The Contentstack Team

Posts by The Contentstack Team

Sep 28, 2023 | 3 min. read

Achieve web personalization with a headless composable DXP

In the digital age, creating a one-size-fits-all website no longer works. With the rise of data analytics, user profiling, and advanced algorithms, businesses can now offer customized digital experiences through web personalization. Communicating with customers more personally can foster a deeper connection and build consumer trust. Statistics provide proof of how vital web personalization is for today’s consumers. McKinsey, for example, reports that 71% of consumers don’t just want personalization; they expect it. And 76% get frustrated when they don’t get it. When personalization is done right, it can pay off. In addition, McKinsey reports: “Companies that grow faster drive 40% more of their revenue from personalization than their slower-growing counterparts.” This blog explores the concept of web personalization, its benefits, and different types of personalization. We’ll also explain how a headless, composable digital experience platform (DXP) can help businesses deliver advanced personalization. What is web personalization? What are the benefits? Web personalization refers to the dynamic process of tailoring online content, user experiences, and website interactions to each visitor's preferences, behaviors, and needs. This customization involves leveraging data analytics, user profiling, and advanced algorithms. And it’s about more than just changing images or words on the page. It could involve providing consumers with product recommendations. Or adjusting page layouts or other website elements based on user interactions. The benefits of web personalization will vary based on marketing and business objectives but may include the following. Increased sales and revenue Higher conversion rates Enhanced brand recognition Improved user retention Greater customer loyalty Business growth Well-known examples of web personalization Many well-known brands have adopted web personalization to increase engagement and boost revenue. Here are three examples: Amazon uses predictive targeting to offer personalized product recommendations based on a visitor's previous purchases and browsing history.  Netflix personalizes content recommendations based on users' watching habits, It provides personalized landing pages highlighting what new content is available.  Starbucks uses mobile apps and integrations and predictive targeting to offer personalized recommendations for food and beverage items based on different factors. These include weather conditions, time of day, and behavioral data. Web personalization is typically categorized into three levels. Basic – This involves simple personalization techniques, such as addressing the user by their first name. Intermediate – More advanced; this level of personalization includes strategies like recommending products or other content to users. Advanced – This highest level of personalization involves real-time adjustments to content based on factors like user behavior. Four types of web personalization strategies Businesses can adopt various strategies to improve user experience and increase conversions. Some of the most effective personalization strategies include behavioral, contextual, geolocation, and predictive targeting. Behavioral targeting This involves analyzing visitors' browsing behavior, such as visited pages, time spent on the site, and click-through rates, to provide personalized content recommendations and offers. Contextual targeting  This uses the context of the visitor's current session, such as the search terms, the referring URL, and the device used, to present content that meets their needs. Geolocation targeting This is when personalized content is delivered based on the visitor's location. The aim is to help them find nearby services or products. Predictive targeting This involves personalizing content based on machine learning algorithms. These algorithms analyze the vast data collected on visitor behavior, preferences, and needs. Then, it predicts which personalized content is likely to convert each visitor. What is a headless CMS? A headless content management system (CMS) is a back-end-only CMS where content is stored and managed. Content is accessed and displayed on a front-end system, such as a smartphone screen, via an application programming interface (API). The API enables the front end and back end to communicate with each other. A headless CMS enables businesses to quickly deliver personalized content to users regardless of their channel or device. Headless CMS can help businesses achieve web personalization faster In a headless CMS, personalization involves using the data stored in the CMS to tailor the content delivered in real time to each user. This can be done based on user behavior and physical location. Headless CMS also allows businesses to personalize content across multiple channels and devices. Composable DXPs like Contentstack with a headless architecture make it easier to provide personalized user experiences. This is because they empower businesses to take a template-based approach to web personalization.  In composable DXPs, the front end calls appropriate content stored on the back end based on user behavior and location. The front end could be a laptop screen or an app viewed on a smartphone.  Unlike traditional platforms like WordPress, a composable DXP with headless CMS is not coupled with one website or “head.” Instead, it can deliver content to multiple devices or channels. For example, the Contentstack DXP enables an organization to use different templates for each website locale to deliver localized content. Therefore, five separate templates can be created if a website serves content to five countries in five different languages. Then, the right one automatically shows in real-time based on a user’s location. What does “composable” mean? Being “composable” means a platform can comprise any number of best-in-breed solutions. In other words, your tech stack can be integrated with the platform without limitations on what solutions you can or can’t have.  Composable frameworks enable separate independent solutions to communicate with each other while maintaining their autonomy seamlessly. This means adding new systems without impacting others or disrupting user experiences. Swap out systems whenever you want and add new solutions as technology evolves in the future. There’s no need to take down and build new websites. Instead, you can update the look and functionality of a site or add new channels when the timing is right. Here’s an overview of some composable DXPs' benefits beyond improving web personalization. Omnichannel content deployment Seamlessly optimize and push marketing campaigns across multiple channels. These include browsers, apps, tablets, IoT devices, kiosks, smartwatches, voice assistants, and more. Improved collaboration Business users gain the agility to deploy or update services and content on the fly without worrying about breaking infrastructure or causing unplanned downtime. And because the front end and back end are managed separately, developers and designers have more flexibility to use each channel’s format to its fullest without back-end constraints. More consistent branding Content assets are organized in editable modules that are easy to find and optimize as brand messaging evolves. This means marketing teams can create content one time and then deliver it with a unified brand voice across all touchpoints.  Insight-driven decisions Data from content marketing, customer support, and sales teams uses APIs in real time. Combined with integrated analytics solutions, this data can provide actionable consumer insights that empower businesses to make more informed decisions. Challenges and considerations While providing web personalization using a headless, composable DXP offers many benefits, it also comes with challenges. These include data privacy concerns, the need for advanced technical skills, and the complexity of managing and analyzing large amounts of data. Template-based website personalization tools and strategies Template-based web personalization tools enable businesses to improve user experience by providing tailored content and design without compromising site performance. These tools can leverage the same data-based algorithms as advanced personalization strategies but are simpler to implement. Using templates makes implementing web personalization easier, more manageable, and more effective. Steps to implement web personalization in a headless environment: Implementing web personalization in a headless environment requires five steps.  Identify the visitor segments that you want to target with personalized experiences. Collect data about the users in these segments, including user behavior, preferences, and demographics. Use algorithms to recommend content that matches the user preferences and behavior. Perform A/B testing of different versions of content and then optimize personalization strategies based on the results. Monitor personalized experiences and make adjustments when needed. Before taking these steps, you must choose and implement the right headless, composable DXP.  Learn more Remember, web personalization is a powerful tool that can significantly enhance user experience, drive engagement, and foster brand loyalty. A headless, composable DXP provides businesses with a flexible and efficient way to achieve web personalization. Schedule a free demo today if you’d like to learn how Contentstack can help your organization with its web personalization strategy.

Sep 26, 2023

Future-proofing responsive web design with headless CMS

Summary: Responsive web design is a design approach that enables a website to adjust its layout and content for any device or screen size. A headless CMS uses application programming interfaces (APIs) to deliver optimized content across multiple digital channels, providing organizations with increased content flexibility to adapt to various devices and screen sizes for responsive web design. Headless CMS can future-proof responsive web design by enabling quick adaptation to new technologies and devices without impacting the CMS structure or interrupting user experience.Maintaining a competitive edge at the speed of technology can be challenging in the fast-moving digital age. Businesses must deliver exceptional digital content while ensuring customers have consistent experiences as they move from one device to another. To achieve this, content must be optimized for every device and every size screen. Until recently, content had to be optimized for mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and computer screens. However, the range of devices with display screens has expanded to include smartwatches, virtual reality (VR) headsets, and more. As we move into the future, this list will only grow. The reality is that it’s no longer feasible for businesses to manually create and optimize their websites for every different device and screen size where it could be displayed.This is where responsive web design comes in. Responsive web design ensures websites are easily accessible, no matter what device a user is viewing. Over time, this design approach evolved from single layouts to adaptive designs to today's standard, fluid designs, which must automatically be compatible with devices of different screen sizes.This blog will look at the essential elements of responsive web design. Then, we’ll explain how headless content management systems (CMSes) can help businesses use responsive web design strategies to deliver improved omnichannel experiences.What is responsive web design?Responsive web design is a design approach that enables a website to adjust its layout and content for any device or screen size. This means regardless of the device where the website is viewed, users will experience the same content and functionality.Responsive web design is not a new concept. Its origins go back almost as far as the internet and it has been covered by W3Schools, Kinsta, and Smashing magazine.However, it has become increasingly important with the rise of mobile devices. Today, with so many different device screens beyond smartphones, the focus continues to shift from mobile to omnichannel experiences. For more on this shift, read our blog, “Does your CMS support Omnichannel?”Three components of responsive web designResponsive web design is about creating a website that responds to its environment and user behavior. Responsive web design consists of three main components. These are fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries. Here’s more on each one.Fluid gridsFluid grids are the cornerstone of responsive web design. They're based on proportional allocation, allowing elements on the page to be sized based on percentages rather than fixed pixel sizes. This ensures each element is scaled up or down depending on the screen size. Your website will look great on any device, whether an iPhone, laptop, or a giant jumbotron at a sports arena. Flexible imagesFlexible images are another critical component of responsive web design. Images of fixed sizes can distort and look unappealing on smaller screens. But by using responsive techniques to make images adaptable to different screen sizes, you can ensure they look good and maintain their resolution regardless of the device.Media queriesLastly, media queries are the code that allows a website to detect a user's device and adjust the website's layout accordingly. In technical speak, they apply Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) styles based on device type and specifications like screen resolution and browser viewport width.Media queries ensure the website is optimized for the device, user preferences, and environment.Responsive vs. reactive web designResponsive web design automatically adjusts a website's layout and content based on the screen size. Reactive web design, on the other hand, is a design approach that enables real-time adjustments to static website content based on the device where the website is being viewed. Real-time adjustments are made based on triggers like a change in server data. However, these triggers are not based on user preferences.The benefits of headless for responsive web designWhile transitioning to a headless CMS from a traditional platform requires a shift in mindset, enterprises and mid-sized to large organizations can reap many benefits when they switch. Here are three of the most important benefits they can expect.Adaptation and future-proofing A headless CMS provides content flexibility, allowing the content to be seamlessly adapted to various devices and screen sizes for responsive web design. The headless CMS APIs enable structured content delivery, facilitating a responsive display across different devices. Content can be tailored to user devices and optimized for search engine indexing, improving SEO performance. The separation between the front and back end of a headless CMS like Contentstack allows developers to work more efficiently with minimized design intricacies, accelerating the development process. A composable headless CMS can tailor the user experience across devices and deliver enhanced engagement and satisfaction.Streamlined content managementOne of the significant benefits of a headless CMS is streamlined content management. Since the content is treated as data, it can be stored and managed centrally in one place. This means the same content can be reused and repurposed across platforms and channels, saving development time and effort. Furthermore, since the content can be accessed by multiple teams, whether they are marketers, developers, or designers, it becomes easier to create and publish content faster (no technical expertise required), improving the time-to-market.Seamless user experience A headless CMS contributes to a seamless user experience across devices. Since the content is managed and stored on the back end and adapts to the device when called up on the front end, the same user can access the same content and benefit from consistent experience regardless of the device they use. Better yet, the content can be personalized to them on the front end. For instance, the content can be delivered in their preferred language using localization software.Making content more consistent, accessible, and engaging can lead to higher user retention rates, conversion rates, and increased traffic.Future-proofing responsive web designLastly, a headless CMS can future-proof responsive web design by ensuring content remains adaptable to emerging devices and technologies. Since the headset and the presentation layer are disconnected, any changes in technology or devices can be easily integrated without affecting content management or delivery. The content can be quickly adapted to new devices, ensuring your website remains relevant and accessible to your audience.A headless CMS can solve responsive web design challengesEliminating challenges in responsive web design with headless CMSResponsive web design can be challenging, especially for developers who must become more familiar with the technique. Using media queries, flexible layouts, and flexible images requires expertise in programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, with the help of a headless, composable CMS, many such challenges can be eliminated. This empowers developers to spend more time improving website functionality and user experiences.The role of head CMS in responsive web designA headless CMS is a back-end-only content management system that separates the front end (the website's visible part) and back end (the content management system's administrative part) of a website. The term “headless” means that rather than having the traditional CMS structure of being paired with a website, the back end is not connected to a static website. Instead, the back end can be connected via application programming interfaces (APIs) that deliver optimized content to various devices, enabling them to deliver a better user experience. Benefits of content delivery APIsThese APIs provide a structured and consistent way to deliver content across multiple digital channels, such as websites, mobile apps, and social media platforms.The structure of content delivery APIs also enhances the display, providing a more compelling layout across various devices. A headless CMS can generate optimal markup for individual devices, allowing maximum control over design elements like font size, column width, and spacing. Customization of the content display with a headless CMSAdditionally, a headless CMS enables web developers to customize the content display based on the device's viewport width, making the content more accessible on mobile devices. This approach also allows for using media-screen and min-width queries to serve different content to different devices, creating a tailored user experience.Advantages of a composable CMS in responsive Web designA CMS that’s both headless and composable takes responsive web design to new heights by allowing developers to create a modular, flexible, and scalable website architecture. They can build front-end applications with pre-built modules like login forms, image galleries, or surveys. Integration of composable CMS with a unique tech stackThey can also combine modules in various ways to create unique and personalized experiences across various devices. This approach enhances reusability, maintainability, and consistency across the entire website.Also important, being composable means the CMS framework can be integrated with an organization’s unique tech stack, creating a fully customizable solution of best-in-breed solutions that can communicate seamlessly via APIs.This makes it possible to easily upgrade to new solutions as technology advances into the future without changing your CMS and impacting user experience.Learn moreA headless composable CMS is a powerful tool that can revolutionize how you manage and deliver content. By separating the content from the presentation layer, content can be seamlessly adapted to various devices and screen sizes, improving user experience and SEO performance. Furthermore, streamlining content management, accelerating the development process, and future-proofing responsive web design ensures that your website remains accessible, engaging, and relevant, regardless of how technology advances. As always, consult a specialist to ensure that a headless CMS is the right choice for your business.To see a demo of the Contentstack headless, composable CMS, schedule a free demo today.

