Benefits of integrating CMS with eCommerce
Why companies should invest in CMS and eCommerce.
Written by Vegard Ottervig on
Online stores have traditionally and—quite naturally—had a large focus on products, as shown through classic eCommerce and product information management platforms, also called PIMs. Well-known examples of eCommerce platforms include Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce.
eCommerce platforms have traditionally been very product and payment pushy, but friction-free shopping is no longer the only decisive factor online. Today, the user experience when going through a purchase is almost equally important.
For instance, think of the process of buying a complex product like a car. There is a profound difference between shopping on Tesla.com and Tesco.com—the former guides the buyer through a smooth journey, while the latter is more straight to the point to just buy goods (nothing inherently wrong with that!).
When the user experience is important, traditional eCommerce platforms may not be sufficient by themselves. This is why integrating a CMS could be the answer.
What can a CMS do that a traditional eCommerce platform cannot? Essentially, a CMS introduces more dynamics and flexibility in how to build landing pages and to work with content that is not chiefly products.
You can generally experiment more with content types, site structure, and design templates with a CMS than with an eCommerce platform. This in turn allows you to tailor and optimize every touchpoint on your digital customer journey, enabling an improved and more seamless user experience across your sites and applications.
For instance, instead of pushing visitors with sales and products off the bat, attract and entice them with interesting articles, handy guides, and inspirational stories. All delivered through a content management system, of course.
Content marketing is all about providing real value to potential customers and partners, and the ability to attract customers in the first place. Through a carefully crafted journey consisting of blog posts, landing pages, recipes, case studies, reports, and all other sorts of content, you can present products organically when deemed appropriate.
Together with marketing automation and possibilities for personalization, your eCommerce experience can be immensely improved, providing delight and value on all stages of the customer journey.
Once your customers are on your site, you can furthermore help them solve their tasks. Are they looking for a guide on home improvement, a list of the best makeup, or a feature about sailing? You know them best—and should be able to create what they need, when they need it.
And the central hub of all this is the CMS.
An inherent challenge with the integration of eCommerce and CMS is that the former usually has its own presentation layer. And when a CMS also has its own presentation layer, you can see where the problems start mounting.
A remedy to this potential mess is headless CMS—a solution where the content and presentation layers have been separated. In such a solution, it is possible to deliver structured content to the eCommerce solution from the CMS via APIs. Another option would be just the opposite: a headless eCommerce delivering products, reviews, shopping cart, and payment solution into a CMS—where the presentation is handled.
Integrating CMS and eCommerce could prove to be a great value for both small-time companies and large, multinational brands alike. Utilizing the strengths from a CMS—like content management, flexibility, and dynamics—together with a sales oriented eCommerce platform, could result in a mutual augmentation, attracting and delighting customers all the way.
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