The pandemic accelerated the need for retailers to transform their digital experience and create a data-driven, well-tooled content management strategy. In fact, recent data from Australia Post even reveals that more Australians are shopping online, with four-in-five households (81%) buying something online during the last year. 

Content Management Systems (CMS) take the stress out of managing a website. In conjunction with Customer Data Platforms (CDP), which help retailers with marketing and experimentation, it can simplify website operations, enabling retailers to do their best work while focusing on what matters and leading optimal experiences across the customers’ entire digital journey. Having the right CMS and CDP in place allows retailers to enhance digital transformation, workflows and drive better personalisation then ever before. 

Whether retailers have an existing CMS and CDP strategy or are developing one from scratch, there are core features that should exist in any effective system. So how can retailers take CMS capabilities to the next level and deliver exceptional digital experiences? 

Understanding strategies to drive better customer experiences 

To improve customer experiences, retailers must understand their web content strategy and the goals they wish to achieve. A web content strategy needs to outline business objectives, including the target audience and content channels. With content channels continuing to evolve, it’s important for retailers to consider the channels they can leverage to reach their target customers. To do so, they must define their identity and the needs and preferences of their target audience. 

By understanding the target audience, retailers can ensure they optimise the capabilities of CMS and engage with their target audience at every touchpoint of the customer journey, even after a purchase has been made. The focus should be on establishing a constant presence and ongoing relationship with each consumer, building a genuine relationship. This helps retailers present a consistent brand identity to customers across all channels. By combining CMS and CDP, retailers can take personalisation to the next level by accurately identifying the groups of customers they want to target. Retailers will not only survive but thrive, if they leverage these technologies to drive experimentation, improve digital experiences, sustain customer loyalty and retain customers to prevent churn. 

Optimising workflows 

An effective CMS workflow assists retailers and their content production team stay organised, meeting deadlines and efficiently produce high-quality, engaging pieces of content that educate customers and strengthens the brand. By putting guidelines in place to automatically move a project along, retailers optimise their workflow, ensuring that everyone is clear on the stage of content creation that has been reached. 

Retailers can also embrace the collaborative nature of CMS since multiple users can log on and contribute, schedule or manage content to be published. Since the interface is usually browser-based, a CMS can be accessed from anywhere by any number of users, making it easy to collaborate with team members. This ensures that all of the participants in the CMS workflow meet deadlines and produce high-quality, engaging content. 

Taking customer experiences to the next level 

By leveraging the right technologies, retailers can create advanced personalisation strategies with approved customer data to create better experiences. By leveraging Digital Experience Platforms (DXP), in conjunction with CMS and CDP capabilities, retailers can experiment with content to see what performs best and leads to better conversations and sales. The more approved customer data a retailer can obtain, the better experimentation they can perform. 

Nailing personalisation has never been more important for retailers today. In fact, according to recent research, 71% of customers expect companies to provide personalised interactions, and a whopping 76% of customers get disappointed when personalisation isn’t offered. With this in mind, it’s crucial that retailers make digital experience a core focus in their strategy. To meet the digital demands of customers, retailers need an agile CMS, CDP and DXP strategy that can be adaptive, swift and responsive as customers expect your business to be. When retailers use a combination of technologies, they are better positioned to experiment, learn and predict customer needs, wants and expectations. By understanding what is working well, and areas for improvement, retailers, can be empowered to generate more efficiency in satisfying customer demands. 

Simon McDonald is vice president of sales for Australia and New Zealand at Optimizely.