Published on July 4, 2017 by Berlinda Nadarajan
One of the biggest challenges that companies face when pushing e-commerce initiatives is content management, whether it’s working with a legacy CMS, integrating the CMS with commerce software, or just making content management easy and effective.
Why is content in commerce so darn difficult? Marketing/communications and sales/e-business teams have tended to be kept separate, even though they might have some form of collaboration and exchange. These traditional silos still run deep and get reflected in separate processes, tools and priorities.
Sales/e-business teams are more geared up to product pricing, merchandising (upselling, bundling), promotions, delivery and fulfillment. Marketing/comms teams are more focused on content creation, publicity, campaigns, analytics and research.
These teams often use different tools and technologies to manage their tasks. The sales team might be more concerned with CRM, ERP, PIM and e-commerce systems. The marketing team might be more into CMS, marketing automation and analytics.
But customers don’t care how companies are organized. They want engaging, compelling and unified digital experiences across different channels as they embark on multiple individualized journeys.
Yet enterprises find it difficult to leverage the diverse bits of content stored on different systems to create unified digital experiences. An apparently simple thing like sharing and synchronizing digital assets becomes a pain, not to speak of personalization across different contexts. The wealth of data remains unconnected and untapped.
A clear way forward is to integrate content and commerce strategies as well as platforms. This is often easier said than done. Integrations can be complex, long-drawn and resource-consuming processes.
Where is your enterprise in its stage of digital transformation? Do you have legacy systems that you must keep? Do you have the luxury of starting with a clean slate and picking the best tools according to functionality? Vendors don’t stay still; they develop their capabilities. Many commerce systems also offer basic content management features. Many CMS have ready-built integrations with third-party tools.
At some point, enterprises have to decide if they lead with the e-commerce system, or with the CMS, or if they take a hybrid or headless approach. Then they have the joys of hacking out the specifics of the integration.
The twist to the story? There is no one-size-fits-all solution and each integration will be unique to the business requirements. Get some pointers from Magnolia’s white paper on the merits and drawbacks of the different approaches to connecting content and commerce.
Berlinda Nadarajan is Senior Marketing Content Writer at Magnolia. She enjoys researching and writing about diverse subjects, and creating content for Magnolia's digital business articles, case studies and white papers. When she's not finding the best words to put in the best order, Berlinda goes hiking, jogging, line dancing or choral singing.
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