Pimcore: The Digital Experience Platform for Business Success
What You’ll Learn From This Insight:
I. What is a Digital Experience Platform (DXP)?
II. How DXPs Changed Over the Past Decade?
IV. Components of Digital Experience Platform (DXP)
V. The Digital Experience Platform (DXP) Architecture
VI. Context is still the King!
VII. Where does Headless Digital Experience Platform (DXP) Fit in?
VIII. Benefits of a Digital Experience Platform (DXP)
IX. When Do You Need a Digital Experience Platform (DXP)?
X. How to Choose the Right Digital Experience Platform (DXP)?
With digital immunity taking centerstage, mature and advanced technologies are needed for digital growth. Digital experience platforms (DXPs) are an emerging category built on a triple-layered architecture comprising experience management, platform, and infrastructure services. They are today at the heart of high-end digital transformation endeavors. Digital experience platforms (DXPs) converge Customer experience (CX) and digital experience (DX) and work behind the scenes to bring meaningful, relevant, authentic, personalized, and contextual experiences to life—thereby solving the big puzzle related to customer attention and loyalty. This insight will help you see DXPs for what they are as a foundational element backing optimized digital journeys at scale.
1. What is a Digital Experience Platform (DXP)?
Gartner defines a digital experience platform (DXP)“as an integrated set of technologies designed to enable the composition, management, delivery and optimization of contextualized digital experiences across multi-experience customer journeys."
A digital experience platform (DXP) is a comprehensive suite of advanced tools designed to enable organizations in seamlessly delivering exceptional digital experiences across multiple channels. By offering flexible and channel-agnostic services, DXP empowers businesses to maximize scalability, streamline operations, and leverage data more effectively. Unlike traditional technology silos, DXP provides a centralized hub that facilitates the creation, management, and delivery of outstanding content, context, and engagement for any digital channel.
2. How DXPs Changed Over the Past Decade?
Digital experience platforms (DXPs) came about as an enhanced version of WEM (Web Experience management). The idea was to make them go from being marketing-centric to customer-centric by emphasizing contextualization and personalization and creating compelling web experiences across devices and touchpoints.
- Phase 1: Digital Experience Stacks- Businesses started building their digital experience stacks over time. With a single vendor not supplying every component that an enterprise needs but in a rush to deliver consistent digital experiences across every channel, the business bought components for digital experience from multiple vendors—and a digital experience stack was created. However, the missing purpose of assembling technologies and lack of an actionable understanding gave rise to interoperability issues, and the responsibility to integrate fell into their hands.
- Phase 2: Market Evolved- Large vendors quickly went from legacy to single-tenant Software-as-a-service (SaaS) to multi-tenant SaaS and started heavily investing in modernizing their software. In the meantime, entry to the cloud eased, and cloud-native software emerged that emphasized interoperability with other software, something which larger vendors were not so quick to do. As a result, what came about was an ecosystem of software providers that were good at one single thing.
- Phase 3: Emergence of True DXPs- With integration and interoperability becoming paramount, vendors started working towards simplifying (while modernizing) their technology and interoperability. And deeper integration of platforms (rather than mere assimilation of components from multiple vendors) became the backbone of a true DXP. As a result, large vendors began to offer pre-integrated product portfolios, while small vendors concentrated on creating pre-integrating their smaller portfolios with cloud.
3. DXP and Composability
Unlike monolithic Digital experience platforms (DXPs)which are inflexible and slow to adapt to the changing market, composable Digital experience platforms (DXPs) work on a composable business model. They can adapt to the evolving, fast-paced market shifts by applying a modular approach where personalized, frictionless digital experiences can be assembled and reassembled with the growing needs of the business, market, and customers. Composable DXPs are the perfect vehicles for businesses to stay nimble, responsive, and innovative. Composability drives rapid change, allowing businesses to pivot by piecing together modularized applications and experiences.
4. Components of Digital Experience Platform (DXP)
- Content and Commerce: Digital experience platforms (DXPs) are founded on content management. Content needs to be disseminated to various customer touchpoints such as mobile apps, native apps, social platforms, IoT devices, AI powered conversational interfaces. DXPs also facilitate commerce by enabling businesses to conduct transactions, build digital storefronts, take payments, and track orders.
- Intelligence and Analytics: Digital experience platforms (DXPs) need to be well-equipped to offer intelligence and analytics by examining the interactions and engagement across channels, offering real-time insights into user workflows, and behavior, and providing proactive recommendations while continuously improving marketing efforts. Insights are the fuel for efficient targeting and personalization.
