Experience management: when content and commerce converge, conversions follow

With good customer experience management, the convergence of content and commerce can ultimately boost sales and improve bottom line.

Author:

Optimizely Team

Experience management (XM) is how organizations measure and subsequently improve the customer experience their products or services create. Customer experience is positively linked to conversion and overall customer satisfaction. When it comes to customer experience, content is essential.

It has long been proven that well-executed content can make every phase of the buyer’s journey (i.e., awareness, consideration and purchase of a product/service) more engaging. But to hit higher conversion rates, especially in the fierce digital realm, optimizing content is not enough. Businesses must know and leverage the convergence of experience-driven content and commerce.

Key takeaways: 

  • Experience management is critical in ensuring a seamless and more convenient customer journey.
  • Experience-driven content and commerce is the future of ecommerce solutions.
  • In an industry such as ecommerce where competition is tight, converting content and commerce is vital in boosting conversion rates.

Why convergence is the future of good experience management

Traditionally, businesses tap third-party media platforms to distribute content promoting their products and services. Think TV advertisements and press releases printed on broadcast sheets.

With the birth of the internet and social media, the lines that separate digital content and commerce have blurred. Now, retailers can be the very entity that produces, publishes and distributes content and digital marketing related to their offerings.

When you look at online fashion stores, you won’t only be able to browse through the clothing that they sell. There are also blogs and other visual content (e.g., digital lookbooks). If you visit the website of a manufacturer of, for example, a pancake mix, you won’t only be able to make a purchase; you can also read recipes or watch instructional videos.

Today, these types of content marketing are also a staple in social media feeds. You can access all these on mobile or desktop.

The way organizations should integrate commerce with content varies. Several digital experience management tools are available to help businesses cost-effectively join the bandwagon and make the most of this trend such as content management systems and customer data platforms to leverage robust content strategies on the backend.

Why is convergence worth spending resources on?

Converging commerce and content unlocks new opportunities wherein you can raise awareness about your business across different channels — economically and conveniently. Because it’s customer-centric, it provides your audience with various means to learn more about your products and your brand’s story.

This approach to marketing your offerings personalizes the buyer’s journey. Statistics show that it pays.

  • 78% of U.S. consumers discover retail products to buy through Facebook.

  • Eight in 10 Instagram users utilize the platform to know more about a certain good or service. Each month, about 14 million “buy” button clicks take place in the IG space.

  • Adding video content on your website and social media channels is advantageous. Around 84% of video marketers claim that video has helped them generate leads. The same survey revealed that the perceived importance of video marketing jumped from 78% in 2015 to 93% in 2021.

How content will converge with commerce

Like what you’ve probably already heard, content is king. But when deliberately planned and crafted with commerce in mind, it becomes more potent.

Convergence in marketing

Experience management puts the state of your customer experience under scrutiny. Once you’ve taken in data from various sources (e.g., customer relationship management data, sales data, customer survey results), you can devise plans on how to improve customer experience. These include converging content with your marketing efforts.

Today, marketing is done in various forms — social media marketing, mobile app marketing, email and direct mail marketing, among others. For each method, you need to create content that:

  • Makes your brand more discoverable for your intended audience

  • Highlights the strengths of your products and services

  • Showcases what makes them different from others

Convergence of content in marketing and commerce can also be demonstrated through “storyselling” as shown in the following National Retail Federation clip:

Convergence in commerce

While content’s convergence in marketing is more on brand awareness and discovery, convergence in commerce is about giving that strong push for your prospects to become buyers and later on, patronizers.

Content, in this sense, should tackle more in-depth knowledge about your offerings. It should be made and distributed in a way that can make commerce experiences more tailored to your specific audience.

A study shows that personalization of the customer journey lifts total sales and can even reduce marketing and sales cost by as much as 20%, which will benefit any brand’s bottom line. For your business to benefit from this behavior, you must also ensure that your off-site and on-site communication copy is clear, compelling and coherent.

For instance, your social media messaging should clearly tell that you’re offering this particular product. It should have a call-to-action redirecting them to a landing page of the product itself. The content of that landing page should further convince your audience to buy it (e.g., product information and specifications, reviews and a CTA redirecting them to finally make the purchase).

The customer journey evolves with experience management 

In Segment’s latest State of Personalization Report, 60% of customers say they will likely buy again from a business management after experiencing a personalized customer experience. This shows how important it is for businesses to focus on experience management and formulate business strategies based on it.

The previous version of the report noted a personalization gap. It revealed that smaller retailers are offering a much better customer experience compared to larger retailers.

The customer journey comprises three main phases: awareness, consideration and purchase. Today, retailers like you should not just plainly deploy marketing campaigns to sell products and services and attract loyal customers; you should purposefully incorporate content to make these three phases more engaging.

Content of various types and formats plays a critical role in raising awareness about your offering and in providing relevant knowledge that your prospective buyers can use to decide whether they’ll proceed with the purchase or not.

To deliver this convergence more effectively, ask yourself: 

  • What is the purpose of my business? 

  • How will my offerings be beneficial to my audience? 

  • What am I trying to address through my product or service? 

  • What sets it apart from my competitors? 

  • How do I entice my target market to buy from me and continually patronize my offerings?

Unlock your brand’s potential with Optimizely

Optimizely can help you craft a customer journey based on meaningful insights and implement a plan to distribute content effectively so that it may reach your target market. Our platform and team of experts can help you optimize your sales push so every touchpoint is personalized, making it easier to lead your customers to that buy button. 

Contact Optimizely today!