• Apr 22, 2022
  • 9 MIN
Category Business
The New Frontier of Commerce: Give Your Brand the Edge with Content Commerce
The New Frontier of Content Commerce: Is Your Brand Ready?

The New Frontier of Content Commerce: Is Your Brand Ready?

What’s a must-have advantage for your brand? Content commerce is rapidly emerging as the new frontier in ecommerce with fast-moving companies learning to integrate content and their online shopping experience in ever-smarter ways. This post explains precisely what content commerce is, and spotlights six ways using a DXP with a headless CMS can catapult your business above the competition.

What is Content Commerce?

Content commerce, by definition, is when the entire digital customer journey is supported by content – from putting a product on a consumer’s radar to providing specifications to encourage a purchase, to follow-up on the use of the product. Customers must be able to access the content they need at any time and on any digital touchpoint. But as lovely as content commerce sounds in theory, the technical implementation can be a challenge.

The fundamental problem brands face when it comes to the technical implementation of content commerce is having their data and content scattered across different systems. Brands often use multiple websites, online stores, and a range of content marketing channels that seem impossible to integrate deeply due to partially incompatible systems.

For example, a company could be using Attraqt for personalization, Cloudinary for images and videos, commercetools for product data, and Magnolia for creating educational posts and marketing texts. Luckily, the data across these platforms can be seamlessly organized into a uniform, digital experience using a headless content management system – serving as the foundation for an effective content commerce strategy.

What Sets High-Growth Ecommerce Brands Apart From Competition?

Not all content is created equal – the brands that succeed in ecommerce publish content that is relatable, educational, and downright inspiring. Nearly all the top high-growth ecommerce brands have exciting and thoughtful content seamlessly integrated across multiple sites and channels – and it's their digital experience platform (DXP) that allows them to implement their content-driven commerce strategies so successfully.

The Loss of Trust in Traditional Advertising Has Pushed Companies to Content Creation.

So why have so many companies suddenly decided to start publishing original content on their websites? It has a lot to do with consumers losing trust in "traditional" advertising channels.

According to a 2021 survey among adults in the United States, over 54% of respondents found traditional TV, print, and radio ads somewhat untrustworthy. With most people believing ads are often wildly exaggerated and photoshopped, consumers now conduct research before purchasing.

Consumers Are Hungry for Content-Based Connections.

As consumers, our expectations have risen. We expect brands to tell stories and deliver valuable content in a zero-effort customer journey. Storytelling is one of the most sought-after skills among marketers and customer-centric brands due to its crucial role in the human experience. With the right stories told through content, brands can appeal to potential customers and convert them into buyers. As a result, businesses must be able to adapt quickly with the right tools, as maintaining the status quo doesn't cut it in the new frontier of content commerce.

Examples of Content That Can Be Used to Drive Commerce

Companies are more focused than ever on creating content that engages, inspires, and converts consumers into brand-loyal customers who make repeat purchases. Some common examples of content that can be created to build consumer trust include:

  • How-to videos

  • Buyer's and Gift guides

  • Online catalog content

  • Tips and tricks shared via Instagram reels and other social channels

  • ‘About’ content telling a company’s story

  • Customer reviews and case study videos

  • Inspiration blog pieces with video

  • Educational blog posts

Content Commerce for B2B Companies

Merging content and commerce in B2B may not immediately seem like a straightforward approach, but the reality is that B2B customers are just as hungry for content. Everything from blogs and whitepapers, to industry-focused podcasts can help turn visitors into potential customers.

The Secret to High-Growth Ecommerce Brands

Ultimately, companies that give their customers a unique and highly personalized content experience have risen to the top – and this will continue to be the “secret sauce” behind high-growth ecommerce brands. Take a look at any of the tens of high quality content personalization examples available online today to see the results.

Now, in theory, this can be hard to do. Providing the perfect content for all those people at just the right point in their individual shopping journey is a considerable undertaking, especially when you consider different devices, marketing channels, and everything else people do throughout the day.

So how can you meet the increasing demands of content-driven commerce marketing? By using headless commerce, businesses can extract customer data and product information from a range of third-party tools, giving their consumers a hyper-personalized shopping experience in a way conventional CMSs just can't. In addition, according to recent statistics from Aberdeen Group, companies that combine content and commerce have a 6x increase in conversation compared to those that don't.

Therefore, your content and ecommerce must (and should) co-exist on a centralized platform – AKA a headless CMS like Magnolia.

Six Ways to Combine Content and Commerce Using a DXP With a Headless CMS at Its Core

Wondering what good content commerce looks like in practice? We've outlined six essential tactics for successfully combining content and commerce using a DXP with a headless CMS at its core based on the best practice of some of our very own high-performing customers.

Magnolia: The #1 Content Platform for Ecommerce

Brands need to find ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Combining content and commerce can be the answer. But is your CMS/DXP up to the task? See how Magnolia provides everything you need to compliment your ecommerce platform with content.

