Let's explore the common components that make up your typical DXP. The information provided here is meant to be a general explanation of what these micro-services are and how they interact. Depending on your industry, product, and use case, the applications and inclusions of these components may greatly differ.
A/B Testing, at its core, is the way to compare two (or more) variations of something to figure out which performs better. Depending on the business or the product, the metrics to test may vary widely, however, the underlying goal is to find a winning combination of elements being tested that impact the primary KPIs of the business, which may be a combination of business metrics like signups, email opens, app conversions, website contact form fills, downloads, etc. Also known as 'split testing', A/B testing brings scientific methodology to marketing and removes the guesswork. It provides data-backed decisions and can be used across a range of communications and variables, across platforms.
In the context of a DXP, A/B Testing enables teams to focus on business metrics, and constantly enhance their customer-facing capabilities to drive better engagement and conversions. As most companies, especially digital startups, focus on delivering products across platforms like websites, mobile, TV, and OOH to name a few, being able to gather their end-user’ behavioral analytics could potentially assist in making more informed business decisions.
The content management system (CMS), provides the content and context necessary for other services within the DXP to operate. Whether text, website content, landing pages, banners, or push notifications, the CMS is at the core of the DXP, offering a repository for other services to absorb content from.
In a DXP, a Headless CMS serves as a silent foundation, as it stands apart in being effective, since it provides all this content to other services natively via API, rather than the other services needing to interpret and transform any of the content.
DXPs are often labeled as “Next Generation CMS”, however, at least at present, CMS form the core of most DXPs, especially when opting for a best-of-breed microservices approach over a monolithic all-in-one suite.
Analytics is perhaps, quite unarguably, among the most vital components of any DXP, regardless of the industry or scale. Many DXPs rely on Business Intelligence (BI) tools to gather, compile, categorize, and visualise the data that comes in from the wide variety of tools and services in action within their DXP. If a CMS is the sole component that empowers the content across all components, then Analytics platforms are what allow marketers to make sense of how that content is impacting their goals - analytics can help you track conventional web metrics along with keeping tabs on your precise marketing efficiency for each channel.
In the context of a DXP, using machine learning and AI, it is possible to carry out personalization in a highly granular way on the basis of individuals. Further areas of application are the improvement of search based on text analysis and text comprehension. It is also possible to create texts automatically and programmatically, for example, in the area of digital assistants or chatbots. AI also offers extensive potential in the area of customer service and social media interaction through actionable predictability.
Authentication is the practice of validating the identity of a registered user attempting to gain access to an application, API, microservices or any other data resource. Following that, once you are authenticated, authorization is about deciding whether you, as an individual, are permitted to perform a given action on a specific resource. There are two sides to the role of authentication when it comes to a DXP.
On one hand, internally, a DXP should have the capability to allow for authentication, and by extension, role-based access, permission models, SSO, and security testing.
On the other hand, externally, users, and customers should be able to securely access experiences relevant to them without compromising their identity, information, or privacy, when interacting with any platform.
Quite simply put, a customer data platform (CDP) is a type of packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems. Over time, many branches of marketing have been linked to describe what a CDP is/does - including CRM, Prediction, Automation, and Personalisation. Whilst many CDPs are capable of this, due to their nature of managing all the customer data, a CDP at its core is not a CRM platform. Once the understanding of a CDP remains as such, it's easy to see why most DXPs rely on a CDP to provide them with actionable context when building new campaigns.
Arguably the most critical component of a DXP, cloud platforms have the ability to genuinely recreate the customer experience. API-first microservices, almost by definition, aim to provide high-performance, scalability, and reliable infrastructures when incorporated into a DXP; all leveraging the cloud, beyond storage and hosting, including scaling and automatically updating.
Marketing Automation & CRM
When it comes to CRM, regardless of whether talking from the sales or the marketing side, engagement and experiences must be humanized for executive decision-makers as well as how platforms help them deliver the integrated experiences customers seek. Building robust CX and CRM programs allows companies to focus on the CX, making them the focal point of the organization and the decision-making process. This in turn leads to improved customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.
Sales automation and CRM tools eliminate repetitive, manual tasks and automate them; freeing sales teams to spend more time creating a better customer experience. Typically sales platforms can automate follow-ups, manage pipelines, and quickly onboard new team members, amongst other tasks.
Customers these days are looking for sustained customer engagement that can deliver a richer and more fruitful customer experience. Customer engagement platforms fulfill the role of bridging the functions of Support, Sales, Marketing, and Product, by providing a rich interface to engage with leads, users, and customers in real-time.
A widely accepted operating principle is that “Digital Experiences” have 3 primary pillars - the CMS, data, and eCommerce capabilities. So it comes as no surprise, that looking beyond the siloed nature of classical, or monolithic, web experience management, the emergence of eCommerce APIs would form a critical component of any DXP. Simply put - a quick, simple, and painless transaction process has a strong impact on the customer experience.
A truly omnichannel approach embraces that not all services and tools at their disposal are directly influenced by in-house efforts. Companies have never shied away from asking for reviews across a multitude of platforms - Google, Yelp, Facebook, G2, the list goes on. And considering that over 90% of consumers include reviews into their buying decisions, and every one-star increase brings a brand an average of 5-9% increase in revenue, reputation management across online platforms and directories are increasingly important to marketers.
The focus on DXPs has been a lot on what a company can do with internal resources and services to improve their CX - and incorporating external reviews takes that a step further out of the DXP comfort zone, theoretically moving it out of the company’s control. However, brand management is perhaps the most tangible “component” within a DXP to measure customer experience across all touchpoints.
The NPS, or Net Promoter Score, is a customer loyalty metric that allows marketers to gauge the overall customer experience delivered by their products. The applicability of NPS is extremely vertical-fluid, with almost no barriers to implementation from a customer journey perspective. A simple “How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend” gives marketers a very granular understanding of each customers’ perception of their product.
Customer experience is at the heart of the evolution of the payments as companies look for ways to make transactions for products and services more seamless. Changes in the payments sector, including real-time payments and security-enhancing data, are being driven largely by technology-savvy consumers and future-forward businesses demanding a full digital experience in their daily transactions.
Personalization engines analyze customer data from SaaS or from customer behaviors, to curate and modify customer experiences comprising of automated marketing efforts and recommendations. These tools automate the segmenting, testing, and distribution of marketing communication, ensuring campaigns are effective and measurable with a granular level of customization.
Integrating voice search with a DXP ensures your brand engages customers where they’re at, while collecting data on what they want and need. Voice search has become more sophisticated and granular in recent years, and developers are advancing voice search to align with various speech patterns, accents, different languages, and more. Together with a DXP, voice search will deliver massive amounts of actionable customer data.
Chatbots and virtual agents deliver digital experiences through virtual personas and automation accessed through conversational interfaces. As a domain-specific conversational interface to guide and assist customers along with their discovery of a platform, they allow companies to offer real-time engagement without the need for allocating human resources.
In-built search can be leveraged to provide a more seamless navigation experience to visitors, and is an important tool in information discovery, and in the implementation of a self-service model - especially considering that the concept of “Search” itself is no longer just a search bar, but rather a powerful discovery mechanism powering navigation, filters, and entire pages.