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How to reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction through self-service

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Jonathan Whiteside
Jonathan Whiteside
Global SVP Technology & Engineering
1 December 2022

It seems everyone is hyper-aware of the challenging economic times we currently face. And as companies start feeling the effects of consumer and business spending retracting, it may be tempting to cut marketing and digital transformation budgets or put projects on hold. But only 6% of companies intend to cut their tech spending next year, so continuing to invest is essential if you don’t want to fall behind your competition.

If the pandemic taught us something, it’s the importance of technology. Stability, efficiency, speed, and optimisation will be the fundamentals of resilient business during an economic downturn. And instead of cutting budgets, it’s more sensible to look at ways to make your budget work harder for you. 

According to Gartner, 80% of tech leaders consider automation to be a top tactic to achieve cost optimisation. DEPT® has seen first-hand how leveraging tech to automate processes and allow customers to self-serve helps companies to permanently reduce the cost of doing business, provide a next-level customer experience as well as increase customer loyalty and lifetime value. 

Let’s explore this further… 

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Start with customer journey mapping

If you’re unsure what to prioritise when it comes to automating processes and self-service, customer journey mapping is the perfect place to start. Giving you the chance to really get under your customer’s skin and truly understand their unique needs. 

This technique allows you to get a holistic understanding of the entire digital customer journey. Throughout a series of workshops, we look at the flow for different types of users to identify current pain points, understand how customers want to interact and identify opportunities. 

We also map the different technology, tools and touchpoints that are being used to see how they can be streamlined. Producing a visual customer journey map is a great way to demonstrate to senior stakeholders where investments should be made.

For OMRON, DEPT® reviewed their entire digital customer journey with the goal to improve customer satisfaction and reduce call centre costs. We held a series of discovery workshops that explored the current user experience, OMRON’s business model, identified pain points and pinpointed areas where automation could increase efficiency. Three high-priority projects were identified to allow customers to self-serve which would ultimately drive cost and time efficiency for OMRON, while providing an enhanced experience for their customers.

Serving the cutomer on demand

In today’s world, customers are looking for convenience and this isn’t only in B2C, two thirds of B2B buyers opted for remote human interactions or digital self-service across the sales process last year. 

Not to mention, loyalty amongst customers is dwindling. So, with this in mind, in uncertain times it is  smart for brands to invest in enhancing the customer experience amongst their existing client base to  stand out amongst competitors and decrease churn.

According to NICE, 81% of consumers want more self-service options, however, only 15% have a high level of satisfaction with the tools currently provided. So developing effective strategies and digital products that allow customers to self-serve not only gives them access to the services they’re looking for, but creates an opportunity to build stronger brand connections, as long as their experience using the tool is positive. 
That’s where it can be valuable to work in partnership with digital experts like DEPT® to ensure you hit the nail on the head. Here are three possible ways to do just that…

1. Customer portals

Developing tools and apps for customers to manage their own accounts can help to reduce operational spending. It takes some pressure off customer service agents by giving customers the ability to find resolutions on their own, allowing agents to then focus on urgent issues and delivering tailored customer experiences elsewhere.

And it’s a customer expectation, with 70% expecting a company to have a self-service portal or content available to them. Customers head to their account/portal to be able to easily find information, request services and resolve their problems 24/7. 

It’s, ultimately, the hub of a brand’s relationship with its customers.  Some key features to include in a customer portal are a knowledge base, community forum and chatbot integration. 

For Jotun’s trade site, DEPT® built a customer portal where dealers and distributors can access personalised tools, product and technical information, and dynamically display products, tools and content relevant to individual users.

The online portal is also an important section of OMRON’s site. Whether it be a distributor, employee, or a member of the press, users are served content that is relevant to them, so it is completely personalised depending on the user type. The data required to identify users is collected during the registration and can also be used to support and optimise marketing activities and processes.

2. Chatbots

Chatbots are a great way to take the strain off call lines by allowing customers to find a quick solution through a flow of automated responses. Gartner predicts that by 2027, chatbots will become the primary customer service channel for a quarter of organisations. 

A strong live chat system brings together staffed and automated solutions to provide customers the optimal experience, starting with automation and then directing the visitor to the appropriate colleague depending on their requirements. This helps to create more meaningful experiences between brands and consumers as well as saving time.

Chatbots are now more advanced than ever. As a brand known for their in-store customer service, Ralph Lauren came to BYTE/DEPT® for help translating that experience into digital with a chatbot ready to help customers find the perfect gifts for the 2021 holiday season. As a result, only 0.4% of users required a handover to a live customer service agent, which is one of the lowest rates we’ve seen in the industry.

3. On-site search

Something so simple, but so effective, is on-site search. Although this is nothing new for most, it is often undervalued. It allows customers to self-serve by finding what they’re looking for on-demand and without the need to get in touch. 

Not only does it help visitors, but a well-optimised on-site search tool provides brands with a wealth of new data. It gives insight into what customers are looking for and any roadblocks to purchase, showing demand or opportunity. Brands are then able to analyse the data to provide personalised help, offers and up-sell opportunities. 

DEPT® implemented Optimizely Find for Jotun to deliver intelligent search results across its B2C and B2B sites. It enhances user experience by powering global search, the product finder, colour grids, related colours and products.

Invest now to stay ahead

Although we face a period of economic uncertainty, there are many opportunities for organisations to leverage technology to stay afloat, and even grow. Now is the time to invest in order to stay ahead and reap the rewards both in the short and long term.

DEPT® have all the skills in-house to be able to analyse points in the digital customer journey that are slow, expensive and causing their customers to be unhappy. We can then look at projects to automate existing parts of the journey or develop strategies and digital products which allow their customers to self-serve. 

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you reduce operational costs while increasing customer satisfaction.


Global SVP Technology & Engineering

Jonathan Whiteside

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A CTOs guide to maximising the value of tech investments

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Jonathan Whiteside
Jonathan Whiteside
Global SVP Technology & Engineering
17 November 2022

While the immediate threat of the COVID-19 pandemic is over, it has left multiple economies in heavy debt. And subsequent global issues, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have resulted in a downturn of the global economy. In a July update, the World Economic Outlook predicted global growth to slow from 6.1% last year to 3.2% in 2022, and 2.9% in 2023. 

With inflation reaching record levels, significant energy price increases and the rising cost of household items, consumers across the world face a cost of living crisis. And with a less than temporary reduction in household spending power, businesses can soon expect to see the impact on their bottom line. 

We know from experience that in periods of economic uncertainty, digital projects are often canned or stalled. But during times of crisis, the opportunity for businesses to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of budgets – as well as the overall value of their technology investments – is actually huge. 

We’ve outlined two of the best, easiest and efficient ways to do this, as well as the steps to take to get these types of projects over the line.

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The background

With the prospect of budget cuts looming, CTOs are being tasked with doing more with less. That might translate as automating processes, consolidating teams, sourcing new tech solutions, or getting more out of existing technology investments. 

It will mean different things for different businesses, but the golden thread will most likely be to maximise efficiency and reduce costs. The pressure to continue to innovate and build out new propositions will likely remain in order to stay ahead of competitors and pursue new commercial opportunities, while keeping risk at a minimum. 

