What is a Digital Experience Platform in 2021?

Sebastian Arciniega

Sebastian Arciniega

What is a Digital Experience Platform?

Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) make it easier to contextualize your customers’ digital experiences.

DXPs are the next generation of digital experience tools. With the audacious task of unifying fragmented systems and connecting interdepartmental teams, a good DXP should simplify how you make, manage, and monitor your customer experiences across any and all digital channels. These channels could be public websites, mobile applications, customer portals, employee portals, progressive web applications, and much more.

Since Digital Experience Platforms have an enterprise-wide scope, the value they offer differs based on the context each of the stakeholder groups involved.

Digital transformation leaders value DXPs for their ability to efficiently and securely iterate on digital products, while developers value how they streamline existing pipelines. Marketers value the personalization they can create for end users without needing to code, while solutions architects value the ability to integrate with key business systems.

customers having different experiences

Hand-in-hand with this concept, we find customers. Your customers also find tremendous value through DXPs. The value they seek is derived from receiving more consistent experiences that are relevant to their interests, across every channel where they interact with your brand. Digital adoption rates continue to rise, and customers expect simplified, relevant digital experiences more than ever. If you can’t provide those experiences in an attention economy, then potential customers will simply stop paying attention to you.

The challenge is immense, but so are the rewards

It’s a big idea. For many people, the notion of a centralized, integrated, and simple-to-navigate platform that spans across all customer touchpoints seems like a pipe dream. In order to ground this perspective, let’s start from the beginning and understand where this idea began. 

Where did DXPs come from?

A problem existed in the early days of the internet. Unless you were an engineer who understood the complexities of web computing, creating any kind of digital content was off limits. 

After all, you couldn’t just Google how things worked back then…

Could there be a way to facilitate the creation, management, and monitoring of client-centered content for technical and non-technical teams alike? 

Content Management Systems (CMS) 

CMS were the first tools to democratize frontend development. A CMS allowed for the creation of tightly coupled frontends, hosting a site’s data, codebase, and presentation layer as one package. 

Although there are many benefits to a CMS, the downside is that such tight coupling results in siloed data and makes managing broader digital experiences difficult. The rise of mobile technology and an increasing desire for omnichannel consistency stretched the boundaries of what a traditional CMS could accomplish.

Web Experience Managers (WEM) 

WEMs entered the scene soon after. They provided an all-in-one solution to manage content across multiple sites and channels. This looser coupling gave marketers the ability to build more consistent brand experiences.

Unfortunately, there was still a problem. For the most part, WEMs functioned within siloes and were designed for non-technical teams, leading to codebases that were hard to maintain.

The question, “Could a tool facilitate the creation, management, and monitoring of client-centered content for technical and non-technical teams alike?” had yet to be fully answered. Integration was the key link that was missing—the piece that would bring together all of these central concepts to create unified and versatile front ends.

Digital Experience Platforms (DXP)

It was because of this need that Digital Experience Platforms were created. DXPs are the next iteration of content management platforms that unite data and resources to bring enterprise-wide value. 

Gartner defines a DXP as “an integrated set of technologies, based on a common platform, that provides a broad range of audiences with consistent, secure and personalized access to information and applications across many digital touchpoints.

A unified purchasing experience

The core capabilities that define a DXP include fully headless content management, personalization of experiences, collaboration across disparate teams, integration and interoperability, and built-in analytics, just to name a few.

DXPs bring the same value a CMS could offer for sites in the early days of the Web. Complexity in business systems, internal talent, global reach, endless data, cloud computing, and the proliferation of digital touchpoints has necessitated a more complete technology platform. DXPs can make that happen.

Staying competitive through technology

Today, customers use an average of nine different channels when researching and shopping for a product. The pace of digital adoption has accelerated dramatically with the global pandemic and a growing number of industries need to go digital in order to stay competitive.

Are DXPs for everyone?

The short answer is no. Many organizations can successfully build engaging digital experiences with either a CMS, a WEM, or by developing internally. On the other hand, there are plenty of organizations whose systems are inefficient with time, money, and resources and could benefit from seriously evaluating the long-term benefits of DXPs as a core technology investment.

5 Reasons for Companies to use DXPs

Digital experience platforms exist because customers expect consistency and simplicity. With complexity growing in digital ecosystems, platforms that can manage and monitor frontend experiences can solve significant issues that can come from asynchronous information and technical mishaps.

DXPs are a great fit as certain criteria arise. Ask yourself if any of these criteria match current challenges that your company is trying to solve:

  1. Reach Your Clients Where They Live - Clients live in digital ecosystems that are composed of many channels. If you have success interacting with your clients through just a few static channels, for example, mobile and web, then a CMS is the right tool for you. If clients are interacting with your brand through mobile apps, web, smartwatch, social media, email, and/or more, then DXPs can help centralize your content and data to provide unified experiences that are relevant to each channel. A DXP will help reduce your complexity.

