The Gist

  • DXP definition. A digital experience platform (DXP) is a combination of tools to establish end-to-end customer experience and measure and improve brand presence.
  • DXP components. The three major components of DXP are understanding customer behavior, generating customer insights and activating the frictionless experience back to the customer.
  • DXP KPIs. Measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) elements of DXP implementation include reduction of operational cost, better customer engagement, customer retention and customer acquisition.

Today, the world relies more on digital channels than physical ones, creating a growing demand for data platforms and data centers in the digital era. One of the hottest topics across the globe is the use of digital experience platforms, which can help businesses provide better customer experiences both online and offline. With many digital experience platforms available in the market, businesses can keep their customer/user experience top-notch on digital channels.

A digital experience platform (DXP) is not a singular tool, but rather a combination of tools designed to provide a seamless experience to end customers while also measuring and improving a business's brand presence. Digital experience (DX) is an end-to-end customer experience improvement process within the digital ecosystem. When we think of digital experience, numerous words come to mind as below:

customer user experience

There are major components connected to digital experience platforms like:

  1. Content Management System & UI Frameworks
  2. Analytics
  3. Search
  4. Personalization
  5. Customer Data Platforms (CDPs)
  6. Campaign Management
  7. Cloud Hosting

In addition to the above components, there are other valuable components that contribute to the digital experience, but they are all streamlined components. It is not necessary for every business implementation to include all components. It varies case by case, and some components may not be used.

For example, let's consider two popular implementations — a corporate website and an ecommerce website. Corporate websites usually have limited pages and functionality, so in most cases, a CDP may not be necessary. Instead, we can connect the website with personalization directly and provide a customized experience to customers based on their use cases.

On the other hand, ecommerce websites typically have a heavy data flow system involving products, baskets, checkouts, discounts, offers, promotions and so on. Due to customers accessing the website through multiple channels, it becomes essential to implement a CDP to collect and manage the large amounts of data generated. Providing a seamless and engaging customer experience is crucial for ecommerce websites from various perspectives.

Customer experience is a broader term that encompasses digital experience. It encompasses all of the customer's interactions with the brand. A great customer experience means that the brand meets all of the customer's needs and makes them happy. Digital experience, on the other hand, refers to how the customer interacts with the brand's digital channels. Every business is measured by its success matrix in the digital era. Success depends on their digital success matrix, so without digital experience, there is no great customer experience.

Related Article: The Benefits — and Challenges — of Composable Digital Experience Platforms

How Can Digital Experience Be Delivered to the End Customer?

In the digital landscape, customers interact with a business through multiple touchpoints and devices, making it important for organizations to have the necessary infrastructure to collect customer data and store it in the right place for delivering a personalized experience.

tech stack

Digital experience is a broad term that encompasses even a three-page application hosted on a domain, as it still constitutes a digital experience. In the current era, customers have high expectations for digital experiences that are more personalized and contextualized to their needs. Customer touchpoints are now numerous, and the amount of data received by the digital ecosystem is enormous.

The implementation process can be divided into four segments. The first is Website Foundation, which involves implementing the website using CMS, mobile frameworks, UI framework, server-side frameworks, etc., to develop and deploy the website/mobile apps over the internet. The other segments involve understanding customer behavior over the digital presence, generating customer insights using customer/user data, and activating the experience to the customer as a result of insight generation.

1. Understanding the customer and their behavior is essential to create a frictionless digital experience. To achieve this, we must gather and analyze data from different touchpoints and devices, including:

  1. Personal/Profile data
  2. Geographic data
  3. Transaction data
  4. Social Behavior data
  5. Website/Apps Behavior data
  6. Search engine data

Gathering this data requires the use of web analytics and behavior tracking tools. Once collected, the customer data needs to be orchestrated and sent to a data-centric ecosystem, where it can be stored and used to create a unified customer profile that can be utilized in real-time.

2. The generation of customer insights is orchestrated by data tools like Google Data Studio, Redash, Apache Spark, Splunk, Tableau and more. However, in the context of digital experience, the majority of the work is done by CDPs. CDPs come in four types, each with its own set of services and limitations: Data, Analytics, Campaign and Delivery CDP. The names of the types are self-explanatory. Delivery CDP, in particular, offers a comprehensive CDP package, including customer data activation for their experience.

customer data platform

Generating customer insights requires the use of various CDP services such as unified profile creation, segmentation, identity resolution, and privacy and governance. Data is key to this stage and is stored in a cloud data lake.

3. The next and final step of digital experience is activating the frictionless experience to the customer, where customer data is used to provide personalized experience on websites, mobile apps, social media and other digital touchpoints. This can also include campaign information sent through email, WhatsApp, SMS and other channels.

The ultimate goal of digital experience is to understand the customer and provide them with a contextual experience that is personalized to their needs and preferences.

