The Basics of Digital Experience Platforms

In order to add value for their customers, many businesses are investing in digital experience platforms (DXPs) that help them provide better, more personalized service.

It wasn’t too long ago that it seemed like this phrase was everywhere: “It’s like Uber, but for ____.” There’s a reason behind the seeming ubiquity of this once-popular elevator pitch.

Two features of Uber were frequently imitated in different verticals. The first was its emphasis on gig work and the sharing economy, which is a story for another day. The second, which we’ll zero in on here, was its elevation of a seamless, convenient digital experience.

In the days before Uber, if you wanted to hail a ride, you had to stand out on a high-traffic street and hope you saw a cab drive by with its for-hire light on.

Uber leveraged common technology and a user-friendly digital experience to provide a service that was in many ways preferable to the traditional taxi business.

The success of ride-hailing apps demonstrates the importance of digital experience management for today’s companies, and there’s reason to believe that other industries could be subject to similar pressures in the future if they aren’t already. A 2019 survey sponsored by Kony found that 47% of customers said they’d look for a different business if their existing provider offered a dissatisfying digital experience.

In order to add value for their customers, many businesses are investing in digital experience platforms (DXPs) that help them provide better, more personalized service.

What Is a Digital Experience Platform?

Digital experience platforms come in many different varieties. Their common feature is that they’re designed to help provide a better user experience for customers by improving interactions with a company or vendor online.

DXPs do this through a couple of different techniques. 

The first is by enabling service providers to better personalize content offerings and recommendations targeted to the individual user. Platforms may be tailored based on an analysis of user behavior or by information supplied directly by the user. For example, DXPs may learn about a user’s interests based on links they’ve clicked or according to their answers in a survey.

The second technique is to focus on enhancing how users find, select, order and manage their purchases via a portal or other commerce-related mechanisms. Ideally, this should be seamless, convenient and centered on the user, as opposed to being driven by what’s most valuable for the business.

Purchasing and implementing DXPs may be part of an overall initiative to digitize business operations and streamline processes, or they could represent a standalone effort.

Either way, intentional management of the operation will improve its odds for success, including improved metrics related to revenue growth, customer satisfaction and retention.

Digital Experience Platforms

How Can Enterprises Benefit From a Digital Experience Platform?

By gathering additional customer data from multiple digital touchpoints, DXPs represent an opportunity for greater marketing personalization. Simultaneously, DXPs remove barriers to purchasing by making it easier for customers to find relevant services and smoothly complete hassle-free transactions.

Together, these factors allow businesses to achieve better repeat purchasing outcomes from existing customers, increasing customer lifetime value. Different DXP vendors may emphasize various techniques, but ideally, they’ll all prioritize that result. 

In addition, the customer-facing DXP functions, like a user-focused dashboard, can serve as a marketplace differentiator as companies seek to attract new customers.

How Is the Future of Digital Experience Platforms Taking Shape?

The breakneck pace of technology means that it’s impossible to anticipate with absolute certainty how DXP platforms will look just five years from now.

Over the long term, though, it’s likely that DXPs will continue to leverage machine learning to provide more personalized experiences for customers.

The growing prevalence of cloud-based technology also points toward a rising desire for omnichannel access. Users will demand barrier-free access to the digital channels they rely on, regardless of what kind of device they’re using or where they’re located.

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of a Portal-Type Digital Experience Platform?

The chief benefit of a portal-type DXP is that it prioritizes user choice, meaning customers guide their own flow through the platform. In this kind of setup, users locate the services and products that are most relevant to them and complete those transactions through self-service customer portals.

The flip side of this kind of experience is that companies have less direction over the process, limiting their ability to incentivize the user to purchase specific products. Some DXPs overcome this drawback by integrating marketing automation, customer engagement and classic cross-selling techniques in addition to the core digital experience.

Still, this problem is limited in scope for B2B businesses, especially those that operate in industries where their customer demand dictates work orders.

How Do Customer Experience Platforms Compare to Digital Experience Platforms?

It’s not uncommon for people to lump DXPs together with customer experience platforms (CXPs). However, these two types of software are quite distinct, and their differences are worth exploring.

DXPs, as we’ve discussed, help manage digital customer experiences by providing mechanisms to better understand, respond to and support customer objectives in the digital space. To put it another way, DXPs make it easier for customers to get relevant information and act on it.

CXPs, on other hand, can be seen as a more analytics-oriented solution. Their role is to analyze and report on data points, potentially including direct feedback, to better understand a user’s overall customer experience in relation to the company.

If you’re looking for opportunities to improve digital customer journeys, find out how the Dashboard can play a pivotal in improving the digital experience for your customers. Reach out to request a demo today.

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