In this article we’re covering a product overview for BloomReach. The company markets a suite of products around content management, which extend into many other systems like e-commerce platforms. This product page is for potential customers, analysts and investors, and covers history, product-market fit, technology, pricing and ecosystem.
In a content management market which has many players, each vendor needs to differentiate its offerings. BloomReach evolved over the years to offer a product suite that includes a CMS, surrounded by adjacent products that form a digital experience platform and integrates with the world’s leading e-commerce engines.
Founded in 2008, BloomReach started as an enterprise search specialty. Its focus was on long tail SEO for e-commerce, helping companies maximize their product placement and online sales. It is only in 2016 that it entered the CMS market with the acquisition of Hippo, an open source content management system. Hippo is based in Amsterdam, and is now integrated with the rest of BloomReach’s product line.
The BloomReach product line
As we discussed with the partner team at BloomReach, it appeared that the products can be grouped into two categories: the content management system and its commercial extensions, then the digital experience platform which in this case is the extension to a core e-commerce solution.
BloomReach brXM, open source and enterprise CMS
Hippo CMS is part of the BloomReach Experience Manager, abbreviated brXM, and includes the open source content management system at its core, augmented with a commercial offering. The commercial product includes support, and advanced features like the ability to run the product in the cloud, instead of on premise. The commercial offering also includes some of BloomReach’s differentiated technologies like advanced search. Recall the company started as an SEO and search startup, so this feature is part of its core competencies.
BloomReach DXP for Commerce
When companies run e-commerce platforms, they are using the core product to capture and process orders and financial transactions (payments), while managing related activities like stocks and inventories with their own vendors. On the front end of e-commerce, an online store greets visitors with store-specific web pages, which include information about items, like text, pricing, quantities available, images, video assets and so on. In many cases, optimizing the front-end user experience can result in higher close rate, more page views by recommending related items and products, and overall, better sales performance. This is what the BloomReach Digital Experience Platform (DXP) does. It helps create engaging pages, recommend the right product, enhance the search experience, and integrate seamlessly with existing e-commerce platforms. Some of the main platforms include:
- SAP Hybris – short video on the integration here
- CommerceTools – landing page of the integration here
- Elastic Path – press release of integration with BloomReach DXP here
- Demandware – more info on the integration here
- Blog post on API driven commerce – link here
The BloomReach CMS and overall stack is built on the Java programming language. This gives Java developers a seamless workflow to transition to and from, since many ERP systems like Oracle or SAP are Java-centric.
While most of the new installations are in the cloud, it appears that the only way to run Hippo CMS, the open source version, is to do so on premise. With a cloud offering, customers benefit from a managed service from BloomReach and its partner ecosystem.
The entry level price for a company to start using BloomReach on a commercial basis is in close proximity with other vendors in the space, focusing on mid-market customers and a fully managed product. The company however asks that customers call to discuss specifics. Some of the variables that influence price include:
- Page views: how much traffic the site incurs, which is a proxy to how much compute resources BloomReach needs to make available for the client and its users.
- Languages: customizing a site in English, Spanish, French, and so on can require additional setup time, as well as hosting each language site on a separate server instance, hence this function being a factor in pricing.
- Domains: likewise, domains and sub-domains often require separate servers, sometimes in different geographical locations.
- Service levels: business hours or 24×7.
Use cases and Ecosystem
The use case for a product like like BloomReach stems from offering a better experience to the end user of a website or an online store. Companies with an existing e-commerce platform like SAP or even Salesforce’s DemandWare looking to increase their conversions and overall sales performance metrics can use BloomReach’s DXP alongside their existing e-commerce system and ERP.
Other customers looking for a pure CMS can also consolidate their content stack on BloomReach, now that it has Hippo CMS, and can offer an integrated suite of product that spans content, search, marketing automation, and APIs with other systems.
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