Today, it is arguably neither the product, service, nor price that gives companies a competitive advantage. Rather, in the evolving digital climate, it is the customer and user experience that can put you and your business ahead. It has therefore never been more important to give your online users the right content, at the right time, no matter their reason for engagement or the device they are using.
While content management systems (CMSs) are both scalable and responsive, they only just skim the surface of digital experience. The tools of a CMS are limited to content delivery, editing, reporting, and security functionalities. They are not intuitive to personalised content, which means marketing and engagement functions must be a manual process.
For SMEs, CMSs provide all the tools needed to run a successful website. They use a friendly interface and have intelligent navigations to upload and manage your content quickly and efficiently. However, for larger enterprises, or those in e-commerce, a WEM or DXP may serve you better.
A web engagement management (WEM) system is a happy medium between the functions of a CMS and the elaborate capabilities of a DXP. WEMs are highly intuitive and include digital marketing and commerce automations. They use a small number of user touchpoints to track digital journeys and use this data to start to understand user behaviour. Having said this, there are still limitations within the platform which mean that a holistic user view is not achieved.
The gaps in CMSs and WEMs concerning user knowledge and understanding are only filled by Digital experience platforms (DXPs). These complex systems offer a centralised location to collaborate on the development and the delivery of experiences. They provide the infrastructure for collecting and connecting data from every channel, where CMSs and WEMs fall short. And, with intuitive dashboards and machine learning driven suggestions, they give everyone access to deep customer insights. Simply put, they provide a fully integrated and seamless digital experience for your users. They are responsive across every device and channel and track the entire user journey between them.
They are architected in such a way that a CMS is the core of the system, and other platforms simply branch from it. Most DXPs include digital asset management systems, customer relationship management systems, customer data platforms, artificial intelligence, business intelligence centres, customer experience management systems, conversion rate optimisation systems, and several other platforms that pretty much respond to any and all business needs.
Our preferred DXP is Sitecore, due to its highly intuitive nature and user-friendly interface. This allows us and our clients to create rich, seamless online experiences for their users, without the need for constant technical guidance. The benefits of a DXP such as Sitecore are plenty, but here are some our favourites:
- A DXP provides an integrated control centre. This allows for combined omnichannel content management, customer data, and analytics, which enable experiences that increase customer retention. Retention is increased because the digital audience receives a fully connected and consistent journey through your site.
- Due to the headless architecture of a DXP, you can deliver the same content to all of your channels. This gives the content manager huge flexibility, freeing up time to create more content for even better experiences.
- We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again- Personalisation is the future of digital. Since a DXP integrates seamlessly with other systems (such as CRMs, CEMs, contact centres, social media etc.), they provide a holistic 360-degree view of your user. They automatically collate the user data into easy-to-understand dashboards, giving you data driven, deep insights on your users. The more you know, the better you can personalise. With a DXP, your users are given the correct content and value at each touchpoint, leading to a personal and thoughtful experience
- Due to the architecture of a DXP, you can continuously integrate new applications and future technologies. It easily adapts to new systems and acts as the heart and core of the technical operation. This means that as digital maturity continues to grow, and the landscape continues to change, your DXP and organisation will change and grow with it. Due to the fast-shifting digital landscape, a DXP is the only platform that can guarantee a future-proofed online solution.
Essentially, if you’re looking for a secure and intelligent platform to build your website on, then a CMS is the perfect answer for you. However, if you’re looking to totally engage your digital audience, and create a solution that answers their specific needs at everevery turn of the journey, you might need a WEM or DXP.
Developing a completely user-centred platform and experience is no easy feat, and a DXP often appears more complex than it should be. Check out our web development services for a bit of guidance, or get in touch if you’re looking to maximise your website’s potential through user engagement.