How Mattress Firm and Sotheby’s transformed e-commerce with content

image of Mattress Firm and Sotheby's logos

Discover how two leading brands in very different spaces of the e-commerce spectrum tackled the imperative to create superior content experiences in order to drive customer sales.

Creating a seamless customer journey, making every touchpoint and every user experience flawless, is the key to generating recurring sales. From the website to the brick and mortar store to the mobile app, every channel is an opportunity to create memorable, lasting experiences for consumers. And the better the experience, the greater chance you have of landing higher lifetime value customers. But that’s easier said than done.

We recently spoke with digital content leaders from Sotheby’s and Mattress Firm for insights into a successful content strategy for e-commerce. Though the two businesses are in very different industries, we learned that the same guiding principles helped both to find success with a content-to-commerce strategy.

Content’s role in a successful e-commerce strategy

When we talk about the role content plays in helping to deliver a successful online experience for consumers, there are three key factors for brands to keep in mind.

First and foremost, for e-commerce brands, the main objective for any content item is to drive revenue. Ultimately, content’s goal is to entice customers to make a purchasing decision. Standalone blogs and single-page websites are not the right strategy—rather, creating omnichannel content across every touchpoint through which people are connected will help bring in new customers and engage with existing ones.

Second, content plays a key role in helping consumers discover your brand. Today, people aren’t simply turning to familiar websites and companies; they’re also considering new brands who, especially during the pandemic, have delivered on the omnichannel experience they crave. In fact, 39% of the more than 8,000 consumers questioned for Bazaarvoice’s “Behavior That Sticks” report said that they had indeed purchased from new brands during the course of their regional lockdown periods. For e-commerce brands, too, content is the currency of search engine optimization (SEO), meaning well-produced product pages and high-quality content are need-to-haves in order to increase discoverability with consumers. At the end of the day, creative and enticing content that evokes your brand story is a strong driver of people buying into your brand.

Finally, once a brand is discovered, it needs a way to keep those customers coming back. For today’s e-commerce businesses, content is used as an iterative process for customer engagement. e-commerce brands that control their content distribution internally are able to fully measure and optimize what they’re putting out to continuously create new plus improve upon existing experiences.

It’s important to note that, at the center of all of the above instances that consider content’s role in a successful e-commerce strategy are micro-moments. Defined by Google as “an intent-rich moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need—to know, go, do, or buy”—micro-moments are based on the idea that consumers are bombarded by content, and brands as a result only have a few seconds to capture people’s attention. Those that can successfully deliver on people’s impulse to know, go, do or buy are the ones who will come out on top. Through the right content strategy that ensures information is available, easy to discover and consistent, brands can take these moments in time to help connect relevant consumers to relevant products.

Mattress Firm - Daily Doze landing page
The Mattress Firm website is the gateway for our customers into our brand and their experience with our company. And that’s the way we’re trying to treat it—as not just a transactional site but somewhere they can come in and learn, and that’s really where the content to commerce picks up.
Justin Laurenzi, Director of Digital Product & eCommerce, Mattress Firm

How Mattress Firm is modernizing its e-commerce experience through digital and content transformation

Like many traditional retailers, Mattress Firm was looking to strengthen their digital presence to reach customers beyond brick and mortar. The business partnered with Brightspot to relaunch and the company blog, The Daily Doze. Mattress Firm sought a more mature solution to better organize and deliver content. More recently, the firm relaunched, a highly immersive site dedicated to providing tools, resources and advice for achieving a better night's sleep.

At the beginning of their journey, they needed to address their limited abilities to test new content types and channels and feature that content alongside e-commerce promotions. They also needed to address the siloed back-end management of the blog content and improve the integrations between their systems.

To address these challenges, Mattress Firm partnered with Brightspot, allowing them to leverage the platform’s headless technology to deliver a better experience to existing and prospective customers. We were able to work with them to set up better integrations to work with the company’s data management and e-commerce partners. Distinct workflows and templates now allow for more efficient content creation and support the right people in seeing the right kinds of content. Mattress Firm can now surface content in new ways across their website and other channels to drive deeper engagement and more sales.

Laptop with Sothebys website
We discovered that we had great content in our company but it was not being leveraged digitally. We had systems that were set up to enable print media to be created to support our sales. There was great content living in these silos, but we had an old CMS with a lot of hard-coded templates that did not serve the ever-evolving needs of the content producers we have on our staff to tell stories and get people excited about the things we are selling.
Jonathan Pytell, VP of Digital Product Development, Sotheby’s

How Sotheby’s is enhacing digital auction dynamics with a storytelling toolkit

Sotheby’s began their content-to-commerce journey to become a company that delivers digital experiences and digital transactional capabilities across all of its channels in a more seamless fashion. Central to that need, they discovered they had great content but it was not being leveraged digitally. Their systems were set up to enable print media and print collateral first. One large challenge was their legacy CMS. It had many hard-coded templates that didn’t serve the ever-evolving digital needs of content producers to tell stories and get people excited about the auction pieces.

The auction space that Sotheby’s is in provides a unique content need compared to that of Mattress Firm. There are two separate personas with different goals that Sotheby’s has to interact with and engage—the buyer and the seller. To address these different audiences, their content-management solution had to be flexible and adaptable in order to enable a typical content-to-commerce funnel to function for the unique personas.

Sotheby’s partnered with Brightspot to build a new highly engaging user experience by delivering vivid images, powerful search, compelling stories and video content. We worked together to build a storytelling toolkit—a system of modules and interconnecting templates that enables talented video and content producers to let the content determine the layout. Where they were once thinking print-first, Sotheby’s content creation process is now about creating amazing digital experiences first.

To learn more about how Mattress Firm and Sotheby’s approach to content in their strategies, watch our on-demand webinar below.

Watch this on-demand webinar for insights into how top global brands use content and brand storytelling for more engaging customer experiences.

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About the Author
At Brightspot we believe technology should enable content-focused teams to work smarter, faster, and more seamlessly to move businesses forward. With decades of experience in publishing and media, we help companies transform their business content and digital experiences by creating enterprise applications at scale with astonishing speed.

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