Digital experience platforms have evolved continuously throughout the duration of their use. In the early days of the internet, digital experience platforms were used to create static web pages. However, as technology progressed, so did the platform and its versatility. Today’s digital experience platform creates interactive and dynamic web pages and even mobile apps or websites. It is now an essential item to be implemented in business operations, and its use has come to overshadow any costs that may come with it. The evolution of this product has been a long process, but it is an important one for both designers and developers alike. This article will go over the development of DXP in various facets, including technical progression, popularity, and targeting of the modern customer.
The Technical Evolution: From CMS to WEM to DXP
The first platform in the evolution of DXP is Content Management System (CMS). Though basic, CMS better-arranged data and other content to help businesses develop a controlled online presence. These systems were the first way of maintaining large sites consistently. However, CMS created information silos preventing data from being shared readily and efficiently across the organization.
To eliminate these silos, Web Experience Management (WEM) was created, which improved the functions of CMS and allowed companies to readily share information. With an increase in collaboration among departments within companies, WEM allowed for sharing digital content more effectively than CMS. Another key component of WEM was the enhanced customer experience. These systems introduced personalization by collecting user behavior and creating unique content for the desired audience. Despite these advancements, WEM was difficult to maintain with its many features and wide scope.
Finally, Digital Experience Platform (DXP) expands off the improvements of WEM with the advantages of an open system. An important component of DXP is its ability to share assets physically and digitally, which accommodates e-commerce business needs. Unlike WEM, DXP reduces the complexity to maintain these information systems using application programming interfaces (APIs) that efficiently connect the computers with the internal programs. While CMS, WEP, and DXP all strive to optimize the customer experience, DXP stands out by providing the most connected and consistent experience.
Increasing Popularity of the DXP
Digital experience platforms have not just evolved in terms of their technical aspects and capabilities. They have also progressed in terms of popularity over time. By allowing businesses to collect customer data from several touchpoints and integrate it into individual customer profiles while they are on a business platform, DXPs allow businesses to deliver real-time, personalized content, which increases traffic and sales by large margins. In the era of e-commerce, which advanced rapidly following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, DXPs have become infinitely more valued, and various data trackers back this. For example, G2 data shows that between April 2020 to March 2021, “buyer traffic (unique page views) to the Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) category has increased 39%, and total active buyers (total unique companies that have viewed DXP category pages) for DXPs have increased by 27%.” This rise in buyers and online traffic is attributed to the rising value of e-commerce globally and businesses’ acknowledgment of the importance of customer experience in allowing a company to flourish.
This rise in traffic is not just due to the pandemic; DXPs have now become a permanent fixture in business success. Companies like Nike and Microsoft have adopted DXPs recently, and both have used them in maintaining their strong record of excellent customer experiences. Other companies have followed suit due to the rise in online sales seen by industry leaders, from $572 billion in 2010 to an estimated $3.46 trillion in 2019, a 504% increase within a decade.
However, with the increased use of online shopping, businesses have to face new challenges. Customers expect more options along with simplicity, and they want their online shopping tailored personally to their needs. With that expectation comes the need to collect more data from customers, and with more touchpoints, such as email, websites, apps, social media, etc., businesses must find a way to collect the data cohesively from every single touchpoint. DXPs evolved to face these data challenges for businesses.
Targeting the Modern Customer
A key feature in the evolution of DXP is its ability to fit the modern consumer, which it accomplishes through a variety of simple yet crucial characteristics and deliverables.
Firstly, DXP delivers actionable insights on customers. Previous articles have discussed how DXPs have become essential to modern companies due to their ability to tailor experiences to customers through predictive analytics. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the usage of DXPs in the context of the customer. The tool also facilitates data capture, processing, and profiling, giving a company a unified 360-degree view of each customer at the click of a button. In a modern society dominated by information, DXP provides everything and more that a business could need.
In a similar vein, DXP helps companies become customer-oriented. By connecting the DXP and its gathered customer insights to internal systems, they are able to track and map each customer’s interactions with any out-facing touchpoint of the business. With this information, companies can reengineer their business operations for peak efficiency and improved customer satisfaction, increasing revenue. Modern customers desire ease of access when it comes to business interaction, and DXP includes optimal customer feedback which lends itself to redesign and optimal performance.
Another key aspect that allows DXP to align itself with the modern consumer is its flexible architecture. As stated before in our articles, this trait allows for back-end logic to be decoupled from the front-end presentation. It also means that improvements to the platform can be made modularly, enabling the formation and deployment of changes in one area without disrupting the rest of the system. An extension of this concept is the compatibility of DXP to connect with best-of-breed solutions. Companies can upgrade or switch tools within the DXP as they see fit, allowing for all the benefits of an extensively digitized architecture without the drawbacks of a static and fragile structure. By reaping benefits from the best of both worlds, companies correctly utilizing DXP can evolve as rapidly as possible to keep up with the ever-growing and changing demands of the modern market.