E-Handbook:

E-commerce content management systems power personalization

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Effective e-commerce CMS is essential to customer experience

Being the bookworm that I am, I sometimes purchase reading material online. The transaction may lack the personalized experience of a visit to my local bookstore, but the books are usually cheaper online, and there's a greater selection of merchandise.

Online retailers are trying to close the customer experience gap and boost sales by using tightly integrated e-commerce content management systems instead of the typically rudimentary CMS tools native to e-commerce applications. It looks like that's already happening. When I add an item to my online cart, I'm shown a dozen book titles with similar themes. Of course, my $10 purchase has now morphed into $50 due to a few impulse purchases along the way. This system certainly worked for the retailer, at least in my case.

The three features in this handbook examine how businesses can use e-commerce content management systems to engage with customers while providing a large selection of searchable -- and sometimes personalized -- products. We also look at the benefits of launching an e-commerce platform from the content management stack versus a CRM stack. Either way, CMS and CRM will have to work together.

It's all about the customer experience. Sales drive a business, but consumers will take their business elsewhere if they have a less-than-stellar experience.

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