Why Decoupled Drupal is the Key to Omnichannel User Experiences
Technology is evolving at an unprecedented velocity. As rapid innovations challenge existing norms and make our lives easier, technology is becoming integral to our daily lives and blurring the line between our real and virtual worlds.
In this blog, we will explore how enterprises can build an omnichannel user experience with Decoupled Drupal.
What is the omnichannel experience?
Omnichannel is a cross-channel content strategy that enables organizations to improve their user experience by providing a consistent engagement journey. Omnichannel implies integration and orchestration of channels such that the experience of engagement across all the channels someone chooses to use is as, or even more, efficient or pleasant than using single channels in isolation.
Omnichannel is defined as a multi-channel content strategy that businesses use to improve their overall user experience, i.e., the customer would get a consistent experience across devices, from desktop to mobile and tablet. An effective omnichannel strategy uses customer browsing patterns to offer tailored suggestions.
Why is omnichannel experience important for a business?
An omnichannel experience allows customers to personalize their own experience. Customers have control over their experience, options on demand. Omnichannel offers customers the flexibility to interact with a business on the channel of their choice. This improves customer convenience and builds customer loyalty.
An effective omnichannel experience uses all possible channels to interact with the customer. It allows businesses to gain more opportunities by also interacting with customers who only want to communicate through a specific channel. This helps in getting more customers into the business. By building personalized user experiences, organizations interact with the customers on a one-to-one basis to gather feedback, which allows them to improve their experience.
How to build an omnichannel experience?
There needs to be a proper strategy to build how collaboration will happen among all departments (marketing, sales, pre-sales, support, development) in a business. All departments need to understand the strategy of providing an omnichannel experience so that by accessing the customer experience in the business, the transition should be easier from the old strategy. In one of my previous projects, we built the omnichannel experience by making small changes to the website. We then used A/B testing to analyze customer behavior after implementing a small change.
Discussing the theory is different than the practice of an omnichannel experience. Here’s an example of one of the brilliant companies, which are already following this practice.
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods has taken its omnichannel user-experience seriously. One of the biggest brands in the food industry, Whole Foods is setting the right experience for its customers to grow their business. It follows the following strategies to expand its reach:
- Targeting the customers based on their location: It targets the customer based on their location by providing the products relevant to them. This helps increase customer trust in the business. Whole Foods automatically takes the customer accessing the website from the United States to their US website(Whole Foods Market). Similarly, it directs the customers accessing the website from the UK/Europe to their UK website (Whole Foods Market UK) to show them the relevant products available for them in the UK.
- Providing a consistent experience when accessing the website from mobile: It provides a similar experience of the website to the customers when they access the site from mobile devices. If the customer accesses the website from the mobile, the application auto-detects the customer device and takes it to the mobile-friendly website.
- Providing relevant content to customers: It provides the relevant content to the customers based on their needs. Displaying the content pertinent to the customers saves their time, which improves retention. With Whole Foods, a US customer sees the content which is relevant to them.
Drupal is one of the most popular open source content management systems with best-in-class Rest API, which comes with Drupal 8. Drupal has thousands of extensions, which extend the features provided by the Drupal core. It also a robust open source community, which is behind managing these extensions. Drupal would act as a centralized application to deliver the content/pages using the Rest API for various platforms. Drupal also has a maturity of editorial tools, which enriches the content authoring experience of the content editor to target the content based on the specific language. Drupal 8 provides the following benefits in building omnichannel experiences:
- Drupal 8 has best-in-class Rest API to export the data into a JSON format. It uses the modern, object-oriented pattern for implementing services in an organized manner, which could be extended easily. The JSON API in the Drupal generates the API server, which implements the JSON: API specifications. Drupal also has a robust list of extensions available in the community, which allows easy integration with the other enterprise CRM, ERP, etc.. Drupal Decoupled architecture can be scaled and integrated with multiple systems. This paves the way to serve content to hand-held devices for instore promotions, etc.
- Drupal 8 has a maturity of the editorial tools out of the box. Drupal 8 comes bundled with WYSIWYG Editor, aka CKeditor, which enriches the content authoring and better content editing experience. It provides site content editors the capability to see how the content will look at the website. There are several CKeditor extensions in the Drupal contributed space, which could be used to expand the content authoring experience.
- Drupal 8 provides improved asset management tools and content workflow management. It allows the media to be managed separately and used and reutilized across the various sections on the website. There are several media extensions in the contributed space, which can be used to expand this experience. It has workflow and content moderation features, which makes the content workflow management easier. The content workflow management experience can be further enriched by using other extensions available in the Drupal contributed ecosystem.
- Drupal 8 has a responsive HTML5-based web markup, which helps to build a consistent experience across various devices. Drupal 8 uses the theming engine called Twig, which is fast, flexible, and secure. Twig has a robust list of extensions available in its community, which helps address the need for building a robust, responsive design.
- Drupal 8 comes with out of the box multilingual capabilities, which allows content editors to provide a consistent experience to the web visitors for both the languages. It also provides the admin interface with built-in translations in different languages. The translations of strings are handled by the members of the Drupal community. It also provides the capability to create pages providing content that is specific to the language of the customer.
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