It’s a big ask. But having worked with a range of B2B and B2C businesses to do just that, DEPT® can help you unlock unforeseen pockets of value that stretch budgets further while increasing sales. 

Cloud platform review and optimisation

Cloud software is integral to future-ready business. So if you haven’t already migrated to the cloud, now is most certainly the time. 
The focus needs to be on developing a scalable solution to create an agile framework that enables your business to adapt as your market develops and disrupts.

Not only will it go a long way to reducing the impact of rising energy costs, but connecting your teams through the right cloud-based software enables them to be more agile and harmoniously sing from the same sheet. 

The key benefits of moving to the cloud are threefold. Geo-redundancy is number one, meaning that users in one market access the infrastructure in that location, and if one region goes down users are automatically routed to the other, forming the backbone of your disaster recovery strategy. 

It also offers cost saving benefits, as similarly to mobile phones, there are fixed contracts or ‘pay as you go’ options available. A ‘pay as you go’ serverless approach allows businesses to only pay when the service is used, rather than paying to have a server running 24/7 in a physical location. 

And finally, it provides greater flexibility as businesses can increase capacity when expecting higher traffic volumes, such as around planned sales, campaign or product launches. Plus, once a business understands their traffic volumes through the available data, they can fix their contract at a lower cost to scale capacity in line with business demand throughout the year.

DEPT® has a cloud first approach, and a cloud agnostic mindset. We are able to deliver consultants and engineers that can help you take your cloud platform hygiene to the next level to maximise efficiency. 

Take Triumph Motorcycles as an example. We conducted a full review of its AWS setup, modernised old approaches, optimised configurations and removed unused components to facilitate a 30% reduction of its cloud hosting spend.

Outsource infrastructure management

With technology now serving as the backbone of modern business, even the shortest period of digital downtime can have a significant negative impact on operations and financial performance. 

That’s why outsourcing infrastructure management through managed services may be the best option to expertly manage your online infrastructure. 

Infrastructure management is less about maintaining your website or application content, but rather about the nuts and bolts that keep them running optimally. 

This can involve managing servers and their performance as well as monitoring up and down time, being alerted to any issues and taking action – no matter the day or time.

But not all outsourcing solutions are optimum. For example, an offshore team may not work in unison or in alignment with the timezones that you operate across. 

With local and nearshore teams working in a unified way across multiple physical locations, we have seen success in helping businesses reduce costs while upholding the expert standards of a global digital agency. 
Our unique culture helps us recruit top talent across the world, which enables us to be ‘timezone aware’, giving clients peace of mind that their digital estate will be up, running and making money 24/7. 

And we’ve seen success come from establishing teams consisting of members located in multiple physical locations, with differing staffing rates that reduces the overall cost to the client. 

Such as for Just Eat Takeaway, for whom we provide ongoing support of their commerce platform; as well as for Jotun’s +5 websites, including proactive monitoring and reactive support, content editor helpdesk and application maintenance services.

Making the business case

It might be easy for an established tech leader to see the value in these suggested approaches. But getting said projects over the line can sometimes be a struggle with final decision makers, as they often require short-term investment before the long-term benefits can be reaped. 

There are two distinct sides of the fence when it comes to making investments during global crises. 

Frustratingly, the instinctive (and often more popular) reaction is to cut costs by postponing projects, reducing ‘non-essential’ spend on digital transformation, and scaling back headcount in order to bunker down and weather the storm. 

But in reality, recessions and economic crises tend to be short lived, and are often succeeded by longer periods of growth. And businesses that seek out ways to maximise their existing investments (or continue to make new investments) can drive growth while competitors are cutting back.

During the 2009 financial crisis, according to McKinsey, organisations that maintained their innovation focus outperformed competitors by more than 30% and continued to grow over the subsequent three to five years.
Acting fast is imperative. The most successful technology leaders won’t wait for a confirmed recession to implement solutions, they will take immediate action to boost stability, efficiency and speed that is necessary for business resilience in this economic climate.

Optimise today

While the implementation of digital marketing systems, CRMs and big data projects have failure rates that exceed 50%, DEPT® has a strong track record of implementing and optimising technology platforms that have a clear return on investment for clients. 

To find out how we can help your business maximise the value of its tech investments and accelerate digital resilience, get in touch with our experts today.

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Jonathan Whiteside

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Helping displaced individuals find their place in tech

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Pooja Dindigal
Pooja Dindigal
Global Impact Manager
14 November 2022

When immigrants and refugees leave their home countries, they leave behind their jobs, networks, support systems, and oftentimes their credentials.

Their ability to find good jobs is stunted which can harm their confidence, happiness, and assimilation into society. 

In 2018, Nick Broekema (Salesforce Partnership Lead at DEPT®) and his partners saw this problem firsthand, with many immigrants moving to the Netherlands unable to secure quality jobs. At the same time, the industry was dealing with another problem: a lack of Salesforce professionals.     

So that year, with the desire to solve both problems with one solution, Blue Road Academy (formerly RefugeeForce) was born. Over the past few years, this program has helped over 180 individuals receive Salesforce training in a community-oriented atmosphere. From the initial cohorts, 60% of graduates have landed jobs at technology companies with positions in development, marketing, sales, and administration. 

DEPT® is a proud recruitment partner, and has hired two individuals from Blue Road Academy since its opening! We also support with an annual monetary donation and use of our offices in Berlin for the training. Learn more about some of the impact this program has had by hearing from some of its graduates below. 

Eyad from Blue Road Academy

Eyad’s story

Eyad Agha came to Germany in 2014 because of the instability in Syria. Beyond learning German, he enrolled at a university and received a master’s degree in information systems management. 

He joined Blue Road Academy because “Salesforce was the clearest manifestation of my studies. Coding and programming were not for me, but I wanted to work in technology. Salesforce training seemed like a good fit.”  

Talking about his experience with the training program, he said, “Martin (the instructor) is one of the brilliant minds in Salesforce. I was impressed and felt privileged for being instructed by someone like him. Martin was the most humble and nice person– always willing to help, answer questions, and have a conversation with the students.”

While he already had skills in information technology, they were sharpened during the boot camp. The other thing he learned was giving back. “The whole salesforce ecosystem depends on teamwork. You learn something and then you teach someone else. One arm to the throne, another arm to help someone else, a chain of people holding hands together and moving forward.” 

Currently, Eyad is working as a Salesforce administrator for Luca. He is excited about the opportunity! 

Frahnaz from Blue Road Academy

Frahnaz’s story 

Originally from Afghanistan, Frahnaz studied Economics and had her own e-commerce business. But due to the fall of the government, she had to leave her country, business, and degree.  

During her time at Blue Road Academy, she got another opportunity to go to a Salesforce Berlin Bootcamp which was a fantastic experience!  The salesforce community around Europe came together (partners, actual salesforce professionals) and she was able to get to know people in the network. “I am really thankful for the opportunity to know an amazing community.” 

While she doesn’t describe herself as “technical,” she likes Salesforce because, “The platform makes things easier for companies, which is valuable. I want to be in the technology and business space, so learning these skills is great.”
“During the program, we also learned how to interview and write a CV. This was useful because it gives real-life scenarios, how to answer questions, how to write a cover letter, and the different procedures in countries, like Germany vs the UK.” 

