Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) are becoming a major part of many companies’ digital transformation strategies. This software helps companies integrate, support and update their many different systems in order to make the most of their online presence, while creating new solutions to support many audiences, such as customers and employees, on a single platform.
However, due to the relatively new nature of the term and the types of applications that fall under its umbrella, it is common for companies to wonder, what is a DXP? Through modern market needs and a wide variety of vendors responding to such demands, a consistent DXP definition is beginning to take shape today.
In order to make informed choices regarding the future of their technology selection, businesses across all industries should better understand the nature of a Digital Experience Platform. By understanding the common elements of a DXP and how they work together to form a platform, a company can be equipped to make the right decision for their unique needs. According to Gartner, DXPs combine and coordinate applications as a set of rationalized, integrated services that fall into three categories:
1. Audience Experience
A DXP must be able to provide customers, partners and employees with the ability to interact with various capabilities. Whether this is from target audiences navigating through sites, portals and applications on the front-end or employees parsing through information on the back end, providing a comprehensive but easy to use experience is crucial for a DXP. Elements of these audience experiences include:
- Content Interaction: Audiences who use solutions built on a DXP should have personalized access to important information, services and applications, as well as the potential ability to rate and share the content they have discovered.
- Search, Navigation and Discovery: Digital experiences built on a DXP should allow audiences to discover the information and services they need thanks to the use of dynamic navigation and search functions that leverage multiple search engines and results based on personalization.
- Collaboration: DXPs should strengthen internal company communication by aggregating important employee information and allowing for collaboration on documents, calendars, projects and more for better knowledge management.
- End-User Customization: Audiences using a DXP should be able to manage and personalize their own experiences to some degree. Depending on company regulations, this can include notifications, saved searches, subscriptions, dashboard and website layouts and more.
Together, these elements allow an organization the ability to uniquely tailor all aspects of the digital experience for individual audience members and empower workforces by helping them quickly find the information they need.
2. DXP Management
A DXP enables a business to administer, create and improve many different aspects of their digital experience. By providing greater control over the many elements that make up a company’s online presence, as well as how these many pieces work together, a business can fine-tune customer experiences and adapt to the changing needs of both target audiences and employees. Elements of DXP management include:
- Content Management: Web content management capabilities allow users to create, organize and publish different types of content for websites, mobile applications, portals and more online solutions so that a company can effectively control content and assets.
- Integration and Aggregation: Administrators can aggregate various applications and integrate software with third-party systems for robust services that better leverage the data created by users and collected by the business.
- Personalization: Adapt online content in websites, portals and more to suit an individual user’s past behavior and preferences, which can be found through analyzing the audience member’s shared data.
- Analytics and Optimization: Integration of third-party analytics data or creation of analytics solutions within the platform help monitor performance and can be used to improve assets for more effective digital experiences.
- Security Administration: System security is a crucial element of modern digital business that can be supported by DXP tools including identity management, single sign-on, document access management and more user rights control.
- Workflow/Business Process Management: A DXP can support the workflow of content approval and publishing, as well as workflows for forms and other business processes for greater control over daily work.
- User Experience: Business users can control webpage layout and content in order to control the elements that comprise customer journeys, for better targeting within marketing efforts.
- Digital Commerce: Commerce software can be integrated with or built on a DXP so businesses can manage transactions, shipping orders, shopping baskets and more, should online selling be part of their business strategy.
Because a DXP is composed of so many different elements, this level of control means that users will be able to effectively manage them all, both as individual pieces and as part of an integrated whole.
There is a technical foundation of every DXP upon which the many applications that compose it are built. By building new tools with a DXP, as well as connecting pre-existing applications through the platform, a business can have greater control over customer and employee data, as well as how smoothly a user can shift from one tool to another for a more seamless experience. The architecture of a digital experience platform includes:
- Presentation: DXPs support UI technologies that deliver rich experiences, including page framework, containers, component models and widgets or a similar construct. These elements, along with responsive web design and progressive web application development, help DXP users craft a digital presence that unique suits their company.
- Customer/User Data Management: DXPs can incorporate a user profile as a single trusted view of the "customer" or individual user, which collects, unifies and synchronizes customer data from digital and analog channels to improve customer experiences.
- Cloud Enablement: Support deployment via third-party infrastructure-as-a-service providers, allowing DXP services to run in a cloud-based environment at a platform level with multitenancy.
- Mobility: Develop mobile applications, including notification support, offline support, mobile software development kit (SDK), voice interaction and more through a mobile application development platform.
- Globalization/Localization/Multilanguage Support: A DXP can support multiple character sets, translation and localization, which can be automatically applied to the correct users by applying user data and history in order to shape preferences.
Together, these features allow an organization control over how their systems are interconnected and the ways in which information is shared, improving user insights and creating frictionless audience experiences.
Supporting Your Business with a Digital Experience Platform
The ability of a digital experience platform to support a wide variety of needs means it can be leveraged by companies across all industries to meet various goals. In the age of digital transformation, companies will require a system that is equally focused on and able to manage both front-end user experiences and back-end systems, as discussed by ORM London. A strong DXP will give organizations the ability to not only strengthen both sides, but use the data and capabilities of both front- and back-end systems to improve the other.