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Why You Need to Pay Attention to Content & Commerce

Recently, I heard a great quote about the current state of eCommerce: “We’ve made it simple to buy but hard to shop.” Think about that for a moment – online shopping has come a long way over the past couple of decades. We can Google a term and find the exact item we’re looking for in just seconds.
But what about when we’re looking for just the right gift for a birthday, anniversary, or special holiday? You spend more time searching and getting ideas for the person you have in mind. This is just one example of why shopping experiences driven by content AND commerce matter now more than ever.
Whether your company is B2C or B2B, content plays a significant role in converting browsers to buyers. Retailers – both big and small – have seen this impact over the last few years. Nearly 80% of customers are likely to make additional purchases from brands that provide targeted, relevant, and personalized content.1
The increasingly enhanced consumer online shopping experience has influenced B2B. In fact, 68% of B2B buyers prefer to research purchases online. And they expect a seamless, compelling digital-first experience across all channels.2

Rising customer expectations

Because the customer journey starts with online search, the quantity and quality of content found makes a difference between a bounce and a conversion. And, customers’ expectations in the search phase have changed – simple product descriptions are not enough. Digital assets, videos, user-generated content, and reviews enrich product data and the overall customer experience.
To support these experiences, master data management and product information management provide an essential foundation to content and commerce projects. With the amount of data involved to merge content and commerce, more companies seek help with not only commerce platform implementations but also organizing and structuring data and content that supports the customer journey across all digital channels.

Impact of mobile on eCommerce

Mobile commerce growth has also influenced content and commerce initiatives. In 2016, mobile commerce grew 47%, significantly outpacing eCommerce and brick-and-mortar retail.3
Additionally, Google has placed more importance on mobile versions of sites for indexing and ranking. As a result, you must be sure your commerce implementations support a responsive design with mobile-optimized content – an important aspect that drives customer acquisition and supports the customer journey overall.

Personalization in B2B

For B2B enterprises, personalization is key for implementing content and commerce, both on the business and end-user sides. Buyers, distributors, and account/sales reps need access to the right products, supporting content, and pricing at the right time when engaging with prospects or customers. This is why establishing an underlying structure or taxonomy is important for supporting data and content.
A recent Forrester survey of distributors found that 68% of B2B purchases are simple or transactional – the buyer is already familiar with the brand, knows what product to purchase, and only wants to re-order without engaging an account rep.2 For the 32% of purchases that aren’t transactional, companies must deliver robust content to attract and convert first- or second-time buyers who may not be as familiar with the product selection.

Pervasiveness of Amazon

Finally, has emerged as one of the biggest search engines for products – even in the B2B space.4 Because content influences purchase decisions and buyers are more comfortable purchasing directly from manufacturers, B2B businesses are focused on getting content and commerce right to tilt the level of engagement and conversion away from Amazon and back to the manufacturer.

92% of B2B buyers say they use Amazon to research purchases for work  – Forrester

Companies that want to blend their content and commerce sites successfully must find a solution that will allow them to differentiate the shopping experience and optimize existing transactional processes in a way that engages today’s digital-savvy buyers.
In upcoming posts, we’ll explore solutions that enable content and commerce, and why breaking down silos and establishing governance is crucial for success.
1 Infosys
2 “Death of a (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later,” Forrester
3 “Cross-Platform Future in Focus 2017,” comScore
4 Andy Hoar, Forrester, Magento Imagine Conference 2017

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Stephanie Gallina, Senior Manager, Microsoft + CXC Partner Marketing

Stephanie has more than 15 years' experience in marketing communications, leading and executing marketing strategies for corporate and non-profit organizations. She elevates the awareness of relevant digital solution topics and thought leadership for Perficient.

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