When asked about her future goals, her first response was, “To share all the knowledge she is gaining and encourage Afghan women that don’t have the privilege of education.” Her wish is to give all that she can as an Afghan woman and eventually share it with other women. 

“I believe that if you want to change the world, you have to change yourself and learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power. I wish every girl in my country had the chance to study and have the opportunity to go to university.”


Anna’s story 

Anna came to the Netherlands by way of Ukraine. She started to learn Salesforce by herself in 2021 because she had her own small business, but she wanted to learn more and get an official certification to expand her career opportunities. 

She enjoyed the in-person classes because it was easy to communicate with other people in the program. “It was difficult and challenging because of the technical tasks required, but the program was smooth. My instructor, Gaspar Rodriguez, explained all the concepts, materials, and theories in simple words so you can understand them.” 

For her, the Blue Road Academy ecosystem was supportive and gave opportunities to people without experience. Their way of learning was an environment with cool and intelligent people, which motivated her to take on the challenges. 

Anna currently works at DEPT®. Talking about her experience so far, she says, “It’s amazing actually. The people are really supportive and answer questions. I had time to meet my team, and get onboarded and I’m excited to see where the opportunity takes me.” 

“Anyone can transfer their knowledge into their work. And you can see where it takes you–the time you’ve dedicated is reflected in your work.”  

The future of Blue Road Academy

By 2030, Blue Road Academy hopes to have trained 10,000 newcomers in its program with a 50/50 ratio of men to women. They hope to continue their 60% job placement success rate which would place 6,000 or more individuals in Salesforce roles, at all types of technology companies. 

Learn more about how you can get involved at Blue Road Academy.  

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DEPT DASH™ is here to accelerate custom website development

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Kelsey Anderson
Kelsey Anderson
Sr. Content Marketing Manager
3 November 2022

Historically, custom websites can take a significant time to build. So we created DASH to accelerate the process. 

For decades, brands have gone to agencies for help in design and development. And for decades, agencies have been kicking off projects from scratch. 

The problem here is web design and development don’t always require starting from scratch. Project setup, technology selection, and the creative process are often similar across the board.  

In other words, the digital world has reached a point where tools, platforms, technology expertise, and AI are so powerful, we don’t need to start from zero every time. We can come to the table with months of work already done, which cuts project time while delivering best-of-breed, process-proven, and completely custom technology solutions.  

Introducing DASH, a website accelerator from DEPT®

DASH is a headless website and e-commerce accelerator that provides the building blocks for modern marketing and e-commerce sites. A composable approach impacts both the implementation of the front-end and influences the end-to-end process and methodology, from design through to deployment.

To understand it in action, consider the development of an e-commerce website. No matter your industry, size, or product offerings, every single e-commerce website will need hosting, shopping cart technology, payment processing, search capabilities, and a slew of other third-party integrations. Rather than let these necessities take up the first month of work, we have created IP that automates it. 

The out-of-the-box design and development elements provided by DASH include:  

  • Design system 
  • Scaffolding 
  • DevOps and infrastructure 
  • Component library 
  • Localisation 
  • CMS integration 
  • Search integration 
  • e-commerce integration 
  • Automated testing 
  • Performance and accessibility testing 
  • Documentation 
  • Monitoring 

This enables you to use use the majority of your budget on impactful activities like

  • Discovery
  • UX/UI design 
  • Custom component and page templates
  • CMS content modeling
  • Front-end implementation
  • Launch

Who is DASH for?

DASH is for any marketing or e-commerce team that needs a completely custom website in an unconventional timeline–typically a few months. The core technology stack consists of the Contentful CMS, Shopify cart technology, and Algolia search engine, and new integrations are being created each month.

By leveraging DASH, DEPT® strategists, designers, and developers have more time and budget to create experiences that power your digital strategy. 

DASH is a starting point, not a builder tool 

DASH provides what we always complete in the first month or two of a project, for both design and engineering. This allows delivery timelines to be 1-2 months faster without sacrificing design quality and customisation. 

Any pieces a project doesn’t require can be quickly and easily removed in full, so the project isn’t weighed down with unnecessary cruft.

DASH is a starting point, not a builder tool. Builder tools make some things easy and other things impossible, which isn’t viable for the custom projects we do. This IP covers the entire production workflow from Figma design files to Storybook design systems, full technology implementation, and automated test and deployment scripts, all integrated end-to-end and ready to spin up within minutes.

Learn more about DASH, our proprietary website accelerator.

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How Salesforce Commerce Cloud creates customised e-commerce experiences

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Tim de Kamper
Tim de Kamper
VP eCommerce Europe
29 September 2022

This year, global e-commerce sales are expected to surpass $5 trillion

This milestone speaks to the industry’s unique position at the intersection of rapid digital development and a renewed period of slower but sustained growth following the boom period spurred by a global pandemic.

If you’re looking for a platform to create (or level up) an e-commerce experience for a B2C brand, you’ll know that now, more than ever, is the time to stand out. 

Here’s why Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) might be the solution you need.

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The SFCC advantage

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is one of the leading cloud-based SaaS e-commerce platforms. It’s known for being a robust product that can be taken out-of-the-box and leveraged to build & launch an immersive brand experience quickly. 

One of the biggest advantages of SFCC is that, as an out-of-the-box solution, you only need the support of an engineering team to deploy it.

Once the storefront is live, managing the platform is easily done in-house, even if your brand doesn’t have a dedicated team of engineers. 

Using SFCC also offers your brand the advantage of Salesforce’s suite of best-in-class integrations. Some of these come pre-built in, like SFCC’s AI-powered Einstein module, which delivers personalised recommendations to your customers. 

Other integrations are sold separately but are well worth considering.

Mulesoft, Pardot, Salesforce CDP, and Salesforce OMS are just a few examples that can bolster your customer experience with a 360-degree view.

New customisation options for limitless innovation

Historically, SFCC depended on templates for storefronts to help brands deploy their e-commerce sites quickly. 

Although SFCC offers numerous effective options for templates, the requirement posed a creative restriction for brands looking to build a custom storefront fully aligned with their identity and nuanced customer experience.

Following Salesforce’s acquisition of Mobify at the end of 2020, however, SFCC got an exciting upgrade: full customisation, powered by a headless architecture.

Headless architecture separates front-end and back-end software. Where a software update in a traditional architecture would require engineers to make changes to both the front- and back-ends, a headless architecture makes it possible to change—or even completely rebuild—one end independent of the other.

For brands using SFCC, this makes it easy to break out of a template and work with a team of engineers to build your own fully customised e-commerce storefront without compromising on the speed of deployment.

Most importantly, taking advantage of headless architecture positions your brand to innovate continuously. As digital evolves and new customer touchpoints emerge, you’re able to incorporate additional features and creative experiences quickly and affordably.

Bespoke SFCC in action

Over ten years of building upwards of 200 e-commerce sites with SFCC, we’ve seen the platform deliver customisation at speed time and time again.

This was our inspiration for creating DEPT® SFRA, an in-house storefront reference architecture for SFCC, which provides a highly capable foundation on which to build a bespoke storefront tailor fit to meet client needs. 

As an out-of-the-box platform, SFCC can be launched fast.

