e-Spirit and SAP Spartacus Take Experience-Driven Commerce to the Next Level

B2B - B2C E-Commerce Headless and Hybrid CMS Marketing
by Michael Gerard

According to Statista, in 2019, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 3.53 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022. This double digit growth has prompted retailers globally to rethink their digital experience ecosystems so they can capitalize on this opportunity, and e-commerce platforms everywhere are thriving as a result. But these systems alone won't deliver the digital experiences customers demand, and this demand for better online experiences will only be greater in the current COVID-19 environment. What’s needed is the combination of a hybrid headless CMS, a commerce platform and a next gen PWA (progessive web application) to deliver content-driven commerce experiences lightning fast to any touchpoint; and this need is met (and exceeded) with e-Spirit’s CMS integration with SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP’s NEW PWA Spartacus Storefront. (“e-Spirit announced as first, and only, CMS vendor integration with SAP Spartacus”)

Experiences are the currency of engagement and revenue

E-commerce platforms such as SAP Commerce Cloud are great for managing product content, product inventory, and integrating with back-end systems such as shopping carts. What they lack is the ability for business users to easily add content within the commerce environment, and to deliver the irresistible experiences that customers crave in the form of shoppable videos and images, user-generated content, compelling product stories, and so on. If experiences are the currency of engagement and revenue, then what's missing from the commerce platform are the tools marketers need to manage content-driven commerce experiences across brands, regions and channels – without having to rely on IT – a gaping hole in functionality. That's where hybrid headless content management systems (CMS) come into play.

The traditional, monolithic CMS was perfect when there was one channel--the commerce website; and in some cases enabling support of mobile channels with much effort and cost. Then came along the headless CMS and content as a service (What is CaaS?) which enables content to be delivered to many channels. However, the pure-play headless CMS lacks the scalability, workflow, collaboration or the deep integration capabilities of a traditional CMS, and requires significant developer resources for its use, greatly reducing marketers and business users’ market agility. The perfect combination of these two is the hybrid headless CMS, providing business users and technology teams with the ability to easily create and deliver the experiences demanded by today’s customers, in record time as Gartner indicates in their new research study, “Hybrid headless content as a service is the future of digital experiences”.

SAP Q&A with e-Spirit on Enabling Content-Rich Commerce Experiences

With the ongoing situation of COVID-19, online commerce is increasingly and undeniably seen by many as the centrepiece of the digital transformation strategy. Companies find themselves needing to adapt and pivot quickly in order to accelerate the trend and quickly meet customers’ needs.

Read the blog post

Hybrid headless CMSs offer the powerful, integrated content management tools e-commerce marketers need to scale personalized experiences beyond your company's front door (your e-commerce store), across borders and touchpoints (your channels), in multiple languages, hyper-personalized, with ease (no code) and at speed. It's a tall order that e-commerce platforms simply cannot handle, and why it's critically important to integrate content management and commerce systems. Content-driven commerce is how you deliver the engaging experiences that compel customers to action and help turn your customers into lifelong fans. And lifelong fans = customer lifetime revenue.

e-Spirit and SAP Commerce Cloud: the content-driven commerce power couple

Lightning fast time to market

Today’s e-commerce vendors face relentless competition underscoring the importance of time to market and creating unique, personalized online shopping experiences for their customers. The tight integration of the FirstSpirit hybrid headless CMS with SAP Commerce Cloud and its new progressive web application (PWA) SAP Spartacus makes it easy for customers to deliver immersive, content-driven shopping experiences across consumer touchpoints--with unprecedented speed. This accelerated time to market is essential in uncertain times like these where increased competition, evolving channels and market volatility make it difficult to compete. Long, drawn out CMS implementations with non-integrated platforms can have a significant impact on revenue. FirstSpirit breaks this trend, including a deep integration with Commerce Cloud and Spartacus, guaranteeing speedy time to market.

The Spartacus storefront, when combined with personalized content-driven experiences powered by the FirstSpirit hybrid headless content management system, empowers commerce companies to easily create and deliver content-rich, personalized digital experiences – at speed – across all channels such as websites, mobile devices, social media, digital signage, progressive web applications and conversational platforms. It's a software power couple that leapfrogs product catalogue websites, propelling e-commerce companies to the top of the food chain with unprecedented speed.

You can also use SAP's PWA in combination with FirstSpirit's own mobile-first starter kit--Experience Accelerator--which shortens implementation time significantly. More than a reference implementation, the FirstSpirit Experience Accelerator enables SAP customers to have immediate access to the capabilities of its hybrid headless CMS out of the box, accelerating implementation time by up to 75% for faster time to revenue.

