2020-02-17

Digital Experience Platform

Avinash Limbu

In modern business, companies use software to automate interaction with their customers. Deciding to use software like a content management system (CMS) is done to maximize the relationship between the company and its customers. 

In our multifaced omnichannel digital world, customer experience (CX) touchpoints come in many forms.  

From the customer’s first glimpse of a brand to purchasing a product or service, managing these touchpoints (kiosks, social channels, websites, mobile, chatbots, customer portals, etc.) is integral to optimal customer experience and, by extension, more profitable lifetime value. This is the obstacle Digital Experience Platform (DXP) aims to automate and streamline everything.  

What is DXP? And how does it help business stakeholders provide amazing customer experiences? By providing a 360 overlook into the customer journey, a DXP leads to higher customer satisfaction, higher customer loyalty, and faster growth. 

What is Digital Experience Platform? 

Gartner defines DXP as “an integrated set of core technologies that support the composition, management, delivery, and optimization of contextualized digital experiences. DXPs place a high degree of emphasis on interoperability and cross-channel continuity across the entire customer journey. The purpose of a DXP is to be the central technological foundation for the digital customer experience aspect of digital business.” 

Put simply, A DXP (Digital Experience Platform) is a central place that connects all the data from your customer touchpoints. This empowers you to optimize your product or service’s user experience and grow faster than traditional businesses. 

To understand DXPs it helps us to understand why they were formed in the first place. As brands and businesses strive to provide customers experience excellence, they use a variety of tools to connect with their users. Increasingly the demand for a streamlined platform to connect the value from such tools gave birth to DXP. 

Three important background information: 

  • There are multiple touchpoints throughout a customer journey. 
  • It takes various integrated technologies to control a wide span of touchpoints. 
  • Having one central platform to optimize customer experiences reduces the company’s frictions and in return provides optimized workflow. 

Delivering this type of digital experience requires a complex interaction of people, processes and technologies across the organization. By nature, it’s hard to get these technologies working together to build the ultimate action-driven machine (your business). 

The growth of digital technologies and innovative marketing has created opportunities for both large and small businesses:  

The above image is from chiefmarktec.com. According to their research, there is a total of 5,381 unique martech companies that are out there in the market and the number keeps climbing. Technology and digital transformation are inevitable. However, making transition in the right way is essential for the success of businesses. This is where DXP plays a vital role.  

In digital transformation, DXP user interfaces are built upon the modern web development approach. Latest frameworks in the web, next-generation adaption features that are easier to update. Imagine a platform where all customer-centric technologies such as content management systems, analytics, portals, campaigns, targeting, search, mobile apps, and more merge to provide a 360 view on the business.  

If we can assimilate all these platforms into one centric form then we have a DXP that provides a rich and engaging user experience. This eventually leads to increased customer engagement, in turn increasing key success metrics such as returning visitors, higher conversion rate and increased site traffic. 

DXP Myths vs Facts: 

Myths Facts 
DXP is a fusion of existing and new technologies. It is a product that clusters everything together. DXP is a central technological platform to support the composition, management, delivery, and optimization of contextualized digital experience across all digital channels.  
DXP is basically another CMS that was built in a modern web framework. There is a distinct difference between DXP and CMS. CMS is incorporated in the wholistic DXP.  
DXP is a configuration tool. It’s a development platform like Application Platform as a Service (APaaS), or Multi Experience Development Platform (MXDP) DXP is a completely API-driven platform. It’s a platform that can communicate with multiple channels through APIs. 
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and having other marketing platform is like having a fully integrated DXP.  CRM and marketing platforms have very specific functions and there are limitations in these platforms. DXP works as an experience and interaction layer in a comprehensive, complicated and interconnected technology terrain.  
DXP is extremely hard to implement and expensive. While DXP can be expensive in the short run, in the long run, building a DXP has a clear benefit in our dynamic digital age. These platforms are designed to be dynamic, flexible, agile and scalable in the long term. 

The key benefits of a DXP include 

Data and technology integration 

The main component that separates DXP from any other digital transformation we see today is simple: DXP is a highly data-driven platform. Integration and utilization of data are necessary to make a DXP successful. It’s a platform focused on the customer life cycle. DXP users work with all departments to know the full life cycle of their customers so that the business can provide the best customer experience possible.  

With legacy systems, niche tools, custom applications, and continuously changing business and technology requirements most companies spend a huge amount of effort and resources developing and maintaining integration. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the DXP has standard API integration so that flexible tools can integrate various technologies. This helps decrease the effort and cost of development and maintenance. 

Beyond digital marketing and one department 

To understand a customer's life cycle, DXP integrates data from all departments – not just marketing. Digital marketers may spearhead the integration of DXP but it will be only possible when all department data are integrated into one central location. While content creation and creating a meaningful customer, the journey is part of the DXP, deploying a full-scale campaign integrating data from all channels is what sets DXP apart. 

A tailored personalized experience 

Personalization has been at the forefront of modern business. Companies are now not only expected to create content but also create an experience for everyone based on customer preferences. DXP is a platform that helps companies deliver personalized experiences. The most important aspect of DXP personalization capability is that it brings personalization “at scale”. This means that companies can deliver personalized experiences to multiple audiences across multiple devices while still being relevant to individual customers. Connecting across multiple touchpoints (websites, mobile devices, email, kiosk, IoT, and physical stores), DXP brings in the power of personalization to the next level. 

Securing and storing customer data collected across multiple digital channels 

The data that the marketing department will see and the data that the HR department will see will be the same. Securing and storing customer data is one of the main functions of DXP that enables to provide highly effective customer experience. Everyone in the company will be able to view at what point of the customer life cycle stage is one individual customer at the same time. This enables the ability to target the right customers at the right time in the customer life cycle.  

Intelligent architecture 

DXP functions have been proven to be flexible and agile – also known as the microservice architecture. Microservices are a software development technique which has the following features: 

  • Loosely coupled 
  • Highly maintainable and testable 
  • Rapid and frequent development capability 
  • Small teams can develop easily 
  • Independently deployable 

This technique allows DXP to rapidly develop, create and deploy on a constant basis enabling an organization to evolve its technology stack with advancement. Developers on the back end and marketers in the front end can independently make necessary changes and improvements to different parts of the platform without affecting any other part of the store. 

Digital Experience Platform Features and Capabilities: 

  • Content management 
  • Content personalization and A/B testing 
  • Collaboration and Social Media 
  • Integration (CRM, HR management, marketing automation, e-commerce systems, and social media platforms) 
  • Security administration 
  • Analytics and optimization 
  • Cloud enablement 
  • Identity management and access control 
  • Platform services 
  • Business process automation, forms, and workflows 
  • Experience management 
  • Multichannel support 

Should You Be Using a DXP? 

When do you know that you need a DXP or when is the right time to transform your business with a DXP platform? Delivering a compelling digital experience offers companies the opportunity to differentiate from their competition and drive more engagement that will eventually convert into revenue. This is one of the many reasons to transform or adapt to DXP. However, transforming and taking the business to the next level takes a lot of work.  

The digital experience movement will no doubt continue to evolve with the changing expectations of buyers, and companies will need more efficient and effective means to meet and exceed those expectations. DXP will continue to help companies transform. The most successful companies will rapidly identify the explicit and latent needs of their buyers and win.