But starting with a foundation like SFRA makes it possible to deliver modern, highly customised experiences at lightning speed. Sometimes in as little as five months, as was the case for GANT’s global e-commerce transformation, or even four, which was the timeline for the Dutch stroller company Bugaboo

But SFCC’s customisation goes beyond meeting deadlines, too. As e-commerce undergoes a shift with new innovations in technology and a lower barrier for entry allows a plethora of new players to enter the market, providing a highly customised experience gives brands like yours a way of standing out against the noise.

Patagonia worked with us to incorporate a design system into the storefront architecture’s front end that created a balance between their world-renowned products and a purpose rooted in sustainability, taking advantage of SFCC’s headless customisation to create a flagship experience that future-proofs their brand against our rapidly changing digital world.

Providing a great e-commerce experience has been a requirement for B2C brands for some time. Now, however, is the time to use customisation to differentiate your experience from everyone else’s. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how Salesforce Commerce Cloud can help your brand create a future-ready e-commerce experience, our team of SFCC pros are always ready to chat.

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Build vs buy: e-commerce platforms

Retail Commerce

20 September 2022

Today’s most successful brands use robust e-commerce platforms and a slew of tools to optimise the buying process. 

This complex ecosystem allows marketing and commerce teams to reach their users, create buying experiences, and improve conversions. 

But this complex ecosystem is also–complex. Beyond e-commerce platform selection, a decision needs to be made on each and every tool that integrates with that platform. Of course, you can also create custom applications that serve a distinct purpose. 

What should you buy? What should you build? And how should you integrate everything so you don’t get locked in? 

Here’s how to build a resilient e-commerce website that delights your users and your internal team.  

Retail   Commerce

Build what’s unique to your business. Buy everything else. 

Most e-commerce teams should buy every tool that assists in the online shopping experience. This includes

  • E-commerce platform
  • CMS  
  • Hosting
  • Customer support functionality
  • Payment processing 
  • CRM and marketing automation 
  • Transactional emails/SMS
  • Search functionality
  • Inventory management  
  • Shipment tracking 

It doesn’t make sense for a clothing brand to build custom applications. Rather, your teams should be focusing on your core capabilities—clothing. 

What’s unique to a clothing brand might be the way that users experience and engage with your clothes online. This experience is what you should focus on differentiating via custom builds. For other businesses, there might be unique data used in a proprietary way (membership purchases, for example).  

Always build your e-commerce frontend 

In an e-commerce environment, you should always own your brand’s UX/UI logic, how users interact with your products, and user data.

The front end of your e-commerce store should be somewhat isolated from third-party platforms. Instead, it should be connected via API. 

This ownership and flexibility is one reason headless e-commerce solutions are gaining popularity. By using an API instead of relying on an e-commerce platform’s design tools and database, you can better control vendors, and swap them out if you need to.

headless e-commerce ecosystem

Image courtesy of Mach Alliance

User-facing benefits 

By owning your own user experience, you untether yourself from the restraints of traditional e-commerce websites. 

A traditional e-commerce website might be something like Amazon, featuring product images next to a product description, and then an “add to cart” button. This standard e-commerce experience is fine in some instances, but as online shopping becomes more important, brands have the opportunity to offer something better. 

A perfect example is Google’s store. Check out Google’s Pixel 6a page. It’s so much more than an image-and-description interface.  

An out-of-the-box platform cannot create this kind of e-commerce experience. It requires knowledge of the product itself, what users care about, exceptional UX/UI, and custom frontend development. 

But it’s worth it. It immerses users in the functionality of its product. It shows–not tells–what makes a Pixel 6a unique. 

Internal benefits

By owning how your store interacts with users, you can easily swap vendors in and out, avoiding lock-in and having the flexibility to change/upgrade when needed. 

Your marketing or e-commerce team can also conduct more testing and tweak the shopping experience for the user. This freedom doesn’t exist within e-commerce platforms alone. 

Proactive teams with the ability to give users a better e-commerce experience? That’s the kind of resiliency top brands need in today’s digital landscape. 

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Jonathan Whiteside

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The five best e-commerce platforms and how to choose

Website E commerce platforms
Victor Marcus Lunde
Victor Marcus Lunde
Account Director
17 August 2022

In 2021, worldwide e-commerce sales grew to about $4.9 trillion US dollars

Even more impressive, this trillion-dollar number is expected to grow by a whopping 50% over the next four years. 

There’s never been a better time to be in e-commerce. 

There’s also never been a more high-stakes time to be in e-commerce.

Getting everything right–from technology to marketing to order management–could set you up for success in the next decade. On the other hand, getting it wrong puts you at risk. 

Implementing the right e-commerce platform is a huge piece of the puzzle for e-commerce success. But there are so many options out there. How do you confidently and efficiently select a platform? 

We have experience with most of the leading e-commerce platforms available today, and we’ve worked with a number of diverse companies across countless industries to understand who should select what, and why.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the most popular e-commerce platforms, share the pros and cons, and simplify which platform is best for you.

Finding a platform that’s right for you

There is no single “best” e-commerce platform, but there is one that’s best for you. Which platform is ideal for you depends on a number of factors, most importantly your:

  • Business model
  • Core capabilities
  • Internal team structure
  • Top channels

It always comes back to what your business wants and needs. What is your team best at? What are your business’ challenges, objectives, and goals? 

Other things to consider are how you manage your channels (where are we selling?), order management, product information management (PIM), and even warehouse management. Ultimately you want an e-commerce platform that fits into your other technologies and processes. 

Understanding your technology goals is critical to selecting the best e-commerce platform for your online store.  Below we’ll dive further into which platform is best for certain business models and team structures.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Best for business-focused brands 1

Website: Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Market size: Enterprise and mid-market 

Pros: Easy to use, heavy customisation, and an immersive brand experience. Get a 360º view of your customer by adding Salesforce’s other products such as Pardot, CPD and Mulesoft. 

Cons: The fee to use Salesforce is a percentage of your revenue, so if you’re already operating on thin margins, other options might be better for you. 

Cost: Between 0.5 and 2% of your sales revenue.

The best thing about it: Since Salesforce is such a robust product, you don’t need to hire an engineering team to manage the platform. This lets you focus on what you’re best at. 

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is the ideal solution for brands selling directly to their customers, like Patagonia

It may not be as ideal for retailers selling Patagonia, like REI and Macy’s, because of the way the Salesforce licence cuts into margins. 

For brands with wider margins, Salesforce is worth the cost, because the Salesforce engineering team upkeeps the system, allowing brands to hire fewer engineers, and instead focus on their core capabilities. 

Salesforce is also excellent for internationally-operating brands, or brands with international ambition. Across markets, it’s flexible and easy to set up storefronts with localised language, content, etc. To give you an idea, Bugaboo was set up on Salesforce Commerce Cloud for 26 Countries in just four months.

Finally, elastic hosting automatically scales up and down depending on demand (Cyber Monday shopping, for example). 

Important to know

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is an “out of the box” solution providing a standard retail store, so it takes design and development effort to align it with your brand and differentiate it from other Salesforce stores. 

DEPT® has vast experience creating custom, immersive Salesforce storefronts for customers like GANT and Canyon in addition to Patagonia and Bugaboo, so reach out if you need this support.  

B2B platform

It’s also worth mentioning that there are two versions of Salesforce Commerce Cloud: one for B2C; and another for B2B businesses. 

The B2B solution essentially automates everything an account manager would do, including automation and workflows, repeat orders, different price lists, and different payment methods.


