The Case for a Unified Customer Experience and Content-Driven Commerce

Commerce Guys has been promoting the value of content-driven commerce for many years, and we are thrilled to see more and more people talking about this continued transformation in the eCommerce market. One company that has recognized this important trend is Forrester Research, who makes a strong and compelling case in their "Content And Commerce: The Odd Couple Or The Power Couple?". In particular, they point out that companies who differentiate themselves by providing a unified user experience to tell their story should consider a tightly integrated solution that provides both a rich Content Management System (CMS) and a flexible eCommerce transactional engine.

Today there is almost no barrier to selling online, making it increasingly difficult for companies to differentiate themselves online, create a strong web presence, and attract customers. The solution for many will be to focus more on creating unique user experiences, supported by interesting content, which allows their users to execute transactions anywhere along the buying journey within the context of that information. The challenge today is that this experience requires CMS and eCommerce to work together seamlessly. Unfortunately most companies manage these two functions separately with two distinct systems. This approach results in added complexity and a disjointed and inconsistent user experience that is confusing to users and damages their brand.

According to Forrester, "the convergence of content and commerce platforms is already well underway. [They] expect that these two solution categories to be foundational elements in digital customer experience management"1. They go on to say that "In an ideal world, commerce and content platforms would have fully converged into customer experience management platforms, with commerce services seamlessly exposed through best-in-class digital engagement tools and supported by social, testing, and content management services." - "But this ideal isn’t likely to exist in the near future"1.

Drupal + Drupal Commerce Provides Seamless Content & Commerce

The future is NOW - and the reality is that Drupal + Drupal Commerce is the only platform with commerce natively embedded in a CMS, offering a seamless digital experience management solution with a single code base, administration, and database.

Why is this not more widely known?

While this may be news to many, Drupal Commerce has been around for over 5 years and has over 57k active sites. It consists of core and contributed modules, support by Commerce Guys and the broader community, that can be dropped into Drupal (which itself has been around for 10+ years and has over 5 million active sites) allowing transactions to occur anywhere within the user experience created. Contextual relationships between content and products are extremely easy to create - something that is hard to do when you bolt together separate CMS and eCommerce platforms. A great example of the power of Drupal + Drupal Commerce is www.lush.co.uk which helps Lush in the UK tell their story, engage their customers, and sell more product.


Who Benefits from a Content & Commerce Solution?

Potentially everyone, but in particular are brands who benefit from a differentiated user experience that enables them to tell their story through interesting content and community engagement driving sales within the context of that experience. In addition, existing Drupal sites looking to add transactional capabilities is another obvious fit. With an existing investment in technology, skills and content, there is no better choice than to "drop in" commerce functionality, through Drupal Commerce modules, anywhere. Integrating with a separate eCommerce solution and bolting it onto Drupal is a common approach and certainly possible, but the result is added complexity, cost and valuable customer information that is spread out across multiple systems. Two systems makes it harder to create a level of contextualization and a unified experience that buyers are looking for. Given the increasing importance of targeting and personalizing content and offers and knowing your customer, having customer information in one place allows companies to merchandise more effectively.

What Should You Do?

1Read the Forrester report. They get it right, and they are one of a growing number of analysts talking about the value of content-driven commerce.
 
22. Don't get stuck on features. Yes, they are important, but they will also change, and you need a solution that will adapt and allow you to take advantage of new ideas quickly. Instead, consider how your business will benefit by creating an experience that keeps your customers coming back and makes it easy for them to buy.
 
33. If you think your business would benefit from a richer user experience, or if you just want to simplify your infrastructure with a single platform that can serve both your content and commerce needs, take a look at Drupal Commerce - you will be pleasantly surprised by what you see.
-----
1. Stephen Powers, Peter Sheldon with Zia Daniell Wigder, David Aponovich, Rebecca Katz Content And Commerce: The Odd Couple Or The Power Couple? How To Choose Between Using A Web Content Management Solution, An eCommerce Platform, Or Both (Forrester, November 19, 2013) 11,14

 

Scott Dahlgren's picture
General Manager, North America
Posted June 22, 2015

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.