Web Masters: Creating Shoppable Content

Giving non-technical professionals access to sophisticated technology that they can implement and use without the help of IT has become a key differentiator between today's software companies.


Zmags, for instance, empowers retail marketing and ecommerce professionals to create and rapidly publish shoppable digital experiences to increase user engagement and conversions - without writing a single line of code. Leading brands like New York & Company, Nike, Pier 1 Imports and many others use Zmags to connect with their customers.


Website Magazine caught up with Zmags CEO Brian Rigney as part of our tech interview series. Rigney discusses the benefits of creating shoppable experiences, the impact mobile commerce will have on the retail industry, and other insights into current and future demands on retail marketers.


What should we know about the industry in which you operate?


The challenge for any company with a website is that the traditional development and release process for creating and storyboarding a Web experience, then coding it, iterating on that, scheduling a release and then deploying the release, is broken. Why? Because the cycle from ideation to publishing is too expensive and simply takes too long. Put that against modern marketers' need to continually and quickly bring products, experiences, content and ideas to market, and clearly the process needs recalibrating.


There are newer and better technologies available now that enable marketers and ecommerce professionals to easily create rich, engaging and immersive experiences that are shoppable - and then to quickly deploy those experiences to a website. Moreover, it can be done without coding and in minutes.


The Zmags Creator platform does just that. It empowers marketing and ecommerce professionals to easily create and rapidly publish engaging shoppable digital experiences that increase user engagement and conversions-without the need to write a single line of code. It's quick to implement, easy to learn, reliable and scalable.


How will your services/products change in the next 1, 5, or 10 years?


We are incredibly focused on our customers and on understanding their challenges when it comes to creating and publishing rich, engaging Web experiences - beautiful transactional content sliders that invite the consumer in and allow them to shop from the moment they 'land,' for example. As part of that, we are committed to building exceptional platforms that make it easier and easier to create and deploy the content that increases engagement and drives higher conversion and revenue.


Our product will continue to evolve over the next years as customers' needs dictate, as they adopt new technology and as consumer-driven trends emerge and influence the goals of our customers.


Mobile is clearly a juggernaut, often the primary - and sometimes the only - digital touchpoint for consumers who expect a similar and relevant experience across a growing array of devices. Beyond m-commerce, new mobile technologies like wearables, beacons, location-based marketing and more are multiplying the opportunities to engage with consumers. Keeping abreast of these developments is naturally at the forefront of our product roadmap.


Throughout all of this, as innovation and technology barriers continue to fall and more and more back-end options become available, our products will remain easy to connect with - we connect today with leading ecommerce and content management platforms - and we will continue to work toward integrating with emerging companies and technologies.


Where is there the most demand for your services/products?


The most demand for our services is among ecommerce, marketing and merchandising professionals in the retail sector. For retailers, creating and publishing more content more frequently creates a reason for consumers to return and engage more often, across multiple devices and at higher engagement levels than before. This leads to more conversions and drives higher revenue.


The reality is that retail businesses (large and small) are hamstrung by legacy systems and processes that, on one level, fail to give them the fluidity to react quickly to market changes and on another, fail to provide the tools necessary to create campaigns based on their investment in content and their creativity.


Who are your competitors?


Competition to Zmags is more a question of what than who. That is, the primary competition is the change process for marketers to bringing in something new. At the same time, there is huge pressure on them to sustain a competitive edge by responding more quickly to changes in the marketplace, for example. The traditional process is broken in that it takes too long, is too expensive and often relies upon too many third parties. We find once our customers have tried Zmags Creator, there is no going back!


What are current trends impacting your business?


The rise of mobile commerce continues to be a major influencer on our business. Mobile commerce now makes up 16.4 percent of digital ecommerce sales - and its growth rate is continuing to accelerate.


Mobile is no longer an afterthought for our customers. It is increasingly the first place consumers encounter a business and requires the same care and effort that the desktop experience enjoys.


Anything else you'd like to add?


Come check out our newest product, Creator. It's incredibly easy to use, can be implemented in less than a day and will enable you to easily create and deploy the content that increases engagement and drives higher conversion and revenue. Of course, you can find us at https://zmags.com/.