This post was written by John Kelly, Director of Product at Contentstack.
We believe CMS platforms, particularly headless CMSes, will have a crucial and integrated role in connecting the right person to the right product at the right time. This will be achieved through digital experience delivery using Contentstack and product discovery experiences with Constructor.
Notably, if content management and search-as-a-service platforms are the sparks, generative AI is a giant can of gasoline to light the fire. We see generative AI transforming the manner in which stories are told and products are bought online in several key ways.
1. Storytelling, broadly
By analyzing data on audience preferences and behaviors, generative AI will begin to suggest topics, formats, and tones that are more likely to engage specific audiences or cohorts that are important for content writers to reach. Marketers, content writers, and digital storytellers will be able to use generative AI as more of a storytelling tool. Those stories will be able to incorporate ecommerce and boost the product discovery experience overall.
2. Data integration
CMSes can integrate with search platforms to utilize their product data, while product discovery platforms can leverage content from a CMS to improve the accuracy and relevance of search results displayed on websites. There’s a virtuous cycle here, where the data within each product helps to enrich the other product and, over time, the product data and the digital experiences overall become extremely focused on customer value.
3. Personalized content
Understanding user interactions with digital experiences delivered from the CMS can help inform collection-building and product recommendations for an audience or cohort of visitors. Generative AI can further help here by tailoring content to user profiles by creating variations of a story that appeal to different audience segments. For example, it can adjust the language for different geos or markets, alter cultural references to match geographical locations, or emphasize certain product features over others based on past user interactions. In this way, content writers are empowered to scale their storytelling in ways that resonate on a personal level, increasing engagement and the effectiveness of their messaging.
4. Search optimization
Product discovery platforms can use CMS data to help generative AI build highly-convertive search engine results pages with richer previews and a more dynamic experience than traditional search results. Two facets are poised to help move search optimization forward: 1) based on user behavior and preferences, product discovery platforms can leverage AI to optimize on-site search features, such as predictive text and autocomplete; and 2) semantic search, powered by modern vector databases, will unlock the ability for users to engage more meaningfully with search tools. They can discuss how they’re feeling, what mood they’re in, what their partner’s preferences are, and what occasion brings them to the shopping experience in the first place. All that data can be used to generate recommendations, results, and an overall tailored experience that truly connects with the audience.
5. Insightful analytics
The combined data from CMS and AI search platforms can provide deeper insights into customer behavior, enabling content creators to tailor their strategies more effectively. Generative AI happens to be quite good at analyzing content performance data to help identify which elements resonate with audiences — such as specific phrases, topics, or content structures. Marketers and content writers can take this data to adapt their storytelling to align with these insights. For example, the data might show that stories with emotional appeal perform better with a certain demographic. These feedback loops allow for continuous refinement, ensuring writers can maintain a narrative that captures and retains audience attention over time.
It’s important to note that generative AI has the power to not only create, but also destroy. It can — and likely will — destroy the manner and methods in which traditional web experiences were created, served, and managed. Generative AI also holds a promise to unlock forms of creativity, productivity, and growth that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
Businesses and teams that recognize these possibilities are poised to lead in the years to come.