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5 Reasons online retailers should embrace smart content management
Tue, 20th Jun 2023


The pressure is on eCommerce retailers to meet ever-changing consumer expectations. In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, delivering a seamless and personalised customer journey across every touchpoint has become a critical necessity. And consistently creating delightful experiences at every interaction is no longer a luxury but a fundamental requirement.

In the earlier days of the internet, when eCommerce was still in its infancy, an online business usually meant maintaining a single website as a storefront. Back then, there was no need for a content management system (CMS) that would specifically address the issues of eCommerce, as the market, in general, was much smaller. However, the exponential growth of eCommerce in a short time suddenly sheds light on the ever-growing shortcomings of the usual CMSs.

The traditional CMSs and their pre-built templates were falling short in offering a unique brand story and a customisable customer journey. Additionally, their old architecture was not responding well to increasing modern demands. As consumers become increasingly time-poor and attention spans decrease, pages that don’t load immediately can mean that a customer will refuse to purchase from your website.

In fact, research demonstrates that for every additional second your site takes to load, response rates (people buying from you or leaving an inquiry) drop. At one second, there is a 40% conversion rate. Bump that up another second, and it becomes 34%. One more, and conversion hits 29% and keeps on lessening as load times become greater.

The digital retail trailblazers

Some of the industry leaders, such as Amazon, Netflix and Uber, realised the problem with the traditional CMSs and adopted a new strategy. For example, in Amazon’s early days, when the eCommerce giant was simply an online bookstore, its traditional content management approach was capable of answering its needs as a small company.

However, as Amazon grew, its CMS’s shortcomings became all too obvious: deployments took too long, multiple content silos and huge databases were hard to maintain without dropping the quality, each new feature required an immense team effort to implement, and the users were experiencing longer response times.

Uber’s case is a similar story. When the company started as a local app, serving customers in San Francisco with just a few key features, the traditional CMS was doing its job in a rather acceptable manner. However, as soon as the company grew, the same bottleneck problems started to surface.

Headless CMS: A modern way to manage content for retailers

A modern, ‘headless’ eCommerce CMS has a profoundly different architecture from its traditional counterparts. In a traditional system, the front end (what you see on a website) and the back end (the system that manages the website's content) are completely tied together, which means every small change to the front end (such as adding a new feature to a website) has to address the back end and vice versa. This not only means growing levels of complexity and extra work, but also any issues on the front end will affect the back end (and vice versa).

Five Ways online retailers win by going ‘headless’

1. Personalisation at scale: Today’s digital world demands personalisation. Headless CMSs enable businesses to deliver dynamic, personalised content across different platforms, ensuring consistent messaging and targeted engagement. That means online retailers can easily and quickly build customised journeys that resonate with their audience, fostering loyalty and driving higher conversions.

2. Unparalleled flexibility and agility: A headless CMS provides online retailers with the freedom to overcome the limitations of traditional CMS platforms. It allows for quick changes on the fly (no more waiting for the developer to be free), easy scalability and content delivery across different touchpoints. This means online retailers can swiftly adapt to market changes and deliver outstanding user experiences that captivate their audience.

3. Streamlined development and faster time-to-market: Traditional CMS platforms can be complex and slow down development processes, causing delays in bringing new features to the market. However, by adopting a headless CMS, online retailers can simplify their development efforts. Even more, different teams can work independently and efficiently. And integrating with third-party services and adopting emerging technologies becomes a breeze.

4. Bottomline boosting benefits: A headless CMS offers significant time, effort and cost savings for businesses. Creating customised landing pages and product detail sites is quick and easy compared to traditional systems, thanks to modular content blocks. These blocks allow marketers to create small, customisable pieces of content that can be stacked together to form different finished products.

This approach drastically reduces the time required to introduce new content or update existing ones. Furthermore, a recent Total Economic Impact™ study conducted by Forrester Consulting reveals that upgrading from a traditional CMS to Storyblok can provide a 582% ROI over a three-year period, paying for itself in less than six months.

5. Creatively engage new audiences: As omnichannel publishing continues to evolve, virtual and augmented reality eCommerce is gaining traction as a unique and engaging way to connect with users. Strategies such as creating immersive branded environments, fostering social connections and incorporating gamification seamlessly fit into virtual worlds. By embracing a headless CMS, online retailers can capitalise on this trend, reaping immediate advantages and positioning themselves as forward-thinking, delivering the most relevant and cutting-edge experiences to customers.

By leveraging the flexibility, scalability and personalisation capabilities of a headless CMS, online retailers are empowered to move swiftly to changing market demands, deliver exceptional experiences to customers and propel their business forward.

In a time where innovation is paramount, embracing a headless CMS is not just an option; it’s a strategic imperative for online retailers seeking to thrive and lead in the digital revolution. Visit us at the Online Retailer Conference & Expo 19-20 July at ICC Sydney to discover how Storyblok can help future-proof your content operations and unlock significant cost savings.