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The Where Content and Commerce Collide report provides insight and recommendations for how content can be combined with ecommerce, for example how it is resourced and what business models organisations are using.

It provides an examples of what ecommerce practitioners are currently doing and the role they are setting for content marketing within the overall digital strategy. The research has been commissioned by EPiServer, a global software provider for ecommerce, CMS and digital marketing solutions.

The focus is on qualitative data, explaining what companies are currently doing and providing quotes and direct insight from the people responsible for the content marketing plan.

Companies who have contributed to the research include Key Music Group, Lovehoney, Schuh, MR PORTER, RS Components, Selfridges, The Wine Society, Marks & Spencer and The Watch Gallery.

What you'll learn

The Where Content and Commerce Collide report will help you learn through the experiences of peers and provides examples of how other companies are structuring their content marketing plans.

By reading the report you'll learn about:

  • Techniques and tools you can adopt to support your content marketing activity.
  • Additional resources you should consider covering in-house.
  • Where other ecommerce teams are focusing their efforts in 2014.

"Both B2C and B2B ecommerce is more challenging nowadays. Customer expectations are higher, competition is greater, we’re bombarded with marketing messages daily and it’s easy for customers to compare prices and switch allegiance. This report shows that companies appreciate the importance of high quality content for conversion, but are constrained by lack of resource and scalability."

- James Gurd, Owner, Digital Juggler


Phone interviews were conducted with leading ecommerce professionals in B2B and B2C organisations, both UK and international. The aim of the interviews was to explore how leading brands are integrating content into ecommerce journeys and what the future strategy of the business looks like, with the output being qualitative data and indicative charts based on the responses of interviewees.

The interviews followed the same format and were based on 10 key questions:

  1. What’s your current online approach to content marketing – commerce first/content first/ hybrid?
  2. What are the key drivers for investment in content marketing?
  3. Who has ownership and is there a dedicated content team?
  4. Do you have a content strategy and calendar in place and does it go beyond seasonal promotions?
  5. Do you produce content guidelines to maintain consistency?
  6. Are you actively using content to drive ecommerce sales? If ‘yes’, what types of content are most effective or you are planning to invest in?
  7. What tools do you use to help plan and deliver your content strategy?
  8. What key performance indicators (KPIs) are you using to measure the impact of content marketing and why?
  9. What are the roadblocks in your ecommerce operation?
  10. Where do you want to be by the end of 2014?

Who should read this report?

The primary audience is client-side ecommerce management teams. The report is best suited to ecommerce practitioners who have a hands-on role in managing and growing the ecommerce channel, whether they have direct ownership of the content marketing strategy or not. The types of job roles that will benefit from the research include:

  • Ecommerce Director
  • Marketing Director
  • Head of Ecommerce
  • Head of Marketing
  • Brand Manager
  • Ecommerce Manager
  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • Content Marketing Manager

There are also two secondary audiences who can benefit from the report: agencies and consultants. Both of these audiences require an understanding of the pressures and challenges facing their clients.

Author and contributors

James Gurd

This report has been written by James Gurd, an experienced ecommerce consultant with more than 12 years’ B2C and B2B experience client and agency side, providing ecommerce advice and support. He owns Digital Juggler and has worked with a wide range of ecommerce clients helping digital teams to create, implement and evolve digital strategy. 

James is also a guest blogger at Econsultancy - view the articles he's written on the blog.

Some of the companies and people who contributed to this report include:

  • Richard Landman, Owner, Key Music Group
  • Lucy Reeves, Content Manager, Lovehoney
  • Iris McSweeney, Web Content Manager, Schuh
  • Mario Muttenthaler, Director of Sales & Marketing, MR PORTER
  • Guy Magrath, Global Head of Ecommerce, RS Components
  • Claire Higgins, Head of Digital Marketing, Selfridges
  • Nicky Glennon, Head of Digital & Paul Trelford, Head of Copy, The Wine Society
  • David Walmsley, Director, Marks & Spencer
  • Angus Jenkins, Director of Ecommerce, The Watch Gallery 

Guidance on developing a content strategy

In the midst of the increasing focus and demand on content, Econsultancy can work with you to scope and define your content strategy.

We look at your people, process and technology, to help:

  • Develop frameworks to assess your content.
  • Review metrics, production and distribution channels.
  • Implement tools to develop your strategy and manage your ROI.

Find out more

Table of contents

  1. IntroductionWhere Content and Commerce Collide
    1. About Econsultancy
    2. About the author
  2. Foreword by EPiServer
    1. About EPiServer
  3. Methodology, Goals and Target Audience
    1. Research methodology
    2. Contributors
    3. Goals for the report
    4. Market context for this report
    5. Who this report is for
    6. How it helps ecommerce managers
  4. Key Drivers for Investment
    1. Avoiding the content/commerce separation
    2. Investment in content for SEO
    3. Content as a conduit for merchandising
  5. Ownership of Content Marketing
    1. Team structures
      1. The rise of editorial
      2. Central control, local delivery
    2. Use of external resource
  6. Content Strategy
    1. Ecommerce influencing content delivery
    2. Content calendar
    3. Multichannel planning
  7. Content Guidelines
    1. Using guidelines to influence commerce
    2. Ensuring external teams adhere to guidelines
    3. Hiring the right people
  8. Driving Ecommerce Through Content
    1. Using content to create the brand experience online
    2. Using content to develop relationships with product brand owners
    3. Content and multichannel campaigns
  9. Content Marketing KPIs
    1. The content marketing KPI spectrum
    2. Segmentation
    3. Lack of focus on attribution
  10. Results
    1. Positive customer feedback
    2. Curated product lists and editorial
    3. Increased spend
    4. PR exposure
    5. Campaign lifecycle
  11. Roadblocks
    1. Resource challenges
    2. Data as a future enabler
    3. No clear technology roadmap
  12. Next Steps and Future Focus

Download a copy of the report to learn more.

A free sample is available for those who want more detail about what is in the report.


  • Pdf SAMPLE: Where Content and Commerce Collide (611 KB PDF)
  • Pdf Disabled Where Content and Commerce Collide (2.06 MB PDF)

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