  2. Migrate from Legacy Technologies - Opportunities for process improvements arise as companies adopt cloud architectures and rethink their legacy applications. Distributed computing power allows for easier scalability, lower latency, and more efficient DevOps cycles. It’s during these changes that many organizations look for tools that allow for robust integration. DXPs become favorable here as a way to consolidate frontend infrastructure and give marketers, UX specialists, and developers a common ground to stand on.

  3. Streamline the Production and Publishing of Content - Part of what makes a DXP so effective is its ability to handle content from all sources, direct them to their desired endpoints via APIs, and monitor who interacts with that content. Comparing channel traffic with the target audience allows for quicker validation and iteration of content, streamlining teams to focus on what matters most to your clients. Further, sophisticated personalization features give teams the ability to construct digital user journeys for each of your ideal customer profiles, from onboarding to client management.

  4. Augment Incomplete Data - According to a Bloor Research study, 85% of organizations see data as their most valuable assets yet only 35% of executives say they trust their own data insights. DXPs help unify data sources as your clients interact through your websites and portals. Allowing for top-down standardization of data and integrating it with your CRM, ERP, or Google Analytics gives a more reliable understanding of who your customers are.

  5. Adapt Quickly to Data-Driven Decisions - DXPs give your team control over your digital channels. By gaining a better understanding of your customer base, their preferred channels, and engagement habits, you can adapt your digital channels to their needs. Customer expectations are high, where 76% expect businesses to understand their needs and over half have switched providers due to a bad experience. Using data to personalize your digital experiences is a proven competitive advantage and being able to respond quickly to changing expectations is where DXPs excel.

If these use cases resonate with your experience, considering a DXP could provide significant value to your organization. For everyone who’s still skeptical, let’s consider the following scenario.

A banking DXP solution using Modyo

A large Latin American bank with 10,000+ employees leveraged Modyo’s DXP to transform their digital experiences. Their hundreds of thousands of customers use their retail banking, lending, insurance, and investing services through both in-person and digital channels.

The bank wanted to speed up their time to market in launching and promoting new financial products. They also wanted to improve customer acquisition through digital channels. The key question many banks of their size is how do they modernize their digital channels in a way that is compliant, governable, and organized?

Investing in a DXP like Modyo ended up solving a lot of their challenges.

Modyo is a next-generation Digital Experience Platform with a focus on building rapid and scalable digital products using micro frontends. This bank chose Modyo as a base platform to migrate their public websites and digital onboarding flows to the cloud for better lead capturing and more engaging digital experiences.

Three developers working on different parts of a web page.

This transformation, as you may imagine, was not an easy task. An architecture of reference had to be established to integrate with different banking systems, sites had to be consolidated to be effectively managed from a single platform, and processes were created to provide seamless digital experiences for their customers.

Our featured bank saw a 31% growth of new customers coming through their digital channels within the first year. The following year brought a 120% growth in page views and a 22% reduction in their bounce rate. 

Their Leader of Digital Channels & Metrics said: 

“Modyo has become our strategic partner in digital content management..., allowing us to abstract from the complexities of technology and concentrate on generating solutions to the needs of our customers. Modyo goes hand in hand with our focus on frictionless processes with an intuitive platform that is easy to use and integrates with the bank's technology stack.”

We continue to work with banks and other large organizations like these, providing innovative digital solutions that improve the lives of daily customers served through products built through our DXP.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can read the full case study here.

Why DXPs now?

Digital Experience Platforms come from a rich lineage of evolving technologies that democratize the creation of digital content on the web. 

They bring together vast amounts of user data, integrate with key business systems, and facilitate the creation of dynamic digital experiences. 

Like any other digital transformation, DXPs aren’t a short-term solution for overnight success. They require enterprise-wide buy in to realize their full potential.

Ultimately, DXPs are an indication of a change in thinking for organizations. Apart from their technological value, they mirror the desire organizations have of developing deep relationships with their customers while also creating an environment of shared understanding across multidisciplinary teams. 

A woman looking through a large telescope.

Looking forward, next-generation DXPs like Modyo equip companies with the necessary capabilities to facilitate integration and the management of front end customer experiences connected to different core business systems.

Remote technical teams can better create, manage, govern, and adapt over time digital experiences. Additionally, DevOps efficiency can improve as independent development pipelines are centralized and integrated, and an entire digital ecosystem can be connected and optimized to improve time to market in launching digital products that take advantage of next-gen DXP’s.

Creating world-class digital experience is more attainable than ever before. Let’s set the bar higher. 

If you’re at a company working on digital products that could benefit from a DXP like Modyo, we’d love to talk to you about it. If not, we appreciate you taking the time to read, and if you’d like to stay connected, why not sign up for our newsletter or follow us on LinkedIn?

Photo by ckturistando on Unsplash

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