Best for business-focused brands 2

Website: Optimizely

Market size: Enterprise

Cost: Licensed based on volume of annual transactions 

Best thing about it: Optimizely offers dedicated B2C and B2B products, both of which are centred around creating highly unique shopping experiences, which can be easily personalised with data-driven recommendations. 

Optimizely B2C Commerce is a complete suite for digital commerce and content management (rather than having a separate CMS), enabling brands to provide rich product and content experiences. 

Meanwhile, Optimizely B2B Commerce enables brands to minimise the complexity of their commerce stack by providing means to manage catalogues, check out and orders all within one view. It’s designed to help manufacturers and distributors drive efficiency and increase revenue through meaningful customer experiences.


Best for brands who are also tech companies 

Website: commercetools

Market size: Enterprise 

Pros: “Headless commerce”, which makes it easy to create storefronts on any channel, leverages your engineering team’s skills, and it’s easy to build subscription options. 

Cons: Requires a strong engineering organisation, with processes like CI/CD.

Cost: +$2,500 USD per month.

Best thing about it: Headless commerce reduces the risk of experimenting with unique storefronts. Businesses can quickly test new channels without spending too much time or resources. 

commercetools is best for companies that consider themselves tech companies, with high-functioning engineering teams that want to utilise the absolute best in tech. 

With commercetools, you build APIs rather than a storefront, similar to headless CMSes. This gives your team the flexibility to add new storefronts and points of sale quickly. You can build a store on not only websites and mobile apps, but also on IoT devices, digital signage, and virtual reality. 

An example of this is Audi. Audi wanted to be able to create a store within their luxury cars, so users could purchase in-car services, like satellite radio. Using commercetools, they don’t have to separate their in-car storefront, they can simply build a new API and the store renders. 

If you believe you have special requirements for your e-commerce store, commercetools is probably a good solution. 

Shopify & Shopify Plus

Best for new-to-retail

Website: Shopify Plus

Market size: Mid-market 

Pros: Inexpensive, easy to use, extremely customisable, and robust features. Headless commerce is an option through Shopify Plus. 

Cons: Multi-country retail is difficult.

Cost: A percentage of your gross marketable value (GMV).

Best thing about it: It’s so easy to use, you don’t need a robust engineering team. 

Shopify took over in the early 2010s when other e-commerce solutions failed to live up to the new e-commerce world. Today, they are still a major player, but other options have caught up (and even surpassed) their capabilities. However, that’s not to say they’re a weak option. They are ideal for new and/or smaller e-commerce stores. Shopify also makes it easy to migrate from other e-commerce platforms. 

Shopify vs. Shopify Plus 

Shopify Plus adds multiple features on top of the standard Shopify e-commerce platform. Any large brand or retail company would want to use Shopify Plus because Shopify is only suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. 

Some of the advanced features you get with Shopify Plus include:

  • Headless e-commerce approach
  • Greater control over shipping methods, customer fields
  • Wholesale e-commerce channels 
  • Easy integrations with product information, inventory management, warehouse management, etc.  
  • Robust analytics 

Adobe (formerly Magento)

Best for Adobe users 

Website: Adobe Commerce

Market Size: Mid-market.

Pros: Acquired by Adobe in 2019, Magento is an open-source, scalable, SaaS version, that integrates with Adobe products like Marketo, Experience Manager, and Adobe Creative Cloud. 

Cons: Magento has split into two products–Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce. This is a bit volatile. 

Cost: Based on your business’ gross merchandise value (GMV) and average order value (AOV).

Best thing about it: That it integrates with Adobe’s suite of products.

This particular e-commerce solution used to be Magento, an open-source PHP platform. It was extremely popular around 2010 when online shopping became widely available. 

However, it wasn’t built to scale alongside online stores. So as online commerce exploded, Magento couldn’t keep up, and thousands of customers fled to Shopify. 

Times are changing since Adobe purchased Magento to rebuild it. Focusing on the future of e-commerce, Magento is splitting into two viable options

While Adobe Commerce will move “towards composable microservices hosted in the cloud, only suitable for the largest merchants,” Magento Open Source will go back to open-source, hobbyist, and scalable technology. 

We think both commerce solutions will grow in popularity, especially for those that already use Adobe’s suite of products. 

Other e-commerce contenders 

There are a few other players worth mentioning, Shopware, Spryker and BigCommerce. 


Shopware isn’t quite as popular as Shopify and Adobe, but its flexibility and customisation make it worth considering. Shopware gives you the ability to “make every touchpoint shoppable” alongside advanced user personalisation.  

A technical benefit of Shopware is the nature of its tech stack, powered by Symfony and Vue.js. PHP and javascript are some of the most popular and community-supported technologies available, which means engineer turnover won’t hurt your agility as much as other, more complex platforms (Salesforce, for example). 


Spryker is ideal for marketplaces and B2B commerce but also has B2B commerce capabilities. Because it was founded only a few years ago (2018) Spryker’s tech stack is incredibly modern, which development teams like. It is also “headless.”

With its modern tech stack and third-party integrations, Spryker’s futuristic features allow businesses to take advantage of the newest technology. This includes car commerce, click and collect, and IoT devices.  


If Shopify lacks some of the robustness you need, but you don’t have the resources for something super custom, BigCommerce is probably an ideal solution for you. It is still an out-of-the-box, easy-to-use platform, but has more tools and integrations than some of its competitors. 

It’s ideal for smaller businesses, costing between $400-20,000 per month. The only downside is that managing inventory may not be as intuitive compared to other platforms. 

Selecting your ideal platform

Similar to which e-commerce platform is ideal for your business, the selection process also depends on your business and teams. 

If you’re large enough to have a dedicated e-commerce team, then this team will lead the decision-making. If you’re direct-to-consumer, your CMO will have more weight. And if you’re a B2B company, your IT team will understand the capabilities needed over other teams. 

Of course, your technology team should always be involved, since they understand technical implementation, third-party integrations, and other things needed to make the system work. Having a team of technical experts alongside your day-to-day admins of the systems is necessary to make the right decision. 

Once you’ve selected your platform, there are a few projects outside the scope of onboarding. 

The biggest one, in our opinion, is designing your store so it doesn’t look like the platform’s out-of-the-box catalogue.  Getting your brand’s personality across a templated, regimented store is difficult but necessary to win over savvy consumers of today. 

If you need help comparing, selecting, or designing your e-commerce platform, reach out to the team at DEPT®. We offer complementary services across technology engineering, creative, and growth marketing to help your e-commerce store succeed in the digital economy.


Account Director

Victor Marcus Lunde

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5 conversations every CMO & CTO should have

business meeting conversations
Kelsey Anderson
Kelsey Anderson
Sr. Content Marketing Manager
23 May 2022

Technology and marketing functions have never been more intertwined. Digital innovation and marketing data have empowered both areas to produce better products and campaigns at scale. 

However, it’s a very different story when it comes to the teams that make up marketing and engineering. 

With headlines like Marketers and Engineers: Why Can’t We Just Get Along?, it’s no surprise that these two teams don’t always hold hands and sing Kumbaya. 

This tension is due to a few things, including inter-department culture, risk aversion, duties, and conflicting personalities. 

