Why Low-Code Is Essential for Your Customer Portal Project in 2024
8 Min Read

Why Low-Code Is Essential for Your Customer Portal Project in 2024

Discover how low-code can unlock a world of possibilities for customer engagement and satisfaction

In a digital-first world, your customers have become accustomed to immediate access to information and seamless experiences. They demand quick responses and resolutions to their inquiries or issues – preferably through self-service and automation. Providing excellent customer service is a key differentiator for your business, as customers are more likely to choose companies that offer exceptional support.

So, increasingly, businesses not only expect their customer portals to relieve pressure on their service teams but also help them innovate and address constantly evolving customer needs. Your customer portal should be adaptable, helping you collect valuable customer insights and easily refine the experience in response. If you want to increase agility and innovation in customer service and support, you can’t afford technological bottlenecks.

Enter low-code: Gartner predicts that by 2025, “70% of new applications developed by organizations will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020.” In addition, 26% of executives think that investing in low-code capabilities is one of the most critical investments in automation (up from 10% since 2020).

Considering these stats, as well as the pivotal role that efficiency, speed, and flexibility play in staying competitive, looking for low-code capabilities when planning a customer portal project this year is not just a trend – it’s a strategic imperative.

In this blog post, we'll explore why it’s so important to consider customer portal solutions that offer low-code capabilities. We’ll also take a look at how low-code can streamline your approach to digital experience delivery and unlock a world of possibilities for customer engagement and satisfaction. 


Why Should Businesses Use Low-Code/No-Code?

Businesses can leverage low-code capabilities across a large spectrum, driven by the multiple benefits they provide. Here are a few scenarios where a low-code-enabled solution excels – whether you're building a customer portal, supplier portal, intranet, or any other solution:

Faster Time to Launch
Leveraging low-code capabilities is often a faster alternative to traditional code-based development when organizations need to address immediate requirements. 451 Research estimates that low-code can cut 50-90% of development time compared to using a coding language.

Democratization of Development – Enabling “Citizen Developers”
Low-code empowers non-technical departments or teams to contribute to solving their individual needs independently, reducing dependency on IT. By providing intuitive tools and drag-and-drop functionality, these “citizen developers” are enabled to build and customize digital solutions with little to no coding knowledge.

Process Automation
When it comes to streamlining, looking for ways to automate repetitive manual tasks is critical. With low-code, non-technical users can create and deploy automations that improve the efficiency of business processes and operations.

Prototyping and Proof of Concepts
Low-code is a fast way to build prototypes and proof of concepts to validate assumptions, collect feedback, and iterate on designs before committing resources to full-scale development.


3 Ways Low-Code Capabilities Improve the Quality and Efficiency of Your Customer Portal

Let's have a look at customer portals in particular and delve deeper into four key use cases where the strategic implementation of low-code capabilities can unlock significant benefits and add valuable functionality for your organization and your customers alike.

1. (Workflow) Automation  

Is your goal to speed up your customer-related business processes and streamline customer interactions? A low-code enabled customer portal offers powerful visual workflow automation tools, allowing you to get tedious tasks off your staff’s desk and accelerate customer service and support processes.

For example, easily build workflows via drag-and-drop through an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) to:

  • Streamline Service Ticket Routing and Resolution: Whenever a customer creates a new service ticket, an automated workflow can route the request to the right individual or team for follow-up. You can also set up workflows to escalate unresolved tickets automatically after a defined timeframe to ensure service quality.

  • Streamline Order Management: Build workflows that monitor order statuses and send real-time updates to customers via email or SMS. Notifications about shipment, delivery, or potential delays keep customers informed and reduce inquiries. You can also build workflows that allow customers to trigger actions like requesting order changes or returns directly through the portal.

  • Define Service Level Agreements: Measure the time to complete specific workflow events to define service level agreements. This approach can provide valuable insights into how effectively you're meeting customer expectations and highlight areas for improvement.