- Automation and Personalization: Because Digital experience platforms (DXPs) analyze customer behavior data as well as third party data, they have the capacity to carve personalized and customized buying experiences. Automation is what helps businesses scale these experiences into cohesive customer journeys for optimal omnichannel engagements.
- API-led Integration: Top-notch DXPs are those that provide high-end flexibility. Decoupled, API-driven, open architectures offer seamless integration with best-of-breed solutions and help deliver content to maximum touchpoints and channels. In addition, APIs avoid tight dependencies, minimizing complexities.
5. The Digital Experience Platform (DXP) Architecture
Digital experience platforms (DXPs) are erected on a MACH (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless) platform, which eases combining and integrating microservices in practically unlimited ways. The microservice architecture organizes an application not as monolithic but as an assortment of connected services. For instance, checkout, logistics, and shopping carts may be offered as separate microservices compared with software applications that manage end-to-end order fulfillment. However, when unbundled, these services allow businesses to create complex and highly custom applications while enabling speedy scaling. Hence, minimizing the dependency on one platform. The architecture of a DXP is triple-layered:
- Experience: Involves effective delivery of content powered by personalization for meaningful, person-centric interactions, as well as effective search, navigation, and content discovery. It also includes customer profile management (including the unification of profiles) to offer perpetually improved experiences.
- Management: Involves creation and delivery of campaigns, analytics, business intelligence, content management and optimization, designing of content workflows and approvals, journey mapping as well as A/B testing. It also comprises management of a repository of content and multiple site management.
- Infrastructure: Involves deployment of cloud, APIs, and agile development. It is where security, privacy, and access controls are introduced. It also involves interoperability with adjacent technologies, digital experience management, integration, and extensibility through packaged connectors or prebuilt integration with 3rd party.
6. Context is still the King!
Intelligent, data-driven approach that takes into consideration customers’ context to offer highly relevant experiences to a growing number of channels and devices (web, mobile web, kiosks, mobile apps, smart devices) and modes (chatbots, digital assistants, voice assistants, etc.) is central to a Digital experience platforms (DXP). Contextual capabilities facilitate individualized customer experiences based on segmentation and past behavior. AI/ML technologies aid in personalization. Contextualization is equally effective on authenticated as well as anonymous users. The context is the most potent element when it comes to serving customers; it is extrapolated from customers’ 1st party data, traces, locations, devices, interactions, or user history and leverages the collected insights to automate improved customer experiences intuitively.
DXPs offer the right environment for a contextual understanding of the customers by including the processes, technologies, and skills required to cater to customer needs.
Another ‘context’ that Digital experience platforms (DXPs) facilitate for organizations (and are specific to every organization) is to give shape to a system that connects people, processes, and technologies across business functions for improved team engagement and unity.
7. Where does Headless Digital Experience Platform (DXP) Fit in?
A Headless DXP uses a headless CMS that allows businesses to deliver digital content without a graphical user interface (GUI).
Simply put, it has a decoupled head where the content (back-end) is disconnected from the presentation layer (front-end); hence, it offers limitless integration with various services as it provides content through APIs, also easing extensibility. This helps it in creating an ideal foundation for DXPs. It is worth noting that Headless CMS by themselves does not understand customers’ needs and cannot offer contextual experiences; that’s where a DXP comes in.
A headless CMS offers businesses the desired flexibility by facilitating integration with the latest front-end technologies (web, mobile, IoT, AR/VR, etc.). In addition, the decoupling that headless CMSes provides creates a synergy between developers and businesses to power any front-end while maintaining robust personalization and authoring capabilities.
8. Benefits of a Digital Experience Platform (DXP)
From overcoming technology limitations to carving cohesive experiences for customers to supporting continuous customer lifecycles across multiple digital channel delivery and enabling constant conversations, DXPs are built for a dynamic use. Key benefits of DXPs are:
- Improved Interaction on Touchpoints: DXPs streamline customer and brand interactions to bring sophisticated customer exchanges to life. They eliminate data silos between channels and deliver interactive, omnichannel experiences that drive engagement and foster loyalty.
- Water-tight Interconnection: APIs allow DXPs to connect and create a technology ecosystem by including a range of platforms, from marketing to eCommerce and customer support. The ease of integration distinguishes a true DXP from simple product portfolios.
- Streamlined Insights: DXPs make drawing, utilizing, and interpreting analytics data convenient by looking at it within a unified platform. Individualized data about every customer helps businesses understand user journeys better and make data-driven decisions.
- AI Capabilities: The built-in AI capabilities of DXP can dig deep for valuable information in vast volumes of data. AI can investigate customer sentiments with regards to a given product line; it can act on those insights without any assistance by contextualizing digital experience.
