digital experience platform

Delivering a differentiated value to the digital customer with a digital experience platform

Gone are the days when customers interacted with a business only via the website of the organization. We have come a long way with tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, social media apps, messaging apps and even virtual assistants, which can all work as critical customer touchpoints. In such a scenario, just having a functioning website with an e-commerce module isn’t enough as your customer may be using other media to get in touch with you.

Legacy content management systems (CMS) aren’t scalable enough to provide a unified experience to your customer based on their location, devices, and other personal details. This makes adopting a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) very critical.  

DXP: An evolved form of CMS

A DXP is a unified and cohesive platform that houses core digital technologies and interconnects the content on a site to elements such as e-commerce, customer experience, marketing automation, user testing and more. In the simplest terms, a DXP is an evolved form of CMS but one which puts the customer at the center.

A DXP is offered by digital product vendors and is a dynamic platform that adapts to the changing needs of a customer. It is designed to support organizations in delivering the best possible experiences to their customers. This is achieved by integrating customer understanding, actionable insights, personalization and recommendation under one umbrella.  DXPs can be used in the business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-employee (B2E) use cases. DXPs leverage modern capabilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning to personalize web pages, emails and more, for an audience of one rather than grouping users into behavioral segments. DXPs come in different flavors – CMS DXP that help with demand generation, Portal DXP for workflow automation and front-end presentation, and Commercial DXP for promotional content.

The value of DXP for an organization

Increased control over customer touchpoints

In this multi-channel world where the customer can be anywhere, the integrated customer experience offered by DXP allows organizations to streamline every form of customer interaction. Before DXPs, there was the CMS for managing content on the website, other systems such as commerce management system, marketing, and analytics systems were utilized to study and understand the customer. But all these systems operated in a silo. With a DXP, these data silos are eliminated. This consistent experience helps with customer retention. Integration of capabilities helps enrich a customer experience. It is fundamentally a measure of how well you have understood the customer, their needs and responded to them in the right way at the right time. In effect, a DXP is focused entirely on satisfying the customer.

An API-first design approach

Using an API-first design approach helps DXPs collect raw information in a structured way. APIs help to connect a DXP easily with other software solutions in the organization’s tech stack including marketing, commerce, and customer support platforms. This integration gives a good overview of each customer and can also help with machine learning-led insights to offer better customer service. For instance, a salon can take customer appointments over Facebook Messenger and have that data seamlessly transferred across all its channels so it’s there when the customer logs into that salon’s website, for instance. This helps with determining the right experience for customers as per their engagement on whichever platform they prefer. With legacy systems, this wouldn’t be so easy to execute. These advanced capabilities of composable experiences bring in deeper flexibility for businesses to roll out customer centric approaches faster.

Optimal use of AI

The unified nature of DXPs allows it to gather all customer data from across channels including aspects such as browsing habits, purchase history, customer journey, responses to marketing campaigns and so on. The in-built AI of the DXP can mine this data for analytics and insights to optimize the user experience across every customer touchpoint. Think about it, don’t you find it super convenient when streaming video platforms recommend content to you from time to time, based on your tastes? A McKinsey report from 2021 states that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. The AI in the DXP could use the customer data to offer unprompted services such as email list generation for qualified leads, personalizing the website to a customer preference, among other things.  Customer Data Platforms (CDP) are newer platforms that collect and unify customer views from multiple channels and bring flexibility to achieve personalization with more control for the Marketing team. Some modern DXPs embed the capabilities of a CDP making them more holistic.

Offering a flexible architecture

DXPs can make use of microservices in interesting ways so that it’s easy to customize the architecture of a platform as per customer needs. Unbundling monolithic services into smaller microservices allows organizations to build complex and highly customized applications while also scaling quickly and reducing dependency on a single vendor. This allows marketers and developers to scale independently. Content on the site can be reused across multiple environments.  Headless architecture approaches allow flexible omnichannel and phygital experience strategies to be integrated.  Embedded data strategies help roll out insights and intelligence approaches faster with the architecture. An integrated business configuration and command center like approach brings more recipes to enhance customer journeys.

Does your business need a DXP?

If your organization has revenue sources from multiple digital channels and has a significant online presence with business expansion, then the answer is a clear yes. If your organization believes in delivering rich personalization, DXP is a great way forward for the business agility.  However, before finalizing on a DXP it is pertinent to identify your business goals and determine the right key performance indicators (KPIs) that you want to track. For future-proofing your business, DXPs is a no-brainer.

The article has been written by John Premkumar, Vice President & Head of Delivery – Digital Experience at Infosys

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