When it comes to online retail, the expectations of modern consumers have never been higher. They expect to see brands consistently represented across all channels, offering a rich array of product information, attributes and digital assets to enhance and inform their purchasing decisions.

The best way to meet these expectations? Better organization, access and control of product data, via a well-equipped digital content experience platform. With multiple channels, brands, suppliers and retailers all interacting as part of a complex ecommerce ecosystem, there’s never been more to keep track and control of. As a result, digital experience management software is a core component for future-proof business success.

Whether you’re a brand, supplier or retailer, choosing the right platform for your unique requirements is an important decision, and not one which should be rushed.

This guide will help you to get a feel for the kinds of features that might be beneficial to your unique situation, the functionality you’ll require as standard, and the way that a digital content experience platform can best optimize your existing tech stack and workflow.

Choose once and choose wisely – let’s get started.

The Rise Of The Digital Showroom

At the heart of the increased need for better digital product content: the acceleration of the omnichannel retail experience. Today’s consumers come into contact with brands in a wide variety of ways before converting. Fifteen years ago, the average consumer typically engaged with two touchpoints before choosing to purchase an item. Just 7% regularly used more than four. Today’s consumer uses an average of almost six touchpoints (with nearly 50% regularly using more than four.) For a brand to appeal and feel trustworthy, consumers need to perceive consistency across all of these various channels, along the retail purchase pathway. As a result, the way that products are presented within the “digital showroom” is vitally important. Product content and digital assets must be complete, immersive and experience-enhancing – right across the board. As consumers become increasingly confident and familiar with the ecommerce experience, there’s a proportional rise in the demand for more complete, media-rich content to inform purchase decisions. This content is valuable, fueling better customer experiences and higher conversion rates. It’s important to ensure that it’s collected, managed and distributed, especially as product ranges expand and variants increase. With so much riding on well-stocked, informative product listings and flawless digital showroom presentation, selection of the ideal digital experience management software should be a top priority. Here are six areas of focus to help guide your decision.

1. Keep It Consumer Centric

Consumer experience should remain your north star throughout the selection process of your digital content experience platform. After all, the ultimate goal of adopting this kind of software is a happier, better informed consumer who feels more brand loyalty and converts at a higher rate. By keeping this front of mind as you assess various options, you can keep your search well-targeted.

What does this look like? Comprehensive quality control, at any scale, leading to improved product listings across the board. By giving you greater control of your product content, you can deliver more nuanced and personalized experiences, serving a wider audience more easily and effectively. New channels and touchpoints can be incorporated, without sacrificing relevancy.

Seek a solution that makes smart use of the data it generates, giving you the ability to leverage unique intelligence and deliver better experiences, driving more value. It’s this kind of sophistication that lends the ability to truly elevate your product experience, going above and beyond simply making the process of serving and storing content easier.

Remember, a primary focus on anything but the end user misses the whole point of a digital product experience platform – nothing should come before this, as without prioritization here, you’ll struggle to see optimum outcomes or an uptick in conversion. 

How ECP’s Digital Experience Management Software Helps:

By offering a complete DXP solution (incorporating both PIM and DAM functionality) the Effectus Content Platform is entirely focused on optimizing content and routing out gaps in your product data. As a result, ECP highlights the problems you didn’t know your customers had.

Beyond that – it makes those problems easier to solve, offering streamlined routes to more complete, rounded product information.

2. A Good Fit For Your Workflow

Having established the need for consumer experience to be a prioritized core concern throughout the selection of your digital content experience platform, it’s important to emphasize that process and efficiency represent an important enabler. Customer experience may be the ultimate goal, but optimized workflow and processes are the paths that can lead you there.

As with the introduction of any new enterprise software, it’s important to ensure that you’re picking an intuitive tool that will work for your team. This means more than a solution that will simply make their day to day workflow easier. You’re aiming for true optimization and efficiency of process. You should be adding accuracy to their outputs, ensuring that productivity is optimized.

Automation is a hugely important component of success here. In the context of digital content experience, being able to automate intake and onboarding processes does more than give you back your time, it also helps reduce the margins for human error. More efficient and accuracy in your workflow frees your team to focus on more productive tasks, such as setting their minds to analyzing and acting on the emerging trends your platform highlights.

How ECP’s Digital Experience Management Software Helps:

The Effectus Content Platform has been designed from the ground up to enable smoother workflows and teamwork, allowing your team to enjoy more intuitive collaboration, with clear visibility and individual user access. The whole platform is highly configurable, meaning you can adjust and personalize your experience to fit your existing internal processes and technology stacks. 

3. Easier Imports / Exports

The import and export of product data and digital assets is a core component of any digital experience management software.  When making your selection, it’s important to pay attention to the way that your platform will handle these frequently occurring processes. You’re looking for two essential factors; ease and accuracy. The happiness of the consumer relies upon a complete product experience being delivered, and the right choice of platform sets you up for success here.

Syndication is an exceptionally helpful feature when it comes to ensuring the transfer of complete and highly accurate product information. By enabling supplier catalogs directly to retailers, instant access is guaranteed to all original product data and assets, making it simple to pull information directly from the most authoritative source.

