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A headless CMS helps you achieve dynamic personalization for your eCommerce store

Marketing Siavash Moazzami-Vahid Siavash Moazzami-Vahid
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There’s a gap between customer expectations and their real-life experiences when it comes to personalization. Eighty-five percent of businesses believe they’re offering personalized experiences, but only 60% of consumers agree.

Your choice of CMS has a big impact on how much personalization you can add to your customers’ user experience. eCommerce companies need to review the personalization options within their CMS to understand whether they’ll be able to meet customers’ high expectations. Think bigger than just your marketing campaigns. Instead, look for a CMS that enables you to create personalized experiences across all your online channels and build personalization into the whole customer journey.

What does CMS personalization involve?

Personalization is more than adding someone’s first name to your email marketing. CMS personalization is the ability to use your content management system to personalize the customer experience and user journey by delivering different content variations, visual assets, and pages to the people visiting your site.

A personalized shopping experience is increasingly important to customers. Twilio found that 45% of consumers are likely to take their business elsewhere if brands don’t deliver a personalized experience. When they visit your site, customers expect the content they see to be tailored to their tastes and informed by their previous visits to your site and previous purchases. Personalization enables you to provide a top-quality customer experience that meets their expectations.

You can personalize the customer experience by setting up rules or variables based on demographic or behavioral data to show different content types or product recommendations to your site visitors. For example, this could be based on:

  • Gender - You can use demographic data to show the right content to different customer segments.

  • Location - show delivery charges for their state or translate all your content based on their country.

  • Visitor frequency - track user visits to your site. If they visit often, you’ll want to show them your newest products or collections, so they’ll see items they didn’t see last time.

  • Recent purchases - show visitors complementary products such as a moisturizer to go with a cleanser or the shirt they bought in a new color or pattern.

  • Referring URL - someone who clicks through from an Instagram ad will want to see the product in that ad, not your full range.

There are lots of reasons to personalize the customer experience. But Adobe found that the joint top uses of personalization are product recommendations and predictive customer service.

A screenshot of an Amazon banner, showcasing personalized marketing.

Amazon offers personalization - including localizing items for different regions.

How a headless CMS helps create a personalized customer experience

The right type of CMS can help you create a dynamic, personalized browsing and shopping experience for your customers across multiple channels. With a traditional CMS such as WordPress, your personalization capabilities are limited by the CMS framework and the available plugins. In contrast, a headless CMS is much more flexible. Here are some ways a headless CMS supports content personalization.

Decouples your content from your backend

With a headless CMS, the content on your site is separated from the frontend presentation layer. It’s delivered via an API to display on any device, giving you the flexibility to publish to any frontend or framework. This means customers can view your products and content on your desktop site, on mobile, or via your app if you have one.

For example, athleisure retailer Public Rec uses the Storyblok CMS with Shopify to get more flexibility over the store’s frontend. For Public Rec CEO and founder Zach Goldstein, one of the main benefits of a headless CMS was the flexibility it gave to their content. He said, “Our move to headless was really about having the easiest access to play with our content so that our customers have the best experience possible.”

Makes content easy to reuse across channels

Twilio found that just 24% of businesses “are investing successfully in omnichannel personalization, with departmental silos and legacy infrastructure as the key barriers to success.”

A headless CMS like Storyblok breaks your content down into individual blocks or components, so you can easily reuse content and messaging across multiple pages, platforms, and channels. If you change one component, that change is reflected across every location in real time rather than having to update every page individually.

Being able to reuse content across channels is useful because eCommerce customers don’t just sit down at their computers to shop anymore. Think with Google reports that “people now feel free to shop wherever it’s easiest for them, whether that’s in a store, online, or from an app.”

Your customers may switch between browsing on a laptop, tablet, smartphone, and app — but they’ll still expect a consistent, personalized experience across each channel. For example, if a customer sees a social media ad and clicks through on their smartphone but doesn’t make a purchase, your site can feature that product or collection on your homepage if they visit your store on their laptop the next day.

Streamlines content localization

A headless CMS offers full localization support, including translation. This enables you to personalize your site for customers in different locations, so international customers don’t have a second-rate experience on your store. Crystal Hues Limited explains that “consumers [are] more likely to purchase a product if its details are in their native language.”

With traditional, monolithic CMS platforms, your localization options are limited based on what plugin options you have or what localization functionality is built into the CMS. But with a headless CMS, you can integrate fully with other tools to manage content translation and localization for all digital asset types, such as rich text, URLs, SEO metadata, and responsive images. Customers visiting your site will see content personalized to their location, such as in their native language and with prices in their currency and shipping costs to their location.

Integrates with other tools like your CRM

SmarterHQ found that “72% of consumers say they now only engage with marketing messages tailored to their interests.” They’re not interested in being treated like every other customer. So you need to be able to provide a personalized experience across all channels, which will only be possible if you can use data from every touchpoint and interaction they have with your brand.

With a headless CMS, you can set up integrations to connect your CMS to other tools in your tech stack via an API. This means you have more data points to use when building content variations. You can track user behavior in your CRM or marketing automation platform and use the customer data from those platforms to personalize their experience on your site.

For example, if a consumer opens and reads a marketing email about your sustainability efforts, your site can show them relevant content such as your eco product range when they next visit.

A headless CMS is your best option for creating a personalized customer experience

A headless CMS offers eCommerce stores much more flexibility than a monolithic CMS in how they deliver content to their customers. It’s the best way to build personalized customer experiences across multiple platforms and channels, thanks to that flexibility. Want to learn more? Check out Storyblok.

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