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Captivate buyers and consumers with rich content-led customer experiences

Recently, Arc XP VP of Product and Technology, Matt Monahan sat down with Digital Commerce 360 to discuss how a flexible ecommerce platform will let merchants cater to the specific needs of their audience.

This article originally appeared in Digital Commerce 360′s How to Choose An Ecommerce Platform report.

To compete in ecommerce today, B2B and B2C companies must focus on the customer experience. To discuss how a flexible ecommerce platform will let merchants cater to the specific needs of their audience, Digital Commerce 360 spoke with Matt Monahan, vice president of product and technology at Arc XP.

DC360: What are the biggest challenges retailers and B2B companies face with their ecommerce platforms today?

MM: First, the flexibility of the experience is a considerable challenge. Companies on legacy ecommerce platforms often cannot easily modify their storefront experience or even make simple updates that don’t require involvement from their development team. This inflexibility means these companies are not only slow tin making changes, but they’re also unable to adapt to rapidly changing customer preferences, challenging their ability to do business.

Another challenge is the lack of real integration with content. Brands are increasingly reaching consumers directly and need to tell compelling stories about their products and their brands. The best way to do that is to use rich content to tell those stories. But traditional commerce platforms typically don’t have the tools needed to do that. I often see amazing brands whose marketing experience falls flat. So, companies augment their platforms with content management systems and asset management solutions.

DC360: What are the latest trends around ecommerce platform technology?

MM: A big trend is the adoption of digital experience platforms (DXPs) and particularly, composable DXPs. These platforms are alleviating the inflexibility that exists with traditional commerce platforms by bringing together content management and commerce with the front-end storefront experience. This enables merchants to create rich stories using written, video, and image-based content delivered cohesively across channels. On the front-end, DXPs are giving merchants’ marketing teams the tools to directly customize the storefront without development support, delivering an experience that keeps pace with changing consumer behaviors.

DC360: What common ecommerce platform mistakes do ecommerce companies make?

MM: There’s often a desire to get an all-in-one solution and get it up and running as quickly as possible. This desire can led merchants to choose technology that isn’t flexible enough for their specific needs. They need to assess their biggest challenges and when evaluating platforms, determine if an all-in-one solution or a composable solution is the best approach to solving those challenges. Part of the reason composable DXPs are growing in popularity is because they enable merchants to integrate their preferred tools, like their PIM or pricing tool, to create their ideal commerce stack.

DC360: How can they overcome these challenges?

MM: It starts with a clear understanding of how you view your customers and your position in the market. Start with the end-user experience and work backward. Understand what you want to present to your customers — and then plan around that. That creates alignment internally and helps you identify the most demanding requirements to meet.

DC360: What should they look for when shopping for platform technology?

MM: Go back to the problems you’re trying to solve and make sure you’re keeping the customer experience top of mind. Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing a flexible platform built on modern technology — or you’ll find your development team quickly abandoning it in favor of custom, ad hoc solutions.

For more on ecommerce platform trends in 2022, download Digital Commerce 360′s How to Chose an Ecommerce Platform report featuring:

  • Trends in adopting headless commerce
  • How platforms are helping retailers connect to Gen Z shoppers
  • A 10-step guide to choosing an ecommerce platform