The relationship and silo between marketing and engineering are exactly why leadership, namely CMOs and CTOs, should create a working relationship. 

The best place to start?

Conversations around teamwork, resourcing, and priorities.  

Here are a few crucial conversations that marketing and engineering leaders should have to unify their teams and create a culture of collaboration.

CMO working with CTO

How do we balance our teams’ priorities?

Marketing and engineering teams move at vastly different speeds, which can cause friction.  

Marketing and creative teams move quickly because they’re working inside established systems. And engineering teams tend to work slower because they must consider the backend plus things like security. 

It isn’t rare for a marketing team to say, “we need a landing page tomorrow.” For engineers, this way of working can be hard, or even impossible when there are valid technical concerns that marketing is unaware of. 

Therefore, CMOs and CTOs should discuss their teams’ priorities, and how they can balance both. 

Both leaders should understand what kind of tasks require more engineering work than meets the eye e.g., integrating data from third parties, processing credit cards, and processing personal data. 

How often will our teams roadmap together? 

A product team will have a different roadmap from marketing, and that’s okay. Not all new features are ideal for a marketing campaign (users don’t download an app because of its SSO capabilities).  

Also, product and engineering teams are more focused on continuous discovery/delivery while a marketing team might be optimized via quarterly campaigns. 

However, don’t let these differences in approach discourage frequent roadmap collaboration. 

Marketing teams should join roadmap meetings several times per year. Without that perspective, your marketing strategy won’t be as effective. 

How often is ultimately up to you, but it’s worth having a conversation to hash out the details.  

What kind of internal resources can marketing use? 

Without a real policy in place, marketing teams are constantly asking engineers for favours. This can create hostility between teams, de-prioritisation, and even missed deadlines. 

If using an internal team, marketing leaders need to work with technology to budget for internal resources. This probably looks like a monthly allotment of hours, with the engineering team “billing” the marketing department. It could be one dedicated engineer, or more flexible.

There are many ways to make this work, but it’s a good idea to create a clear plan. 

If using external resources, there are likely additional conversations to have around security and team integration. 

How can we get our teams to work together? 

Besides the obvious, “tell your team to be nice,” this is an ongoing initiative that hopefully goes through iterations over time. 

The focus here is to build a culture of empathy within your teams. But the specifics of how you’re going to do it need to be discussed. 

Each leader needs to understand the pressure of the other team, so you can reframe the challenges and work together. 

Engineering teams are often overburdened, and marketing needs to empathise with this. 

Marketing teams are comfortable with trial and error–not every task will launch perfectly, and engineering should recognize that’s okay. 

It’s your duty to implement programs that force collaboration. 

Where does the technical risk lie in marketing? 

Hopping on the latest marketing trend the day after a cultural phenomenon might be part of your team’s marketing strategy. 

However, fast and furious marketing campaigns do have technical risks. The engineering team needs to be aware of these risks, and marketing understands the implications. 

Without this, you end up with bugs and broken websites during peak traffic. 

Marketing and tech leaders should discuss philosophy, marketing strategy, and technology requirements on an ongoing basis. Ask things like, Where is the risk for our business? and What initiatives impose that risk? 

Just like teams shouldn’t be siloed in an organisation, CMOs and CTOs need to communicate frequently to ensure marketing and technology are aligned.

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Sr. Content Marketing Manager

Kelsey Anderson

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Tag førertrøjen på i B2B-handel

people escalator
Jonas Roland Therkildsen
Jonas Roland Therkildsen
Managing Director
10 February 2022

B2B-handel har tidligere været præget af en meget traditionel måde at drive forretning på, med relationer bygget på og plejet gennem ansigt-til-ansigt interaktioner mellem virksomheder og sælgere. Men på tværs af alle brancher satte pandemien skub i et skift til digitale løsninger, og det globale B2B e-handelsmarked er nu værdisat til 14,9 milliarder USD, mere end fem gange større end B2C-markedet.

Mange virksomheder investerer kraftigt i at etablere og optimere e-handelsplatforme, der vil hjælpe dem med at blive store spillere i den digitale verden. Men der er en række udfordringer, som skal overvindes. B2B-handel kan være ekstremt kompleks: fra lange købscyklusser og komplicerede krav og love til prisforstyrrelser. Men bare fordi noget er komplekst, betyder det ikke, at det ikke både kan gå gnidningsfrit og være virkningsfuldt.

Dette tema blev vendt ved ‘Optimising the Future’, DEPT® o
Optimizelys fælles virtuelle event designet til at inspirere og accelerere digitale strategier i 2022 og fremover. Head of Strategy & Innovation hos DEPT®, Philipp Bruns, satte sig sammen med Optimizelys Product Management Director, Marc Bohnes, for at diskutere, hvordan B2B-handelsplatforme kan udvikle sig for at matche de B2C-oplevelser, vi alle har lært at kende og efterhånden forventer. Her kan du læse deres tre bedste bud på, hvordan virksomheder kan revolutionere deres B2B-handelsløsninger.

#1 Tag forbrugerens briller på

Både pandemien og kundernes stigende forventninger til den digitale kunderejse har været med til at drive den digitale forandring inden for B2B-handel. Det skyldes, at kunderne har været tilbøjelige til at basere deres krav på deres personlige oplevelser inden for den mere digitalt fremskredne B2C-handel.

Standarden af den digitale shoppingoplevelse sættes af B2C-virksomhederne. Og virksomheder på B2B-markedet bliver nødt til at
følge med udviklingen. Forbrugerne forventer intuitiv UX, der fører dem gennem en gennemført købsoplevelse, der henvender sig til den enkelte bruger og netop dennnes behov.

Med de rigtige teknologiske løsninger kan problematikker som komplicerede ordresystemer eller bekymringer om shipping løsespå mere effektive og interessante måder, end det ofte er tilfældet inden for B2B. Det er muligt, at B2B-produkter ikke altid er lige så spændende som B2C-produkter. Men kundekontakten bliver nødt til at være det. For når alt kommer til alt, så er B2B-kunderne også B2C-kunder når de har fri.

#2 Udnyt styrken ved personalisering

De fleste virksomheder ville aldrig drømme om at begrænse fremragende kundeservice til deres B2C-kunder, og det samme burde gælde for  personalisering. Ikke desto mindre har taktikken hidtil udelukkende været målrettet forbrugerne. Men B2B-kunder efterspørger også mere personlige oplevelser. Ifølge Accenture har 73% af B2B-ledere et voksende antal kunder, der ønsker en mere personlig digital interaktion med virksomhederne.

Den kolde og generiske interaktionstaktik, der dominerer B2B-landskabet, kræver en overhaling. Personalisering giver brands mulighed for at interagere med kunder på mere relevante måder, baseret på deres præferencer eller onlineadfærd, og kan samtidig adskille deres digitale oplevelser fra konkurrenterne.

Mange B2C-brands oplever succes som resultat af øget personalisering. Hele 80% af forbrugerne er mere tilbøjelige til at købe fra virksomheder, der tilbyder en personlig oplevelse, 44% af de kunder, der oplever personalisering, er parate til at købe igen. Og ligesom det kan fremme brandloyalitet blandt B2C-kunderne, kan det også hjælpe B2B-brands med at opbygge profitable, langsigtede relationer med købere.

