6 Ways a Headless CMS Plays a Crucial Role in Omnichannel Digital Strategy

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    Today’s customers have an abundance of technology at their fingertips. Switching between smartwatches, smart speakers, mobile apps, desktops, tablets - the list just becomes longer by the year.

    As businesses, it’s vital that we keep up with the fast-paced evolution of technology so that we can adapt our buying journey and customer service strategies to suit all of these devices. This is where omnichannel marketing comes in.

    What is an omnichannel marketing strategy?

    Omnichannel marketing is an approach that is designed to offer customers a fully integrated and seamless shopping experience across all media channels. From enquiring via a smart speaker to purchasing through a web application—what are web applications? They’re those handy downloads from the Play or App Store—and then collecting at a kiosk in a brick-and-mortar store, each touchpoint is highly personalized to the customer’s individual buying journey.

    An image depicting the interconnectedness of different devices, such as tablets, phones, and AR headsets.

    Creating a comprehensive omnichannel digital strategy is essential if you want to maximize your reach and make your customers’ buying journey as smooth and hyper-convenient as possible. In order to deliver an effective omnichannel experience, you should probably be building your initial digital experiences with a headless CMS rather than a traditional one.

    What is a headless CMS?

    Any popular ecommerce website builder, like Squarespace , are perfect examples of a traditional CMS.

    If you want to create a simple, independent website, then a traditional CMS is an easy, cost-effective solution. However, the convoluted linking of the frontend and backend makes it incredibly difficult to customize and innovate. Not only that, but the single-channel content delivery is severely limiting, posing serious problems if you are trying to create an integrative omnichannel experience.

    A headless CMS is a backend content management system where the content repository (i.e: body) has been separated from the frontend presentation layer (i.e: head). It is constructed on a microservices-based architecture, meaning that code is built into unformatted modular segments rather than a singular, formatted file. This enables content to be optimized and distributed to different channels without extensive manual deconstruction and implementation.

    To learn more about Headless CMS and what it really means, please visit our article right here explaining Headless CMS.

    A simplified graphical representation of how a headless CMS works.

    6 ways a headless CMS is crucial for your omnichannel strategy

    While a headless CMS does require technical knowledge, it also offers frontend developers a much greater deal of creative freedom. You are not tied down to the framework of a single platform, meaning that you can design and build endpoints using your favorite language.

    In regards to marketing, the omnichannel advantages and possibilities are endless. Let’s take a look at why utilizing a headless CMS is instrumental to the success of an omnichannel digital strategy.

    1. It serves multiple digital channels

    A headless CMS can re-model and optimize content for any device connected via IoT (Internet of Things). Not only does this allow your team a greater deal of brand consistency and flexibility in regards to what you publish, but it also allows customers to enjoy your content on their preferred channel. With such a wealth of devices and platforms, the agnostic frontend makes it easier for you to cater to preferences and maximize your demographic reach.

    It also means that you can travel along with your on-the-go customers regardless of where they are in the buying cycle.

    2. The elimination of data silos

    Data silos are particularly detrimental to an omnichannel experience, particularly when it comes to streamlining customer and client support services. Because the handling of a customer’s buying journey is managed by multiple departments, isolated data can result in internal miscommunication, leading to departments losing track of where a customer is in their journey.

    Remember, customers expect you to be aware of them across all stages and devices. Having to repeat stages in their journey can result in a frustrating and poor customer experience.

    At its core, the omnichannel experience should be fluid, integrative, and continuous across all touchpoints. Utilizing a headless CMS enables this fluidity because it allows you to integrate data from your legacy systems into one centralized hub.

    Also, because it is agnostic of any channel and stored on private and public clouds, the data it stores is much easier to access. This means that every department involved in the customer’s buying journey can easily access data and prevent any communication mishaps.

    3. By offering greater degree of personalization

    People expect a personalized customer experience across all of their preferred channels. The design and content flexibility of a headless CMS allows for the personalization of content on devices like smart-watches, SMS, and mobile apps.

    For example, you can optimize layouts across devices and adapt long-form content (such as the kind you would see in emails) to suit the concise nature of SMS or WhatsApp.

    Utilizing a headless CMS also offers you the possibility to provide perks like real-time transactional information via SMS, and individual recommendations based on products the customer may have looked at on other platforms or devices.

    Personalizing customer experience in this way not only enables you to target a wider range of people by appealing to their preferences, but also increases customer retention, satisfaction, and loyalty.

    4. It integrates with other technologies

    With the assistance of APIs, headless CMS allows for easy, flexible integration with other internet marketing software and platforms. You could integrate with different messaging apps to connect with a wider range of customers; localization platforms to translate your content for internationalization; CRM systems to manage customer data, and DMP systems to monitor and measure your omnichannel campaigns.

    The possibilities are limitless and, with the right combination of integrations, you can create a highly collaborative system.

    5. Allowing for future-proofing and innovation

    Technology advances at an alarming rate, and it can be difficult to predict the newest revolutionary trend. The emergence of new technology can result in a forced infrastructure overhaul for businesses using monolithic frameworks, as they are restricted by the rigid coupling of their back and front end.

    This restrictiveness can have a disastrous effect on businesses, not only slowing down operations but potentially halting them completely. Fortunately, utilizing a headless CMS takes away some of this uncertainty by future-proofing your omnichannel strategy.

    A headless CMS is frontend agnostic, meaning that it is much more supportive of new technology and innovations.

    6. It speeds up campaigns

    Headless CMS speeds up the amount of time it takes you to implement campaigns because you don’t have to de-structure and re-architect content or manually make changes across all of your different systems. Instead, you can make just one change via a centralized hub and have it automatically apply to whichever devices you want, optimizations included.

    Also, because the frontend and backend are not inherently linked, you can make these changes without affecting the structure and performance of the backend. This makes deployment smoother and quicker, speeding up your time-to-market.

    Similarly, cloud-hosting helps to accelerate the process. While traditional content management systems are not cloud based applications, a headless CMS is predominantly hosted on the cloud, giving your business a higher degree of access and availability. Not only that, but cloud CMS is much less geographically restricting, meaning that employees can create, edit and publish content with much more flexibility.

    Of course, while there are many benefits to implementing a cloud CMS, the initial migration from an on-premises CMS to cloud CMS takes a considerable amount of planning and execution. Before you take the plunge, consider referring to an article on ‘what is cloud migration?’ for more information on the subject.

    Final thoughts

    It seems that a headless CMS is not only beneficial for omnichannel digital strategies but is in fact becoming a standardized necessity. The advantages of increased scalability and flexibility, marketing software integration, future-proofing, accessibility, and, most importantly, the provision of a unified customer experience, have made traditional CMS increasingly unsuitable for omnichannel digital marketing.

    If you’re looking to maximize your omnichannel strategy, then choosing the right headless CMS for your company’s needs is a crucial next step in your journey.