Sep 25, 2023 | 3 min. read

Headless web integration: the future of superior digital experiences

Headless web integration is emerging as a game-changer in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. Offering unparalleled flexibility and scalability, it revolutionizes how businesses deliver content across multiple channels for improved digital experiences. Digital experiences are more important than ever and can no longer be left to chance. Instead, organizations that want to stay ahead must develop digital strategies to meet or exceed customer expectations.  Why is this important? The one-size-fits-all approach no longer results in customer satisfaction. Consumers not only want to be engaged with relevant, helpful content aimed at their needs, they expect it. According to the Twilio Customer Engagement Report 2023, 86% of consumers said personalized experiences increase their loyalty to specific brands. And 60% said they will quit a brand if their experience wasn’t personalized. This blog aims to shed light on the concept of headless integration, its importance in today's tech stack, and how it helps businesses enhance digital experiences as they scale. What does “headless” mean? Headless is a core principle of MACH, a revolutionary business approach that supports speed and agility. MACH is an acronym that stands for: Microservices – lightweight applications that can be deployed, maintained, and scaled independently API-first – application programming interface (API) technology connects services to create a composable ecosystem that can be rearranged as needed Cloud-native – delivered as a service by an outside vendor for limitless scalability Headless architecture decouples presentation and logic, enabling endless integrations and channel-independent service delivery. When all these capabilities come together, marketing departments and IT teams can finally deliver relevant omnichannel digital experiences.  The “head” in “headless” refers to the touchpoints where customers are engaged. This might be a mobile app or an online shopping site. Headless platforms differ from legacy platforms like WordPress, which only have one “head” – a website. Headless platforms ' content stored on the back end can be delivered to multiple heads. There’s no limit to how many heads your headless content management system (CMS) can have.  This makes it easier for businesses to add new channels as technology evolves. Since content is stored and managed on the back end, messaging, and branding remain consistent across every channel. This is true regardless of how many there are. Decoupling plays a crucial role in headless integration The separation between the front-end and back-end in headless integration allows each area to be developed and updated independently. This has many advantages. Flexibility: Developers can use any technology they prefer for the front-end, while the back end focuses solely on managing data and content. Scalability: The front-end can scale more efficiently to meet growing user demands without being limited by the back end. Speed: By reducing dependencies between the front-end and back-end, updates and changes can be implemented faster. Enhanced Security: Improving the security of websites and applications by isolating the content from the presentation. This makes it more difficult for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities in the presentation layer. The significance of headless integration in today's tech stack cannot be overstated. But above all, it empowers businesses to deliver dynamic, personalized digital experiences. This helps them meet customer expectations and stay ahead of the competition. Decoupled CMS vs. headless CMS While the back and front-end are decoupled in headless CMS, there are also hybrid decoupled CMSes. Decoupled CMS platforms come with an optional built-in front-end layer. This allows developers to use the included interface or build their own. Understanding headless architecture  To understand headless architecture better, look at APIs, static site generators, and composability. APIs An API serves as the communication bridge between the front-end and back-end of headless CMSes. The back end is where content is stored and managed. The front end controls how it’s delivered to different channels and devices.  APIs are also used to integrate third-party software into headless platforms. For example, when a customer interacts with a website page, localization software can instantly gather data to deliver product details and other content in their language. A common misconception is that a headless CMS is merely an API. However, a headless CMS offers much more than just an API. Unlike a traditional CMS, a headless CMS separates content creation, management, and presentation. This allows for content editing and management across different platforms. In contrast, a traditional CMS intertwines content management with content presentation, limiting flexibility and scalability. Static site generators Static site generators like Gatsby are essential to the headless tech stack. They combine data, content, and templates to generate the user interfaces that display on web pages and app screens. These differ from static web pages created in traditional legacy CMS systems from code. Gatsby, an open-source static site generator, enables developers to build fast, secure, and robust web apps by pre-rendering pages at build time. These generators contribute significantly to improved user interfaces and efficient digital content creation in headless environments. There are several static generators besides Gatsby. Your IT team may prefer Next.js, React or Metalsmith. Fortunately, headless CMS platforms like Contentstack allow you to choose your preferred front-end framework.  Composability Composability is a crucial principle of headless platforms. Composability enables organizations to create custom tech stacks of best-in-breed solutions tailored to their needs. Consider these solutions modular building blocks that can be added, removed, or updated independently. Because each is self-contained, changes to one solution do not impact other functionality, services, or channels. Yet, these modules can work seamlessly together via APIs for excellent results. This flexibility future-proofs businesses because they can update their products, services, websites or other channels as often as needed. They can roll out multiple new websites, apps and integrations without taking down existing ones, for example, or add a new feature like chat to a site without impacting other functionality. The point is there is no disruption to the customer experience. How headless benefits marketing and IT teams Headless web integration offers many advantages for marketing and IT teams. Here’s an overview of the benefits for each team. Marketing Marketing teams are empowered to create, change, and publish content without any coding experience or technical expertise. They can create campaigns and push various content types to multiple platforms and channels with incredible speed and efficiency—the days of creating tickets and waiting in line for developers to make updates or launch campaigns end. Creating content once and repurposing it for other sites and channels becomes simpler. Making updates to content once and pushing it to multiple digital channels eliminates the need for repetitive changes in multiple locations and systems. Workflows and access controls can be customized to ensure the correct approvers can make changes or approve content before publication.  Composability makes it easy to add the latest and greatest marketing tools to the mix as technology advances, business goals evolve, and customer needs change. IT teams Rather than mundane ticket requests, developers can focus on targeted API functionality and features to improve digital experiences.  Scaling apps and rolling out new sites and channels become easier because these can be deployed independently. Rushed overnight deployments or site downtime to release new functionality become a thing of the past. Each team focuses on what it does best As you can see, headless platforms enable marketing and IT teams to do what they do best. This reduces friction between the two departments and promotes collaboration while encouraging both to focus on different aspects of the same goal: delivering better digital experiences. At the same time, leadership can focus on growth with the confidence that their marketing and IT teams can act with the speed and agility needed to keep their websites and other channels up to date. This is true whether the business aspires to move into new territory, launch a new service or add new channels. Achieving the end goal: better customer experiences With headless platforms like Contentstack, delivering personalized and relevant content becomes the standard rather than the exception. The result is improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, making the investment in composable and headless platforms worth the resources invested. A Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) study demonstrates an ROI of 295% with composable architecture. Headless web integration holds immense potential for revolutionizing digital experiences. Its impact on user experiences, content delivery, and scalability is profound, offering businesses a dynamic solution for their digital content needs. As we move toward a more integrated digital future, embracing headless web integration could be the key to staying ahead of the curve.

Sep 22, 2023 | 4 min. read

Is integrating your digital asset management system with a DXP a good idea?

In today's digital world, organizations are constantly looking for ways to improve the experiences they provide to their customers. One way they can accomplish this is to integrate their existing digital asset management (DAM) system with a digital experience platform (DXP).In this blog, we'll look at how a DXP and a DAM system differ when it makes sense to integrate your existing DAM system with a DXP and some of the benefits of this type of integration.What is a digital asset management system?A DAM system stores organizes, and manages digital content, including images, videos, graphics, and documents for use across an organization. DAM systems are typically used by companies that must control a large volume of digital assets while also remaining compliant with regulations applicable to their industries. DAM software securely stores and preserves data from loss while limiting access via workflows and user controls.While DAM systems are great for protecting and storing critical digital assets, there often must be a way to seamlessly deliver these assets to customers on the front-end presentation layer. That's where the digital experience platform can make the difference.What is a digital experience platform (DXP)?A DXP software platform helps organizations create, manage, and deliver exceptional digital experiences across multiple channels. Composable DXPs enable organizations to integrate their existing tech stack, including their DAM system, into one platform to create more streamlined and seamless user experiences (UX).A headless CMS is an essential component of the composable DXP because this decouples the back end from the front end so that each area can be developed separately. Yet, they can still communicate via an application programming interface (API) so that assets on the back end can easily be called up for delivery to multiple channels, including websites, smartphones, native apps, and social media.When it makes sense to integrate a DAM system and DXPWhile a DXP alone can serve as a central repository for storing and managing all types of digital assets, replacing an existing DAM system may sometimes be feasible. Or an organization may be unwilling to move large volumes of data from their DAM system to a DXP. However, while the DAM software securely stores digital assets with workflows and user controls, it only sometimes provides an easy way for organizations to leverage these assets to improve user and customer experience.A DXP and DAM system integration can help an organization to centralize the management of its digital assets, improve the searchability and discoverability of these assets, and streamline omnichannel delivery while at the same time protecting assets from unauthorized use.A DXP can be integrated with your full tech stack, including the DAM system, proprietary software, analytics tools, marketing automation, CRMs, and more. One of the excellent capabilities of a composable DXP is its modular and decoupled CMS so that apps and integrations can take place over time for seamless, uninterrupted user and customer experiences. This puts the organization in control of prioritizing when integrating each of its systems with the DXP and when to roll out new features and functionality.While integrating your tech stack with a DXP can take some time, it's well worth the effort because it empowers organizations to keep up with customer expectations for more personalized and relevant digital experiences on all their channels based on real-time feedback.The benefits of integrating DXPs and DAM systemsThe integration of DXPs and DAM systems can provide several benefits for organizations, including:Increased efficiency Organizations can save time and resources by centralizing the management of digital assets. This is because they no longer need to maintain multiple asset management systems.Improved asset managementDAM software provides powerful features for managing digital assets across teams, such as asset tagging, version control, and workflow automation. DAMs can help organizations to keep their assets organized and up-to-date.Enhanced content deliveryDXPs can help content creators deliver content to various channels, such as websites, mobile apps, and social media. This can help organizations reach users on the device or channel of their choice and expand their audience.Personalized digital experiencesDXPs can be used to personalize digital experiences for individual users by gauging user feedback quickly and using data from the DAM system to select the most relevant assets for these users. This can help organizations to engage with their customers on a more personal level.Things to consider before making a decisionWhen choosing an integration solution, it is essential to consider your organization's unique needs. Some factors include the organization's size, the number of digital assets to be managed, and the desired security and compliance features.Second, you need to think about your digital strategy. If you want to create and deliver personalized digital experiences, a DXP can help you, even if you already have a DAM system.By integrating your existing DAM system with a composable DXP, you can enhance marketing automation and ensure your marketing teams can easily access your latest and greatest digital assets. Then, they can leverage them to create more engaging and personalized experiences for greater customer satisfaction.Finally, you need to think about your budget. Integrating a DAM system with a DXP can be a significant investment. But if you're serious about creating and delivering outstanding digital and customer experiences, it's an investment that's worth making.Here are some other essential things to consider before deciding to integrate your DAM system with a DXP:Not all DXPs are created equal. Ensure your chosen platform is composable to integrate with your full tech stack, including your DAM system.Choose the correct integration approach. There are several ways to integrate a DXP with a DAM. One standard method is to use an API. The DXP can use the API to access the DAM's assets and then deliver them to the desired channel. Another approach is to use a plugin. A plugin can be installed on the DXP to make it easier to integrate with the DAM.Plan for the integration. Integrating two systems can be a complex process. It's essential to plan carefully and to involve all stakeholders in the process ahead of time.Provide training. Once the systems are integrated, it's critical to provide training to your users. This will help them understand how to use the new system and how it can benefit them.Learn MoreBy centralizing the management of digital assets and improving the searchability and discoverability of those assets, organizations can deliver more personalized and relevant digital experiences to their customers by integrating their existing DAM system with a DXP. To learn more about our composable DXP, schedule a demo today.

