Integrating Your CMS and Your eCommerce Platform

Discover how connections with eCommerce systems can help you get the most out of your online brands.

by Ilgun Ilgun, Tech Lead Product Development at Magnolia
Sep 1, 2020 | 8 MIN

Building a modern technology stack today isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair. Every brand has different customers, approaches and requirements for the technology they have at their disposal. Marketing tech stacks especially can be complicated due to the wealth of options available.

The first place to start is with the CMS, the heart of your marketing tech stack. Traditional platforms are no longer enough due to their limitations in today’s dynamic content world. A hybrid headless system helps you to get the most out of an ever-increasing number of channels and varying types of content, but brands need to focus on a best of breed approach and the power of not just a CMS, but a digital experience platform, DXP.

A modern DXP can not only store and manage your content, but also connect with multiple extensions to further enhance its capabilities. That’s why at Magnolia we don’t just offer a hybrid headless CMS, but also a best of breed philosophy and Connector Packs that natively extend to your other core digital systems, including Marketing Automation, Analytics, Digital Asset Management and Commerce.

Headless CMS for Commerce

The growth of omnichannel, where consumers connect with brands through every device they can, means that eCommerce is now a requirement and no longer a luxury.

Technology has also adapted to further improve the online purchasing process with the help of augmented reality to enhance the shopping experience and voice search capabilities to make it easier to find things on the go.

Brands that hope to keep pace with the rest of the world need to adopt an eCommerce strategy and fast. The best place to start is by targeting the technology stack currently in use, and the answers lie in how commerce connects with content.

Thinking of commerce as a content initiative is important since content influences how much trust buyers place in a brand and how they make their purchasing decisions.

Web content is stored, managed, and distributed with the help of a CMS or DXP to a brand website and other channels such as a smart speaker, mobile phone, or another device thanks to headless capabilities. Just as the CMS has evolved to become headless, it has spawned a new wave of commerce options to match this changing world, namely headless commerce.

With a headless commerce solution, the eCommerce backend component is decoupled from the frontend presentation layer. Using a CMS, brands can manage the backend - creating, editing, and publishing content while the content then gets displayed on a website, mobile device or other IoT enabled device.

Headless commerce allows for the smooth integration of other channels that have yet to see widespread use or be created at all. For instance, customers will eventually gain the ability to order food using the devices in their kitchen and have an assortment of brands to choose from.

As companies consider ways in which users will make purchases today, and in the future, a headless CMS can have a tremendous impact on the user experience. Buyers today are not just looking for convenience when they decide to purchase; they’re also looking for personalization.

Brands that leverage personalization as part of their eCommerce offerings are likely to reap the benefits of increased conversions and lower cart abandonment rates. To do this effectively, they will need to count on a best of breed DXP that is built for dynamic digital experiences.

Magnolia Commerce Connector Pack

With the Commerce Connector Pack from Magnolia, you can finally transform your eCommerce experience for both your team and your customers.

E-commerce platforms don’t typically give marketers or non-technical users the necessary tools to edit and customize content in the way they would like.

Often missing are the options for greater segment targeting, content repurposing for more than just a website and templates to make everything easier to work with. To extend e-commerce software with further tools to boost functionality usually results in a costly and time-consuming process.

Magnolia CMS places the power back in the hands of marketers, providing the tools for content creators to do the editing and customization they need to do with ease while maintaining the functionality of shopping carts and other e-commerce necessities.

The Commerce Connector Pack and accompanying connectors provide a way for businesses to combine content and commerce to tremendous effect.

Reduce Costs

Integrating an eCommerce platform can be an expensive and drawn-out process when there is a lot of custom code to deal with.

With Magnolia, backend developers can benefit from faster integration times thanks to several out of the box connectors for platforms like Magento, Salesforce, SAP and commercetools. For other tools, only a small amount of Java code is required to connect eCommerce systems.

Frontend developers can benefit from Magnolia’s standard API, which includes templating for easier access to products from external eCommerce sources.

Unify Experiences

Magnolia provides a bridge between the virtual shopping cart on your website and your eCommerce solution backend.

Thanks to the power of REST APIs, Magnolia can communicate with the eCommerce platform and unify the digital experience, allowing the customer to go through the entire checkout process and receive updates without going to another shopping cart.

Overcome Limitations

Content creators no longer have to worry about not being able to find products or go through a long process browsing a product catalogue. With the Commerce Connector Pack, marketers can find everything they need easily and then produce compelling content related to your brand and products.

With everything connected in one place, they can also draw on what they need to make data-driven decisions and deliver the right content to the right customer at the right time.

Commerce Connector Pack product brief

Overcome the CMS limitations of your e-commerce system and accelerate integration with Magnolia's Commerce Connector Pack.

Download now

How Does the Commerce Connector Pack Work?

Let’s take an example. You may have a large grocery retail web presence. Your product department manages the master data for all 34k product SKUs from 200+ suppliers in a mammoth legacy product catalog, which also stores different prices for several countries. In Magnolia you manage the experience: you create an intuitive set of top-level pages for each of your departments, Bakery, Meat, Drinks, Pets etc.

Magnolia breaks the content-commerce silo by giving a single access point to your digital teams. With Magnolia, they can:

  • Curate which product SKUs should be featured by creating a link directly to the products in your product catalog.

  • Filter on products and categories, and automatically create matching experiences such as landing pages with products that match your filter. 

  • Enrich product content with marketing copy directly in the CMS.

Magnolia’s commerce integration framework, which sits at the foundation of our Commerce Connector Pack, makes all of this possible by providing:

Out-of-the-box Integrations to Leading eCommerce Systems

Magnolia Out-of-the-box Integrations to Leading eCommerce Systems

Magnolia gives you the freedom to choose the eCommerce solution that works best for your business and has made it smooth and straightforward to integrate. The commerce integration framework comes with out-of-the-box connectors to the following third-party solutions:

The REST API allows you to get data on products and categories from these third party systems, making it suitable for headless implementations.

Intuitive Workflows and Unified User Experience Across Integrations

Magnolia commerce integration framework

The commerce integration framework does not just accelerate development, but it also takes integrations to the realm of the authoring UI.

Content creators can easily retrieve the information they need from external eCommerce solutions, and work with eCommerce content as if it were native Magnolia content.

They can find products in the Find Bar, browse the product catalogue, and view product details within Magnolia. Catalogs, categories and their products are all searchable in Magnolia.

They can further place products into pages or components using templating, just like any other reusable piece of content, and produce compelling, story-driven shopping experiences.

Combine Content and Commerce with Magnolia

Magnolia provides a best of breed DXP for creating digital experiences that entice and engage your customers. With the Commerce Connector Pack, the burden on developers and marketers is reduced, allowing them to work together to create the right experiences for the customer journey.

Ilgun Ilgun

About the Author

Ilgün is a Software Engineer who is working at Magnolia since 2015. Ilgün holds a Masters degree in Software Engineering. He is interested in topics such as Distributed computing, Deep learning, and Software architecture as well as speaking in conferences such as Devoxx BE, BaselOne, OpenExpo Madrid, and JBCN. In his spare time he enjoys table tennis and beach volleyball.