When it comes to more effective imports, look for a solution that can deliver a number of connectors, enabling direct links to PIM, DAM and ERP. The key for export lies in the ability to accurately and easily push to multiple channels, in a streamlined process that enables a fine degree of control over consumer experience.

How ECP’s Digital Experience Management Software Helps:

The Effectus Content Platform offers dual syndication, enabling imports directly from supplier catalogs and accurate exports to multiple digital marketplaces. Connectors to PIM, DAM and ERP as well as supplier integration, a translation layer and full ecosystem partner access ensure that you have the best possible import and export experience.

4. Double Down On Data

A good platform will help improve your processes and outcomes – but you need a way to get greater overview and insight if you want to keep improving and refining your experience over time. Because of this, it’s advisable to select a platform that offers an additional layer of intelligence, enabling your team to gain deeper insight and optimize their management over time.

When it comes to data, ease of interpretation is everything. We all know we should be making full use of the data sources we have access to, but if intelligence is delivered in an inaccessible and off-putting manner, chances are we’ll be slower to make the best use of it. Look for a solution that offers well-ordered and appealing information – clear dashboards, reports, and KPIs should be an integral part of any platform that you choose to work with.

This is especially pertinent if you’re operating at scale and need to be able to get insight into trends as they emerge (and before they’re easily identifiable.)

How ECP’s Digital Experience Management Software Helps:

As well as offering a clear suite of business intelligence tools, presenting your data in a clear, concise manner and enabling you to get an easy overview of performance at all times, ECP’s AI functionality takes intelligence to the next level by offering predictive insight. This provides suggestions relating to the best course of action and what your next steps should look like. These predictive analytics and trend indicators have the potential to help you really shift gears, giving significant competitive advantage, and the edge needed to make a real impact on consumer experience.

Additionally, The Effectus Content Platform automatically scores your content, quantifying the quality of your content based on what you (and our experience) deem as ‘optimal’ quality, factoring in a number of attributes, such as category, SKU, etc. This makes it easy to identify the areas where more attention is required, allowing your team to efficiently focus their efforts. 

5. Go For Easy Administration

Beyond simplified workflow, the platform you select needs to be functional on a day to day level – and intuitive enough that your whole team can (and will) use it to its fullest extent. When choosing a digital content experience platform, you’re seeking the fine line between accessibility and functionality.

Consider the training you’ll need to implement to get up and running – what will it take, how difficult will it be to keep staff trained (especially if you have personnel changes, etc.) Look at the support for user access, roles and configurations.

We all know that implementation of any new enterprise software will come with a learning curve – so be sure that “training wheels” are provided. What does helpdesk / support look like? How will you get assistance if you require it? What training materials and user training look like?

Ultimately, you can provide the best digital experience management software in the world, but if your team lacks confidence to feel empowered to make the most productive use of it, you’ll struggle to see the results that you’re hoping to achieve.

How ECP’s Digital Experience Management Software Helps:

At ECP, we appreciate that a platform needs to be more than powerful, it needs to be personable. Because of this, our solution is designed to be exceptionally intuitive, with a user-friendly configuration. Beyond the attention paid to the user experience of our digital content experience platform, thorough training is also given, and all clients are assigned a dedicated account manager to help them get up to speed and obtain the very best experience and outcomes from use of the platform.

6. Seek A Single Source of Truth

If you’re thinking about implementing a new digital content experience platform, chances are it’s because you need things to be more simple and streamlined. If you’re already dealing with too many moving parts within your product information and digital asset management, look for a solution that solves, rather than adds to, the problem.

What you need is 360-degree functionality, and a platform that incorporates several combined systems. It’s this kind of joined up thinking that will ultimately enable the most effective automation and greater accuracy as you have end to end control. 

Seek a platform that will seamlessly integrate with (and enhance) your existing stack. By achieving better uniformity in your data model, you move one step closer to delivering a better consumer experience.

A more complete solution leads to a happier team – better connected, better informed, working with a more consistent taxonomy. No one is duplicating work and there’s easier role recognition as everyone works towards a common goal, on the same platform.

How ECP’s Digital Experience Management Software Helps:

The Effectus Content Platform is unique in its “all in one” nature, simultaneously delivering everything you need for better control, better outcomes, better process, better consumer experience and, ultimately, better conversion rates.

Choose Once, And Choose Wisely

A digital content experience platform has the potential to revolutionize the way your team works, and the results that they can achieve. As with any new software, investment of time and resources will be required to get up to speed and start seeing the very best outcomes, so this isn’t a decision you’ll want to take quickly – take time to ensure you’re laying the most solid and functional of foundations.

Keep consumer experience as your north star, but select the platform that brings the functionality your team requires to thrive.

Be sure to invest in a platform that invests in you, helping ensure perfect configuration and staying by your side to assist and optimize your experience to make sure you get the very best out of your digital product experiences.

See how The Effectus Content Platform exceeds all expectations