Our Experience Accelerator has been proven to help customers bypass the first three to six months of any project implementation so they can focus on launching experiences, not products. Time spent on installation and setup, low-level programming or setting up frameworks is completely eliminated, enabling customers to move right into fine-tuning experiences to their own unique specifications. For example, TSI Holdings, the largest e-commerce retailer in Japan, launched two new experience-focused websites in just six weeks. It's a game-changer for organizations that need to meet tight launch deadlines. The cost savings in man-hours alone is tremendous. But more importantly, retail customers shave off valuable implementation time getting them to market faster for a more immediate return on their investment.

Enterprise-class CMS capabilities for content-driven commerce

The FirstSpirit hybrid headless CMS extends SAP’s rich online store functionality helping you provide content-rich, personalized e-commerce experiences anytime, anywhere. SAP customers get to leverage the enterprise-class capabilities used by the world's most iconic B2C and B2B2C brands to create innovative, personalized content—such as promotional banners, product teasers, shoppable images and videos, user-generated content and other types of vendor or third-party driven content—directly with the SAP Commerce Cloud environment with no IT involvement. e-Spirit's proven, enterprise-class integration into SAP Commerce Cloud enables you to take full advantage of Commerce Cloud capabilities that wouldn't be accessible with a typical headless CMS integration. Use SAP Commerce Cloud for e-commerce and PIM, and FirstSpirit to enrich product content and create digital experiences for increased revenues. Here are a few of the benefits of the FirstSpirit and SAP content and commerce power couple:

Intuitive editing

The proven integration helps you take full advantage of all of Commerce Cloud's capabilities. You can create and manage all of your commerce content with easy drag and drop and in-context editing from one intuitive UI (FirstSpirit) that helps business users create content-driven experiences--no coding required.

Seamless integration with the SAP Commerce Cloud product Catalog

Use SAP for e-commerce and product information management, and FirstSpirit to manage product content and digital experiences for increased revenues.

Landing page creation

Easily create landing pages with simple drag and drop from one intuitive user interface--no coding required!

Engaging shoppable content

Enrich product content with shoppable videos, images, text, illustrations and more to tell stories that make your product catalog more experience-driven and turn your customers into lifelong fans.

Multi perspective preview

FirstSpirit's Multi Perspective Preview allows you to preview unpublished content for different devices or target groups for any future timeline, helping you understand what your pages will look like on any given date in the future. It's a powerful planning tool.

Touchpoint Editing

e-Spirit’s unique Touchpoint Editing provides powerful WYSIWYG editing capabilities for any channel. Marketers can preview and edit content in the context of any channel easily and intuitively—without the need for a complex CMS integration by IT—giving them complete control for delivery of highly individualized customer experiences at every touchpoint.

You can also:

  • Create great content-rich commerce experiences at every touchpoint regardless of channel or device being used for true engagement.
  • Deliver omnichannel content to the right visitor at the right time with AI-powered personalization and real-time targeting.
  • Easily maintain a consistent brand globally while translating and localizing content for consumers wherever they may be.
  • Gain insights into visitor behavior using real-time, AI-powered analytics and enable better experiences.
  • Achieve productivity gains using FirstSpirit's advanced workflow, permissions and versioning capabilities.
  • Store your content in a central repository where it can be located and re-used across multiple channels with ease.
  • And so much more!

It's a proven solution, time and again

Grohe, the world's leading supplier of sanitary fittings, uses the FirstSpirit hybrid headless CMS to deliver exceptional content-driven commerce experiences for more than 60 B2C and B2B websites and their respective touchpoints--including mobile apps, social media and display ads--in 80 countries and languages globally.

"We wanted to build a digital experience platform to suit our company's global business needs, and FirstSpirit helped us accomplish that. The modular nature of the platform gave us the flexibility we needed to build a DX platform that greatly reduces development time while accelerating time to value. Content managers love it for its usability. More importantly, it helped us deliver the exceptional experiences that GROHE products are known for--now in the digital world as well." Carlos Carvalho, Global Head of Websites for GROHE

Want to learn more? We’d love to show you the power of content-driven commerce.

Sign up for a demo of FirstSpirit today!

About the author

Michael is responsible for e-Spirit's global marketing strategy. He has 15+ years of marketing and sales experience in SaaS companies, and has written about many topics across technology, marketing strategy and other marketing-related areas.

Michael Gerard
Chief Marketing Officer