It’s the benefit of the open-source world; you don’t need to reinvent things, you can use things that are already out there.
Benno Wasserstein is Founder and Managing Director at Box UK, an award-winning global company specializing in enterprise software design and development across large-scale digital platforms. Their clients include Jaguar Land Rover, Sodexo, the British Medical Journal and RS Components.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Benno Wasserstein shares his insights on customer centricity, WordPress, open source, WooCommerce and headless technology.
Great Expectations (1:00)
What might have been a five-year digital transformation project is now a six-month digital transformation project. Timelines have shifted, and expectations have shifted.
Across the board, the customer-centric experience has become a fundamental part of digital marketing. E-commerce and online shopping have exploded since the beginning of the pandemic, as have customer expectations. Making that transition to digital can be a considerable challenge for organizations big and small.
As Benno Wasserstein notes, some businesses are dealing with old or outdated legacy systems; this can impact the customer experience considerably. However, you don’t necessarily need to get rid of that legacy system. You can modernize and enhance existing software and applications with an integrative solution like WordPress.
“You can do something very quickly and cost-effectively,” says Wasserstein. “You’re still meeting your core requirements but you’re able to meet those customer-centric requirements and you’re able to move faster. It’s kind of getting that balance in the best of both.”
Open Source Minds (2:51)
Speed is definitely a key factor. It’s the benefit of the open-source world; you don’t need to reinvent things, you can use things that are already out there.
One way to achieve greater speed and page load time is through an open-source CMS platform like WordPress. It enables fast track development through new and updated plugins, themes and design features created within the collaborative open-source community.
“The pandemic certainly accelerated that but I think WordPress was already on that journey, really moving fast track into the enterprise,” Wasserstein says. “Covid just pushed that even further.”
Aside from providing a solid customer experience, it’s important to remember that site speed is a Google ranking factor, giving faster sites a distinct SEO advantage.
Opening Up the Enterprise (4:13)
What you’ve got is a very rapid solution that’s far lower cost than some huge enterprise solution in a very short time period in comparison to what would usually be involved.
When you compare proprietary solutions to open source, it becomes clear that an open-source solution lends itself more to longevity since it can easily adapt to needed website changes and revisions. For example, WordPress is an ideal open-source platform due to its user-friendly design and flexibility; it is also a key solution for attracting different audiences as well as organic traffic, one of the holy grails of digital marketing. In fact, 30% of e-commerce traffic originates from organic search.
One of Box UK’s big e-commerce clients was looking to break into other markets but their core technology was geared toward existing markets. That challenge is just one reason why more businesses have transitioned from proprietary software to open-source platforms: increased accessibility and adaptability.
A new ebook from Box UK and WP Engine, Why WordPress Makes More Sense for the Enterprise, outlines how WordPress, a high-ROI alternative to legacy systems, can help enterprise organizations navigate current digital challenges.
WordPress + WooCommerce = Control (5:47)
The beautiful thing about WordPress and WooCommerce is they are part of the same ecosystem; you’ve got the best of both worlds now.
Close to 94% of WordPress customers choose the free customizable WooCommerce plugin for their online stores, which offers superior page speed and scalability to optimize the customer experience. WooCommerce integrates easily into WordPress and is equally intuitive.
The WordPress/WooCommerce relationship also gives control to the clients in terms of both content and development. “You’re not tied to specific types of developers because they’re the only ones that can work on it,” Wasserstein says. “You’ve got a huge community of very proficient developers.”
Headless Delivery (7:43)
Although headless is not a silver bullet, it’s definitely at the forefront.
In a study conducted by WP Engine, 66% of enterprise businesses reported already using headless technologies, up from 25% in 2019. Headless WordPress is ideal for publishing due to its straightforward and familiar interface and dashboard. The technology is also a clear asset for developers as it provides additional flexibility and streamlined channel delivery.
“To maintain your content in one place and then be able to shoot it out to wherever you need it is extremely powerful,” says Wasserstein.
Most importantly for businesses looking to make the switch, headless is faster. WP Engine’s new Headless WordPress solution Atlas, for one, is a platform with a page load speed that is 10 times faster than with WordPress alone.
Reaching the Headless Hesitant (8:45)
With headless you can move so fast and you can go as complicated as you want or do really lightweight. That’s where WordPress is a huge advantage.
Some enterprise businesses remain hesitant to adopting headless technologies. Their concerns range from security issues to maintaining and updating plugins. However headless technology creates a secure back-end user interface as well as proven flexibility for both content marketers and developers alike.
According to the State of Headless Global Research Report conducted by WP Engine, one of the best ways to optimize the customer experience is through the use of headless architecture and the fact that a skilled community of developers is constantly improving existing software. Headless can also impact go-to-market speed significantly.