The more the provided content is tailored to the individual needs of the individual customer, the better the customer journey. A powerful content management system (CMS) is required to manage content effectively and agilely. If the CMS is connected to a shop solution, online shop operators can use the Advantages of both applications use. The following five tips show what to look out for during integration.
1. Make yourself aware of the advantages of the CMS for the shop solution
In many cases the shop system forms the backbone of the online shop. The online retailer uses integrated PIM systems (product information management) to manage their product information and administrative information and post their offers on the website. But for customers to feel that they are being addressed, more is usually required: one outstanding customer journey. A simple, intuitive menu navigation and an equally attractive and informative product presentation, if possible in different formats – from texts in the respective national language to images and videos to live streams, chats or podcasts are essential.
With useful or entertaining content tailored to the individual needs of your customers, you will be able to get them excited about your shop and its products. In order to manage the many different contents effectively and agile, you need technological support – in the form of a CMS. For example, marketing content can be easily maintained, translated directly and played out in a personalized manner.
2. Estimate the cost-benefit ratio realistically in advance
Combining a CMS solution with a shop solution is a technologically and organizationally complex task. After all, you have to keep the data of both systems always up-to-date and consistently without exception. However, the associated effort is not only worthwhile for international corporations, but also if you, as a small or medium-sized company, have specialized products worldwide and very much different customer segments to evict. With a CMS you can optimally maintain many different country-specific website and shop variants and are always available. Thus, it is not your company size but the product variety and complexity that is decisive.
3. Choose the right integration approach: Commerce led or Content led
Commerce led means that the shop system is in the foreground: The front end maps the structure and content from the shop system such as site structure, navigation, header or footer. Additional content flows in from the CMS. With the content-led approach, on the other hand, the CMS is technically leading, so the front end reflects the website structure, navigation, header, footer, etc. of the CMS. Additional product-relevant information comes from the shop system. The Commerce led integration is currently the most widely used variant. It is also more suitable for you if your shop system should provide structured detailed and overview pages per se. You need this in order to present articles comprehensively: with pictures, descriptions, prices, sizes, configuration options and the like.
4. Integrate shop solution: Get your employees on board
As with any complex IT project, when integrating the shop solution and CMS, you should involve the employees concerned – in this case often the marketing team, the e-commerce area and sales – at an early stage. Marketing is about integrating convincing statements on customer benefits, effective advertising images and video clips or storytelling formats.
The e-commerce sector and sales, on the other hand, tend to think in terms of product lists and prices. It is important to both of them to present each product specification and the direct ones on extensive product detail pages Complete the purchase with just a few clicks to enable. Only when all parties are involved from the start and develop mutual understanding is it possible to bring the sometimes contradicting requirements and wishes into agreement as far as possible.
5. Shop solution: keep an eye on usability
In a first step, your service provider will support you in evaluating and comparing possible systems with regard to their suitability and making a selection. This is followed by the technical and content design of the required components. Put great emphasis on the conception of the customer experience. In order for your customers to feel comfortable in the online shop and enjoy visiting them, user guidance, usability and accessibility are crucial. Nevertheless, the technical realization not at the expense of your brand. The design is subject to your CI guidelines: your brand should, for example, also be recognizable on subpages.
Of course, it is also possible to operate the entire e-commerce area with just one system and, for example, to keep product-specific content in your CMS or to publish editorial content from your shop solution. In many cases, however, this is not really efficient. Therefore, check carefully whether you cannot use the advantages of both tools with an integrated CMS shop solution and thus improve your customer loyalty and business results. An experienced IT service provider can support you in this – especially since the view from the outside protects against a certain operational blindness.
The service provider should use agile methods for development and advise on both private and public cloud solutions. Application management and customer-friendly support are just as important. You can find out more about how you can optimize the customer experience by integrating the CMS and shop system here. (sg)
Also read: Logistics processes – making them easier and faster with chatbots
About the author: Arne Hellmich is Senior Project Manager IT at Arvato Systems. Arvato Systems supports companies in their digital transformation. The provider develops innovative IT solutions, brings its customers to the cloud, integrates digital processes and takes over the operation and support of IT systems.