Today, customers are no longer contacting companies in the traditional linear ways. On the contrary: they browse a company’s website, get information via email, comment on social media or use an app. The challenge for companies is to synchronize these different channels and touchpoints in order to offer customers a uniform “digital experience”. The goal is to create the best possible customer journey with a coordinated, personalized approach to convince customers of the company’s products and services and to draw them in again if they are thinking of switching to the competition. This is exactly where a digital experience platform comes in.
1. What can a Digital Experience Platform do?
A DXP focuses on orchestrating an integrated, seamless and relevant digital journey across all channels. To do this, the platform bundles all customer touchpoints, from websites and newsletters to customer portals, apps, and e-commerce platforms. All interaction data generated at these different touchpoints is brought together in a single database, making technical silos a thing of the past. At the same time, a DXP is able to combine all collected data on customer behavior with external sources from CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) tools, but also from other back-office systems. Moreover, a modern DXP solution based on artificial intelligence (AI) not only determines the next action steps, but also carries them out automatically: To do this, it runs the necessary A/B and content tests for conversion optimization, fully personalizes content and offers, and plays them out to customers and prospects. The goal is to understand how people interact with content in a particular channel in order to play out an even better experience the next time they interact on a different channel.
2. What are the benefits of DXPs?
A Digital Experience Platform, like Sitecore, provides a 360-degree view of customers, laying the foundation to remain competitive in increasingly digital times. It also simplifies work by automating operational tasks and customer engagement decisions. And it solves the challenge companies face when they need to reach thousands of customers at multiple touchpoints and in multiple languages around the world. In this case manual solutions no longer work, but rather only AI-supported ones to dynamically personalize content.
3. What are the key components of DXPs?
Four key components characterize a good DXP:
- Thanks to the so-called “headless” approach, content only needs to be created once and can then be played out across all touchpoints. Layout constraints, which otherwise slow down productivity in traditional content and channel management systems, are a thing of the past. A headless approach delivers experiences on every digital device, across all channels and touchpoints – and does so completely seamlessly.
- Next is an API-first architecture, allowing companies to integrate their DXP with all critical business systems, such as PIM (Product Information Management) or ERP, as well as third-party tools.
- The use of microservices, in turn, ensures that companies can respond to new technical requirements in a modular way by breaking down complex systems into smaller, manageable parts.
- Last but not least, the DXP should have a comprehensive set of tools that map all workflows for content, data and transactions.
4. What should companies keep in mind when choosing a DXP solution?
The success of a DXP project depends on three aspects: people, processes and technology. A DXP will only deliver the desired business outcome if the platform can be seamlessly integrated into the company’s digital ecosystem, is future-proof and compliant, and enables employees to work optimally with it. Only a solution that can be operated intuitively, i.e., is user-friendly, guarantees maximum acceptance. Nevertheless, it makes sense to train employees to familiarize them with the specific use cases. Equally important is the selection of the right digital service provider. They will work with the company to develop the strategy and visual design to optimize the customer experience.
“Studies show that customers decide to switch to another company if they are dissatisfied with the omnichannel communication of their previous provider. This means that companies with poor digital interaction lose existing customers and gain fewer new customers. Relying solely on brand awareness today can become a big commercial risk if the digital experience fails,” explains Jeroen Happel, Business Consultant at Macaw. “The goal must always be to deliver the next best experience. The foundation for this is a modern DXP.”
So a DXP is ideal for offering your customers a uniform and personalized ‘digital experience’ across all channels, but how do you get started? In our eBook ‘9 building blocks for personalization’ you will find more background information, but if you want to take concrete steps, please contact one of our experts. They will be happy to help you on your way with a strategic, distinctive and successful approach.