Omnichannel brands are striving to deliver integrated, personalized and relevant experiences to their customers – despite a myriad of challenges from organizational walls and disparate technologies through to the proliferation of channels, device, products and regions.
The need to improve governance and move towards a more unified digital customer experience is clear. This means making organizational and administrative changes, such as creating better integration between ecommerce and marketing teams, and ensuring the backing of the C-suite in digital experience investments.
However, the technologies that drive these teams are also being scrutinized. According to a Forrester study commissioned by hybris , 82% of digital experience providers (taken from a survey of more than 150 decision makers across North America and the UK) state that they already have the budget in place to upgrade their digital experience technologies within the next 18 months. Their main aims include cleaning up product information, improving the quality of their content, unifying the brand experience and maintaining brand integrity through a single management platform.
An integrated tool set that empowers different teams to collaborate effectively on content creation, management and publishing becoming a major priority. The Forrester paper makes four suggestions for organizations building an integrated tool set to meet their needs in integrated digital experience delivery:
- Identify IT barriers. Find out where IT people, processes or systems are creating obstacles in end-to-end content creation and publishing. For example, an over-reliance on IT to make day-to-day online content changes may be causing significant delays in getting a new product to market. Rank each of these barriers by their severity and ease of removal. Only once these IT barriers are understood and documented can the architecture of a new platform begin, as future success will be directly measured against a reduction in IT dependency for certain digital experience activities.
- Standardize, don’t over-engineer. Many organizations use an abundance of digital experience technologies across different departments, often causing a lack of integration and governance, as well as duplication of instances and multiple vendor solutions in play. Develop a reference digital experience architecture to help standardize and create operational efficiencies – but be careful of over-engineering the architecture. Where possible, a single tool set is preferable to enable dispersed teams to collaborate.
- Anticipate product complexity. High-quality product content is fundamental, yet many organizations are making mistakes when it comes to managing and publishing it. Recognize that complex product catalogs require highly structure content governance, and unstructured data tools such as the web content management system or homegrown solutions such as Excel will not be sufficient in the long term. Organizations with complex product lines must include Product Content Management solutions within the scope of their digital experience platform.
- Establish a Digital Center of Excellence. 72% of survey respondents say they already have a center of excellence in place to standardize processes and ensure consistency across disparate business units. Part of the role of this center is to put the customer at the centre of the digital experience journey – rather than allowing various business units to focus on their own myopic goals. Only a customer-first mindset can ensure a best-in-class digital experience strategy – regardless of the technologies you use.