Sep 22, 2023

Content Management and Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Content Ops

Summary: Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used in content management to analyze, categorize, tag images, personalize, and create content more quickly. AI can identify content gaps so businesses can capture more traffic and increase revenue and conversions. AI-enabled customer service can provide instantaneous and around-the-clock support. Contentstack offers apps and integrations with best-in-class AI tools such as IBM Watson, Salesforce Einstein, and MonkeyLearn to allow businesses to benefit from using AI for their content operations. Artificial intelligence is changing the world, one everyday task at a time. Have you ever used a navigation app to find your way to a destination? Then, you very likely benefited from artificial intelligence that crunched data at a super-fast speed to show you the best and fastest route. And we know you've used email. You can thank AI for modern email features like automatic spam filters and categorizations that make email more manageable. Considering how AI can be applied to various verticals, it only makes sense that there are plenty of applications in content management. Read on to find out how AI is already powering content teams, where it could go, and how you can integrate with content management systems (CMS) and artificial intelligence to future-proof your content operations. What is Artificial Intelligence? Artificial intelligence (AI for short) is a term that describes a machine performing human activities. Several capabilities fall under the umbrella of AI: Machine learning is when a machine automatically learns something new without being programmed. Natural language processing is when a machine reads human language. Natural language generation is when a machine writes or speaks in a human language. AI was created to complete these tasks faster (sometimes better) than humans. Regarding content ops, combining content management and artificial intelligence is an excellent tool for giving workers back the time they need to perform more complex tasks that still require a human brain. 4 Ways Content Management & Artificial Intelligence Are Already Impacting Content Ops Using AI in content management systems can be beneficial because the AI excels at processing and understanding vast data pools and automating routine tasks, resulting in the following benefits: improved digital experience, improved user experiences, enhanced consumer experiences, increased return on investment, expose new opportunities, and inform intelligent business decisions. In this section, we'll explore how AI is helping businesses take advantage of these benefits by up-leveling content generation and management across various stages of the content operations workflow. Need a competitive advantage, digital strategy transformation, efficient delivery of personalized content across multiple channels, or need to adapt swiftly to market changes? Download the Ultimate Guide to Headless CMS to learn how a headless CMS can drive business growth, customer satisfaction, and revenue-generating digital experiences. 1. Smart Content Analysis and Categorization One fantastic thing that artificial intelligence can do is analyze a piece of content to identify its sentiment and overall tone. This is important for helping content managers quickly determine whether a part of the content is suitable for their audience or needs some tweaking before it can engage the intended consumer. IBM Watson, for example, uses AI to automate content categorization, text labeling, sentiment analysis, keyword extraction, and more. 2. Automatic Image Tagging Images enhance your content and can increase consumer engagement. Unfortunately, there's almost nothing less engaging for content creators than manually tagging image after image for search and SEO purposes. But it's still a critical task. And that is what makes it an excellent job for AI. Recently, AI-powered automated image recognition has gotten smart enough to tag images in seconds—letting your content creators return to more profound work. 3. Scalable Personalization and Predictions AI also brings scalability to another important but nearly impossible task for human workers: tracking and using individual user behavior. AI can automate watching what each user on your website or app is doing simultaneously. Then, it can compile this data to look for patterns that will help it predict, based on past behavior, what each user might want next. This information can uplevel any marketing department's personalization efforts, from serving dynamic content to making product recommendations. And improving personalization has never been more critical. In the words of the management consulting firm McKinsey, “Personalization will be the prime driver of marketing success within five years." They found that leaders in personalization were already able to increase revenue by 5 to 15% and improve efficiency on marketing spend by 10 to 30%. 4. Time-Saving Content Creation Assistance And now for the big one: AI can be a big help when it comes to actually creating content. While the advance of AI integration into content creation may feel scary for some marketing professionals, an article created by Articoolo's artificial intelligence system, “A robot explains how to achieve the perfect work-life balance,” shows that there is a long way to go before "robots" will be able to match the tone or accuracy of human writers. Artificial intelligence is rapidly improving at creating original and personalized content ideas or nuanced content pieces. However, a well-trained AI tool should be able to contribute to straightforward writing projects such as news articles, factual reports, translations, transcriptions, and editing for accuracy. For now, in the content creation space, AI is a tool for improving the ROI of content marketing, which can often be resource-intensive. AI can do the legwork regarding research and data, while human writers can take this info and do the deep work required to create high-value, relevant content for each target customer. Imagining the Future of AI in Content Management Now that we've explored the main areas in which content management and artificial intelligence are already coming together to improve content operations, let's talk about a few ways AI may improve marketing even more. Interactions Between AI Tools Suppose you've used your voice-activated smart speaker (like a Google Home) to control something in your house (like turning on an smart-light from Philips Hue). In that case, you've experienced an interaction between two different AI-powered devices. And similar interactions are in store for the future of AI-powered tools in the content operations space. It's only a matter of time before AI-enabled content management systems (CMS) and other content platforms and tools can interact in innovative, automatic ways to provide faster functionality and better experiences for consumers and marketers alike. On-the-Spot SEO Improvements Taking the idea of sentiment analysis one step further, we predict that AI-enabled content management systems will soon be able to identify opportunities for SEO improvements in real time. This capability would empower marketing professionals to create more compelling content in less time, which will outperform competitors and rank well in search engines. Prepare your organization to respond to evolving market demands, new business threats, and emerging opportunities. The Gartner report guides you on modernizing and future-proofing your Digital Experience Platform (DXP). Download the Gartner report, "Future-proof your tech stack," to begin your journey towards a more agile, adaptable, and future-ready tech stack today. Content Gap Identification When you're in the thick of it all, it can be hard to see where your content may be lacking (or where your competitors' content may be lacking). But both situations allow you to fill those "gaps" and capture more traffic. One day, we hope AI will become smart enough to flag gaps and make recommendations so you can create fresh content that adds value and generates new leads. Customer Service Automation Customer service is another one of those expensive yet necessary parts of business. Fortunately, it can become less time- and money-intensive with the help of AI. Just like AI enables content folks to focus on deep work, AI-powered chatbots can facilitate customer service folks to do the same. While many of today's chatbots can address straightforward questions with answers pulled from a knowledge base, we look forward to when many queries don't have to be routed back to human agents. After all, it's the instantaneous and around-the-clock support consumers seek when interacting with brand chatbots. Get Started with Content Management and Artificial Intelligence with Contentstack The future of content ops is bright, thanks to content management and artificial intelligence. Your business can become a part of that bright future by adopting a composable CMS built to integrate with AI-enabled content management tools. And we only know one CMS of the sort: Contentstack. Contentstack is an agile CMS that’s part of the MACH revolution. That means it’s microservices-based, API-connected, cloud-native, and is built on headless architecture from the ground up. Because of Contentstack's decoupled nature, almost any modern, AI-powered content management tool can help your team with everything from automated content analysis to intelligent content creation and generation. Our turnkey apps and integrations with best-in-class tools like IBM Watson, Salesforce Einstein, and MonkeyLearn empower Contentstack users to leverage AI and reap various benefits. To get started, sign up for a free trial or a personalized demo today and see why the future of your content operation lies in your ability to integrate content management and artificial intelligence with the help of Contentstack.