1) Showcase Products | Create Content-Rich Pages

Your product pages serve as the informational motherboard for your products. And how artfully you fill your product pages with thoughtful, compelling information can decide how successfully you convert your page visitors into buyers. Don’t restrict your product page to a simple photo with just a few words about size and fit. Instead, spotlight your product’s range and versatility with richer descriptions and ways to complete the look with other products. Marella, an Italian fashion company, provides a fantastic example of this on their new website thanks to integrating Magnolia’s CMS with an existing ecommerce platform.

iPad Mockup Marella

2) Provide Hyper-Personalized Experiences | Use Scoring Models

Think about the content you provide as a service that helps a given shopper determine how they want to discover a product. One major way that a brand can gain a competitive advantage on the digital playing field is by creating a seamless customer journey. With Magnolia, Sainsbury's has transformed its digital shopping presence so it’s able to pull information from social media profiles and various smartphones and tablets to make richer, more relevant user experiences. This has led to more intuitive user journeys, higher customer centricity, and improved purchase rates. By creating personalized offers and messaging around past purchases and geolocation using Magnolia’s DXP and headless CMS, Sainsbury’s has significantly reduced the rate at which people abandon their shopping carts online.

iPad Mockup Sainsbury-s

3) Provide Educational Insight | Inspire Consumer Trust

A great example of how valuable content builds trust can be found in Bechtle, an IT & services company in Germany. The company’s new website combines its corporate site and e-shop on one simple platform using Magnolia CMS and SAP Commerce (formerly Hybris) as well as other specialist services. Bechtle’s website features a regularly updated blog with posts, how-to videos, as well as quizzes that touch on topics helpful to consumers, such as calculating the residual value of old hardware.

iPad Mockup Bechtle

4) Adapt to Audiences Abroad | Sell Internationally

If you’re growing internationally, setting up shop early in developing countries is a huge leg up, though it’s important to remember different countries have different laws. A robust content management system can handle the delivery of content in any language – and makes it easier for your business to provide a seamless omnichannel experience globally. Essentra, a manufacturing and distribution company for vital component parts based in the UK, provides a great example of this. Thanks to Magnolia, Essentra has managed to keep up with an ever-changing marketplace that has expanded into multiple countries without having to rebuild or redevelop from scratch.

iPad Mockup Essentra

5) Build an Online Catalog | Make It Interactive

With a headless approach, you can turn your product database into an online catalog that showcases everything you have to offer in style and enhances your customer experience. A catalog view allows consumers to compare products and narrow down exactly what they are looking for. In fact, 94% of B2B shoppers do online research at some point in the buying process, and what better place to begin than a company’s catalog. Marella’s interactive seasonal catalog is fully searchable and consumers can even zoom in and enlarge images.

6) Architect for Flexibility | Unify Large Brands

Most ecommerce systems aren't built to handle multiple workflows and manage a range of content channels at once. When implementing content commerce with a headless CMS as the central building block, your brand’s content, in turn, can be played out to an endless number of different frontends and channels. With Magnolia’s headless CMS, Nationwide is able to quickly create and publish compelling marketing campaigns regionally, with mobile channels easily added or removed.

The Benefits of Experience-Driven Commerce with Magnolia

Magnolia offers unparalleled speed, integration, and usability as a CMS platform with a Commerce Connector Pack that connects to most popular ecommerce systems including:

  • SAP Commerce (Formerly Hybris)

  • Salesforce Commerce Cloud

  • Adobe Commerce

  • commercetools

With Magnolia’s Commerce Connector Pack, ecommerce data is readily available in the Magnolia user interface and site – making it seamless for your marketers, merchandisers, and content authors to design landing pages, tell stories, write articles, publish pages, campaigns, and more. Watch our 5-minute demo to see how the Magnolia Connector Pack can enhance content commerce at any scope using a mock fashion company example.

The Bottom Line — Great Content Commerce Depends on a Great Customer Experience

In today's digital ecommerce landscape, mastering the fine art of creating an experience around content-driven commerce is a must. Whether selling directly to consumers or other enterprises, building a meaningful customer experience is essential for all manufacturers, brands, and retailers.

Coupling content with commerce has undeniable benefits that cannot be ignored when done correctly with a single platform. If you’re already creating some form of educational or inspirational content for your consumers – whether it's in blog posts, podcasts, or videos – then it's likely time to think bigger with your content-driven commerce strategy.

Making a meaningful connection with your consumers means you need a way to join them on their journey through your site and social media channels and land together on the same page. A DXP like Magnolia can help you do this and more, making your content a driving force behind your brand's commerce and success.

Want to dig a little deeper into content commerce? Find out how content and commerce strategy can provide the experiences customers expect in today’s digital landscape by reading our white paper on Reimagining Content and Commerce.

  • The evolution of the customer experience online

  • How to create a new digital experience standard

  • The growth of headless commerce being driven by content

  • Case studies from brands with high-growth ecommerce

About the Author

Sorina Mone Marketer at Magnolia

Sorina shapes Magnolia’s brand and product communications, with a focus on creating demand and on enabling sales, partners & clients to make the most out of this great product.

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