2. Data Management

Excellent customer experiences rely on robust data management. However, building a comprehensive architecture that manages and leverages customer data effectively within your portal can be complex and time-consuming.

A customer portal with low-code capabilities supports you with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, enabling you to define the core data objects vital to your business operations and delineate their relations. This empowers your team to organize and oversee customer-related data with accuracy:

  • Relationship Mapping: Visualize and establish relationships between data objects effortlessly with an intuitive GUI. By dragging and dropping icons representing customers, service tickets, products, orders, and returns, your staff can understand, define, and expand your data model far more intuitively than when working with traditional text-based configurations. For instance, you can easily link customers with their associated orders or service tickets to provide a comprehensive view of their interactions with your business. Another practical example could be connecting products with their related orders so that you can track inventory levels and sales performance in real-time.

  • Data Integration: Leverage headless APIs to integrate data from other back-end systems (third-party services like CRM systems, payment gateways, and logistics providers) into your defined objects. This ensures comprehensive data access and a synchronized flow of information across your portal’s ecosystem.

  • Metadata Enrichment: Enhance the depth of your data by adding additional metadata fields within your defined objects. For example, in a customer portal context, you can include fields such as "product category," "release date," or “customer reviews” for each product object. This enriched metadata facilitates more nuanced analyses, as your staff will benefit from improved filtering, sorting, and reporting capabilities, enabling them to better understand customer preferences and market trends.

3. Content Creation, Personalization, and Branding

Is your current solution lacking when it comes to delivering a unique and personalized experience that reflects your brand? Low-code capabilities can assist you in certain aspects of your site-building and personalization efforts. When creating a customer portal, leverage low-code tools to simplify the following tasks:

  • Control Branding and Design: Low-code based theme builder tools allow business users to customize colors, fonts, and layouts for your entire site and ensure alignment with your brand identity. 

  • Build, Update, and Personalize Web Experiences: Business users can easily build new pages, update existing web content, or control how content is displayed and how data is sorted with the help of drag-and-drop page builder tools. Users can also customize page layouts and arrange content blocks for optimal user experience and information hierarchy. Then, quickly add text, buttons, animations, and other graphical elements. In addition, business users can easily configure personalized experiences for different user segments. 

  • Empower with Self-Service and Foster Engagement: Use low-code tools to build community forums to enable users to start discussions, share experiences, and ask questions. Provide answers to frequently asked questions by creating searchable knowledge bases that allow users to submit new questions and suggest improvements. Or implement step-by-step product guides with text, images, and embedded videos.

  • Ensure Mobile Responsiveness: When building your site and pages, low-code enabled page builders come with support for responsive design, ensuring your customer portal looks and functions flawlessly on any device.

The Outcomes: Expect These Results from a Low-Code Enhanced Customer Portal

As underscored by the above use cases, low-code tools can help your non-technical teams make significant improvements to your customer portal quickly without having to rely on IT. Ultimately, this allows you to create better experiences for your customers, too. Beyond the realm of immediate benefits, leveraging low-code for your customer portal sets the stage for long-term outcomes that deliver value to your entire organization:

  • Accelerated Time-to-Market
    Low-code allows your organization to rapidly prototype, test, and deploy new solutions, significantly reducing time-to-market and fostering faster iteration and innovation cycles. Although low-code capabilities don’t necessarily enable the creation of an entire portal from scratch, they do expedite the development process by streamlining tasks like UI design, workflow automation, and data management. This means that you can build a visually appealing and functional customer portal in a fraction of the time (potentially reducing development timelines by 50-90%, according to 451 Research).

  • Enhanced Agility and Adaptability
    With low-code capabilities, you gain the power to continuously adapt and evolve your customer portal to meet changing business needs and user preferences. This agility allows you to respond swiftly to market trends and customer feedback, experiment and iterate quickly, and future-proof your portal.

  • Improved User Experience
    Customer portals that provide low-code tools are designed with both internal teams and end-users in mind, resulting in intuitive and user-friendly interfaces that drive engagement and contribute to higher satisfaction ratings.