Sep 20, 2023 | 3 min. read

Why composable architecture is the future of digital experience

As digital experiences rapidly evolve, more enterprises should consider moving to a composable digital experience platform. Should your business be one of them?If you haven’t started your journey to composable architecture, read on to learn:Why experts say composable architecture is the way of the futurePotential benefits of a composable digital experience platform (DXP)How to get started and why being “fully composable” mattersWhat is a composable DXP?The composable DXP is the most recent concept to emerge in the evolution of the digital experience from its beginnings when enterprise content was limited to a static website viewed on a desktop where customers could find information about a brick-and-mortar business.With no need to frequently update or publish to multiple digital channels, a monolithic architecture was the answer to publishing enterprise content. Businesses would purchase a predetermined set of tools designed by one vendor.Then came the smartphone, which led to today’s e-commerce landscape, where consumers shop online on many devices and digital channels. Monolithic platforms, which require developers to code any changes to content, cannot keep up.The composable DXP is the latest solution for businesses aiming to delight customers, increase customer loyalty, improve customer experience management, and serve customers across multiple digital channels and devices. A composable DXP uses a headless CMS as the foundation for a content hub where microservices are delivered via independent APIs, allowing content to be quickly and easily deployed across channels.Why a composable DXP is the way of the futureAs businesses are transitioning through digital transformation and as digital commerce evolves, customers not only expect to be able to interact with your digital products and services; they expect a seamless and personalized experience. Monolithic systems, which require IT teams to code every change and update, can’t rapidly respond to customer preferences and publish fresh omnichannel content.According to Gartner Research, businesses can no longer meet their objectives with monolithic platforms. In its 2021 report “Drive seamless digital customer experiences with composable UX,” Gartner predicted that by 2023, analyzing and understanding the nature of enduring changes in customer behavior will be a crucial factor for organizations in determining the most influential business strategies for the remainder of the 2020 and organizations that adopt a composable approach will outpace competition by 80% in implementing new features.Potential benefits of a composable DXPA composable DXP offers many benefits for enterprise marketing and IT teams, which can positively impact the success of the overall business. These include:Flexibility, scalability, and faster developmentComposable architecture allows organizations to choose and combine a unique mix of best-in-breed tools and microservices and to change this mix as business needs evolve quickly. The modularity of composable architecture supports the seamless integration of these independent best-in-breed solutions. Components and building blocks can be added, removed, and recombined in composable architecture quickly without downtime. The ability to deploy services independently to multiple websites and channels from one central hub enables enterprises to scale faster and more efficiently as needed.Speed and agilityBecause the tools and microservices in composable architecture are modular – meaning they work as independent components or APIs – each can be updated incrementally as needed without impacting other tools, services, or channels. Organizations become more agile, improving their experience strategy as marketing and IT teams are empowered to act faster to keep pace with changing customer expectations by providing more up-to-date content experiences.Ease of useWithout coding or technical expertise, marketing teams can modify user interfaces and content experiences without opening tickets and waiting for developers to fulfill requests. Workflow governance for multiple sites and channels is managed from one central hub with customizable user controls, ensuring the right persons have approved content before rollout.Rapid innovationMonolithic platforms have complex pain points that require hundreds of hours of development time and resources to upgrade and maintain with heavy reliance on tech teams. A composable platform is more manageable for IT to upgrade as technology evolves because new apps and integrations can be launched independently. Major website overhauls become a thing of the past. Free from mundane marketing requests and maintenance, IT can focus on innovation and delivering better customer experiences.Increased ROIA composable DXP reduces both development and publishing time, resulting in reduced costs and an increased profit.Real-time feedbackWebsite analytics, social media, customer relationship management, and other data sources collected via the tools and microservices in a composable architecture can provide a complete picture of your customers in real time. This enables the personalization and up-to-date, relevant content experiences that customers expect.Omnichannel content deploymentIn a composable DXP built with a headless CMS, the creation of content and the channels where it’s published are mutually independent. This allows marketers to maintain a responsive presence across digital channels and devices from one central hub by seamlessly and rapidly optimizing and pushing out marketing campaigns to reach customers where they are.Getting started on the journey to composable architectureIf your current digital experience solution is holding you back from experiencing the benefits above, it may be time to switch to a composable DXP. But where do you begin?Start by listing everything that isn’t working in your current platform. Consider the parts of your current system that are working well to meet the needs of your business and whether those needs will change soon. This will help clarify which apps, mobile apps, and microservices you should include in your future solution and how to approach implementing it.Transitioning to composable doesn’t necessarily mean throwing out your current system and starting with something new. Based on your assessment of what’s working and not working, you may want to adopt a gradual approach by implementing composable applications in crucial areas where it could make the most impact and where your monolithic platform is slowing you down.Finding the right composable DXPOnce you’ve decided on the best approach, it’s time to research solutions. If you decide on a gradual process, ensure the vendor you choose can help your organization reach its goal of going fully compostable.Many vendors currently market their platforms as “composable architecture” even though they aren’t fully composable. Instead, they sell platforms built on monolithic architecture that offer composable functionality, such as plugging in some APIs or integrating with specific microservices.A fully composable DXP, on the other hand, is built on a composable architecture rather than a monolithic. A headless CMS at its foundation separates the back-end coding from the endpoints, such as your website interface. Instead of being one centrally controlled system, it’s a variety of independently managed solutions that work cohesively from one central hub.Does being ‘fully composable’ really matter?If you’re wondering if it makes a difference whether a DXP is fully composable or not, it matters a great deal. A DXP built on monolithic architecture will not deliver all the great benefits of a fully composable platform we’ve covered in this blog. It will have many limitations that a fully composable platform won’t have.One of the most notable differences is with monolithic architecture; the vendor controls the type of technology that you can and cannot use. Your organization will only sometimes have the flexibility to choose and leverage the best available apps and microservices for success as your business grows. This is especially important moving into the future as technology continues to evolve and new options become available.A fully composable DXP provides the flexibility to choose the best solutions now and later so your organization can always leverage the most up-to-date technology tools it requires for success. A fully composable architecture puts you in control of creating a unique DXP that will evolve to continuously align with business needs without being limited by a vendor.Learn moreReady to embark on your journey towards composable architecture and transformative digital experiences? Discover insights in the report "Drive seamless digital customer experiences with composable UX," and learn how to develop an organization-wide digital experience strategy.Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack’s composable digital experience platform can help future-proof your enterprise.

Sep 19, 2023 | 3 min. read

Leveraging headless CMS for optimal page speed optimization and performance

A website's performance is critical in ensuring user satisfaction and improving bottom-line results. Thus, website speed, particularly the time it takes for a web page to load, has become an essential factor that marketing managers and developers must prioritize.A slow website can lead to lost traffic, decreased user engagement, and lower search engine rankings. Studies indicate that even a one-second delay in page loading time can lead to a 7% decrease in conversions.On the other hand, a fast website can result in increased user engagement, a lower bounce rate, and higher page views per session, which translates into higher search engine rankings.This blog will explore how a headless content management system (CMS) can improve page speed on desktop and mobile devices. We'll look more closely at the benefits of page speed optimization and how to achieve it using headless CMS.What is a headless CMS?First, let's understand what a headless CMS is and how it differs from a traditional CMS. A headless CMS is a content management system without a built-in front end. Instead of a traditional CMS's complete website management approach, a headless CMS separates the data and content on the back end from the presentation layer on the front end.The headless CMS provides APIs so the back-end and front-end can seamlessly communicate. This capability enables content to be called up and delivered to the front end, which developers build and maintain using static site generators like React, Angular, or Vue.How a headless CMS improves page speed optimizationHere's where page speed optimization's benefits come into play. With headless architecture, since the front end doesn't store or manage content, it can be optimized for speed and performance. This capability includes images, scripts, and server responses. Many front-end systems can also plug into a headless CMS to deliver consistent content to multiple devices and platforms, not just websites.One of the practical features of a headless CMS is that it allows for Content Delivery NetworkCDN) integration. A CDN acts as an intermediary server between the website and users in different parts of the world. By locally caching website components, a CDN can deliver content faster and reduce server response time, significantly improving website performance and speed.Case studies of companies implementing headless CMS include a well-known UK-based fashion retailer. The company reportedly improved its website's speed with headless CMS, enabling a 4x increase in page views per session and decreasing the bounce rate by 35%.By fixing common issues causing low page speed, a headless CMS enhances individual page performance and overall website speed. Slow-loading images and bloated scripts contribute to poor performance. With a headless CMS, developers can build a front-end that optimizes the size and quality of images and limits unnecessary scripts. A headless CMS can help boost website speed and overall performance by correctly leveraging server responses.Using techniques such as caching, CDNs, and image optimization to improve page speed helps to cache and compress content, reduce file size, and deliver content faster to users' browsers.Another way headless CMS can affect website speed optimization is by reducing server requests and server-side rendering. Creating server-side templates to generate HTML content is crucial for website speed optimization. With a headless CMS, the site is built in HTML and fully optimized for web crawlers and search engines. Additionally, server requests can be minimized as the website assets are spread between the client and server. This feature further assists in speeding up the website and reducing latency for the user.Another significant benefit of headless CMS is the flexibility it provides. A headless CMS enables businesses to build the front end using their preferred development tools and languages. The ability to choose the best tools for creating the front end helps ensure websites are faster, more responsive, and easier to maintain.Overall, headless CMS solutions offer extensive customization options. Developers can build websites specifically tailored to meet their needs and those of their customers. This approach provides a unique and highly engaging user experience, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.Headless can improve both page load time and TTFB.It's worth noting that headless the time to first byte (TTFB) and page load time. Page load time is the total time it takes to load a web page into a web browser. TTFB, on the other hand, measures the time between a user request and the reception of the first byte of data from the server. A high TTFB may lead to slower website performance. A Headless CMS allows developers to improve TTFB and overall site speed, resulting in faster loading times.Seamless mobile experiencesMobile-first is the new norm in website design and development, with users increasingly accessing websites from their smartphones and tablets. A headless CMS allows for responsive design and the ability to optimize the mobile experience separately from the desktop experience.Optimizing mobile apart from the desktop experience can include:Reducing the size of images and other media.Organizing scripts to load more efficiently.Ensuring the website is mobile-friendly and easy for those on the go.A headless CMS can improve website loading times and overall user experience for seamless mobile experiences.Why does page speed matter?Over a decade ago, Google announced that it would consider desktop page speed when analyzing search rankings. Then, in 2018, Google said it would also begin thinking about page speed for mobile searches. Mobile searches are the main reason it's so important to measure page speed against industry benchmarks for mobile and desktop searches and then continuously work toward improving performance.It's believed that when two sites rank similarly on Google, speed can be the deciding factor in one outranking the other.Speed tests like Google PageSpeed Insights help developers identify and rectify page speed issues. It tests speed and provides recommendations on how to improve it. Besides PageSpeed Insights, there are a variety of tools available for testing speed, including, but not limited to:SematextPingdom Speed TestWebPage TestDareBoostDotcom-monitorUptrendsGTmetrixSince search engines like Google consider page speed in their rankings, optimizing speed can boost your rankings in search results. Here's more information on how page speed impacts conversion rates and search engine ranking.And since most users are on mobile devices, faster mobile site performance is particularly crucial, as search engines prioritize mobile-first indexing.As you might imagine, page speed improvements also enhance conversion rates, ensuring online shoppers have a seamless and enjoyable user experience while navigating your site. It makes perfect sense since pages that load faster tend to have lower bounce rates, an indicator of better user engagement.Remember, a bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who come to the site and then leave rather than continuing to view other pages on the site. Most websites aim for a bounce rate of 40% or lower. A lower bounce rate typically translates to a higher conversion rate. It makes sense that the longer a user stays on a site (e.g., an e-commerce site) viewing different pages, the more likely they'll convert to a customer by making a purchase.Recap: how to improve page speed optimization and performanceOne of the primary ways to increase the loading speed of a website is by optimizing the image and script files. By compressing image files, you can reduce the loading time, and by eliminating unnecessary scripts, you can boost website performance. Mobile page speed optimizations can be quickly implemented with a headless CMS.Another essential way to improve website performance is by reducing server response times. Customers prefer fast and efficient websites, and a slow server response time reduces click-through rates and conversions. With a headless CMS, you can ensure faster response times by setting up caching mechanisms that help customers access frequently accessed data faster.A CDN can also help optimize page speed. A CDN can be beneficial if your website has users worldwide as it caches content on its servers distributed globally. When a customer accesses your website, the CDN delivers the content from the server closest to their location, resulting in faster load speed.These improvements can provide seamless customer experiences on websites and mobile devices in the long run. The result is happier customers who will keep coming back.Ready to go headlessA headless CMS like Contentstack is a powerful tool for optimizing page speed and website performance. Its flexible architecture lets developers focus on front-end development while ensuring faster server response times and efficient back-end processes. By improving website speed and user experience, businesses can enhance their conversion rates, improve their SEO rankings, and generate higher revenue.Whether you're a marketer, CMO, or developer, optimizing your website's page speed can provide numerous benefits, and there's no better time to get started than now.Learn moreDiscover how to drive seamless digital customer experiences with a composable UX, as advised by Gartner. Learn to develop an organization-wide digital experience strategy and apply total experience principles to bridge the gap in digital experiences. Understand the importance of customer data management and journey intelligence in achieving a composable UX. Overcome the challenges of siloed UX approaches and monolithic technologies to deliver consistent experiences across channels. Download the report today.

