Content and commerce are the integral part of the digital strategy to drive engaging customer experience. They must work like a collaborative force rather in silos to tell impactful brand stories and drive higher growth.
Sometimes we take it for granted that we’re creating the right form of commerce experience, but let’s face it, it’s not always like that. The reason: today’s customer expectations are unpredictable. They change faster than brands anticipate. Product quality, brand value, user-generated response (reviews and ratings), delivery to customer service - every factor must work in harmony for delivering inspiring customer experience.
Moment of Buying. It’s Different for Different Customers
In-store and digital selling is the new battleground for brands where the customer is at the core of everything. Brands that successfully engage with customers in their moment of purchasing will win the battle. But, decision-making moments can be different for different buyers, such as:
- New visitors spend more time in exploring and comparing, then make a buying decision
- Occasionally returning customers stay happy with brands, but do not always buy
- Brand loyalists generally buy fast without asking too much
When brands want to have full customer attention, they must dynamically present inspiring buying experiences in the context of customers’ moments and across channels. This is where content and commerce should be used in a tastefully elegant manner. The intention should be not just selling, but also community building, customer empowerment, brand storytelling, and customer value & satisfaction to maximize buying moments. It must also be centered around information, problem-solving, and entertainment to implant good brand memories in customers’ mind. It must help customers throughout their journey from awareness, consideration, and purchase.
You Think Content, Commerce, and Experience in Layers. But Do Your Customers?
Many brands still manage content and a variety of data elements related to the product, customers, and commerce in silos. Content platforms are used for transactional and engaging brand experiences. Commerce platforms manage customer online activity & behavior, order history, social behavior, offers & promotion, and more. But, different companies use different techniques to operate content and commerce platforms, like:
- A separate digital commerce platform and WCM (Web Content Management) / CMS (Content Management System)
- A separate WCM with incorporated digital commerce features or modules
- A separate digital commerce platform supported by WCM features or modules
The complexity of integrating content and commerce platforms often surprises many businesses. Many times, it may create problems instead of benefits, such as:
- Silos among the platforms
- Slow time-to-market
- Hard to create personalized experiences
These problems reduce operational efficiency in managing, updating and publishing content across multi-channels like web, mobile, apps, social platforms, print, and digital signage. Along with that, the requirement of extensive integration processes, duplicated efforts, inability to leverage all data, and slower response time contribute to disconnected and unsatisfactory experiences across channels.
Content and commerce must always be in the context of customers. Customers do not care about the layers. Content layer. Product layer and commerce layer. UX or experience layer. They want everything seamless — everywhere and every time.
Treat Content, Commerce, and Experience as an Integrated Identity
Unifying rich marketing content alongside pricing, inventory, and personalized merchandising can help create a single, relevant digital path for customers. But, it depends on how your marketing content and commerce work in synchronization with each other. They are like couples— truly made for each other, and brands must bring them together. The stronger the bond, the better the yield will be for inspiring, informing, and selling to visitors.
Rather than managing different layers, what you should do is deploy your Web Content Management and Digital Commerce platform as a single solution so that content, commerce, and customers experience (3Cs) can generate a memorable and deeper impression. With one content publishing and commerce management process across all channels, you can improve time-to-market for all lead-generation and awareness-building activities and focus on business growth.
This will help you tell engaging brand stories, understand customers better, and sell more products. That’s the real magic you always want to create with your content and commerce. Don’t you?
The blog was originally published here.