“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” -Steve Jobs
In today’s fast-paced, digitized era, customers expect experiences that are unified and consistent across all touchpoints. Thus, providing optimal digital experiences and staying ahead of the customer’s expectations is becoming a financial imperative for enterprises.
Digital technologies like content management systems (CMS), eCommerce, and analytics are amalgamating into a single unified digital experience platform (DXP). Thereby, playing a differentiating role in enhancing the customer digital experience.
Enterprises looking to stay in the business can’t escape deploying a DXP for long. There are many leading DXPs around the corner.
By understanding the core elements of a digital experience platform and how they work in unison to form a platform, an enterprise can become well-equipped to make the apt decision for their customized needs.
The Core Pillars of Unified Digital Experience Platform
Building a seamless customer journey across all the digital experience touchpoints requires the specific suite of elements that work in conjunction with each other. A unified digital experience platform is enterprise software that ties together these elements to deliver a seamless user experience.
Data: The Cornerstone of Every DXP
The first piece of the unified digital experience platform puzzle is ‘Data.’ You will be unable to deliver a seamless flow of customer journey if the data in your systems are not connected. Once the data gets connected with the other elements of the digital experience platform, the unified DXP will enable itself to provide insights on customer behavior, activities, and actions across all devices, which can be used to a marketer’s advantage.
“Without comprehensive, accessible customer data, it’s impossible to deliver on the DX promises of personalization, predictive analytics, and machine learning.”
– Digital Clarity Group
A digital experience platform requires ‘data’ to work in cohesion with other elements to perform the following two major functions:
- Analysis and correlation of data: It provides businesses and marketers the insight and intelligence to spot the consumer’s trends, thereby providing them access to the areas where new products, pricing or promotions can be tested and refined.
- Real-time complex event processing: It allows organizations to leverage insights and using machine learning to assemble content fragments in real-time, closely matched to the customer’s individual lifestyle and preferences.
Heineken and its Best-Of-Breed Approach
For instance, Heineken: a leader in the alcohol industry, follows an ideal blend of approach to its DXP: building around two systems for managing consumer data as the foundation, integrated with email management and marketing automation systems. It helps them gain an improved understanding of its audiences and better means to activate brand and create experiences that drive awareness, consideration, and ultimately conversion.
“If we really understand the consumer, then we can really target. We know what experience to offer them. It’s all about the data.”
-Bram Reukers, Director of eCommerce, Heineken
Thus, CMOs need to have both the right and the left brain skills to extract full benefits from their DXPs to not just engage potential customers with content, but also to leverage data in the best way to enrich the customer experience.
CMS and eCommerce: An Interconnected Element of DXP
To enable marketers to innovate and experiment, the two vital elements of DXP – eCommerce and Content Management Systems – must be seamlessly interwoven.
Content Management System (CMS)
CMS enables you to build, organize, and deliver different types of content, which includes blog posts, e-books, press releases, guides, and so on, for websites, mobile applications, portals, and other online solutions to help organizations control content and assets effectively. Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), Sitecore, Acquia, Kentico, and WordPress are a few top-rated CMS platforms.
It is an online shopping platform that includes a catalog, cart, inventory and shipping management, as well as other tools for e-retail out of the box. Magento, Drupal, and BigCommerce are some big names when it comes to eCommerce platforms. Usually, content management features are not included in eCommerce platforms and can be added with the help of paid plugins.
If an organization has a large catalog, for instance, and needs an integrated blog or article section at the same time, the integration of an eCommerce platform and a CMS is an ideal approach to move ahead with. A popular combination is a Magento store plus an Adobe Experience Management (AEM) as both the platforms are leaders in their domains.
The ideal integration approach is to assign a particular system to do a particular job so they aren’t competing for supremacy.
- CMS is assigned to manage the product information and description, workflow and, site search.
- The eCommerce system is assigned to maintain all the transactional processes, pricing, promotions, cart management, order creation, status updates, and everything related to fulfillment.
Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) are becoming a major part of many organizations’ digital transformation strategies. It is advised to deploy a nimble and a unified DXP platform depending on your business model, vision, and priorities that will instantly adjust itself to the changing consumer needs and business trends. Such a platform would enable enterprises to respond quickly to the market and business dynamics.