Sep 11, 2023 | 4 min. read

Headless web development: what you need to know

Headless web development is more than just a new trend. It’s an evolutionary step in web development that breaks down barriers to flexibility and scalability in traditional website creation. Taking the headless approach, websites can be built much faster, updated frequently, and integrated with other applications to deliver more engaging and interactive user experiences.The shift to headless web development has been driven greatly by the consumer demand for personalized digital experiences on multiple channels, and it’s quickly becoming a popular choice for businesses of all sizes. If you want to create more flexible, scalable, and engaging websites while getting the most from your digital content, headless web development is worth considering.This blog will explain headless web development, highlight the benefits for marketers, content creators, developers, and business teams, provide tips on choosing the right headless content management system (CMS), and more.What is headless web development?In websites built the traditional way, the front-end code is dependent on back-end code and siloed, and any changes to one part require changes to the other. Making updates can be time-consuming and slow. And there’s no easy way to repurpose website content for use on other channels.Headless web development solves these problems by separating the front-end presentation layer from the CMS on the back end. With headless, the job of the front-end code is to display content, while the back-end code stores and manages it. This allows the front end to be developed and maintained independently of the back-end code, making it simpler to update.An application programming interface (API) is different from a CMS. However, APIs are essential for headless platforms because they enable the back to communicate with the user interface (UI) on the front end. APIs also enable connecting the back end to additional “heads” besides the website framework, such as additional websites or mobile apps. So, in essence, even though a headless platform doesn’t have one head – it can connect via APIs to multiple “heads” (e.g., channels, websites, mobile apps).How headless design worksWhen a website is created with a headless design approach, the content is stored in a central repository, such as a headless CMS. The front-end framework or technology delivers this content to the presentation layer. This gives designers and developers more freedom to create the user experience they want without being limited by the capabilities of their CMS.More businesses are shifting to headless design as they adopt microservices architectures. In a microservices architecture, each software application is responsible for a specific task, such as managing content, rendering the UI, or handling payments. These different applications can be integrated to work seamlessly, yet they are independent. This makes it easier to develop and maintain each application without impacting other functionality, and it also enables the scaling of applications over time as your business needs change.With headless design, organizations can also future-proof their websites because they aren’t tied to a specific front-end framework. They can instead easily change front-end technology or even the components in their tech stacks without impacting the CMS. This eliminates the need for lengthy migrations and downtime when changing the look or functionality of your websites.What is the role of the user interface in headless?In headless design, the UI displays the content stored in the headless CMS. The UI can be any front-end framework or technology you choose, such as Gatsby, Next.js, Vue.js, React, and Angular.The UI can create various user experiences, including responsive websites viewable on any device or custom mobile app.The UI is also responsible for handling user interactions, such as clicking links or filling out forms. The UI uses data from the headless CMS to respond to these user interactions in an automated yet meaningful way, often leveraging relevant content personalized for each specific audience.When designing a UI for a headless application, keep these things in mind: the UI should be flexible enough to be used on a variety of devices and platforms, performant enough so that it doesn’t slow down the application, secure to protect user data and accessible to all users including those with disabilities.Using headless architecture to create efficient static sitesIn static website design, headless architecture can be used to create more lightweight, efficient, and secure websites. By decoupling the front end from the back end, developers can use different technologies for each layer, leading to better performance and security.Here are some of the benefits of using headless architecture in static website design:Lightweight and efficientHeadless websites are typically smaller and faster than traditional websites, as they do not have to include the code for the front end. This can lead to faster load times, improved performance, and better SEO.ScalableHeadless websites are easily scaled up or down to meet demand. This makes them ideal for businesses that experience seasonal traffic spikes or need to handle many concurrent users.SecureHeadless websites can be more secure than traditional websites, as the front end is not responsible for storing or processing sensitive data. This helps to protect against data breaches and other security threats.FlexibleHeadless websites give developers more flexibility to choose the technologies they want. This provides more freedom to create custom websites that meet specific business needs.Headless architecture is a powerful tool that can be used to create static websites that are more flexible, scalable, and secure. Headless architecture is a good option for a new website design.Using headless for e-commerceHeadless platforms are ideal for e-commerce sites because they don’t limit third-party applications' use. For example, an e-commerce business could use a headless CMS to manage its product catalog and then use a headless checkout solution to process payments. With headless, the back-end codebase is separated from front-end features like storefronts, product information and inventory management platforms, marketing and sales platforms, payment systems, and more.Among the many advantages, headless architecture frees businesses to choose the best-of-breed solutions for each of their unique needs rather than being locked into solutions approved by a website vendor. Other advantages of headless e-commerce include the ability to update omnichannel content quickly, keep up with e-commerce innovation as technology advances, quickly design digital storefronts, and perform A/B testing to identify the most effective design and content. Check out our “Headless e-commerce” guide for more information about the benefits.How headless benefits different teamsHeadless web development benefits marketers, content editors, developers, and even business teams. Here’s a brief overview of these benefits.DevelopersBecause developers aren’t limited by back-end conventions, they gain more freedom to be creative. With Headless, they can focus on developing new features to engage your audience and less time on mundane content edits and updates.MarketersHeadless websites empower marketers to act with greater speed and agility, whether responding to a change in the market, user feedback, or something else entirely. They can get campaigns and promotions to market faster, pivot quickly when needed, and get better results as they optimize user experiences.Content creators and editorsHeadless makes it easier and faster for content creators and editors to publish new content or make updates, whether pushing the content to one website or multiple channels. They can make the content change in one place and then push it to all the endpoints where it’s needed. And they can do this without coding experience or having to submit tickets to developers.Business teamsWith Headless, business teams can more easily and quickly roll out new products and services and expand into new territories while delivering consistent messaging across all the channels they use for customer engagement. They become empowered to focus on growing the business with confidence that their CMS has the agility to keep up.Choosing a suitable headless CMSHere are some factors to consider and questions to ask when choosing a headless CMS:Your unique business needsWhat are your specific requirements for a headless CMS? Do you need a system that can be used to create and manage content for a variety of channels, such as websites, mobile apps, and IoT devices? Do you need a system that offers a lot of flexibility and customization? Do you need a system that is easy to use and manage?Developer functionality and ease of useHeadless CMSes are a bit more technically oriented than traditional CMSes, so you'll need to ensure that your chosen system is easy for developers to use. The system should also have a well-documented API that allows developers to integrate it with other systems easily.Omnichannel capabilityCan the headless CMS you're considering be used to create and manage content for all your channels? This is an essential consideration if you want to be able to deliver your content to users on the devices they prefer.Content and authoring role workflowHow does the headless CMS you're considering handle content creation and management? Does it offer a user-friendly interface for content authors? Does it allow for different levels of access and permissions so content approvers can access the system?Technical and sales supportWhat kind of technical and sales support does the headless CMS vendor offer? Is a dedicated team of experts available to help you with your implementation and ongoing needs?CostDoes the headless CMS you're considering align with your budget? Does the vendor offer different pricing plans for different needs?A clear strategyBefore you start building your headless website, developing a clear strategy for how you want to use it is essential. This will help you avoid making unnecessary changes down the road.Are you ready to amplify digital experiences?From faster publishing times and website updates to seamlessly rolling out new channels, products, and services without downtime or impacting other functionality, we’ve covered many benefits of transitioning to headless. However, we want to emphasize that none is more important than the freedom it gives organizations to amp up user experience to engage existing customers better and attract new ones.By removing many of the limitations of traditional, monolithic systems, headless platforms like Contentstack enable organizations to move with greater speed and agility to deliver consistent and relevant content to users across multiple channels in multiple formats while incorporating features like localization as well as digital tools ranging from analytics and automation to payment processing.If you’d like to learn how Headless can help your organization amplify digital experiences, schedule a free Contentstack demo today.

Sep 08, 2023 | 4 min. read

Why travel brands need composable DXPs

The travel industry is finally bouncing back after the COVID-19 pandemic as people return to leisure travel in droves, booking everything from family vacations and destination weddings to long-awaited cruises and getaways of a lifetime.While revenue growth is welcome news for travel brands, consumer expectations have heightened. Travelers are savvier than ever and want travel brands to meet their needs through every customer journey stage. Research indicates they are willing to pay more for great experiences.Competition is stiff among travel industry brands that have weathered the pandemic, and much is at stake. According to Statista, global travel industry revenue is projected to reach more than $850 billion in 2023 and $1,016 billion by 2027, when it’s forecast that 74% of total travel revenue will be generated from online sales alone. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how composable digital experience platforms (DXPs) powered by headless CMS can enable travel brands to rise to the task of delivering unmatched customer experiences.Travel has evolved and continues to changeAccording to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce State of the Travel Industry in 2023, the travel industry has proven resilient despite changing significantly since the pandemic. For instance, while leisure travel is recovering nicely, business travel has been slower at returning to pre-pandemic levels and isn’t quite there yet.Booking windows are also much shorter now, indicating that some travelers are wary of unforeseen events that might occur if they book their trips too far in advance. More people are also taking “blended” trips for multiple purposes. They may combine business and leisure activities into one vacation, for example.Amadeus, a leading travel technology company that provides search, pricing, booking, and other services, predicts travel engagement will continue to be enhanced by virtual online experiences that give potential travelers a taste of what their trips will be like before they open their wallets.And when they decide to book, travel news outlet TravelPulse predicts that alternative forms of payment like ApplePay and GooglePay will increasingly become more mainstream for travel-related expenses, from upgrading flights to paying for in-flight meals and train tickets.Why travel brands need a composable DXPTo stand out from the competition, the right DXP with a headless CMS can enable a travel brand to deliver engaging customer experiences at every stage of the buyer journey now and into the future.With a headless CMS, where the front end is independent of the static back end, a brand’s marketing teams can quickly make changes on all the channels where they engage their audience without any technical expertise or fear of impacting functionality.An API-first composable DXP can be integrated with internal and external systems that connect multiple data sources for more seamless content delivery and personalized experiences. When integrated with analytics tools, for example, a DXP gives marketers the speed and agility to react quickly to customer feedback and unpredicted changes. These can range from weather-related closures flight updates, and booking cancellations.By integrating localization and analytics tools, content can automatically be delivered in the correct language based on the user's location and in the correct format for their device. Composable DXPs also enable travel organizations to swap out functionality and design elements as technology evolves into the future. As the name implies, an organization can “compose” its unique tech stack by choosing the best solutions and services for its DXP based on its current business goals and then changing up as often as needed. The old days of taking down outdated websites and building new ones every few years to change design and functionality become a thing of the past. How three very different travel brands benefit from composable headless CMSHere’s how three real-life travel brands benefited after switching from legacy platforms to composable DXPs built on the Contentstack headless CMS. GolfbreaksGolfbreaks, a leading UK-based golf vacation company, needed a consistent source of truth for content across multiple sites, and its previous CMS wasn’t up to the challenge. Another issue was accessing and formatting data to be leveraged by other applications.Case studyAfter transitioning to Contentstack, data was made accessible and structured for use in a weekly newsletter and marketing emails via Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Overall, the organization benefited from 90% faster publishing times and a 70% reduction in developer time. To learn more, read the entire case study, "Golfbreaks shoots a hole in one with Contentstack."IcelandairAfter switching to a headless CMS, Icelandair saw a 90% decrease in the time it took to push out promotions, and it was also able to simplify integrations between the airline and its translation platform. The result was a 70% faster translation delivery rate and a more straightforward process for the content team.Case studyThe airline’s content team gained the capability to manage multiple languages for 16 locations, all through an automated process without leaving the CMS. Translation entries are sent within the CMS by simply publishing them to a separate environment and selecting the desired languages. After translation, the content system updates the environment’s entries as localized versions. To learn more, read the full case study, “Icelandair improves automation, workflows, and localization with Contentstack.”REWE GroupThe REWE Group, a diversified retail and tourism cooperative based in Europe, needed to dismantle a Java-based, monolithic platform that had undergone a decade’s worth of customizations and extensions.Case studyAfter taking a phased approach to implementing Contentstack, the user experience of content managers significantly improved, as they could make real-time edits without developer support. The result has been improved consistency and quality of content coupled with faster publishing. To learn more, read the full case study, “REWE group accelerates content publishing with headless CMS.”Key considerations before making the switch to a compostable DXPTransitioning from legacy to a composable platform can be complex, so there are some essential things to consider before moving. First, ensure you have buy-in from leadership and stakeholders on business, marketing, and IT teams. A shift in mindset is just as necessary as choosing the right implementation partner. Secondly, analyze your existing tech stack, channels, and business goals to determine what areas to focus on first. Decisions should be made to prioritize rollouts based on which content improvements will significantly impact customer or user experience, existing maintenance costs of your old platform, and other factors.Next, create a roadmap that outlines your implementation plan. A phased approach that tackles key challenges first for the most significant return on investment is ideal. For instance, if your main website is outdated and causing you to lose business, focus on that first. Start by integrating the must-have solutions initially, then roll out additional features and tackle other sites or channels over time. Fortunately, one of the most significant benefits of switching to a composable DXP with headless CMS is implementing phased rollouts via APIs without impacting functionality and features set up in the back end. In short, the front and back end are decoupled so they can be developed independently of each other while still being able to communicate via APIs.Last but not least, be sure to find the right implementation partner and platform. Consider previous experience and expertise. Be sure to read testimonials and case studies from their existing customers. Also, ensure the platform supports the customization and integrations required to meet your biggest challenges.Learn moreLearn more about how a headless CMS can help your business in our guide, “What is a headless CMS?”Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack’s headless CMS can help your travel brand deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Sep 01, 2023 | 4 min. read

Does your organization need a digital asset management (DAM) system?