  • Cost Savings and Freed-Up Resources
    By streamlining the development process and reducing the need for extensive coding expertise, low-code capabilities can result in significant cost savings, enabling you to allocate resources more efficiently.

Next Steps: Why a Low-Code-Enabled DXP Is the Best Solution for Your Customer Portal Project

If you have a customer portal project coming up, the question you’re likely facing now is: What technology solution or platform is best suited for your needs?

Although "pure" low-code application platforms (LCAP) offer expedited development processes and promise a quick and easy fix for your challenges, there are a number of restrictions and disadvantages that you should be aware of – especially if you compare an LCAP with the “best-of-breed” approach of a digital experience platform (DXP):

  • Missing Core Functionality
    Generic business processes may be easily automated with an LCAP, but a DXP offers a much wider range of core functionality out of the box. For example, capabilities such as a content management system (CMS), digital asset management (DAM), or commerce are typically not available in an LCAP and will have to be integrated.

  • Integration and Customizability
    The main advantage of an LCAP is the ease and speed at which non-technical users can automate business processes. However, LCAPs can present limitations when it comes to advanced customizations and integrations. More intricate modifications and integrations frequently require coding expertise, often surpassing the capabilities of LCAPs. In contrast, composable code-based solutions like DXPs offer greater flexibility and depth in customization and integration possibilities. Why? For one, many DXPs boast flexible connectors or APIs that enable seamless integration with internal databases, CRM systems, and other enterprise software, ensuring data synchronization and a seamless user experience.

  • Vendor Lock-In and Deployment Options
    The goal of an LCAP is to automate business processes across the enterprise. This often entails a vendor lock-in due to an LCAP’s reliance on proprietary user interfaces. This means you can only configure and customize the platform using the vendor's specific tools and interfaces, making switching providers difficult and restricting your future options. In contrast, DXPs mitigate vendor lock-in by providing open and extensible architectures, empowering organizations with greater control over their digital solutions.
    In addition, LCAPs are usually SaaS only, limiting deployment flexibility for organizations with specific hosting requirements or regulatory constraints. With DXPs, you can find vendors that offer PaaS and Self-Hosted deployment as well, catering to diverse organizational needs and preferences. 

In an era of heightened digital expectations, the synergy between a DXP's comprehensive features, flexibility, and low-code capabilities can help organizations unlock agility, scalability, and innovation.


Still not convinced that low-code can act as the catalyst for organizational success in an ever-evolving digital ecosystem? Here's an analogy: Think of low-code as a high-performance engine with inherent benefits: powerful, efficient, and versatile. Building a customer portal is like putting that engine in a car. The car (portal) can achieve various outcomes like faster speeds (customer engagement) and reduced fuel consumption (support cost reduction), but these depend on factors beyond the engine. The overall design and features of the car ultimately determine its performance and impact.

Making sure your customer portal comes with low-code capabilities is essential if you need to think long-term about your customer portal project. By leveraging low-code, your business can accelerate development, increase flexibility, and improve the overall user experience of your customer portal. Additionally, low-code enables your organization to digitize and automate key business processes within the customer portal, driving operational efficiency and delivering tangible business value.

Are you ready to build a powerful, low-code enabled customer portal that supports you in running more efficient business operations enhanced by automation and intelligence? Liferay Digital Experience Platform (DXP) provides a number of low-code capabilities out of the box. Whether you want to collect and share data, generate and distribute reports, or build a system to track and handle issues and requests, our low-code solutions can help you streamline business operations without relying on IT support.

With Liferay DXP, you don’t have to compromise on your business requirements for your customer portal. Instead, create powerful solutions that look and function the way you envision on the world's most flexible DXP.

Product Info 
Customer Portals with Liferay DXP: Supporting Capabilities and Features
Looking to build a customer portal tailored to your unique business needs? Find out what’s possible with Liferay.
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Originally published
March 19, 2024
 last updated
April 9, 2024
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