#3 Vær klar til forandring

Vedtagelse af digitale processer er blot det første skridt mod at blive en udfordrer inden for e-handel på B2B-området.

Hvis virksomheder skal kunne overgå kundernes konstant skiftende forventninger og implementere nye forretningsstrategier for at opnå eller bibeholde en konkurrencefordel, kræver det kontinuerlig forbedring og innovation. Virksomhederne  skal også overvåge og reagere på den kontinuerlige udvikling af digital handel.

Digitaliseringen af ​​B2B-handel tager fart, og det vil kun fortsætte. For virksomheder, der er villige til at investere i at blive virkelig kundecentrerede, er mulighederne uendelige.

Skal vi hjælpe dig forvandle dit B2B-handels-set-up fra kedeligt og konventionelt til intelligent og fremtidssikret? Klik nedenfor for at se hele samtalen eller kontakt en specialist fra vores team.

Untitled design 20

Optimising the Future: B2B commerce

Watch the full session on demand


Managing Director

Jonas Roland Therkildsen

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CMS eller DXP? En guide til content management-jargon

29 Dept Office Images 16thOctober2019
Jonas Roland Therkildsen
Jonas Roland Therkildsen
Managing Director
20 January 2022

Der er mange grunde til, at det kan være en god idé at tage et CMS (content management system) op til genovervejelse. Måske giver jeres nuværende platform jer ikke den funktionalitet eller agilitet, I har behov for. Måske er du i tvivl, om I har valgt den mest rentable løsning. Måske har I netop opkøbt en anden forretning og vil gerne strømline og samle jeres sites på en centraliseret platform. Måske vækster I globalt og har behov for et system, der er skalerbart. Måske ønsker I at give kundeoplevelsen et løft med avanceret personalisering. Måske vil I gerne begrænse jeres udgifter. Eller måske er I bare ikke tilfredse med den support og de forbedringer, jeres nuværende softwareudbyder tilbyder.

At finde den rette teknologi til at drive din digitale forretning er afgørende, når det kommer til realisering af jeres digitale ambitioner og langsigtede mål. Men det er ikke altid nemt. Det digitale landskab bugner af mulige løsninger, og CMS har været under rivende udvikling i de seneste år og er nu vokset til platforme, der kan drive multi-digitale oplevelser. Det har medført en fremmarch af de nye Digital Experience Platforms – eller i daglig tale: DXP’er.
Dertil kommer de mulige arkitekturløsninger. Bør I vælge headless, hybrid eller monolith? Best-of-breed eller best-of-need? Og hvad med hosting? Skal det være on premise, SaaS eller PaaS? For at hjælpe jer i jeres søgen efter den ideelle platform har vi sammensat en guide til de mange muligheder derude for at forklare forskellene mellem de enkelte løsninger.

CMS eller DXP?

CMS = et system til at styre content

Et Content Management System (CMS) giver mulighed for at styre og publicere digitalt content på tværs af hjemmesider, apps og digitale kanaler. Uden at behøve at have kendskab til programmering eller at være afhængige af en IT-afdeling kan brugerne uploade billeder, videoer, tekster og dokumenter, bygge sider og nemt redigere information. Her kan I som minimum regne med WYSIWYG-redigering (What You See Is What You Get; det vil sige, at det ser ud i CMS-systemet, som det vil se ud for brugerne på siden), brugertilladelser, content-modellering, versionskontrol og workflow-funktioner.

Tænk: Drupal og WordPress

WCMS: et CMS til internettet

Et Web Content Management System (WCMS) er en type CMS, der er lavet specifikt til content på nettet. Det betyder, at de fleste CMS falder i denne kategori. I sammenligning med basale CMS tilbyder WCMS både flere muligheder og bedre muligheder for tilpasning. Mere avancerede funktioner inkluderer oversættelse, SEO, administration af flere sites, deling på sociale medier, plugins og integrationer, godkendelsesworkflows og personalisering. Et WCMS giver også marketing mulighed for at dele content på flere digitale kanaler.

Tænk: SDL Tridion og Contentful

DXP: content som en del af en platform

En Digital Experience Platform (DXP) er et sæt teknologier, der er knyttet sammen for at hjælpe organisationer drive deres kunders digitale oplevelser. Content management udgør en stor del af det, men en DXP-platform dækker også dataanalyse, søgning, optimering, marketing automation  og e-commerce. En DXP forener alle kontaktpunkter: hjemmeside, webapplikationer, app, billboards, kundeportaler, sociale medier og IoT-enheder.  Gennem et enkelt system kan marketingmedarbejdere skabe en stærk gnidningsfri kundeoplevelse.

Tænk: SitecoreOptimizelyAdobe

Best-of-need or best-of-breed?

Best-of-Need er en række af produkter, der er allerede er integrerede med hinanden og har en fælles brugergrænseflade. Det er en generaliseret snarere end en specialiseret tilgang: Det enkelte produkt i rækken er ikke det bedste af sin slags, men det opfylder sædvanligvis de basale behov, de fleste organisationer har.

Tænk: Sitecore, OptimizelyAdobe 

Best-of-Breed er ofte nichesystemer, der varetager specialiserede funktioner bedre end et integreret system, i reglen med muligheden for hurtigt at tilføje eller udskifte komponenter efter behov. En af de primære ulemper ved denne type platforme er, at de ofte kommer fra forskellige udbydere og derfor skal integreres med jeres eksisterende systemer.

Think:  SDL Tridion

Arkitekturen: Traditionel, headless eller hybrid?

Arkitekturen bag din content management-løsning er en kritisk faktor, der er vigtig at overveje nøje. Mens traditionelle CMS-platforme engang var standarden, er den såkaldte headless-tilgang, der adskiller front-end fra back-end, nu ved at vinde indpas på grund af dens fleksibilitet og cross-platform-support. Det giver frihed til eksempelvis at koble flere elementer på samme back-end, eksempelvis en app og marketingværktøj, der skal bruge samme indhold.

Headless er rettet mere mod udviklere, mens det traditionelle CMS er mere marketingmedarbejder-venligt. En hybrid mellem de to tager den gyldne mellemvej og stiler efter at give udviklere og medarbejdere det bedste af begge verdener.


Traditionelle CMS-platforme giver marketingmedarbejdere mulighed for at skabe, redigere og publicere content via en WYSIWYG-brugergrænseflade (What You See Is What You Get; content fremstår i CMS, som det vil gøre på sitet). Da content-redigeringen er tæt koblet med præsentationslaget, er det ikke nødvendigt at kode for at styre aspekter som sidestruktur, sitemaps og skabeloner. 

Efterhånden som digitale kanaler og enheder som smart watches, smart-højtalere og smart-biler bliver mere og mere udbredte, bliver begrænsningerne ved et traditionelt CMS stadig mere klare. Traditionelle CMS-systemers nære kobling mellem redigeringsflade og præsentationsflade dikterer, hvor og hvordan content skal distribueres. Der er ikke meget plads til fleksibilitet eller skalering. Af denne grund egner et traditionelt CMS sig bedst til virksomheder, der hovedsageligt bruger en basal, statisk hjemmeside.

Tænk: SDL Tridion


Headless behandler front-end og back-end som separate systemer med en specifik rolle i et større landskab. Fordi contentproduktionen er adskilt fra præsentationslaget, kan marketingmedarbejdere genbruge et stykke content på en hvilken som helst aktuel eller fremtidig kanal. 