Delivering excellent customer experiences in the digital age requires a lot of content in various formats. That's why businesses are generating and storing more content than ever before. However, organizing, managing, and assessing this content can become a real challenge with more volume.Digital asset management (DAM) systems can help organizations solve this problem. In this blog post, we will explain what a DAM system is and cover its essential components. We'll also explore the benefits of implementing a DAM system, how to choose the right platform, best practices for implementing DAM, and more.What is a digital asset management (DAM) system?DAM systems store, organize, and distribute digital assets, and they have features like tagging, version control, and history tracking for efficiently managing these assets. They serve as repositories for many different types of content, including images, videos, documents, audio files, presentations, and more. A DAM platform serves as a single source of truth for all the different teams in an organization, from marketing to business development, enabling collaboration between these teams.How does a DAM system differ from a content management system (CMS)? A traditional CMS only manages the content for your website. DAM software can manage content across your organization, allowing content to be used across multiple channels, not just your website.On the other hand, a DAM system can't publish content to your website or other channels. Your organization will still need a CMS or digital experience platform (DXP) to push digital assets to your website and other channels. To learn more about improving efficiency by integrating a DAM system with a DXP, read our blog, "Is integrating your digital asset management system with a DXP a good idea?"Again, the DAM system stores digital assets so they're easy to access and manage, while a CMS or DXP distributes them to where they need to be seen – for example, websites, mobile apps, and social media.Four main benefits of leveraging DAM softwareThere are many reasons why businesses need to have a well-organized and efficient DAM system.First, it can help improve content creation and collaboration efficiency. When all of a business's digital assets are stored in one centralized location, it's easier for team members to locate and access the assets they need for marketing campaigns and other initiatives. It's also easier to share these assets and collaborate about them with others in the organization. This can save time and resources, improve the quality of content, and optimize the speed at which it can be delivered.Second, a well-organized DAM system can help improve the search and retrieval of digital assets. When assets are correctly tagged, and metadata is managed effectively, it's easier for users to find the necessary assets quickly. This can save time and frustration and help ensure the right assets are used for suitable projects.Third, a DAM system can ensure consistent branding and messaging across all the business's digital assets. When assets are stored in a centralized location and tagged with consistent metadata, ensuring they all use the same branding and messaging is easier.Lastly, a DAM system reduces unnecessary duplication and wasted resources. When assets are stored in one central location, tracking which assets have been used and when they are more accessible can help prevent team members from creating duplicate assets, saving time and money.Essential components of DAM systemsAre platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive considered DAM systems? The answer is no. Even though these platforms provide some basic capabilities for managing digital assets, they need to have DAM platforms' robust features and functionality.Efficient DAM systems have several essential components. These include:Centralized storageA DAM system should provide a centralized repository for storing all digital assets across an organization, making them easier to locate and use when needed.Tagging and metadata managementA DAM system should allow users to tag and manage metadata for their digital assets. This makes searching and retrieving assets easier and helps ensure consistent branding and messaging.Version controlA DAM system should provide version control for digital assets. This means users can track asset changes over time and revert to previous versions if necessary.History trackingA DAM system should track the history of all changes to digital assets. This makes it easy to see who made changes to assets, when the changes were made, and why the changes were made.Search and retrievalA DAM system should have robust search and retrieval capabilities, enabling the assets to be located even without an exact filename.CollaborationA DAM system should allow users to easily collaborate on digital assets across many different teams in an organization.SecurityA DAM system should provide robust security features to protect digital assets from unauthorized access.ReportingA DAM system provides useful reporting features that can help businesses track how their digital assets are being used and how often specific assets are used. This can help to identify over or under-utilized assets.Choosing the right platformChoosing the right DAM system is essential for any business that wants to improve its digital asset management. Here are a few points to consider when shopping for the right system.Organizational needs and goals: What are the specific needs of your organization? What is the main reason for implementing DAM software? What plans does the business hope to achieve once the system is implemented?Features: What features does your organization require? Does it need a system with version control? Does the system need to integrate with existing software? Is this also an excellent time to upgrade your CMS or implement a new DXP?Scalability: How much growth do you expect in the future? Do you need a system that will evolve as your business scales or changes?Cost: How much will your company spend on a DAM system?Once you have considered these factors, it's time to narrow down your choices. Check out our Marketplace for DAM providers who partner with Contentstack.Implementation best practicesOnce you have chosen a DAM system, be mindful of these implementation best practices.Get buy-in from stakeholders. A successful DAM implementation requires the support of all stakeholders from the top down in an organization. Communicate the benefits of DAM to everyone affected by the system and gather feedback.Set realistic expectations. DAM is not a magic bullet. It takes time and effort to implement and manage a DAM system effectively. Expect to see results after some time.Be flexible. As your needs change, you may need to adjust your DAM system. Be prepared to make changes as required.Start small and scale up. Don't try to implement a DAM system that is too complex or ambitious for your organization. Start with a few assets and users, then gradually expand the system as required.Get help from a consultant. If you're unfamiliar with DAM software, consider seeking the advice of a consultant. A consultant can help assess business needs, choose a DAM system, and implement the system successfully.What to expect during implementationThere are four basic steps when implementing a DAM system:Configuring the DAM system. Once your organization has chosen a DAM solution, it must be configured to meet the specific needs of your business. This includes setting up user permissions, creating metadata fields, and configuring workflows.Migrating your assets to the DAM system. This is the process of transferring your existing assets to the new DAM system. It is essential to do this carefully to avoid data loss or corruption.Training users. Once digital assets have been migrated to the DAM system, users must be trained to use it. This includes teaching them how to search for assets, manage permissions, and create workflows.Monitoring and maintaining the DAM system. Once the DAM system is up and running, you must watch it to ensure it performs as expected. This includes monitoring the system's performance, security, and compliance.Measuring successHere is a sample of the metrics you can track to measure your DAM implementation's success and demonstrate a return on investment.Asset retrieval time: How long does finding and retrieving the necessary assets take?Collaboration efficiency: How easy is it for team members to share and collaborate on digital assets?Cost savings: How much money have you saved by implementing a DAM system?Productivity improvements: Have you seen any improvements in productivity since implementing a DAM system?Brand consistency: Are your digital assets more consistent with your brand guidelines than pre-implementation?Future Trends in Digital Asset ManagementDAM systems are constantly evolving. Here are a few trends to watch for in the future:AI-powered metadata tagging and auto-classification: AI can automate the tagging and classification of digital assets. This can save businesses time and resources.Integration with emerging technologies: Companies increasingly integrate DAM systems with technologies like AR/VR and voice assistants. This makes it easier for businesses to share digital assets with their customers and partners.Evolving role of DAM in a dynamic digital landscape: DAM is becoming increasingly important in a dynamic digital landscape. Businesses need to manage their digital assets effectively to stay competitive.Learn moreDAM systems can be a valuable asset for organizations of all sizes. Businesses can improve their digital asset management, productivity, and brand consistency by choosing the right DAM system and implementing it correctly. Schedule a free demo today to learn more about Contentstack's composable digital experience platform or how this can work with a DAM system to improve user experience.

Aug 25, 2023 | 4 min. read

Headless commerce architecture: revolutionizing e-commerce for the future

Headless commerce is a transformative approach revolutionizing the ecommerce landscape. This article delves into the fundamentals of headless commerce, its benefits and challenges, factors to consider when choosing a headless commerce platform, and some implementation best practices.What is headless commerce architecture?Headless commerce architecture is an innovative ecommerce framework that decouples the presentation layer – the user interface that consumers interact with – from the functional layer or the back end. This separation allows businesses to manage and update components that control features and functionality independently, leading to enhanced agility and ability for customization.The evolution of ecommerce architectures from monolithic to headless has been transformative and necessary to meet the dynamic needs of the digital market. Understanding this evolution provides valuable insights into the advantages of headless commerce.Advantages of headless commerceHeadless commerce architecture offers many benefits, including unparalleled flexibility, seamless scalability, and enhanced user experiences. Let’s explore how it excels beyond traditional legacy architectures.Flexibility and customizationWith headless commerce, businesses can create unique user experiences, cater to specific customer segments, and respond quickly to customer feedback and market trends.Faster development and deploymentsIndependent front-end and back-end development enables faster updates and rollouts of new features without disrupting ecommerce processes that keep your store up and running.Improved user experienceHeadless commerce architecture empowers marketers to deliver seamless and personalized user experiences across devices, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.Ease of useMaking content updates no longer requires a developer. Marketers, designers, and other business users can easily make updates without technical expertise and help from the IT team. Little to no coding is required to make changes to the presentation layer.Challenges of headless commerce architectureThere are a few challenges that businesses should be aware of before adopting headless commerce architecture, including:ComplexityHeadless commerce can be more complex to implement than traditional e-commerce architectures. This is because businesses need to develop two separate applications, the front-end and the back-end.CostHeadless commerce can be more expensive to implement than traditional e-commerce architectures. This is because businesses need to develop two separate applications, the front-end and the back-end.IntegrationBusinesses must integrate the front-end and back-end to deliver a seamless shopping experience. This can be a complex and challenging process.Choosing the best headless commerce solutionThere are many factors to consider when choosing the right headless commerce solution. TypeThere are two main headless commerce architectures: hybrid headless and pure headless. Hybrid headless architectures use a decoupled front-end and back-end, but the front-end is still connected to the back-end through a traditional API. Pure headless architectures have no front end, giving you the most flexibility in building your front end.FeaturesDepending on your business needs, choose a headless commerce platform that offers specific features, such as multi-channel selling, product recommendations, or personalization.Customer SupportThink realistically about the level of support your IT team will need when implementing headless commerce architecture. Some headless commerce vendors offer more support than others. If you need a lot of help with implementation or troubleshooting, you'll need to choose a vendor offering support without compromise.Current Tech StackIf you already have a lot of investment in a particular tech stack, you'll need to consider how well it will integrate with a headless commerce solution. Some headless commerce platforms are more flexible than others, so you'll need to research to find one that will work with your existing systems.BudgetThe cost of headless commerce can vary greatly depending on the platform you choose, the features you need, and the size of your business.Future plansIf you plan to expand your e-commerce business, you must ensure your headless commerce solution can support your growth. Some headless commerce platforms are more scalable than others, so you must choose one that can meet your future needs.Security requirementsSome headless commerce platforms have built-in security features, but you may need to add additional security measures to protect your data.Implementation: headless commerce best practicesTransitioning from a traditional, monolithic architecture to headless commerce can be complex. That’s why an incremental approach is often the best choice. Essentially, you can roll out different APIs over time rather than taking down your whole platform and building a new one. Here are some factors to take into account when implementing headless commerce architecture.Ensure your teams are readyTransitioning to headless commerce architecture requires buy-in and commitment from the top leaders to your marketing and IT teams. Getting this level of commitment may require education on the benefits of headless and training on how to use the system. It’s vital to have a skilled development team proficient in implementing headless commerce, so this team needs to get up to speed first. Then, before implementation, marketing and other business users may require training on previewing and publishing content and understanding workflow processes.Integrations with existing systemsUnderstand how your existing ecommerce systems and apps will integrate into the headless commerce architecture. Your IT team will need to understand what customizations will be required so that multiple apps and systems work seamlessly together.SecurityHeadless commerce can expose your e-commerce data to more attack vectors, so you must ensure your security measures are up to par. Some headless commerce platforms have built-in security features, but you may need to add additional security measures to protect your data.Learn MoreOur pioneering headless CMS empowers creative professionals and modern developers to deliver composable digital experiences at uncompromising scale and dependability.Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack’s headless CMS can help your brand deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Aug 11, 2023 | 3 min. read

