It’s dangerous to go on your journey to deliver excellent digital experiences alone!

Take this list and analysis of the major Digital Experience Platform (DXP) vendors to guide your exploration. 

A DXP is enterprise software that acts as a foundation for companies to deliver connected digital experiences across multiple touchpoints, but how each DXP vendor accomplishes this will vary according to one of three backgrounds they come from: a CMS-heritage, commerce-heritage, or portal-heritage.

What are the Main Types of DXPs ? 

Most products being positioned as DXPs have their roots in one of three categories:

  1. Content Management Systems 
  2. Portal Servers 
  3. Commerce Servers 

These roots give each set of offerings a particular orientation and understanding this will help you better define what solution might be right for your challenges. Here are the defining features of each of these categories:

  1. Content Management Systems (CMSs)


    CMS-heritage DXPs focus on the needs of marketing departments and creative agencies. They do particularly well in B2C (retail, fashion) scenarios where the sales cycle is short and transactional, and audiences are large. The customer data they collect tend to be anonymous and generalized into audience segments.

    Most business problems solved by these products are related to the acquisition of customers: generating awareness and interest, targeting offers, and accelerating purchases.

    The leading CMS-heritage DXPs have strong offerings for web-based analytics, user segmentation, advertising campaigns, and email campaigns. These are often provided by products in the platform suite, but because they are separate (and likely acquired from other vendors) they may be less or more well integrated with each other.

    Some CMS-heritage DXPs have tried to add portal-like features like logged-in experiences, and some include commerce capabilities; the latter are often the result of an acquisition or partnership. 
  2. Portal-heritage 

    Portal-heritage DXPs, given their background in providing customer portals, are particularly suited for nurturing long-term customer relationships after the sale. The customer data is specific to each individual and is handled securely. 

    These DXPs help companies understand the factors that lead to customer loyalty, retention, and renewal. They may help calculate well-known metrics like Net Promoter Score, Customer Lifetime Value, and Sales Efficiency, to name a few. They can often help you provide customer service, including both self-service and representative-assisted issue resolution.

    Portal-heritage DXPs also support modern intranets and scenarios for engaging supporting audiences such as partners, suppliers, and franchisees. A full digital transformation strategy can potentially encompass all of these groups, which play important roles in supporting strong customer experiences.

    Good portal-heritage DXPs should also have a strong story around integration, which is essential to deep digital transformation of business operations. Management of reusable services and modules is helpful when strategy is evolving quickly.

    Some portal-heritage DXPs include a broad feature set, such as content management, targeting, mobile support, workflow, and forms; others concentrate mainly on the presentation layer.
     
  3. Commerce Servers

    Commerce-heritage DXPs are used in online shopping scenarios by companies in retail and related industries. In addition to product-related content delivery to e-commerce-style web interfaces, these products usually also provide capabilities around inventory management, shopping cart, payment integration, check-out and fulfillment. 

    Though these features aren’t strictly related to digital experience management, it’s clear that a great digital retail experience requires seamless integration to these functions, which come naturally to commerce-heritage DXPs. Naturally, commerce-heritage DXPs are also adding adjacent capabilities, though in a commerce-centric way. For example, many commerce products have needed to add content management capability to support the promotion of products in the catalog.

 

 

CMS-heritage 

Portal-heritage

Commerce-heritage

Sample Vendors
  1. Adobe Experience Cloud
  2. Acquia Open Digital Experience Platform
  3. Sitecore Experience Platform
  1. Liferay Digital Experience Platform 

 

  1. Bloomreach Experience
Business type
  • Retail, fashion, advertising, media and broadcasting, entertainment, journalism
  • Insurance, government, retail banking, manufacturing
  • Retail, fashion, food, music/entertainment, electronics, travel, hospitality, telecommunications
Customer Relationship Stage
  • Pre-purchase
  • Lead nurturing and qualification, on-boarding, customer service
  • Pre-purchase, order fulfillment, returns
Strengths
  • Some of the leaders in this segment have mature email marketing, analytics, and ad spending tracking.
  • Deep systems integration for improved customer experience comes naturally to portal-heritage DXPs, which also store data for individuals, not just segment data.
  • Retail transactions in e-commerce scenarios are a natural fit for commerce-heritage DXPs.
Weaknesses
  • CMS-heritage DXPs are less likely to have individual customer data and profiles, and are less suited for customer service scenarios.
  • Some older portal-heritage DXPs may have the negative aspects of traditional portals, such as poor user experience and poor support for mobile.
  • Some vendors in the segment have difficult-to-use content management systems with poor targeting capabilities. These are also not designed for deeper integration per se. These vendors also tend to be most relevant (limited) to retail scenarios, with functionality lacking in supporting more of the customer life cycle.

 

How to Evaluate DXP Vendors 

The success of your quest will ultimately rest upon which vendor you choose to support you. But fear not! Every year, Gartner releases an analysis into the DXP market and evaluates the top vendors’ strengths and weaknesses, the Magic Quadrant for DXPs. Additionally, this report is accompanied by the Gartner Critical Capabilities for DXPs, which will provide a closer look at the performance of each vendor for B2C, B2B, and B2E specific use cases. 

Don’t set off on your journey without the proper tools. Download your copy of the Magic Quadrant and the Critical Capabilities.

Liferay is a 11-Time Leader in the MQ for DXPs

For over a decade now, Liferay has been named a leader in the Gartner MQ for DXPs. Learn why we believe we continue to hold this position here.

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