When Bill Gates published the essay Content is King on the Microsoft website back in 1996, he referred to the ‘gold rush’ of information and content he believed would sweep the world online. While his prediction came true, little could he have foreseen the more recent boom in ecommerce and just how relevant the phrase Content is King would be to digital retailers today.
Content has clearly evolved to include different things – but has become the foundation of many online businesses. From informative blogs, technical guides and in-depth white papers, to 360-degree product images, personalised home pages and media, social posts and video, each business requires a constant stream of content to keep customers engaged and returning to their online store.
Despite a huge reliance on this content, it is clear many digital retailers are not managing assets or creating content effectively or efficiently. This can slow productivity within the business itself, effect engagement and ultimately sales.
Today, customers engage with retailers through multiple mediums. This means the company message, messaging and content must be consistent through every channel, quick-moving and easily accessible.
Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is a CMS that allows teams to work together on projects from different locations with ease. From ensuring a brand’s content remains consistent and personalised for each customer across all channels, to providing the tools to quickly create, store, source, adapt and deliver thousands of assets through an intelligent system built with AI and automation, it can save a business time, money and help streamline work processes to give you the competitive edge.
AEM wasn’t designed with only commerce in mind, but equally Magento Commerce was not built with only content in mind. By integrating AEM in your Magento Commerce platform, you can enhance your business for customers and teams alike to give them the best of both worlds. The two work in perfect synergy to ensure your ecommerce operation has the robust and flexible framework your company needs, with a more creative and flexible front-end that is crucial in shaping the personal online shopping experiences that customers expect.
Magento Commerce is widely considered the go-to platform for brands managing large inventories and processing huge numbers of orders. AEM allows the creatives to make the most of the large number of assets – such as photos and video – that the online stores need, and provides seamless workflows for marketers, creatives, and e-commerce operations, to work together in one space. AEM is also part of Adobe Experience Cloud, which has a suite of other AI-driven solutions for marketing, advertising, analytics and commerce, giving you even more options to improve your working practices. AEM is made up of a number of modules, including Sites, Assets, Forms and Community making it invaluable for digital retailers. We touch on some of the modules below.
With Magento Commerce offering digital retailers a platform solution known for its quick-to-market flexibility, it is crucial to have a CMS that can give you the same scaleability and flexibility to organise, display and edit an ever-growing content and asset-list.
“David, can you find me the assets from last year’s beach photoshoot please? I found them a few weeks ago and it took me hours – now I’ve lost them again! Then, can you design a landing page for the sale and get someone from social and also marketing on it too?”
A recent McKinsey report showed that a massive 19 per cent of an employee’s working week is lost to searching for files or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks. Another 28 per cent is lost managing email. If you take the above scenario where four different members of a team could search for the same set of photos for their individual needs, only for three of them to then design separate pieces of content and you have just touched the tip of the iceberg into how much more time can now be spent delivering content across multiple channels. And what if the company needs this reworked for the different regions? More people involved. More time.
AEM’s Digital Assets Management (DAM) with built in Creative Cloud connectivity allows merchants to not only store hundreds of thousands of assets in one place, but also edit and even create and share collections globally with other members of their team. They can connect to the DAM from within Creative Cloud apps, track who’s using assets, and check on licensing permissions all in one space.
Imagine how many assets an international brand like Nespresso – who are on Magento Commerce – have to crop, tag and manipulate by teams across the business every day. Each country may access the same photos from a shoot to be used in a new campaign but will need to tag in their own language. They’re likely to have independent social and marketing teams who will then crop and manipulate the same set of images for their own needs. Multiply this again and again with more people from different teams, and the challenge is evident.
Asset automation does the cropping, tagging and manipulation in seconds. A photo can be automatically tagged with relevant phrases and search terms attached in all applicable languages. Instead of different teams having to crop the same photos, do it once and the mobile sizing can be automatically taken care of. Write one description and AI will shorten this automatically for you for mobile or give you suggestions. Allowing AI to take care of the time-consuming tasks, frees up more time for the creative aspects and means tasks are completed more quickly. Advanced algorithms and machine learning mean the more data the technology is exposed to, the more it learns and adapts and works for you and your company’s needs.
Assets and what you do with them are a major part of your ecommerce business that can often be forgotten by the people driving the business and left in the hands of the creatives. Combining the innovative management and creative aspects of AEM with your Magento Commerce platform gives you the best tools to make the most of them and ensure a much more joined up approach within the company.
You have your assets managed properly. Now it’s time to concentrate on what you can do with them and allow your teams to work even more efficiently and creatively.
Content often needs to be created, reworked and reused quickly and AEM Sites allows businesses to do this while delivering personalised, engaging content to every customer who visits your site. Different teams can work together to build customised front-end experiences, pulling content from Adobe Experience Manager in a headless manner.
Ready-made templates and reusable, intuitive content blocks, can help you get content out faster, working in tandem with the functionality of your Magento platform which gives you a trusted back end with even more flexible front end. Workflows can be deployed and progress tracked in real time. AEM automatically converts your files into different formats, saving further time and effort and enabling you to publish far faster across numerous channels. What’s more, you can connect data from known and unknown customers and create unified profiles to make even more personalised experiences across multiple channels with minimal IT support.
AEM captures details such as location, search history, relationship to products and more, automatically building up a visitor profile as they navigate the site. Using analytics and SEO tools, you’ll be able to determine what content worked and what didn’t and understand how this relates to conversions and revenue. You can target specific groups of site visitors with rules based on real-time data. Then deliver content to visitor segments using out-of-the-box tools, requiring little or no coding.
Being so reactive will help you quickly make the most of any data or trends you notice to keep ahead of competitors and ensure customers receive the most engaging, personalised experience possible.
In today’s COVID-19 uncertain world, digital retailers realise how crucial it is to react quickly to what is happening in their markets. Many brands are opting for Magento Commerce as their preferred platform for its fast go-to-market, flexibility and varied ecosystem of partners and developers. Adobe Experience Manager allows merchants to build on this further, giving them even greater flexibility with how they store, edit and create their content.
Providing customers with a first-class shopping experience online is crucial to engagement and driving conversions. With content key, the number of assets that brands must store, manipulate, and be able to use quickly to create engaging content in the most efficient manner is huge. Having a good working practice and the means to do this globally or remotely is crucial and often overlooked.
Combining these two frameworks takes careful planning and understanding of the pros and cons of each system and how best to utilise each. Ultimately, allowing these systems to operate independently of each other while relying on each other leads to a far better user experience for shopper and retailer and can elevate your business to another level completely.
Tracy Postill, Marketing manager, Redbox Digital, groupe SQLI