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Core Metrics for a Unified Content/Commerce Strategy

This is the eight and final post in an 8-part series called “Building a Content-First Organization." See posts one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven.

A unified content and commerce operation doesn’t change your organization’s primary objective: increased sales. But retailers or branded manufacturers that are bringing digital commerce and marketing teams together will want to align and adjust other core metrics to ensure they’re getting a complete picture of how their digital investments are influencing customers in the purchase funnel.

At many commerce-driven organizations, digital marketing teams generally track metrics related to website traffic and other forms of engagement, while commerce teams separately track lower-funnel metrics such as demand and transactions. But digital marketing measurement is now evolving from traditional campaign metrics to a more sophisticated form of attribution modeling. Attribution is a better way to align marketing activities with business performance by providing a more accurate view of the elements that influence a sale. That view gives marketing and commerce teams a better understanding for where they should be placing their bets.

An integrated commerce and content management platform doesn’t solve the attribution problem, but it does give you the opportunity to create a unified view of your customer – the key to accurate attribution. Recent research from Forrester found that marketing and commerce teams that share a technology platform see improvements in a wide range of operational and customer experience metrics, including campaign costs, fulfillment costs per order, time to market and conversion rates.

Integrating content and commerce teams can have a positive impact on other core metrics as well, including:

  • Bounce rate: In its latest eCommerce Quarterly report, marketing tech firm Monetate suggests that for digital commerce companies, “bounce rate might be worth even more obsessive focus” than conversion rate. The reason: 30% of website visitors leave in the first minute. More targeted inbound marketing efforts and landing pages that grab the visitor quickly with compelling visuals or other content can lower your bounce rate, which means visitors are sticking around on your site longer – offering more conversion opportunities. (A bounce rate under 40% is generally considered excellent.)
  • Time on site: Compelling content gives visitors a reason to stay longer. The longer they stay, the more opportunities you have to serve up additional content that leads them down the purchase path. The key is a combination of brand and product content that both entertains and informs your audience, without any barriers to a transaction.
  • Increased cart size: Recommendations and related content can influence customers to consider products or services they weren’t specifically looking for when they came to the site. Showcasing several products in the context of a various lifestyles is a smart approach to brand storytelling that can drive key commerce metrics such as cart size, average order value and lifetime value.

Attribution modeling is far from perfect. But integrating content and commerce data can give you a better foundation for measuring the aggregate activities that have the most influence on your customers – and the biggest impact on sales.

See the series ebook: Why Retailers Need to Reorganize for Effective Content-driven Commerce

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