Udviklere kan skabe nye digitale kanaler og oplevelser uden at være bundet til frameworks eller et kodesprog. CMS leverer content som rå data ved hjælp af et API (Application Programming Interface; dvs. et værktøj, der kobler to systemer med hinanden og faciliterer udveksling af data) til enhver tilgængelig kanal, eksempelvis hjemmesider, apps, IoT-enheder, digitale selvbetjeningsstandere osv., for at skabe en omnichannel-oplevelse. Til gengæld betyder headless-tilgangen, at marketingmedarbejderne mister muligheden for at redigere indholdet direkte i den kontekst, den er relateret til, fordi det kræver udvikling at lave ændringer i præsentationslagene.

Udviklerne får til gengæld langt mere handlerum med en headless-løsning. Denne løsning giver nemlig mulighed for at bruge en hvilken som helst front-end-teknologi og åbner op for hurtigere udvikling og fri eksperimentering uden at påvirke arbejdet i back-end.

Og hvorfor kaldes det headless? Teknisk set er metoden “API-first”. Det vil sige, at man først og fremmest tænker i distribution af data, og dernæst bygger front-end på den tilgængelige data der, hvor man skal bruge den, eksempelvis en hjemmeside eller en app.

Tænk: Contentful


Et hybrid-CMS kombinerer den API-drevne headless-arkitektur via front-end-tilgangen fra et traditionelt CMS. Køreklare front-end-skabeloner giver marketingmedarbejdere mulighed for nemt at styre opsætningen og vedligeholdet af deres content og giver dem samtidig også mulighed for at integrere forskellige værktøjer selv, fx til statistik,  intern rapportering eller lignende.

Udviklerne har stadig frihed til at innovere og løbende udvikle nye og forbedre eksisterende kanaler og touchpoints. Men mens den hybride tilgang forener det bedste af begge verdener, får man desværre også nogle ulemper fra begge løsninger med i købet.

I sammenligning med et traditionelt CMS-system er en hybrid-arkitektur mere kompleks og egner sig ikke til organisationer, der primært leder efter et CMS-system til en simpel hjemmeside. Den ansvarshavende medarbejder for hver kanal vil typisk ønske dedikeret udvikling for at opnå en løsning med de rette muligheder og funktioner. Et hybrid-CMS-system er også mindre brugervenligt end et traditionelt CMS-system og inkluderer derfor en stejl læringskurve for marketingteamet. 

Hybrid-CMS løsninger opstår ofte ved opgradering og videreudvikling af eksisterende systemer, hvor headless bliver mulig i nyere versioner af software. Det betyder samtidig, at det også er muligt, at der på traditionelle CMS kommer upgrades, der gør det nemmere at skifte til headless-løsninger på en eksisterende platform. 

Overvejer I en hybrid løsning, er det vigtigt at verificere dens API’er og evaluere, om de viser alle funktioner, samt hvor veldokumenterede de er. Ideelt set bør der være support til kontinuerlige automatiske opgraderinger, da det vil eliminere den hovedpine, der hedder dyre opgraderinger.

Tænk: Optimizely

Open source eller med licens?

Afhængigt af jeres behov kan begge være mulige løsninger. Mange udbydere tilbyder begge typer, med open source community-versioner og mulighed for at tilkøbe ekstra tjenester under en proprietær virksomhedslicens.

Open source

Fordi kildekoden er frit tilgængelig til både anvendelse og modificering, er det gratis at bruge og tilpasse et open source-CMS-system. WordPress har eksempelvis en loyal brugerskare, der udbedrer fejl og tilbyder nye funktioner gennem gratis eller premium plugins. Et open source-CMS har dog også sine ulemper.

Open source-CMS-systemer har i reglen færre af de funktioner, større virksomheder typisk har behov for – eksempelvis tilhørende systemer som CRM og dashboards – og mangler ofte professionel support. Og fordi der er en nærmest uanet mængde mulige løsninger på et specifikt behov, kræver det både tid og ressourcer at vælge den rette. Dertil kommer, at tilpasning for at opnå de nødvendige funktioner hurtigt kan blive så dyrt, at det udelukker det primære argument for at overveje open source til at starte med. Af denne grund er et open source-CMS-system bedst til mindre projekter og basale hjemmesider.

Tænk: Drupal

Med licens

Ved at betale for en licens opnår du både support og mere avancerede funktioner beregnet til større virksomheder. Disse løsninger lever typisk op til højere krav end deres open source modstykker. Et proprietært CMS-system er mere robust og inkluderer mere brugervenlige og intuitive brugergrænseflader. Og eftersom du betaler for en licens, kan du også forvente et højt niveau af support, så du kan få mest muligt ud af din investering. 

Men selv når du har betalt for en licens, får du ikke nødvendigvis fri adgang til kildekoden. Dine muligheder for at innovere og følge med tidens trends vil derfor være begrænset af din udbyders udvikling. Det til trods vil organisationer, der gerne vil tage deres digitale tilstedeværelse til det næste niveau, stadig være bedst tjent med et proprietært CMS-system.

Tænk: SitecoreOptimizelyAdobeSDL Tridion

On-premise, SaaS eller PaaS?


Med on-premise står du selv for at vedligeholde alt: fra server-hardware og netværk til software. Det stiller derfor store krav til jeres IT- og udviklingsressourcer, da det kræver, at I har den nødvendige viden og ikke mindst tid. Samtidig er det også sværere at skalere med denne løsning, da det vil kræve, at I erhverver nye servere for at opnå ekstra kapacitet. 

Med andre ord er on-premise en ressourcekrævende løsning og giver typisk kun mening for forretningsområder, der er juridisk udfordrende at drive uden for egne fire vægge eller er så specialiserede, at det ikke er muligt at drive uden for sin forretning – f.eks. trading-automatisering og lignende, hvor hastighed og kontrol er vigtigere end udgifter til drift.

Tænk: Drupal


Med Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) er platformen hostet i skyen af en ekstern udbyder. Det eliminerer udfordringer med implementering og vedligehold såvel som investering i hardware. Du betaler for et abonnement på platformens softwareløsning, per bruger og for en bestemt periode.  Der er mindre kontrol og mindre mulighed for at lave tilpasninger, så I vil være afhængige af, udbyderen er pålidelig og stærk til kundesupport. Derudover stiller de fleste SaaS-udbydere kun CMS-systemet til rådighed i back-end, så I vil være nødt til selv at hoste og drive front-end, eksempelvis via Azure, AWS eller Google.


Med Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) er det sædvanligvis både CMS og front-end, der er hostet af udbyderen i en cloud løsning som for eksempel Azure eller AWS. PaaS tilbyder et ekstra lag af kontrol ved at stille en single-tenant-infrastruktur til rådighed. Med jeres eget IT-miljø i skyen kan I tilpasse og skræddersy jeres CMS til bedre at matche jeres målsætninger. I sammenligning med SaaS er PaaS dog forbundet med flere udfordringer med hensyn til tilpasning, implementering og opgradering af softwaren.

DEPT® har hjulpet mange virksomheder vælge den rette digitale teknologi til netop deres behov. Kontakt os i dag for uvildig rådgivning fra vores teknologieksperter.

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