Navigating the headless commerce journey

E-commerce is evolving rapidly, in synch with customer expectations. Successful businesses must continuously implement new solutions to improve user experiences. Headless commerce architecture is a game-changer for businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition. In this blog, we’ll define headless commerce, explore key benefits, look at how businesses use it, and how to determine if it's right for your business.What is headless commerce?Headless commerce is an architectural approach that decouples the front-end display from the back-end e-commerce application. It differs significantly from traditional monolithic architectures, where the front and back end are tightly integrated. The back end houses application programming interfaces (APIs). These components can be developed and deployed separately from each other. This decoupling makes it easier for businesses to make changes or add new features without disrupting their e-commerce processes. Consequently, these organizations become more flexible and agile when delivering personalized customer experiences across multiple channels.3 benefits of headless commerceHere are three key benefits of transitioning to headless commerce architecture. Flexibility in front-end designHeadless commerce empowers marketers, content creators, and designers to create custom user experiences. They become empowered to tailor user experiences by brand, target audience, or specific customer segments. And they can work in the headless commerce platform without coding skills or technical expertise. These teams can experiment with layouts, visuals, and interactions on multiple channels. They aren’t limited by fear of making mistakes, back-end constraints, or developer availability.Headless commerce facilitates the development of responsive designs that seamlessly adapt to various devices and screen sizes. The result is a consistent and user-friendly shopping experience for customers on every device.Scalability and agilityHeadless commerce allows businesses to quickly add or modify features and functionality as they grow or expand into new markets. They can more quickly respond to market demands and customer feedback, staying ahead of competitors.As technology changes, headless commerce architecture has the capability to evolve in parallel. As new software and services become available that customers expect for convenience, businesses can effortlessly integrate these cutting-edge technologies, such as AI-driven personalization or virtual reality shopping.Omnichannel approachHeadless commerce enables customers to interact with your brand the way they want. Customers enjoy a consistent shopping experience across multiple channels, regardless of where or what device they use. They can even switch between channels without losing their shopping progress or data.Leveraging headless commerce, companies can unify their online and offline sales channels, inventory, and customer data. This approach streamlines operations, minimizes redundancies, and enhances the user experience.Is your business ready for headless commerce?The transition to headless commerce can be complex. However, it’s well worth it for businesses willing to take the plunge. Headless commerce is an especially good choice for businesses that have the desire to do the following.Create custom user experiences tailored to their brand and target audience.Quickly expand to new markets or channels with fast rollouts.Streamline management of multiple channels and websites with one platform.Deliver a seamless customer experience across multiple channels.Be agile and responsive to changing technology, customer feedback, and customer expectations.Here are several use cases to demonstrate how businesses are using headless commerce.Personalize customer experienceWith headless commerce, businesses can create custom user experiences for their customers with omnichannel reach by leveraging different front-end frameworks and technologies. These include analytics tools that gauge customer feedback, enabling unique and engaging experiences for each customer segment.Reach customers on new channels and in new marketsHeadless commerce makes it easy to add new channels, such as new websites, mobile apps, social media and physical stores. Integrate with existing systemsIntegrate headless commerce with systems you already use, such as CRMs, marketing automation platforms, and customer support systems. As data is shared across multiple systems, creating a more seamless customer experience is easier.Reduce technical debtHeadless commerce architecture enables the migration of new technologies with little disruption to ecommerce processes and user experiences. It’s also typically easier and less expensive to maintain.Choosing the right headless commerce platformThere are many headless commerce platforms available. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Some factors to consider when assessing each platform include pricing and customer support. Also, look at each platform’s:API capabilitiesIntegration capabilitiesSupport for third-party applicationsScalabilityPricingHeadless commerce implementationOnce you've chosen a headless commerce platform, you must integrate it with your existing systems and databases. This may involve integrating with your product catalog, your order management system, your payment gateway, and other systems.The integration process will vary depending on the specific platforms and systems involved. However, most headless commerce platforms provide tools and documentation to help you with the integration process.With a headless commerce platform, you can develop custom front-end experiences for your ecommerce website. This means you can create experiences that are tailored to your specific audience and business goals.There are a number of different ways to develop custom front-end experiences for a headless commerce platform. You can use a variety of frameworks and technologies.Learn moreImplementing a headless commerce platform can be a complex process in the beginning. However, making the transition can streamline, speed up, and simplify processes in the long run. As we’ve mentioned, the benefits are many. The most important one is offering customers seamless experiences that promote brand loyalty now and into the future.Learn more about the benefits of headless commerce in our guide, “The Ultimate Headless Commerce Roadmap.”Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack’s composable content experience platform can help your organization navigate the headless commerce journey.

Jul 21, 2023 | 3 min. read

Retail reinvented: The top 5 takeaways from our conversation with REI

The convenience and accessibility of online retail have revolutionized the way people shop, especially after the last few years when in-person retail experiences were put on hold. In fact, by 2026, 24% of retail purchases are expected to take place online, totaling $8.1 trillion. To be able to react to customer needs faster, retailers are going composable. What does that mean? It means companies are ditching their traditional monolithic systems and trading them in for more agility and flexibility. Now, more than ever before, it’s important for brands to reduce transactional friction. Retailers need to be able to quickly adapt to changing customer demands and deliver consistent experiences everywhere their customers are — all without having to rebuild their entire infrastructure. Earlier this month, we had an insightful conversation with Matthew Schaeffer, Senior Manager of Data and Content Operations for REI. Matthew shared some eye-opening learnings about REI’s composable journey and how REI implemented new systems to bring their iconic green vest customer experience online.  In partnership with CMSWire, we dove into how composable technology transforms retail experiences and how online retailers architect their digital experience infrastructure for peak engagement and demand.  Below, we’ve recapped the top five webinar takeaways. You can listen to the full webinar recording here if you missed it. Brands today are not prepared to meet the rapidly evolving needs of customers.Sites like Amazon are raising the expectations for how people shop. Consumers want experiences that are more meaningful and more relevant to them. And whether it's to purchase something, find information, do research, or whatever they're trying to do, they want it to be easy. Evolving your systems is critical for delivering more personalized experiences.As a brand, your online experience has to be supported by your technology systems to create the best possible digital shopper experience. Delivering relevant and personalized experiences across channels at scale is the new revenue-critical trend. For systems that are already redlining, it's a challenge to evolve them. The next generation of customer experiences means being able to provide insights, information and personalization to win the loyalty of your customers. To do this effectively, you need to build a marketing tech stack that aligns to your future goals, not just today’s. Deconstructing the monolith is the key to scale and flexibility.Breaking down your monolithic platforms into more streamlined and more organized chunks gives you a lot more flexibility, not only in the ability to make updates and changes but also in choosing the right tools and the right integrations that you need to better engage your customers. Going composable doesn’t and shouldn’t require a rip and replace of existing technologiesWhile it may seem ideal to just pull everything out and start from scratch, the beauty of a composable platform is that it enables businesses to build what they need without abandoning tools they already know and rely on. Matthew said it best, going composable can't require a full rip and replace. The architecture to do the types of things retail businesses are trying to do online takes a number of different systems. Full-scale retail operations have search data, product content, different kinds of media, analytics tooling — the list goes on. Once you evaluate the capability sets of your different tools, you can figure out where to implement plug-and-play solutions. Define the value of going composableLastly, before you begin your composable commerce journey, it’s important to ask the following questions: Will your team really be able to innovate faster and be more agile?  Will this technology help you adapt to your customer’s evolving needs based on what those look like today and you can anticipate them being in the future?  How much is all of this going to cost?  What will the impact on revenue look like?  It’s important to be very clear on the vision and value you can deliver to your customers and your teams. And, then, find the people within your organization who will join you in advocating for transforming your digital experiences.  Curious to hear the whole conversation? Watch the webinar here and stay tuned for next month’s webinar.

Jun 29, 2023 | 4 min. read

Make your business stand out with headless commerce

Headless commerce is revolutionizing the digital market space, enabling businesses to deliver top-notch customer experiences. But what is headless commerce? In this post, we'll introduce you to the headless commerce approach, its benefits and its architecture. We'll explore how a headless commerce architecture uses APIs to separate front-end and back-end operations and why it is an increasingly popular choice for businesses seeking a faster time to market and improved customer experiences. Understanding headless commerceThe term "headless commerce" may seem odd initially, but it's quite simple. Think of a traditional commerce platform as a mannequin. It comes with a predesigned user interface (UI) or presentation layer — the "head" — attached to its commerce functionality — the "body." The "head" and "body" are interconnected and cannot function separately.Headless commerce, on the other hand, disconnects the "head" (front end) from the "body" (back end). This decoupling allows the user interface and commerce functionality to operate independently. It enables developers to build a separate front for each customer touchpoint (web, mobile or IoT devices) using any preferred technology stack. This approach is a key factor in providing a better user experience and accelerating a faster time to market. The cloud's third waveHeadless commerce is a product of the third wave of the cloud. As conceptualized by Tercera, "In the third wave, customers no longer new to the cloud are using a diverse set of cloud building blocks to create digital experiences that connect and engage customers and employees in a whole new way." This shift is about improving user experiences online while enabling experience managers unparalleled flexibility. By keeping the appearance of a website separate from how it works, creators can make the user experience even better. There are no limits on how they can change the user experience. This flexibility helps businesses as they can easily adjust to what their customers want. This way, they can create unique experiences that match what people need in this new "third wave" of the internet.The headless commerce architectureIn a headless commerce system, the front end and back end are connected through application programming interfaces (APIs). This setup enables the system to make an API call to the back end whenever it needs to access or update commerce data, ranging from product information to customer details. This API-first approach also allows for more flexible and personalized user experiences. Headless commerce platforms are designed to support any current or future customer touchpoint, unlike traditional platforms that limit how and where you can sell.Headless commerce and content managementA critical part of this headless commerce approach is the integration with a headless content management system (CMS). A headless CMS operates on the same principles as headless commerce — it separates the content repository from the presentation layer, giving experience managers the freedom to build and deliver content anywhere without being limited by a predefined template or platform. Combining a headless commerce system and a headless CMS can make a powerful tool for businesses. They enable developers to create custom user interfaces for every touchpoint and experience managers to manage content more efficiently across those interfaces, leading to a better overall customer experience.Headless commerce benefitsSo, what makes headless commerce so appealing to businesses? There are several benefits of headless commerce, including:Faster time to market: With the headless commerce approach, businesses can change their user interface without affecting the back end. This means they can quickly respond to market changes and customer demands, launching new features or interfaces in less time.Greater flexibility: With a decoupled architecture, developers can build a separate front for each customer touchpoint, using the best technologies for each platform. This flexibility allows for more creativity and personalization in the user experience.Cost savings: With headless commerce, making changes to your online shop is easier. You can spend less time or money on development.Future-proof: The API-based structure of headless commerce platforms enables businesses to easily integrate new technologies and platforms as they emerge. This makes your commerce platform more resilient to technological changes and helps ensure a consistent customer experience across all touchpoints.Headless commerce solutionsThere are numerous headless commerce solutions on the market today. When evaluating options, consider factors like API flexibility, the ease of integrating with a headless CMS and the ability to support your customer touchpoints.In today's competitive business landscape, it's crucial to adopt the best headless commerce platforms that provide seamless integration with other systems and robust APIs is crucial. By doing so, your business can deliver a personalized and exceptional customer experience, which is vital to stand out from the competition. With the right tools and strategies, you can take your business to new heights and achieve long-term success.To make your customers the top priority, you should focus on their experience, understand what they want and offer services that meet their needs. A headless commerce strategy can help by giving you the flexibility to provide personalized, seamless experiences across all channels. It's not just about using new technology but also about having a customer-first approach that encourages innovation and growth.ConclusionHeadless commerce is an innovative approach that significantly benefits businesses seeking a faster time to market, more flexibility and an improved customer experience. It's a powerful solution for companies looking to break free from the limitations of traditional platforms and take complete control of their customer interactions. So, next time someone asks you, "What is headless commerce?" you can confidently explain that it's a technology solution that empowers businesses to deliver personalized and scalable customer experiences across all touchpoints, using a flexible, API-based architecture. For any business considering a move to headless commerce, it's essential to evaluate the potential benefits and challenges carefully. The right solution should align with your business objectives, technological capabilities and customer expectations. With the right strategy and platform, headless commerce can transform your business and elevate your customer experience to new heights.Learn moreLearn more about headless commerce in our guide, "The ultimate headless commerce roadmap."Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack's composable content experience platform can help your organization embrace headless commerce.

