More Agility, More Engagement, More Sales with Holistic Content Management

  1. chevron left iconMore agility, more engagement, more sales with holistic content management
Phil ArnoldMay 10, 2023
  • Product Information Management
  • Content Marketing

The why and the how of creating a powerfully engaging ecommerce experience through holistic content management.

A brand's web experience is often the first and final experience a consumer will have with the brand, and in today’s highly competitive, global ecommerce marketplace it must deliver on every front. An integrated content machine, with PIM and DAM at its heart, is the key to delivering the best online experience for ecommerce customers.

While the pandemic may have driven customers online out of necessity, expectations of a seamless, relevant experience are no lower than they would be in ‘peacetime’. If anything, as consumers get used to the idea of buy online, collect in person, browse instore and buy online – generally, the concept of ‘commerce everywhere’, expectations are only getting higher. To be able to capture the customer at the point of consideration, wherever they may be, ecommerce companies must practice holistic content management – agile, adaptable systems and workflows that react to changing customer behaviors and integrate seamlessly across new and existing channels.

Because, the number of channels people shop and interact across is increasing every day. Omnichannel matters whether you are an online pure play, recent convert to ecommerce or a fully integrated multichannel retailer. According to recent research from Forrester, 48% of online US adults report buying goods online at least weekly, with more than half (51%) stating they do so even more often than that. Brands report that online experiences have the potential to even eclipse those in-store, due to a heady mix of broad stock availability, convenience, and keen pricing. Forrester research cited Ulta Beauty’s CEO, Mary Dillon, who explained “our omnichannel guests historically have … nearly three times the annual spend of an instore-only guest”.

But to achieve such high engagement, it isn’t enough to simply open an online storefront. Ecommerce is a full-service experience. It demands engaging imagery and copy, broad and useful product information. There must be a high level of personalization, and responsive content, all readily adaptable to changing circumstances. In these times of unpredictable supply chains and rapidly shifting consumer trends and preferences, ecommerce enterprises have to keep on top of change. Holistic, integrated asset management is the only solution.

The challenge for many ecommerce companies is that they are not necessarily built to work in such an agile commercial environment. They may be digitally native and in that way have an advantage over decades-old bricks and mortar retailers, but with some ecommerce businesses already more than 20 years old, there has been ample opportunity for them to have already acquired legacy martech and established convoluted workflows that slow things down.

But the pace of today’s omnichannel retail sector is relentless. There is no time to simply stop and retool to meet new demands. This is where implementing adaptable solutions takes a pivotal role in moving ecommerce companies towards a more agile way of working.

A trio of solutions – Product Information Management (PIM); Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Content Management (CM) – can be brought together to provide an ingenious way of unifying a company’s disparate product, digital and content assets. This centralized integration of the organization’s vital assets liberates workflows from laborious and error-prone approval cycles, and supercharges the company’s automation efforts, making for a far more effective, efficient, and market-beating customer experience.

With integrated content which really brings its product data and content assets together, retailers can enable their customers to explore products in real time, enjoy high levels of personalization and market-leading customer experience. And for their part, ecommerce retailers see increased efficiencies and better returns from their content strategies.

A solution like censhare’s Omnichannel Content Platform (OCM) comprises all three PIM, DAM and CMS solution types, fully integrated with one another to form a single solution and therefore in a position to orchestrate data and information for even the most complex retail and ecommerce organizations. And, of course, implementation is key. Looking beyond its product, censhare has built up a large and varied network of implementation and technology partners who also thrive off the solution’s flexibility, allowing them the freedom to implement and expand censhare solutions in a way best suited to their customers’ needs.

Take Vitra, for example, a company providing furnishings for public and private spaces. The company retails via a number of partners who constantly need fresh, up-to-date product and marketing information. The company previously dealt with seven separate databases, making it harder to assimilate all the necessary information and create compelling, engaging campaigns.

Through censhare, however, it succeeded in bringing all this information together into a single, media-neutral solution to store, manage and deliver all of its product data, assets and content. Using DAM, PIM and CMS on censhare’s Omnichannel Content Plattform (OCM), the company is now able to coordinate campaigns and manage its marketing across multilingual catalogues, brochures and its website, as well as being able to share it various assets with third parties.

Similarly, many ecommerce organizations have experienced periods of rapid growth across the pandemic. This has presented many challenges as previously adequate systems struggled to keep up with the increased demand for information throughput, larger numbers of new employees rapidly trying to get on board with back-office technologies and a wider range of platforms to interact with consumers.

Even before the pandemic, companies who experienced rapid growth swiftly began to realize their systems weren’t fit for purpose, and actively holding them back. “Every product release in the online shop and on the website already felt like open heart surgery, with the surgeon working with one hand tied behind his back just to make things even harder,” explained Daniel Roper, Director of Digital at Steinberg Media Technologies.

Steinberg is one of the world’s leading producers and suppliers of professional software and hardware for the production and processing of digital music and audio. It sells over 50 different products across the world in five languages, with some of the product information offered in eight or even nine languages.

Working with software integration specialist, MSP, Steinberg brought censhare’s DAM, PIM and CMS on board to centralize content, create a scalable product data structure and optimize content processes so the brand could improve its ability to communicate across a wide range of channels and languages. With the website and online shop forming the backbone of the business, it’s impossible to understate the importance of having a comprehensive and holistic content management system.

These best-in-class examples from leading ecommerce brands deploying integrated PIM, DAM and Content Management to maximum effect, show how connected content can deliver high levels of customer engagement and loyalty while bringing the organization into a more modern way of operating to effectively service the various output channels its customers expect to be able to use as part of a true ecommerce experience.

censhare's omnichannel content management platform not only offers great value to your end users throughout various vertical markets, but can also be a very attractive business partner to systems integrators focused on digital transformation services in product marketing and ecommerce. By putting unsiloed content into the heart of your customer’s digital transformation, the censhare platform acts as pivotal element in building great customer engagement; a single source of truth that is constantly available and up to date. At the same time its open nature allows you to develop and offer customer-specific solutions.

As a great addition to your portfolie, censhare allows you to offer software licensing, consultancy and managed services such as user management, support and hosting to your customers.

Interested in adding censhare to your portfolio? Get in touch today.

Phil Arnold
Phil Arnold is responsible for censhare’s business in United Kingdom and Ireland, and has been supporting the implementation of complex censhare projects since 2008 with his outstanding technical know how.

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