A lot has changed in the digital experience world over the last few years. Retail customers now demand personalized content and enjoyable experiences across a growing array of channels, whether online, offline, via Internet of Things (IoT) smart devices, mobile apps, digital signs or any combination thereof. And they expect those experiences to be consistent across each channel.
Research firm Gartner estimates that over 20 billion connected IoT devices will be in use across a range of industries by 2020. This ever-evolving, complex channel ecosystem has put pressure on the website-first technical approach in favor just a few years ago. It made sense then. Now, having screens and channels everywhere requires retailers to get smart about how content is delivered and presented. Content must be kept fresh, relevant and hyperpersonalized to meet shifting consumer desires and engage in new and exciting ways that align to their individual lifestyles.
The challenge organizations face today focuses on how do you get personalized content to the growing diversity of digital touchpoints at speed? The answer is Content-as-a-Service (CaaS).
Evolution of CaaS
CaaS makes it easy to deliver structured content — commonly referred to as content fragments — that other apps, websites and IoT devices can consume. Through the separation of content, layout and structure, content is no longer published from a content management system (CMS) in a pre-defined channel (push principle), but can simply be consumed by any channel’s front end on-demand (pull principle). Using CaaS means that new digital touchpoints can be added much faster, reducing digital complexity and allowing companies to go to market with unprecedented speed while at the same time providing superior digital experiences. It’s an essential capability of any headless CMS.
What sounds like a digital land of unlimited possibilities for consumers is at the same time a great challenge for companies thanks to the growing number of digital touchpoints available for them to communicate with their customers.
Secret Sauce for Retailers
One of the holy grails for retailers is to improve personalization at every and any channel to meet every customer’s unique interests. For retailers, the secret sauce means using CaaS + artificial intelligence (AI) personalization + unified data + predictive targeting + analytics to deliver individualized and inspiring digital experiences.
For example, CaaS plays a huge role in digital signage. When coupling a location-based mobile app with digital signage, marketers can offer location-based content in signs in the form of promotions, discounts or services as each customer moves through a store, bank, hotel, sports venue, or even as they drive down the road. Digital billboard signage can even be used to drive in-store traffic by notifying consumers of store proximity based on their location, and offering special product promotions to draw them in. These strategically based promotions perfectly illustrate how marketers can use CaaS to engage with customers across all channels.
The diversity of channel touchpoints, and therefore unique customer journeys, is increasing exponentially. Traditional touchpoints such as websites, social media platforms, digital displays, apps and online shops continue to play their part, but IoT devices, including everything from wearables and voice-controlled smart devices to cars and refrigerators, are also increasing in importance. Companies therefore must provide customers with personalized content at more and more digital touchpoints. This is exactly where CaaS comes in.
CaaS gives companies enormous freedom to design the perfect digital experience for each customer since content is pulled together for the right customer in the right context at the right touchpoint at the right time and assembled on the glass — i.e., at the screen or display, regardless of what the display actually is.
A look at a younger generation of internet users shows just how essential this is: almost half of all millennials say that good content influences their purchase decisions. In fact, 70 percent even go one step further and reject purchases from companies that provide poorly conceived and irrelevant content. A tailor-made customer experience can therefore have a lasting effect on company sales.
Intelligent Personalization Breeds Success
Intelligent personalization makes a decisive contribution to business success because it recognizes correlations between content elements and their success (e.g., conversion rates). Qualitative and quantitative data on the use of content played out make it possible to adapt future content perfectly to target groups.
Whether IoT device, website, app or intranet, CaaS makes omnichannel content distribution fast and easy. Reducing digital complexity for organizations while providing customers with better digital experiences anytime, anywhere and quickly leads to a superior customer experience.
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