Jun 15, 2023 | 5 min. read

Headless commerce vs. composable: What you need to know

The online world is constantly evolving, so companies must change how they work and develop new ideas to meet customers' changing needs. The e-commerce sector has witnessed the rise of two unique models: headless commerce and composable commerce. While they might appear similar at the outset, a deeper examination reveals critical distinctions.In this article, we'll demystify the two approaches, spotlight their respective pros and cons. And provide insights for organizations pondering a transition to a composable architecture.How headless commerce beganIn the early days of online shopping, businesses had two ways to sell their products: physical stores and online platforms. But as technology advanced, many companies didn't keep up with the changes. This made it hard for them to stay up with what customers wanted and take advantage of new trends. The problem was that their technology wasn't flexible enough to adapt to new ideas.To serve customers better, stores began separating their online behind-the-scenes system from what the public sees on their websites. They did this by using APIs to access the back end, which made their operations more flexible.Headless commerce is a way for brands to keep their complicated commerce systems while making the front end more flexible to changes in the market.Composable architecture means that each part of the system works independently and can be customized to fit a brand's specific needs. This gives businesses the power to choose which parts of their digital services to use to meet their unique business requirements best.Examining headless commerce architectureHeadless is a new way of handling e-commerce that separates the parts that users see (the interface) from the parts that do the work behind the scenes (data, operations, applications). Most e-commerce systems combine these two parts, making it hard to keep up with the constantly changing digital market. Headless, by contrast, allows the front- and back-end systems to function independently. Benefits of headless architectureAdopting a headless system introduces several advantages:It delivers a flexible and customizable front end. With the visual layer decoupled, developers are no longer tied to the constraints of the back end, allowing for the creation of custom user experiences. It enables seamless integration with other systems. The back end operates independently, communicating simultaneously with multiple front ends. This allows businesses to provide a consistent omnichannel experience across various platforms like websites, mobile apps, smartwatches, and IoT devices. For instance, should a brand face difficulties in producing content for new products due to the constraints of its content model, the headless commerce system allows the integration of a different content management system with adjustable content models. This flexibility ensures a smoother operation by effectively mitigating the identified issue.It accelerates the speed of innovation. Changes to the front end won't impact the back end, and vice versa. This promotes quicker updates, experiments and iterations, all critical components in today's fast-paced digital landscape.Drawbacks of headless architectureWhile headless offers clear benefits, it also carries some drawbacks:This way of setting up a system can be challenging to handle. It needs someone with technical knowledge to take care of the different parts and keep them working.While the freedom to customize front-end interfaces is a benefit, it also means that businesses are responsible for designing and developing these interfaces, which can be time-consuming and costly.Depending on the chosen system, limited support or functionalities may be available.Understanding composable architectureComposable is an approach to building digital services that allows each component to exist independently. This includes things like managing product information, content and customer relationships. Businesses can choose which parts they need to create a custom digital platform.Advantages of composable architectureComposable e-commerce offers significant advantages.It provides extreme flexibility. Since all components are separate, they can be independently updated, replaced or reconfigured, enabling a truly agile e-commerce platform. This architecture allows for continuous optimization without fear of disrupting the entire system.Composable future-proofs your DXP stack by implementing task-oriented packaged business capabilities (PBCs), which are essential for faster time to market and better adoption of a digital experience. With the ability to add or replace components as needed, businesses can keep pace with technological advancements, customer demands or changes in business strategy.It promotes the best-of-breed approach. Businesses are no longer confined to the capabilities of a single vendor. They can select the best software for each component, maximizing functionality, efficiency and performance.Pivoting toward composable architecture: Points to ponderEmbracing composable commerce vs. headless architecture is a significant decision you should not take lightly. Businesses should thoroughly analyze their current and future needs, evaluating whether the flexibility and adaptability of composable commerce align with their strategic goals.The appeal of composable architecture lies in its flexibility and potential for success. However, it's important to remember that just because something is possible doesn't mean it's a good idea. Composable architecture can be compared to Lego blocks, as it allows for the creation of many different structures. But the challenge lies in deciding what to build and how to make it happen.The challenge is twofold. First, there's the job of putting together all the components. Second, it's essential to ensure that each element chosen is not just a fun extra but helps create the desired digital experience is essential. It's crucial to tell the difference between the "must-have" and "nice-to-have" features. Focusing too much on the latter can take away your IT team's attention and resources from the essential functions.It's important to think about how much technical knowledge is needed. Composable gives you a lot of choices for customization. Still, it takes a skilled technical team to handle everything and ensure it works well. If you're thinking about using composable, you should ensure you have the right resources or get help from experts to make it easier.Additionally, companies must evaluate their current system's limitations. Are you finding it challenging to innovate due to a rigid, tightly coupled e-commerce platform? Does your business plan to expand into new channels or markets that your current platform cannot support? These pivotal questions can help determine if the transition to composable is warranted.When picking technology partners, it's crucial for organizations to choose carefully. The best partners will offer a variety of components that can be easily swapped out and will provide support and updates over time. The goal is to create an e-commerce platform that can grow and change as the business and customers do.Learn moreLearn more about transitioning to composable in this episode of "Contentstack LIVE!" featuring Contentstack Vice President of Technical Services Pete Larsen.Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack's composable digital experience platform can help your organization achieve its e-commerce goals.

Jun 08, 2023 | 6 min. read

How to create a roadmap for digital marketing

Having a digital-first marketing strategy is a must for companies today. Customers expect an excellent experience every time they interact with you online. If your digital experience isn't up to par, your customers might go to a provider who's got their digital marketing game on point. If you want to excel in digital marketing, it’s crucial to have a clear marketing strategy. In this blog post, we'll discuss: How to plan for using digital-first marketing technologyHow to determine what your customers want and match your technology to meet their needsHow to set up your tech tools using a digital experience platform (DXP) Define your marketing technology strategyDefining a winning digital marketing strategy is more complex than just picking cool tech stuff. It's about purposefully building around tech tools that can help you better connect with your audience or customers, not just now but in the future. Remember, what works best might be different for everyone. Your strategy should be tailor-made, fitting perfectly to your unique business situation. This may take more time and effort, but it's ultimately worth it.  To define your marketing technology strategy, begin by analyzing your customer’s needs and assessing your ability to meet those needs. Analyze customer needsDetermine what the ideal customer experience looks like for your audience. Customer trends are constantly changing, as is the technology available to marketing teams. It's essential to look at consumer behavior and determine which digital marketing channels your customers rely on the most and how they prefer to be engaged. For instance, do they respond better to your marketing messages via text, social media posts, or email marketing? Honing in on which technology they leverage at each step of the buyer journey and where you lose them can reveal gaps you need to fill.Assess current capabilitiesThink about what technology you already have in place for marketing automation, web analytics, search engine optimization, content creation and management and other services. Then determine what technology you need to add now and potentially later. Evaluate your people to decide whether or not they have the right mindset and skill sets for any new technology you are considering. If not, what training will they require to get up to speed? Or will you need to hire new staff with expertise in the technology? Be sure to consider your leadership and organizational structure. Will leadership grasp the necessity of transitioning to the new digital-first marketing approach? If not, you must prove to them the investment will pay off.Understanding the needs of your stakeholdersWhen planning to use digital-first marketing technology, you need to think about what everyone involved needs. This includes the people who work in your business, the tech folks who make everything run smoothly, and your customers. Internal business usersYour internal business users are often the people who interact directly with your digital marketing tools. They could be in your marketing department, sales team or customer service. You need to find out what problems they're having and what tools they need to do their jobs better. Try having regular chats, sending out surveys or running workshops to find out. This can help you spot what's missing in your current tech tools and what you need to add or change. DevelopersYour developers are the ones who implement and maintain your digital marketing technology. Hence, it's crucial to consider their needs and feedback. Finding out what they need and listening to their ideas is essential. They need tools that work well, are flexible and they can integrate easily. Talking to them can give you valuable insights about which technology to pick and how to keep everything running smoothly.End-user customersFinally, your end-user customers are the most critical stakeholder. After all, your digital marketing strategy's whole point is to improve their experience. You need to understand what they like and don't like and how they behave. You can do this by looking at data, listening to their feedback, sending surveys and testing how they use your service. Maybe they love easy-to-use websites, personalized content, or quick customer service. Once you know, you can ensure your marketing technology delivers what they value most.Creating a successful digital-first marketing roadmap is an inclusive process. It involves considering the needs of all stakeholders, ensuring they're equipped with the right tools, and fostering an environment that embraces continuous improvement and adaptation. Focusing on these critical aspects ensures your digital marketing strategy is robust, versatile and customer-centric.Align technology capabilitiesOnce you better understand your current technology capabilities and customer needs, it’s time to identify any gaps between the two. For instance, if your buyers are young and make most of their online purchases after seeing a Facebook ad, it may not make sense to inundate them with marketing emails. Instead, devote more technology and resources to delivering relevant social media content and ads.The overarching goal is to deliver quality customer experiences that pay off in the end, whether that means a potential buyer converts by making a purchase or an existing customer renews their subscription to your service.One of the biggest challenges of creating an effective digital marketing strategy is ensuring that it’s future-proof. No one knows what the future holds, and technology changes rapidly. That’s why composable DXPs are at the forefront of most successful digital marketing strategies today.Matching your tech to your strategyIt's important to ensure your marketing tech tools match your digital marketing plan. They need to be able to support the excellent online experience you want to give your customers.Imagine your tech tools are like building blocks. Each block needs to fit together perfectly to build the thing you want. In the same way, your tech tools need to work together to create your digital marketing strategy. This is where composable architecture comes in.Composable architecture is like a set of Lego blocks. You can mix and match different pieces as you need, adding or removing blocks to fit your unique situation. This flexibility makes creating the perfect tech stack for your business easier. It allows you to pick and choose the tools that best fit your strategy and change things as your needs change.So, whether it's email marketing, social media, customer relationship management, or data analysis, make sure your tech tools are up to the task. Remember, the goal is to make the digital experience awesome for your customers. The right tech tools, put together in the right way, can help you do just that.Making your digital plan happenSo, you've made your digital marketing plan. Now it's time to put it into action. Start by breaking your plan into smaller tasks. Then, set a timeline to decide when each task needs to be done. Be realistic — you want to get things done, but not so fast that you make mistakes. Next, decide who will do each task. Make sure everyone knows their jobs and deadlines. This will help everything go smoothly and ensure you remember everything. By planning your tasks, time, and teamwork, you'll turn your digital marketing plan from a dream into reality.  Learn moreGet expert insights on digital marketing strategy from Contentstack CMO Susan Beermann in this episode of "Contentstack LIVE.”Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack's composable digital experience platform and headless CMS can help make your digital marketing plan a winner.