What is your sixth biggest B2B eCommerce Challenge? Marketing content versus ERP content

If you’ve ever worked on an eCommerce project — or any website for that matter, you know how important content is for increasing conversions. The art of fine-tuning marketing content, campaigns, keywords and product descriptions is essential for ensuring customers find your products, get engaged and make purchases. Ensuring that content management is fluid, easy and non-technical was incredibly important when our team was building xTupleCommerce, the real-time, Web-based portal — connected to xTuple ERP — for sales and customer service.

Unfortunately, most eCommerce systems are built to handle products and shopping carts well, but they are not good at building marketing campaigns and various other content types like testimonials, blogs, reviews and company news. We’ve overcome this problem by building xTupleCommerce on top of the Drupal Content Management System (CMS). The Drupal system handles both eCommerce and content marketing very well. With Drupal, we can build content types that make it incredibly easy for customers to manage large amounts of content on their website (blogs, news, marketing pages, landing pages, etc.) as well as managing internal ads, promos, homepage carousels, and the like.

Consider Your Content Needs

There are many aspects of content that need to be considered. Let’s talk about each.

Marketing Content vs. ERP Content

xTuple Marketing Content Window

If you were to look at a Manufacturer's ERP and review the Product information, you’d quickly see that it is not optimized for customer browsing. Product descriptions, for example, are written for sharing technical information and very specific product details. This is great when you are working to help a customer on the phone find what they are looking for, or if your employees need to quickly review information about a product that is on the shelves, but it’s not efficient content for the typical Web user.

In the xTupleCommerce system, we have separated the product details into ERP information and Marketing information. In the ERP, additional fields were added that are specific to the eCommerce site. This allows you to write marketing descriptions for your customers and keep the detailed information for your employees in the ERP.

Now, imagine having about ten thousand products in your database. That is a daunting task: ro manually re-writine ten thousand product descriptions. To solve this, we have written scripts that duplicate the Product detail content into the marketing fields. This does a lot of work for you. Then your team will simply clean up the marketing data over time.

Search Engine Optimization

In addition to the product descriptions, fields were added for saving metadata, page titles, and keywords that are associated with the product, for discovery and identification purposes. These fields are what search engines such as Google use to index your products. Again, this is all managed in the ERP and is reflected on the xTupleCommerce website.

Marketing Campaign Content

Building an eCommerce site and allowing users to make purchases online is only the beginning of a successful eCommerce website. To continue growing your audience, improving your search engine results, and marketing your catalog of products, you must put effort into expanding your marketing campaigns.

The xTupleCommerce system is built on top of the Drupal Content Management System (CMS). Drupal is an open source leader in the Web industry. It’s the platform that leading organizations such as B&H Photography, Weather.com, and even Whitehouse.gov use. Not only is it extremely robust and secure, it’s built to make content management intuitive and fluid.

Managing internal advertisements, user accounts, content updates, blogs, home page carousels, promotions, and many other types of content is very easy with Drupal. You do not need to know any Web-based markup or styling languages such as HTML or CSS to work with Drupal. This empowers your marketing team to plan and execute marketing initiatives without the need of an IT team or coders.

Keep this powerful ease of use in mind when building an eCommerce site for a B2C (business-to-consumer) or B2B (business-to-business) audience. In order to drive traffic to your site — and to earn and support conversions — you are going to need to provide high quality content. Lots of it. In order to achieve this, be conscious of the platform you choose and make sure that it will provide the tools required to manage this aspect of your business, effortlessly.


As I promised, this is the next in a series of blog posts that introduces you to the xTupleCommerce system. Look for more upcoming information, and please don’t hesitate to contact me and the xTuple Web Services Group (WSG) team with questions.

My last post in the series was: What is your fifth biggest B2B eCommerce Challenge? Pricing schedules

Look for our YouTube Webinars on eCommerce and eCommerce tutorials on xTuple University.

Josh Fischer

Product Manager — xTupleCommerce, December 2013 - October 2018

xTuple’s Josh Fischer is passionate about launching successful Web projects — from online retailers and distributors to manufacturers big and small — to improve customer conversions (and bottom line profits!). As product manager of xTupleCommerce, Josh is developing revolutionary B2B eCommerce Web portals — integrated with open source xTuple Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) — to solve productivity and customer relationship issues for every business type and size. Josh writes and teaches about innovative strategy and technologies to build Web-based brands, launching startups, productivity and leadership, online presence and growth-hacking. Josh is a graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County with a B.S. in Visual Arts & New Media.