- Improved Control Over Business: The biggest advantage of DXPs is the integrated cross-platform support they offer to brand communication and marketing in real-time. With a strong focus on content and data, they harmonize the process of content management and data collection, respectively.
9. When Do You Need a Digital Experience Platform (DXP)?
Timing or the need for DXP for every organization is different. For many businesses, extensive omnichannel marketing, getting rid of data silos, connecting customer data across digital touchpoints, creating personalized user experiences via data unification, or managing campaigns better through more accurate testing may trigger the need. However, on a fundamental level, what describes the demand for a DXP are:
- Data Needs: Data is what drives decision-making and is a rightful need for every department today. Manual efforts to cull out data to formulate digital strategies are time and resource-consuming and may turn out to be inefficient as well as inaccurate.
- Content Needs: Customer experiences are founded on content. It is fuel for sales, marketing, and customer support. WEM systems and other such legacy platforms cannot offer the kind of content needed for shaping optimal experiences.
10. How to Choose the Right Digital Experience Platform (DXP)?
The digital experience platform for any business does not come preassembled. Hence, multiple vendors must be selected to best serve a particular digital strategy. Most DXPs require standard components like content, customer data, and a front-end for experience. However, certain exceptional parts may also be needed in specific industries, for example, ‘staff scheduling software’ or ‘medical record system’, etc. That is why choosing and integrating a digital experience strategy in conjunction with the business’s operational model is recommended. For choosing a DXP, companies must see it as:
- A Coalition of Applications and Platforms: No single application or platform is a one-stop destination for any business; it’s always a collection where parts are needed or replaced at different points in time.
- Pieced together by Several Vendors and Agencies: Many vendors are good at creating particular components. These components must be configured to generate a cross-system alliance to make DXPs a collaborative platform.
- Stitched by APIs: DXPs need to follow best interoperability practices and build cohesiveness through open integration using REST APIs, GraphQL, and event-driven architecture required to build cloud-native applications.
- Connected With High-quality Data: Data is at the heart of DXPs. With a range of users and creators, it becomes a byproduct that uncovers insights drawn from clean, consolidated, actionable knowledge and is made available to various teams.
- The Right Foundation for Experience: Digital experiences have four foundational factors a) comprehending customers via data, b) carving experiences with content, c) customizing experiences to suit the context (through marketing) d) delivering value through commerce.
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Table of Contents
- The Group of Analysts (TGOA)
- Core Information Supply Chain
- Digital Experience Platform
- Case Studies (Audi and Zermatt)
- CEO and Analyst Statements
FAQs regarding Digital Experience Platform (DXP)
Some of the main capabilities are building workflows and collaboration, content functions (such as authoring, modeling, presentation, delivery, versioning, change management, indexing, metadata and search, security and access control), Experience functions (such as personalization, testing, optimizing, designing, analytics, site versioning, and change management), Forms (designing, integration and delivery), Image management and editing, support for multiple (language, channel, device), marketing automation, platform (extensibility, account, and access service) integration (Digital asset management, product information management, eCommerce, CRM, etc.), social media integration, recommendations, management (of channel, content, search).
Four types of DXPs primarily exist:
- CMS-centric DXPs- These DXPs are built on the top of CMSes and are more focused towards marketing, acquiring customers, generating leads, effective communication, and awareness; it’s primarily used in the B2C industry.
- Portal-centric DXPs- Focused towards forging deeper and longer-lasting customer relationships through customer portals to enable self-service, offer meaningful engagement, and foster loyalty and retention. Suited to B2C and B2B industries.
- Commerce-centric DXPs- Focused towards digital commerce, product content delivery, offering capabilities around checkouts, online payment, shopping cart, inventory management, order fulfillment, and content delivery to eCommerce-like interfaces.
- Composable DXPs- Focused on gathering the best solutions from a variety of vendors; works on a composable business principle.
There is no one right strategy for DXPs. It is highly dependent on the industry, usage, and needs of the company. It is a powerful solution, but its optimal use depends on implementing the strategy according to the business’s specific requirements.
WEM is more centered around managing content, creating web pages, launching them, making changes, and delivering content to digital marketing channels. Whereas DXP is experience-centric, it offers an integrated and seamless digital experience across channels and devices. Furthermore, it manages products and content blocks to make them significant and relevant for the end customer by utilizing customer behavior to offer advanced engagement and real-time personalization.
DXP should be selected according to a business’s needs; it should come with its critical components and capabilities. It must offer full control over customer experience and come with a modern architecture while incorporating a headless and microservices strategy. It should be able to quickly create storefronts, resulting in customer retention, revenue growth, cost-effectiveness and other desired business goals.