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Ecommerce vs. Web Content Management: Which Should Power Your Digital Experience?

 

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According to Forrester Research, ebusiness and channel professionals’ top investment priorities this year include the ecommerce platform and Web Content Management (WCM), as many ecommerce sites, CPG brands and manufacturers selling directly to business and consumers seek to replace existing systems with best-of-breed tools to deliver the ultimate digital customer experience whilst freeing marketing and merchandising teams from reliance on IT.

Ecommerce and WCM are amalgamating

Over the years, both ecommerce and Web content management vendors have been investing in “engagement features,” and there is a significant overlap between capabilities. Both can control navigation, search, presentation layer, merchandising, recommendations, support mobile, etc. But they each bring unique capabilities to the table as well.

When you think about next-generation digital experience platform, it goes beyond just the platforms themselves. Controlling the on-site experience requires many different solutions and systems, from A/B testing and analytics to social platforms, recommendation engines, bid management and loyalty platforms. It’s not uncommon to have over 20 different integrated solutions involved in delivering that online customer experience. Some are very complex, some are front-end, some are back-end, but every next-generation digital experience requires this integration.

Organizations looking to build best-of-breed solutions need to decide whether to invest in WCM, ecommerce, or both—and which platform should drive which piece of the experience. And similar to a build vs. buy decision when considering an ecommerce platform or re-platform project, determining whether to run your digital commerce experience through WCM, ecommerce or both requires an understanding of your business’ characteristics and needs.

Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by vancouverfilmschool

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About the author: Linda Bustos

As Director of Ecommerce Research at Elastic Path, Linda Bustos works with some of the world’s largest companies to help improve conversion rates and profitability on the Web. In addition to writing the Get Elastic blog since 2007, Linda’s articles have appeared in Mobile Marketer, CMO Magazine, E-Marketing + Commerce, and Search Marketing Standard. She is a frequent speaker at industry events, including XCommerce, Conversion Conference, and Affiliate Management Days.

In 2010, Linda earned a spot on the DMNews Top 30 Direct Marketers Under 30 list. She has served as faculty for the Banff New Media Institute’s Career Accelerator Program and Marketing Profs University, and has appeared as one of the Top 100 Influential Marketers of the year in 2008 and 2009. Prior to joining Elastic Path, Linda worked agency-side, specializing in usability and SEO.

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