High-performing e-commerce is absolutely critical to the success of retail brands, and achieving this requires more than competitive ads and strong Google ad campaigns. Brands must also recognize that relationships are becoming increasingly important, and customers value a relevant and unified experience.
For many retailers and brands “Unified Commerce” is still a vision that is a bit elusive and hard to reach. The unified customer experience still mostly consists of showing in-store stock on the e-com site, or the ability to make an e-com order in a store. We think it is time to take things to the next level, and we all know that data is your rocket fuel to build great digital experiences!
Successful e-commerce relies on delivering an excellent customer experience
Let’s start to look at the big picture to map out what you need to accomplish and what is holding you back. To deliver a unique, competitive, and highly relevant customer experience on your e-commerce destination, you first need to establish quick and simple data access.
The biggest challenge today is legacy data structures that make accessing and combining data difficult, because it is locked in and/or scattered across many different sources: which makes it difficult for you to access the data you need to build new experiences simply and easily.
If you look at the landscape of systems that build up the different points of interaction across a customer journey, it is siloed! With siloed I mean that you deploy a specific platform for each channel. You use the Commerce platform to drive your online transactions, a POS system for in-store transactions, you might have an external CMS providing content for a campaign site, a loyalty or marketing automation system driving your e-mail marketing, and a customer service platform to empower your support team.
Behind all of this, you have a legacy ERP as a backbone, a CDP/CRM where you collect all the customer-related data, a PIM system as a master for your products, and a DAM where your content team prefers to work. Multiple teams are involved in creating and storing the data in silos. This leads to a fragmented data landscape where data is locked in, limiting your creativity in how to develop the experiences.
Every initiative tends to end up in a slow-moving integration project because a digital experience demands a combination of data and assets across these systems! Almost all of these systems come with fixed data models that need to be extended and data to be mapped, requiring a custom integration every time, and resulting in jamming all data into one system (the e-commerce system is not built or designed for this), diluting the data and losing context. Furthermore, often data is not easily available from older backend systems, requiring extra development efforts just to get data out.
Here is how an Experience Data Platform combined with an e-commerce platform can solve your problem
Going back a few years, the e-commerce platform was the one-stop-shop for any type of data you needed to include in the front-end (UI). The UI was tightly integrated with the commerce backend, leaving this as the best option then; meaning jamming all the data in the e-commerce platform, even though it was not needed for the commerce logic, just to be displayed.
However, as the frontend frameworks have evolved, backend systems have become headless and the composable system architecture (MACH) has gained traction. Things have changed, but some old truths have not.
A headless e-commerce platform is more important than ever, to catch all transactions and manage the business logic to get each transaction right. With more tools needed to support the customer journey than ever before, there are better ways to unlock, combine and share rich data for your different apps and interfaces, than to add everything in the e-commerce platform. An Experience Data Platform is the system to do just that and that is where Occtoo comes in.
There are many ways an Experience Data Platform complements the e-commerce platform in creating unified experiences. In summary, here is how:
- Utilize the true power of a composable and best-of-breed solution architecture, by taking advantage of the e-commerce platform's core strengths.
- Give the e-com team easy access to the essential product, customer, price, and campaign data needed to drive business logic of the e-commerce platform
- Give frontend teams faster access to rich data sets and data types without having to do extended configuration of an e-commerce platform and the extensive data mapping that comes with it.
- Give developers access to relevant purpose-built APIs containing the exact information they need, rather than connecting to many different standard APIs
- Easily unlock and combine data from any system and bring it to life in any user interface
- Allocate more budget to be creative with data, creating amazing, relevant, and innovative experiences rather than integrating data!
Check out Customer data platform Vs Experience data platform: What's the difference?
Welcome to a world where accessing and combining your CX data is no longer an issue, and you can easily build unified customer experiences.
This makes your investment in a headless e-commerce platform even more valuable and adding an Experience Data Platform will finally enable you to build unified experiences with ease and at speed.
Unleash the power of your e-commerce engine to capture transactions anywhere and use the Experience Data Platform to fuel every experience with relevance; optimized for each channel and context.
Fenix Outdoor used an Experience Data Platform to unify their data faster than ever before
We were recently part of a project bringing a new e-commerce experience to the market for Fenix Outdoor. In this setup, Occtoo unifies data from sources such as PIM, DAM, and ERP.
The e-com platform consumes the relevant product and campaign data needed to drive the business logic, while Occtoo delivers the extended and dynamically adapted content in real-time. This is just one example of a use-case but there are many more.
The e-commerce platform's super-strength is used to capture and enable the conversion, while the Experience Data Platform brings relevant content and data to life and adapts the experience to the user’s needs.
Stop spending time and energy on extended platform customizations and stop wasting money on point-to-point integrations! Bring that budget into enabling more tools, screens, and features that drive customer engagement instead. Embrace the fact there are magnificent solutions out there that help you solve specific needs somewhere in the customer journey. Don’t fear scattered data, just make sure you can easily access it anywhere when needed to prevent siloed experiences. Reach out if you want to explore how Occtoo could make your life easier!