Providing optimal digital experiences is becoming a financial imperative. Customers of today expect experiences that are consistent and unified across every touchpoint. If companies don’t put their customers first today, they’ll lose their relevance and revenue sooner than later. These needs are met by the Digital Experience Platform (DXP), an emerging category of software solutions. In this blog we’ll explore the need for personalized experiences, see how DXP helps in delivering and address what you’ll need to actually make it happen.
WHAT IS THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE PLATFORM ACCORDING TO GARTNER?
Many monikers are used for the same thing: Digital Experience Platform (DXP), Customer Experience Platform (CXP) or User Experience Platform (UXP). We’ll use DXP in this article. Digital platforms are seen by Gartner as one of the three top trends of 2017. Gartner defines a digital experience platform (DXP) as: an integrated set of technologies that provides a broad range of audiences with consistent, secure and personalized access to information and applications across many digital touchpoints.
Organizations use DXPs to build, deploy and continually improve websites, portals, mobile and other digital experiences. DXPs are based on a common platform, and manage the presentation layer based on the role, security privileges and preferences of an individual. They combine and coordinate applications, including content management, search and navigation, personalization, integration and aggregation, workflow, collaboration, analytics, mobile and omnichannel support.
RISE OF THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE PLATFORM
The call for relevance and customer experience has been around for quite some time now in both B2C and B2B. The next generation of CMS, Web Experience Management systems (WEM), changed websites from brochures into an integral part of the customer journey. This gave companies new ways to collect customer data, define personas and create exceptional experiences with unique content for specific audiences. Moreover, it connected new digital channels such as mobile apps and social media.
In practice, marketers found that these systems are designed to work with native data. WEM systems are stand-alone marketing tools that are difficult to connect to other systems. Data, profiling and applying business logic is limited when you work from a silo. This realization launched the Digital Experience Platform (DXP). An open platform that easily integrates with other systems and departments. That enables companies to craft truly personal experiences to customers. Something that companies today need more than ever.
HOW TO CRAFT SEAMLESS, PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCES?
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Customer loyalty today is not so much for brands as for the meaningful experiences that a particular brand may offer. The emotional connection is built with stimulation, inspiration, and a meaningful spending of time with unique experiences. That’s why brand experiences need to be personalized. Instead of selling products or services, companies need to focus on their customers’ pains and needs. Because after all, customers want solutions that work for them and that make them feel good. They expect to be recognized by brands, whether they’re on a digital channel or in-store.
That’s exactly what Amazon does when recommending books based on ones you’ve bought before. Or when Netflix recommends you TV shows and movies based on your consumed content. According to a 2017 survey with more than U.S. 1,000 customers by Segment, the economic benefits of personalization are obvious:
- Impulse purchases: 49% of customers bought products they didn’t intend to buy due to a personalized recommendation;
- Increased revenue: 40% of customers purchased more expensive items than planned because of personalized service;
- Fewer returns: 85% of impulse buyers were happy with their purchase and only 0,5% of mentioned impulse purchase were returned;
- Customer loyalty: 44% of customers say they will shop again after a personalized shopping experience.
Also Accenture underlines this profitability of personalization. By 2025, it expects a potential value of $2.95 trillion for those retailers and consumer goods companies who can offer optimal digital experiences.
5 KEY WAYS HOW DXP ADDRESSES THE CUSTOMER OF TODAY
The business need for personalization is clear and we explained the developments that lead to DXP. So how does DXP help in meeting the demand of today’s customers? By agility and data processing, often using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning technologies. This gives companies using DXP the following advantages:
- Actionable insights: DXP connects the internal operational systems with all the digital channels. Not just web, mobile and social media, but also in-store, on billboards, in customer portals or via e-commerce systems. That enables customer data capturing, processing and profiling, which gives a unified 360 degrees view of the customer. So when customer service handles that rude tweet, they‘ll know the customer history beforehand. Or the sales department sees the interests and lead score of a potential customer before calling.
- Match experience to user needs: DXP helps identify user needs by profiling and data prediction. Regardless of channel or device, the right digital experience can then be created real time with the right content, offer and emotional appeal. This will lead to a better, faster and more efficient customer journey.
- Become customer-oriented: By connecting DXP with internal systems, you can track customers, map their customer journey and identify crucial bottlenecks. And that enables you to reengineer your business practises. That’s exactly how the new disruptors of today operate: by offering a superior customer experience.
- Connect best of breed solutions: Companies typically use technology that has been chosen in the past to be best fitting. DXP as an open platform, connects to these best of breed solutions. You can switch or upgrade a specific marketing tool whenever you see the need. This makes your marketing agile and allows you to grow your personalization in manageable steps.
- Optimal content usage: Quality content comes at a price. Especially if you’re looking to create personalized content. DXP allows you to coordinate your content to drive reuse across multiple environments by decoupling the presentation layer from the content and its metadata. Your content becomes like water, filling each container completely and fittingly. This means your content investments will yield better results.
DXP is not only for B2C. Across all industries, B2B companies are facing the demand to make B2B shopping just as easy as B2C. Because today, 64% of B2B buyers research at least half of their work purchases online. And 38% make half or more of their work purchases online. And like B2C, B2B shopping behavior will continue be driven by digital developments. DXP helps both B2B and B2C in creating that seamless customer experience that brings meaning, connection and loyalty.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE DXP HAPPEN?
To fully utilize DXP, nothing short of a digital transformation is needed. It’s not just about creating a digital experience. It’s about creating the best digital experience. Having an effective website or an app is just the starting point. You’ll need to tie your digital channels with your business operations and learn to apply business logic to your customer interaction. Any legacy application architecture needs to be dealt with and any source of customer data needs to be connected. As Forrester analyst Liz Herbes notes: “Real digital transformation spans both the experience layer and the operations core.”