Respond to digital commerce consumer demands with an omnichannel CMS
In our post-Covid world, consumer expectations for e-commerce are changing rapidly. Recent research from Salesforce has shown that the vast majority of customers now believe that the experience a brand offers is just as important as the products it sells, and that it is up to these companies to innovate in order to make it happen. so that these products (or services) their customers face the pandemic.
This means that it’s not enough for enterprise ecommerce organizations to simply move away from outdated digital experiences. They also need to develop the omnichannel capabilities (whether focused on content or commerce) that are necessary to deliver precise, personalized, and fast interactions.
In short, modern commerce means brands need product search and discovery technology that caters to shoppers every step of the way, not just the shopping cart.
As a recent report from Gartner Research indicates, Composable Commerce Must Be Adopted for the Future of Applications:
“As the needs of the business evolve, organizations must be able to innovate quickly and adapt applications dynamically, reassembling capabilities inside and outside the company. ‘business. To do this, organizations must understand and implement the “composable enterprise”.
Many brands are keen to modernize their omnichannel experience (s), but are – rightly – hesitant about the time and cost of e-commerce transformation. One way to solve this problem is to start with a headless content and commerce solution that can deliver immediate results without undertaking a grueling re-platform project.
The Heart of the Problem: Static Ecommerce Solutions Versus Dynamic Markets
Brands have already seen dramatic changes in customer expectations for product discovery, in terms of the desire for more choice, faster delivery and, of course, higher prices.
But despite creating more content, adding more products, and maybe even cutting prices, some businesses just don’t seem to be getting the traction they need. The question is why?
The answer is that these marks are missing an essential point. Providing customers with more choice is great, but with unlimited choice at their fingertips, what online shoppers really need is help finding the right product or service for them. And they will judge by their experience of the brand.
Therefore, businesses need to deliver an immersive, omnichannel e-commerce experience that not only leads to the right product selection, but also delivers the right content at the right time. And this has to happen regardless of whether the customer starts a transaction through a smart speaker or ends it through a smartphone.
The problem is, the monolithic ecommerce tools that many brands work with just can’t support these kinds of interactions. Traditional suites are inflexible and struggle to merge content marketing, merchandising, and product catalog information to deliver a modern shopping experience. And trying to force them to do so often requires an extremely expensive duct tape project, which can blow IT budgets up and risk downtime that could cost millions in sales.
Add to that the fact that ecommerce teams don’t have the luxury of downtime to revamp their technology – these changes need to happen immediately and without disrupting ongoing operations. This can be seen as needing a solution that offers the freedom to transform the experience without a major re-platform.
One option to resolve this circle and help brands accelerate engaging business experiences without having to replace core transactional engines is the MACH movement.
The term describes a microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native, headless technology. By layering a MACH headless content management system (CMS) and product discovery engine on top of your existing technology, a business can quickly deliver a modern, content-driven e-commerce experience.
The question is of course how?
Updating Content Architecture to Create Modern Ecommerce Experiences
From MACH’s perspective, there are a few key aspects to injecting more value into the shopping experience and therefore exploring new revenue channels.
Because there is no room for unplanned downtime in e-commerce and there is no room for delays – headless CMS adoption times should be measured by weeks, not months – and as such, many aspects can be started simultaneously.
Integrating a headless CMS into a technology stack and migrating through content marketing campaigns decouples functionality and front-end, so businesses can immediately embark on new customer experiences without risk to systems critical backend.
Therefore, along with the establishment of a modern content architecture, companies can begin to integrate a MACH research and merchandising platform.
Tools like Constructor enable product (and content) discovery on a site, ensuring that customers see the personalized products and content that are right for them when they land on a category page, throughout their search, even going as far as recommendations for what else to buy, both on and off site.
This combination allows businesses to create an experience that blends product and content, using AI-powered research to deliver the most engaging information on any channel, and guides shoppers through limitless choice of items. that suit them perfectly.
The search can be freed from the traditional grid style and mix the results in different combinations, sizes and formats. This creates an intuitive and human experience while allowing a business to take full advantage of technology.
Fueling ecommerce with content marketing means that teams will need to create a decent amount of high-quality, well-organized content.
Developing rich content, which includes videos, infographics, and even other media such as podcasts and webinars, gives consumers more opportunities to engage. It also demands more smart content delivery tools that then create personalized experiences.
That’s why it’s essential for brands to choose tools that allow merchants, publishers and developers to easily, quickly and independently create and manage content. Content creators should not be chained to the developer team and vice versa.
The direction of digital commerce
Gartner Research’s Composable Commerce report states, “Digital commerce platforms are experiencing continuous modularization in a cloud-native multi-experience world. Application managers responsible for digital commerce should prepare for a ‘composable’ approach by using packaged business functionality to evolve into future-proof digital commerce experiences. “
While this composable future is almost inevitable, and consumer demands will only grow, businesses don’t have to embark on a costly and time-consuming re-platform project to create a cutting-edge e-commerce experience. Flexible MACH tools provide businesses with the flexibility to migrate to composable omnichannel systems at their own pace.
It will be this combination of going at their own pace, along with the rapid return on investment and likely market dominance seen by early adopters that will lead to the mix of headless technologies in many industries and markets.
Varia Makagonova, Director of Marketing, Content stack