Proven practices for strategically blending content and commerce
Content is the currency of any digital experience. When it comes to delivering a standout customer experience, retailers and brands agree that blending content and commerce is the way to go. But even with the best intentions, it can be challenging to deliver the right mix at all customer touchpoints.
If you’re struggling with strategically blending content and commerce, don’t despair — you’re not alone. The struggle is real. We see it with many of our clients, both large and small. Here are some tips to help you get started on the path to delivering a standout customer experience:
Develop and share the customer strategy. A customer-centric approach will be new for many stakeholders, especially if the marketing department is organized according to channel (e.g., email, web, campaigns, etc.). Involve top leadership in defining the vision and what the company wants to achieve so everyone can rally behind it. Note, it’s important to ensure that what the company leadership “wants to achieve” is aligned with customer preferences and desires.
Assess the organization’s digital maturity. Understanding where the organization is in terms of digital customer experience is critical in order to know what to strive for in the short and long term. After determining the current state of the organization’s customer experience and future goals, create a road map for the immediate future and a long-term vision. Then create a governance process to support both.
Align business and IT. Avoid being limited by silos and embrace collaboration, with a focus on the customer experience. Choose a platform that can connect data points for a complete and most current view of each customer and make sure you have the resources to leverage the data. Your platform should be able to closely integrate content and commerce functionality and also support a customer community.
Establish a content/commerce team. To further break down silos, create a cross-discipline team of content managers, SEO specialists, product marketers, merchandisers, etc. — all aligned around the customer experience.
Crawl, walk, run. Avoid a big-bang project, as this can be difficult to start and manage. Begin with basic needs, track and measure what happens, and build upon that over time to shape and continuously improve the customer experience. Develop a strategy and leverage technologies that empower the organization to advance while minimizing disruption to existing processes and business as usual.
Mara Seigerman is a senior consultant for FitForCommerce, a boutique consultancy that helps hundreds of online and multichannel brands and retailers make informed digital, e-commerce and omnichannel retail investment decisions. For more info, including case studies, on how retailers are strategically blending content and commerce, download the FitForCommerce whitepaper here.