As modern customers gain greater control over their own experiences and become less likely to be influenced by online vendors, companies must change their approach to digital commerce. Much like modern in-store experiences, such as those created by Apple, today’s customers often want access to products and services with less interference from business representatives. Consumers often want to be in charge of testing products and becoming educated on what they are interested in purchasing before getting involved in the sales process.
This desire by consumers to self-educate on products prior to interacting with representatives and making a purchase means that the connection between commerce and online content is more important than ever in the customer journey. By better understanding how strong online content and a well-planned commerce experience work together, businesses across industries can reshape their digital presence to the expectations of today’s customers.
Supporting the Commerce Journey with Content
The online customer journey covers a wide variety of experiences, ranging from social media interaction to website browsing to, when successful, the purchasing of a product or service. However, the divisions between these aspects are more blurred than ever, with content-related aspects, such as websites and email promotions, increasingly integrated with product demos and transactions. As such, modern businesses must work to ensure they are creating valuable, high-quality content that supports and improves the customer journey by adhering to the following guidelines.
1. Coordinate Marketing and Product Departments
Informative webpages, helpful blogs, tutorials, overview videos and more can all play a part in creating meaningful content that gives audience members the insights they need while working in tandem with commerce. However, the key to creating needed pieces of content and properly implementing them with commerce strategies requires improved collaboration between a company’s marketing and product development departments, according to EContent Magazine. If product and marketing departments are working independently of one another on the same product, they can easily create conflicting language and talking points that confuse and complicate the buyer’s journey. However, working in tandem will play a vital role in creating a consistent experience that smoothly flows from content to commerce.
2. Inform, Don’t Sell, With Your Content
While this content should work in the larger overall scheme of pushing consumers toward making the decision to buy a company’s product, it should not be commercial in nature. The most valuable content a customer can find during the decision-making process is content that provides a rich and informative experience. As discussed by eZ Systems, it is best if this form of content emphasizes the benefits and value of a product over its details and price. As a potential customer seeks to learn more about a product, whether it is from a specific company or about a type of product in general, the content provided by a business should give them the insights they need without imposing stipulations.
3. Build a Relationship with Visitors
By engaging with the content provided by a company, potential customers can build familiarity with the product and begin to form a relationship with the business before they make their first purchase. In doing so, they can become more likely to make purchases and see the business as a source of knowledge. The end result is a customer relationship that extends beyond individual purchasing experiences so that an online presence gains greater value while commerce strategies are supported by the larger customer journey.
Connecting with Customers Through Liferay Commerce
While online content and digital commerce may present themselves differently to users, having them naturally connect through back-end systems is crucial for a smooth, complication-free customer journey. By building both sides on a single platform, businesses can connect customer interests to products and services, better understanding audience needs through the data they generate and naturally leading them to a purchase without intruding on their desire to self-educate.
Liferay Commerce helps businesses create intuitive online shopping experiences that simplify the customer journey through simplified checkout processes, tailored price lists, catalog browsing and more. With personalized experiences for customers and the ability to better manage back-end systems, companies can find greater success in their online commerce efforts.