working with Dell Technologies and Switch to develop technology hubs across the U.S. The companies are building technology hubs that are capable of supporting multiple cloud environments with Switch’s edge data centers and Dell’s cloud infrastructure.
The three companies are focusing on putting multi-cloud resources and exascale compute power closer to the edge where customers run their businesses. Putting data and applications at the edge enables low latency for services such as 5G, IoT, virtual reality and augmented reality.
The hubs will be located in strategic and secure FedEx facilities. The hubs give FedEx a presence in prime locations across the U.S. to better serve its customers at the edge and through Dell’s cloud.
While Krishnasamy and FedEx didn’t answer questions related to the use of the technology hubs as part of its partnership with Adobe, they will play a key role going forward for FedEx by not only providing useful analytical insights but also a better customer experience.
“Retailers are focused on improving the customer experience, from pre-ordering, to ordering, to fulfillment, and even returns,” says Roy Chua, founder and principal of research company AvidThink. “This partnership between Adobe and FedEx will help retailers, primarily Adobe Commerce merchants, by providing them with integrated access to FedEx’s logistics capabilities.
“Down the road, with FedEx’s investment in newer technologies like 5G, AI, machine learning and edge computing, we envision advanced analytics and precision tracking being employed to improve logistics as well as the customer delivery experience. Retailers integrated with these advanced shipping and logistics functions will stand to benefit from improved customer satisfaction.”
The result will enable businesses to better compete against larger competitors such as Amazon or Spotify by creating an end-to-end e-commerce platform across Adobe, ShopRunner and FedEx.
COVID-19 accelerates e-commerce build-outs
According to the recent Adobe Digital Economy Index, the COVID-19 pandemic gave e-commerce a boost of $183 billion as customers shopped online to meet their daily needs. In 2020, $813 billion was spent online, a 42% spike over 2019, according to Adobe.
“Over the last decade, we’ve witnessed the explosive growth of e-commerce, and the pandemic has only fueled the need for better solutions,” Krishnasamy says. ”That’s why FedEx is on a journey to transform the e-commerce experience for brands, merchants and consumers. Together, Adobe and FedEx aim to partner on innovative solutions to increase the competitiveness of their merchant customers while creating a more open and collaborative e-commerce ecosystem.”
U.S.-based Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source customers will be able to download the FedEx extension from the Magento Marketplace later this year to enable ShopRunner on their storefronts. “And as part of the multi-year collaboration agreement, FedEx and Adobe will continue to work together on e-commerce innovations to create new e-commerce experiences, more integrated ways to shop and more efficiencies for merchants and their delivery needs,” Krishnasamy says. “We expect to announce additional benefits as part of this alliance in the months to come.”
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