Quick Tech Theory

Technically, digital experience can be delivered to the customer through various architecture representations, such as monolithic, MACH (Microservice API-First Cloud-Native and Headless), hybrid and headless. In the current business context, headless architecture has gained more attention as it offers a more composable format of architecture, which includes a different stack of technologies.

Related Article: 8 Things to Know About Composable DXP

Learning Opportunities

How Can I Measure the Digital Experience? (ROI)

When implementing the complete process and various tools for digital presence, there are certain measurable KPIs in the digital experience ecosystem, such as:

On Time to Market

One of the major benefits of digital experience implementation for businesses is the ability to reduce time to market. Digital experience platforms provide a centralized platform that includes end-to-end website development tools and marketing products. This enables businesses to have a one-stop-shop for all their needs and accelerate their time to market.

Every website requires some contextual platform-related components, such as well-facilitated technologies for development, the ability to understand the customer at any point of their journey, and the ability to connect the brand's marketing strategy with contextual experience enablement. These components are self-enabled and user-friendly experiences for the B2B customers, which will ultimately reduce the time to market. It is one of the major benefits of implementing a digital experience platform, as it provides a centralized, one-stop-enabled platform with end-to-end website development tools and marketing products.

Reduction of Operational Cost

Overall, the implementation of DXP can take a business to the next level of digital implementation and offer several benefits, including cost reduction in various areas. For example, connected workflow systems eliminate the need for manual communication and approval of content, assets, and data, saving time and money. The self-managed service on the DXP platform allows customers to receive instant AI-based solutions without requiring additional resources for customer support. Additionally, hosting on a cloud-managed solution eliminates the need for a dedicated infrastructure maintenance team, as cloud intelligence can automatically manage traffic and content weight.

Better Customer Engagement

DXP connects the customers and the organization throughout the customer journey, enabling businesses to understand customers on a one-to-one basis and provide engaging and promising experiences. The platform facilitates the understanding of customer behavior and delivers personalized experiences. As previously mentioned, the system has AI-based capabilities that engage customers in real-time with relevant information.

For example, each customer will be treated as a unified profile, allowing the brand to understand the customer 360 degrees. Additionally, segmented profiles will enable personalized experiences based on location, IP and behavior.

Customer Retention

DXP plays a significant role in helping businesses achieve their goals by providing a vast data ecosystem and intelligence facilitation. The system stores the customer's past data and pain-points, which enables businesses to understand their customers better and provide them with a connected customer experience.

The system should be able to connect back to the customers and provide a personalized, pain-point-free experience. We should be able to make them feel that we understand them well and are giving them special attention by leveraging customer loyalty. This will provide them with targeted promotions, rewards, and other offers that are contextual to their interests and past activities.

Customer Acquisition

The primary way in which brands acquire customers nowadays is through their digital presence, including social media promotions, search engine placement, website content and information quality, and marketing capabilities. DXP can help organizations support customer acquisition in a more robust manner, thanks to its various capabilities.

Today, DXP provides a suite of products that include a foundation stack comprising of CMS, UI frameworks that provide trendy and intelligent UX. It also offers rapid content optimization within minutes based on the brand's needs and market trends for specific content. DX platforms have a massive supported foundation stack that includes AI-based content configuration using workflow systems, making customer acquisition easier than before.

website foundation

How Can I Improve the Digital Experience?

Improving digital experience is not a one-time process; it is a continual exercise that needs to be repeated throughout the lifecycle of a brand to keep it in a competitive position. When implementing DX activation for end-users, the process typically starts with discussions among the relevant stakeholders to create a key business requirement (KBR) document that outlines the different milestones and ultimate goals.

Once the KBR has been established, three iterative steps need to be followed, which are: observe, process and act. This process needs to be repeated regularly throughout the lifecycle of the brand's digital ecosystem.

Observe is the first step in the DX implementation process. During this phase, user behavior data is collected from various sources such as web analytics tools, CRM, external data management tools, social media data, and offline/online customer interaction data. These data collection methods allow for a better understanding of the customer/user, which in turn enables the delivery of personalized and omnichannel experiences.

Process is an important step in DX implementation, which provides the organization with deeper customer insights. It involves connecting all the platform data about specific customers to create a centralized, unified customer profile. This profile enables us to connect the different dots about the customer/user in a single place, providing a 360-degree view.

Act is the final step in the activation of the digital experience for the end-user. This is where the complete frictionless digital experience is provided to the customer/user through different activation mediums such as push notifications, campaigns, personalized pages/screens and more.

Final Thoughts on DXPs

The need for an extensive digital experience is no longer optional but has become necessary for any modern business today. Investing in DXP implementation helps to keep the audience more connected to the brand and gain an advantage over competitors. Measuring the effectiveness of digital presence is crucial to achieve the ultimate goal of increasing revenue.

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