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Selling the Story: The Content and Commerce Connection

Why the Gartner Magic Quadrant for WCM Matters to Commerce

Three weeks ago, Acquia reached a major milestone. Gartner released its annual Web Content Management Magic Quadrant, and for the first time, Acquia made the coveted Leaders quadrant. This is a huge accomplishment for Acquia, and makes everyone here extremely proud to work for such an amazing company.
Since Gartner does a Magic Quadrant report for both WCM and Commerce, commerce execs may pay little attention to the WCM report. I’m here to tell you - that’s a mistake. The lines between commerce and content are blurring, and commerce... More

Party City’s Spooktacular Product Wall Improves the Shopping Experience

A good user experience doesn’t always require technology
It’s almost Halloween and I needed to put the finishing touches on my costume. This year I decided to make up my own costume – I am Wine Woman, fighting sobriety one grape at a time with my trusty side-kick Sangria Girl. Once my friend Bethany and I settled on our costumes, I immediately went to amazon.com to try and piece it all together. Purple dress, purple tights, purple Mardi-Gras mask (because, why not?) and a purple cape added to my cart and I was good to go! Except, unbeknownst... More

I Came for a Purple Jacket, but All I Got Was Pretty Pictures

I needed a fall jacket. Something lightweight and colorful. My online search led me to Paul Smith’s autumn/winter collection. I clicked through some of the beautiful pictures and came across a purple jacket (center right) - totally my style!

I tried to purchase it, but couldn’t find the buy button. So I typed “purple jacket” in the on-site search box and all sorts of irrelevant things came up. I went back to the “shop online” section to try to browse for it. Still no luck. My... More

Luxury Interactive: A Brand's Biggest Asset Is Its Story

Less than two weeks after the close of shop.org I found myself on a train down to NYC for Luxury Interactive. The big takeaway from shop.org was Content is Critical to Brand Differentiation, and I expected to hear a similar theme at Luxury Interactive. After the first day of sessions I wasn’t disappointed.
In the big beautiful competitive world of Luxury, brand definition is everything. It’s why a millennial consumer paid $30,000 to... More

“Content is Critical to Brand Differentiation” said everybody at shop.org.

If I had to choose one theme of this year’s shop.org annual summit, it would be ‘Content, Content, Content’. The summit started with REI CEO Jerry Stritzke where he described REI as a Storytelling Company. Starting with the brand’s origins as a community of climbers, he described the passion for the brand held by consumers and employees alike, with the passion fitting of the brand he described. He talked about REI.com as a ‘Catalyst for Discovery’ and his desire to make the site more than just a... More

Why we’re dropping the “e” in eCommerce. And why you should too.

The rise of m-commerce, the struggles with social-commerce, the growing maturity of e-commerce, the integration of technology into physical commerce… it can be, no it is, overwhelming. As marketers, we feel the need to distinguish between the different types of platforms consumers use to research and purchase products. We have mobile teams responsible for developing shopping apps, and optimizing the mobile experience. We have social teams responsible for increasing engagement through social channels, promoting product and, sometimes, trying to figure out how to crack the code on social... More

Retail and Non-Profits Have More In Common Than You Would Think

One of the main reasons I got into marketing, and specifically marketing for commerce, is because people fascinate me. How does a consumer make a purchase decision? Why then? Why that product? Why is Target ‘Le Target’ while Wal-Mart is ‘Wally World’? I’ve spent my whole career digging through those questions, only to come up with more.
A few weeks ago my Facebook feed, along with yours I’m sure, became jammed with people dumping an ice bucket over their head to raise money for ALS. My co-worker Sean even wrote an Acquia blog about it. Prior to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I’d never really... More

An eCommerce Retrospective: Ten Summoner's Tales, Twenty Years Later

20 years ago the world changed. On August 11, 1994 Phil Brandenberger paid $12.48 plus shipping for Sting’s “Ten Summoner’s Tales” and made history as the very first online shopper. One year later Amazon.com and AuctionWeb (later to become eBay) both embarked on a historic journey to become the power-houses they are today.
20 years ago. Wow. Not only does that make me feel incredibly old, but I can’t... More

How Blake Lively Almost Got Content for Commerce Right. Almost.

When I first heard Blake Lively was launching a lifestyle/ content/ commerce website, I’ll be honest, I was excited. I was a pretty big Gossip Girl fan back in the day, and I’ve always admired her cool, eclectic sense of style. According to Vogue, the site is “part digital monthly magazine, part e-commerce venture, part video blog, the site will seek out and celebrate people all over America who are making things—food, clothes, pillows, dishes, dining-room tables—with their hands.”
Not... More

The ecommerce media experience: new triggers and signals

The sudden shift away from desktop browser experiences to the mobile web has been both a huge challenge and opportunity for ecommerce user experience management. While having a mobile version of the store was a priority in the five years, the new user expectation is that the site will respond to their circumstances intuitively down to an awareness of whether or not they are in a moving vehicle or inside the brand’s actual store. From Apple’s iBeacon technology for in-store retail experiences to intelligent technologies that deduce if a customer is driving, riding a subway, or waiting at an... More

Selling the Story: From Store Operations to Experience Management

As the ecommerce channel becomes the key channel for many consumer driven brands, ownership of its P&L is moving to the marketing organization as that channel becomes the primary digital face of the brand. As marketing itself moves from a rigid “funnel” model aligned to a marketing calendar (Dads-and-Grads, Back-to-School, Black Friday) and the classic Four P’s of product-price-promotion-and place to a more fluid experience customized to the individual, the need for the marketing communications model to adapt becomes imperative.

Where in the past marketers might develop a handful of... More

The New Customer Decision Journey Needs Content

Demand generation for consumer ecommerce sites used to be as subtle as a brick to the face, generally consisted of pushed spam with “Buy Now!” subject lines hoping to drive customers to landing pages with annoying homepage hero offers.
Banner ads further annoyed the consumer, chasing them fruitlessly around the web in hopes of wearing them down and finally getting a sale out of them. In B2B, lead gen models put registration walls in front of “white papers” in hopes of snagging a potential customer’s phone number so a junior inside telesales rep could phone them and read a script.
This early... More

Turning Segments into Audiences through Personalized Experiences

Welcome the anonymous flood of traffic that arrives at an online store. Then dynamically customize each individual user’s experience, depending on how they found their way to the site, how they identify themselves, and what their past history is.
This has long been the holy grail for ecommerce executives.
Personalization was all the rage towards the end of the Web 1.0 phase of ecommerce and became a buzzword of sorts in the late 1990s at the height of the first dot.com boom. Today it is an absolutely essential expectation by customers that if they establish a one-to-one relationship... More

Selling the Story: The Commerce-Content Connection

The Mad Men era of the 1960s introduced the concept of storytelling to Madison Avenue and the brands they were pitching. Now storytelling is being integrated into the science of selling online, turning the classic catalogue-cart-checkout model into something closer to a magazine but with the added capabilities of personalization, segmentation and recommendation engines.
The ecommerce experience is making a transition from the familiar paradigm of search-compare-select to something closer to “shopping the story.” The implications for marketers and ecommerce professionals are profound and... More