Digital Experience Platforms
Digital platforms are revolutionizing everyday online life. They unite a multitude of different offers, can be individualized and offer real added value for the user. Digital platforms optimize the digital economy - now and in the near future.
What is a Digital Platform?
Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) bundle content management systems, web presence management, Digital Commerce and various portals to guarantee the user an optimized experience. According to Gartner a digital platform is an integrated set of application technologies that support the composition, management, delivery and optimization of content-based digital experiences. This makes it possible to deliver personalized content to the customer. DXPs bring a strong emphasis on interoperability and compatibility as well as cross-channel continuity across the entire customer journey.
What does exactly mean?
Digital platforms use the data shared by users and exchange it among themselves. In this way, all aspects of the platform benefit from the knowledge and insight of the individual sub-areas. These sub-areas are called silos. The learning effect and knowledge growth increases with the number of users. The more users interact with the platform, the higher the knowledge gain. The huge amount of data, called Big Data, ensures the continuous improvement of the platform.
What was there before the DXPs?
The digital platform is the logical consequence of the technical evolution and the development of the user structure.
When the Internet began to take off at the beginning of the 2000s due to the technical possibilities, the websites were equipped with the first CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (CMS). These CMS made it possible for several authors to provide, modify and optimize content very easily.
The pure CMS was expanded over time and developed into Web Content Management (WCM). This means the additional editing of the page layout and navigation. On the basis of an analysis, the content is not only made available, but also adapted directly for the target group.
The content is thus not only provided, but also adapted for the target group. WCM enables the target group-specific integration of rich content and media. It is therefore a solution for creating and publishing content. This content is delivered to the target group via the interface, thus creating a certain push effect.
The development of WCM is closely linked to the establishment of so-called portals. These portals enabled personalized access to content. Within the portals, target group-specific information and applications from numerous sources are available. The user can log in thanks to a personalized access and can interact with the content or contribute to it. In contrast, the reception of individual information creates a pull effect within the portals.
The third major development was the establishment of digital commerce, i.e. the trading of goods and information on the Internet against payment. Digital commerce includes information, services and goods. Originally intended only as a software application, numerous commerce platforms developed, which moved more and more extremely in opposite directions. Meanwhile there are very broadly diversified, but also extremely specific platforms, both for B2C, B2B, B2B2C, franchises and much more.
All these areas, which were previously independent, are now bundled in the Digital Platforms in order to provide the user with the best possible offer and at the same time to facilitate the support and maintenance of data in large systems.
What must digital experience platforms be able to do?
The task structure can be roughly divided into three areas, Experience, Management and Platform. In the interaction of these three areas, the DXP offers absolute added value. Each area consists of characteristics that are decisive for the performance of the platform.
- Data analysis and content optimization
- Orchestration of the experience representation
- Personalization and context awareness
- Search and Navigation
- Account Services
- Collaboration and knowledge management
- Content management
- Security management and access control
- Applied AI
- Architecture and application development
- Integration, compatibility and expansion
- Multichannel Support
The interaction of these components ensures that the Customer Journey functions seamlessly within the platform as well as outside, and that the user is supported and accompanied via numerous applications.
A DXP could also be controlled as an end point and thus be integrated into third-party systems. For example, the combination of ONLINE-SHOP and DXP or an app in conjunction with the DXP is conceivable. In this case, the DXP takes over both central data storage and data protection, since the operator collects his customer data at a central location.
Ideally, a DXP supports the user during the customer journey by:
- Digital Commerce
- Customer Service
- Customer Community
- Board Portal
- and much more
Also an application in SERVICE CHAT BOTS is useful. Only through perfect cross-channel continuity within these silos will the user experience real added value.
What are Silos?
This term is used to describe different applications and interfaces with which a website user comes into contact. These can include the actual WEBSITE, a corresponding native app on mobile devices, a web shop, a customer portal, marketing microsites and landing pages and much more. All these applications and interfaces have worked independently of each other up to now, or the knowledge gained had to be manually analyzed and applied.
Digital platforms ensure that a common experience is now created from various different applications. Thanks to DXP, the individual silos can now interact with each other. The analysis of big data, the exchange among each other and the resulting new knowledge that is constantly emerging optimize the user experience across the board.
The basic structure of the respective applications or silos can and must remain the same. A Native App will always work differently than the corporate website or shop. However, DXP now makes it possible to exchange experiences, processes, knowledge and data with each other. This optimizes the individual customer journeys.
The DXP uses all data from all silos to optimize the customer journeys across the board. All areas of the customer journey are covered by various touchpoints, from the first interaction to permanent communication. The more data the users provide, the more the individual customer journey can be optimized and the more lucrative the user experience. It is extremely important for the platform to be open for external extensions in all its functionality. No platform can and must do everything - but it must be compatible for important additional functions and have the appropriate interfaces.
Platform for the digital working world
Digital platforms already play a very important role in the corporate sector. Some companies are already using them, others are now beginning to learn about them. Due to the rapid technological development and the huge impact on customers, companies should look at the potential of digital platforms and the possible changes to their business model as soon as possible.
The digital world has always been characterized by development and optimization. The emergence of digital experience platforms from pure CMS and portals seems like a logical step and is certainly not yet the end result of the development. From a business perspective, it is imperative to deal with the opportunities and risks of digital platforms in order not to lose touch.
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