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Content Management Solutions for Ecommerce

Jason Crichton

By Jason Crichton ,

Vice President, Interactive

Ecommerce Technology

Content management for marketers and writers is often a clunky and limiting experience. Part of this is because of the common misconception that content should be managed with the company’s existing platform or CMS. However, it is much more powerful to think of content as a unique entity, usually external from your site, that can be delivered to any landing page, blog, marketing site, mobile app, IoT, etc.

Modern development front-end tools and frameworks now allow organizations to decouple content from a single system (such as an ecommerce site) and permit designers, developers, and marketers to focus on creating engaging content.

Traditional Ecommerce Content Management Concerns

The complex infrastructure of an ecommerce platform can often limit your customers’ shopping experience on the front-end. Here are some common problems often heard from marketing or IT:

  • We can’t build engaging content because of the limitations of our CMS.
  • We can’t change the front-end infrastructure to keep our technical support.
  • We have to wait for that feature for the ecommerce or CMS platform.
  • We need the ability to provide flexible content or personalization.

Also, the lifecycle of a site can range from a couple years to, in some cases, well over a decade.

The goal of a retailer is to keep up with the best experiences for the customer. To not do so leads to missed customer and revenue growth opportunities.

These problems can be addressed by moving your content to an external and scalable solution.

Benefits of Headless Content Management

1. Separates the Back-end Technology from Front-end Technology
Having a very clear line of where the back-end ends and the front-end starts sets up the proper separation of roles and front-end technology. Having a headless-driven commerce API opens a world of platform-agnostic front-end technology to use. Working in an isolated frontend framework (such as React or Vue.js) allows the front-end team to focus on the technology they know vs. fighting existing technical infrastructure.

2. Focuses on the Customer Experience vs. a Traditional Storefront
As consumers, we have been trained in traditional ecommerce patterns of browsing product, adding to carts, and checking out. Having an ecommerce API allows for better integration within the customer experiences that makes sense at the point of consumption (in the car, mobile, smart devices, home automation). Flexibility is key for this to happen, and it frees you as an organization from an all-in-one ecommerce platform. This opens the world of innovation for shopping experiences vs. being tainted by out-of-the-box requirements.

3. Minimizes IT’s Involvement
Most of the API-based integration can be consumed by Javascript components. At Elevate, we enjoy using Vue.js because of its light footprint, power, and ease of integration into an existing site. Often it is as simple as putting in some custom JavaScript code into the existing site.

Headless Content Management Solutions

Here is a list of headless content management solutions to consider integrating into your ecommerce site:

Headless Content Management Examples

To show how some people have explored building an entire ecommerce front-end that utilizes APIs, take a look at these:

Blog for Salesforce Commerce (using Craft CMS)
We recently built some Vue.js components that pull from a Craft CMS for one of our clients. Salesforce Commerce lacks in elegant content management as it pertains to building a blog.

Vue Storefront
A nice MVP for a progressive web app starting point (integrates with Magento).

Using Contentful with Shopify
This article describes how a blog for a Shopify site was set up with Contentful.

Hire Elevate

Elevate can help create design-driven, customer-focused digital commerce experiences. Our approach is driven by research and testing, and the result is a uniquely crafted experience that will engage your customers and drive growth. Get in touch.

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