Delivering On Digital

Reduce the effort required to deliver content experiences and improve the impact that content has on the customer experience.

by Darren Hitchcock, General Manager at Magnolia
Aug 25, 2020 | 5 MIN

Content is a key driver of the customer experience. Brands that understand this are always on the search for new ways to delight their customers with superior experiences.

However, retailers are accustomed to specific ways of working that include inflexible models and inferior integrations. These rigid models can cause delays in working cycles and limit the delivery of experiences their customers want. A new method of content production is required to successfully deliver on digital.

Creating a New Wave of Content Delivery

The suite approach which many enterprise brands favored before has quickly become slow and tedious to implement. With the help of flexible open SaaS models for content operations, a more agile and dynamic working environment allows brands to combine content and commerce in a way that increases speed and quality of delivery.

A new wave of content delivery models can be found in digital experience platforms (DXP). These DXPs provide an easy to use interface with a best of breed philosophy. Magnolia, a headless CMS and DX hub, brings enterprise-level capabilities on a lightweight platform, decoupling the content from the frontend and allowing brands to work with new and emerging channels seamlessly.

But why has the DXP model become necessary? The growing customer experience battleground. According to Gartner, two-thirds of marketers believe that customer experience is where companies are already competing and will continue to compete in the future.

What Does Experience Mean?

Experience is an essential part of anything a brand does. This includes user experience, customer experience or digital experience. However, it must be understood that emotions play a significant role in any experience. When customers are on their journey, as long as everything is fast and easy with little to no barriers to overcome, then it can be deemed a positive experience.

To create these positive experiences, brands need to arm themselves with the right tools that allow them to meet customer demand while remaining adaptive to the speed of change that occurs with digital channels.

How to COPE (Create Once, Publish Everywhere)

As part of the drive for change towards faster and more cost-effective business processes, brands are searching for ways to create once and publish everywhere to multiple channels, multi-language sites and locations.

A hybrid headless architecture can make brands more adaptable and reduce technical limitations by decoupling the business and technical teams from each other. With non-technical users able to manage experiences on their own, release cycles can be reduced from months down to hours, and developer roadmaps become shortened.

In the retail space, products can come in various forms. Decoupling product and content creates multiple pathways for customers to go on a journey. Today, products are no longer siloed in one category but can be associated with various categories and ideas.

Traditional CMS models created a rigid taxonomy that didn't allow for flexibility in the categorizing products. Now, with headless CMSs, it's possible to use content tagging and fragments to facilitate content relations in multiple locations and make it easier for marketers to make updates.

Also, for large scale brands with several different products and categories, marketers can create curated experiences based on an extensive catalog of items. This makes it easier to simplify the customer journey, improve personalization and implement marketing automation to give the customer what they want.

Customer Experiences Are Made From Marketer Experiences

Before experiences reach the customer, content editors need to be the first to preview them before publishing. Editors and marketers are the creators and distributors of the customer experience, and in today's digital environment, there are more factors in play behind the scenes thanks to the growing number of channels.

Marketers need a way to control everything. In Magnolia, content pools are available that make content creation and storage more accessible. This allows marketers to consider not only the experience but also factor in other things such as SEO, integration of commerce and other assets. With lightweight integrations, content can be controlled and orchestrated from one central location, the content pool built up, and then distributed to multiple sites and translated into other languages as necessary.

While the WYSIWYG editors were lost in pure headless CMSs, making it difficult for content editors to work, hybrid headless platforms and DXPs make previewing and editing simple for marketers. Teams can avoid disrupting their workflows and developers no longer have to be concerned with making minor updates to experiences, and can instead focus on building other applications.

Flexible Architectural Design Can Lead to a Promising Future

The final piece necessary for delivering high-quality digital experiences is a full experience toolbox. If a carpenter only has a hammer, then everything will look like a nail. This philosophy holds true when it comes to building digital experiences as well.

Brands require a platform that includes APIs and component-based architecture. While the main functionality of content management can be met with a headless CMS, organizations need the ability to integrate other tools within their MarTech stack and deploy them as necessary.

Previous suite approaches meant that developers needed to spend lots of time creating applications to provide increased functionality. Now, integrating existing tools into a central DXP that can help improve the customer experience is easier. Sometimes the simple out-of-the-box concept can be great for initial testing, but to truly meet customer demands, brands need a best of breed approach.

For larger enterprises that typically found it easier to manage silos or smaller businesses who struggled, a component-based architecture can help improve the user experience, allowing content and commerce to combine to great effect. With enhanced content management, visitors will stay longer, which provides opportunities to convert them into customers.

Deliver Improved Digital Experiences with Magnolia

Magnolia's flexible DX hub makes it possible for brands to deliver the digital experiences that delight their customers. Along with a headless CMS managing content at the center, integrations are available for analytics that arm the people in the business with the data to make better decisions.

A complete PaaS platform can help retailers meet their high peak performance needs, handling everything regarding hosting, security and reliability.

Want to learn more about delivering digital experiences? View the webinar ‘Delivering on Digital: Delight your customers with superior content experiences’ with Darren Hitchcock of Magnolia and Jim Herbet of BigCommerce.

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Darren Hitckcock

About the Author

Industry veteran, Retail and commerce specialist and practised in many of the driving forces of today's businesses. Darren has been working for some of the largest and most innovative technologies centred around Personalisation, Data Analytics and Conversion and has spoken at many events incl. eTail, Internet Retailing and eCommerce Expo. With best-of-breed and headless now the new focus points of agility, being experienced across many disciplines helps give a constructive viewpoint around value.