Content management systems (CMS) have been around to help us manage, create, and publish content on the web for well over 20 years. But as meeting customers' growing expectations has become an increasingly complex challenge, many organizations are adopting new technologies to create a complete digital customer experience.
In the last five years, Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) have stepped up to the plate to deliver on the customer expectations for relevant, connected experiences through a range of channels. Because they are still relatively "new," we wanted to explain what a DXP is and how they work to offer infinitely more opportunities to create highly interactive and personalized experiences, deliver on customer expectations, and meet business goals.
What is a DXP?
A Digital Experience Platform (DXP) is an integrated core set of technologies that support creating, managing, delivering, and optimizing digital experiences. A DXP is a natural evolution of a content management system but goes beyond that to track and interact with the entire digital customer lifecycle.
A fully-featured DXP includes the following components:
- Content management in a central repository for core content
- Asset management for digital assets, including images, videos, PDFs, etc.
- Ecommerce to enable online shopping, payment processing, and order tracking
- Customer relationship management to track, manage, and act on customer data
- Centralized insights and analytics to analyze content and channel performance
- Personalization and automation to create and tailor customized user experiences
- Experimentation to run A/B tests on content to optimize performance
- APIs and integrations to share information and assets with third-party websites and devices
How does a DXP benefit you?
DXPs are not required to craft compelling digital experiences across multiple channels, but they do offer a set of benefits, as described above, you can't find elsewhere. A DXP acts as a one-stop control center for every digital touchpoint your users have with your brand - apps, websites, portals, ecommerce systems, and more. Without a DXP, organizations may juggle multiple CMSes or systems to manage their online presence.
We've seen companies of all sizes and industries take on DXP at its complete capacity - with solutions for content, intelligence, digital marketing, and ecommerce. We've also seen companies that weren't ready for the full platform but were ready to start growing into one. DXPs allow you to pick up just some parts of it and scale as your strategy and requirements evolve.
Features of a DXP
Digital Experience Platforms can be challenging to understand what technologies they include and how they work. We wanted to give some context to the core capabilities of a DXP that are provided either natively or through integration to connect the entire digital customer journey, personalize experiences, and leverage digital as the main branch of your business.
Content management systems (CMS) play a crucial role in your digital strategy. Content is the core of digital experiences, so a DXP must have strong content management capabilities. By having a platform that can efficiently handle managing and making content available to multiple channels, you can reach customers at every point of the buyer's journey - whether on a website, blog, mobile app, social media post, etc.
In the same vein as content management is digital asset management. Just like a DXP serves as the central repository for content, DXPs can also home assets such as images, videos, PDFs, and audio files that can be used in different contexts such as social, email, website, and more. Keep all of your different file types in one place to share with teams across the organization, working toward a common goal - sharing valuable content to help customers choose your brand.
For the many organizations selling products or services online, DXPs enable easy, seamless transactions with your brand by providing integrated ecommerce functionality. DXPs allow you to process all digital transactions for online shopping, manage products, catalogs, and promotes, and provide other requirements of your ecommerce store - such as enterprise search, quote-building tools, and more. With the ability to unite content with commerce capabilities, marketers and developers can create stories around your products, compelling landing pages, and other content-rich experiences.
Customer Relationship Management
Customers are at the heart of your business, and DXPs equip you with beyond just basic CRM capabilities to track and act on customer data. A DXP will keep track of customer data such as purchases, site behavior, and interests to build long-term customer relationships and create 1:1 personalized experiences for every customer.
Insights, Analytics, and Intelligence
With a 360-degree view of your customers, a DXP lets you intelligently use customer data to target the right consumers for a given product or campaign. DXPs allow you to gather data from customer interactions and ecommerce transactions, draw insights, and identify best-performing content and landing pages. Analytics and insights help you learn what's performing well, including keywords and content types, informing future content strategy and optimization efforts.
Personalization and Automation
Personalization takes interacting with your brand from awareness to action. With DXP's centralized repository for customer data, DXPs can analyze first-party data and behavioral data in real-time to create 1:1 personalized experiences for each web visitor. Personalizaitono can take the form of customized offerings, presenting products or content of interest to the user, or even creating a unique look and feel for each user. Many of these personalized experiences can be automated, further helping marketers scale experiences and achieve business goals.
One of the most evolved forms of optimization, advanced DXPs offer digital experimentation functionality to run A/B or multivariant tests on content and experiences seamlessly. Experimentation allows marketers, developers, and other teams to optimize experiences and reduce the risk of deploying new content or site features and functionality changes. Experimentation helps make your business more agile, equipping teams with real-time insights, more robust reporting and analysis, and the ability to make data-driven decisions faster.
APIs and Integrations
DXPs can do a lot, but they can't do everything under the sun independently. Many DXPs offer flexible APIs and an open architecture to easily integrate with other systems such as an ERP or PIM. By having APIs and integrations available, you can build out a complete DXP that suits your organization's unique needs and requirements.
What DXP is right for me?
If you're unsure where to start or want help comparing vendors, reach out to our DXP experts here.