Cloudinary: 'Retailers must deliver online experiences that equal in-store shopping'

4 min.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is the buzzword of the moment when it comes to digital transformation: no other technology is currently being discussed as much. There are also interesting opportunities for e-commerce to make the customer journey, internal operating processes and data management more efficient. 

One pioneer in AI applications for e-commerce is Cloudinary, the market leader in cloud-based image and video management (digital asset management, or DAM for short).

We caught up with Ralph Bellinghausen, Partner Manager at Cloudinary, to discuss these exciting developments and other industry trends. Ralph gives insights into how Cloudinary is harnessing the potential of AI to redefine the e-commerce space, and how the partnership with Actindo is setting new standards in the industry.

Introducing Ralph Bellinghausen

As Director of Alliances & Channels at Cloudinary, Ralph Bellinghausen is responsible for the development and maintenance of strategic partnerships.

In addition to identifying and evaluating new partners, he develops Cloudinary's sales channel in the DACH region and mediates in technical and sales matters between partners and Cloudinary's Sales, Support and Professional Services organizations.

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Can you give us an overview of Cloudinary?

Cloudinary helps businesses to realize the full potential of their media to create captivating visual, in-store-like customer experiences.

By leveraging artificial intelligence, automation and advanced, patented image and video processing capabilities, we make it easier for retailers and brands to deliver fast and flawless visual experiences at scale.

How does Cloudinary promote a flexible IT architecture in companies?

Expectations of websites and apps are constantly rising. Many companies lack the right systems and platforms to remain competitive in this digital revolution. To stay one step ahead, brands need to continuously evolve their tech stack.

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Cloudinary co-founded the MACH Alliance to tackle this challenge. The alliance aims to simplify the complex modern technology landscape by bringing together technology ecosystems that companies can benefit from. Actindo is also a member of the Mach Alliance and has received MACH certification for modern interoperability as one of the most innovative and flexible Digital Operations Platforms for transactional business models.

This means that the Cloudinary extension can be fully integrated into the Actindo Core1 system, allowing retailers and brands to get started immediately without high investment costs, long development times or disruption to the customer experience.

What trends are shaping today's e-commerce, and how is Cloudinary responding to them?

There are several trends that are currently having a major impact on the e-commerce industry. One of the most striking is the customer desire for visual shopping experiences that are similar to in-store shopping. Be it through virtual fitting rooms, 3D product views or interactive showrooms, brick-and-mortar and digital retail are increasingly merging into a single unified commerce experience.

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The production of visual content usually requires considerable investment. For companies with multiple products or a number of product variants, the cost of creating images or even videos can be challenging.

Cloudinary develops solutions with generative AI, such as Final Touch. This is an AI-based creativity platform for the creation of product images. Generative AI functions take simple product images and place them in a predefined environment. Editing tools then enable large-scale customization, editing, and production without the need for specialized design expertise or photography.

What advice would you give to companies that want to get started with composable commerce and are still at the beginning?

Retailers today must focus on delivering online customer experiences that equal or even exceed in-store shopping. It is humanly impossible to create highly visual digital commerce experiences across all channels. An intelligently automated rich media solution that is seamlessly integrated into a composable commerce platform gives brands the edge they require.

My advice to businesses is therefore to get in touch with the market leaders in composable commerce. Actindo and Cloudinary have excellent networks in this area and are able to competently meet all customer requirements with the right teams and partners on site.

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Want to find out more? Ralph will be joining us in an upcoming episode of our video series, the Digital Synergy Sessions on December 20 (German only).

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