Commerce and Content Management

Commerce and Content Management

Online retail is at a standoff as the offerings of ecommerce technologies begin to align. But integrated content management offers new opportunities for a competitive advantage, and a better customer experience.

In terms of features and functionality, ecommerce websites are equalizing across the retail landscape. In order to distinguish themselves, retailers increasingly look to enhance the customer experience with new, exciting and relevant content—that which lends itself to a more personalized, integrated retail experience for their customers.

Today, retailers use content management systems (CMS) in order to deliver added-value interactions and a superior shopping experience to their customers through a variety of methods, including: 

  • Internationalization and localization

  • Value-added miniseries, guides and editorials

  • Personalization of content across channels

In many cases, the strategic approach and effectiveness of content in online retail are now the key factors driving customer acquisition, retention, long-term loyalty and revenue.

CMS in retail practice

While ecommerce revenue is projected to increase over the next two years, the growth rate of ecommerce adoption among customers is going down. Retailers may find themselves sinking into the status quo, where stand-out benefits across online retail are so few that there are simply no drivers to grow the existing customer base. But retailers who use innovative, personalized content can reinforce the value of their online channels and acquire new customers interested in those key benefits.

As opposed to content tools internal to ecommerce platforms, External content management systems provide robust infrastructures and easily managed systems, enabling retailers to universally enhance the customer experience as part of a comprehensive content strategy. Some external CMS advantages include:

  • Self-hosted support of sophisticated websites

  • Multilingual proliferation of content

  • Sophisticated editorial and publishing workflows

  • Plug-in ecosystems support advanced functionalities

  • Support for customizability, and competitive enhancements

Retailers who use their CMS to deliver content strategically across their online channels, and put customers at the heart of every engagement, will distinguish themselves within the retail landscape.

Content types and personalization

Personalizing content based on customer needs, profiles and purchasing history can improve all interactions on an individual basis and therefore drive overall revenue for your online store. The following are some key strategic advantages that help them meet that objective:

  • Embed flexible content features (e.g. images, callouts) to any type of article

  • Embed video tutorials, product demos and more from YouTube channels

  • Manage content (e.g. crop images) for any device, without external graphics tools

  • Create “Shoppable” interactive content to provide tangible experiences for customers

CMS and ecommerce integration partners

Many retailers partner with CMS and ecommerce integration experts in order to develop solutions that help them manage the lifecycle of content in an integrated way across their retail practice, and fully address how their data is collected, stored, managed and published. An integration partner works with retailers to understand their needs and define the content management tools that will drive their ecommerce success.

This includes improving engineering usability and web portal performance for unique business requirements, as well as optimizing content, reducing redundancies, improving application performance and migrating between platforms to achieve sales and marketing objectives and improve the customer experience.

  • Retailers who deliver content strategically across channels and put customers at the heart of every engagement will distinguish themselves within the retail landscape.

What’s next: data-driven, tailored customer experiences

Among retailers, the growth of cloud CRM and ecommerce integrations is well underway, providing new opportunities to centralize data from both platforms and gain insights that can be used to improve operations and customer interactions. The next logical step for CMS is a cloud CRM integration that drives more sophisticated personalization, allowing customers to see promotions, articles or product reviews specially tailored for their interests. Although the necessary “three channel conversation” between CRM, CMS and ecommerce does not yet exist, it is a distinct possibility for the future.