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Choosing the right DXP for your e-commerce strategy

illustration depicting DXP ecosystem and the place for e-commerce

In a world where online interactions seem to predict our desires before we even voice them aloud, the line between convenience and intrusion blurs. Yet, the mechanisms driving this apparent clairvoyance aren't clandestine; they're grounded in the sophisticated architecture of digital experience platforms (DXPs). As we embark on a journey through the labyrinth of e-commerce, let's unravel the mysteries of DXPs and explore how they seamlessly weave together customer insights, personalized content and omnichannel experiences to redefine the digital marketplace.

Have you ever talked about a product with a friend or searched for it on Google, then seen an Instagram ad for it a couple hours later? You probably thought to yourself, "Big Brother really is watching."

Whether that's true or not, the reality of this scenario is far less sinister. In reality, the company targeting you with an ad used a digital experience platform (DXP) to anticipate what you want, detect when you're interested, and create an opportunity for you to act.

Creepy, maybe. But we can all agree that it's better to get ads for things we want than for things we don't, right?

Your customers tend to agree. They want more immersive content and commerce experiences, and a DXP is how you deliver that.

Types of DXP software for e-commerce sellers

A digital experience platform (DXP) is an integrated set of tools built on one common platform that enables e-commerce brands to deliver digital experiences across multiple channels, including websites, mobile apps, social media, email, PoS and more.

There are various types of DXP software available for e-commerce sellers, each offering unique features and capabilities. For instance, some DXPs focus on content management and personalization, such as Brightspot or Sitecore. Others prioritize customer data integration and analytics, like Salesforce Commerce Cloud and SAP Commerce Cloud. Additionally, platforms like Magento and Shopify Plus offer robust e-commerce capabilities combined with DXP functionalities, allowing brands to create unified and engaging customer journeys. By leveraging the right DXP, e-commerce sellers can enhance customer engagement, streamline operations, and drive higher conversion rates.

For e-commerce sellers specifically, there are a few key types of DXPs to consider:

DXP technology & CMSs

Alistair Wearmouth
By Alistair Wearmouth
March 15, 2021
In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, choosing the right platform for content management is crucial. This page delves into the complexities and differences between a digital experience platform (DXP) and a content management system (CMS). We'll explore their unique capabilities, benefits and roles in creating and managing digital user experiences. Also, we'll provide insights to help you make an informed decision in this crucial aspect of your digital transformation journey.
14 Min Read

A content management system (CMS) is a platform for creating, publishing and managing web content. A CMS DXP combines e-commerce CMS capabilities with additional features, such as:

  • Personalization
  • Analytics
  • Persona-based segmentation
  • Omnichannel content delivery
  • E-commerce tools (e.g., product catalogs, shopping carts)

A CMS DXP is best for customer acquisition, lead nurturing and promotional web campaigns. If you're a small e-commerce seller without an online presence, a CMS DXP is probably the best place to start.

Portal DXPs

A portal DXP is a more advanced version of a CMS DXP, designed to handle large amounts of content and support multiple websites or microsites. They're primarily for B2B e-commerce users who need to manage multiple brands, products and customers through a single platform.

Portals enable customer self-service by aggregating personalized content, tools and services in one easy-to-access location. For a customer to access theirs, they have to log in.

Examples include:

  • Retailer portals for tracking orders and managing accounts
  • B2B supplier portals that provide order tracking and customer support
  • Employee portals for accessing internal resources

On the backend, connected with APIs, they provide analytics that help you track customer engagement, loyalty and retention. They also calculate metrics like CSAT and NPS, which help you measure customer health.

DXP services for commercial applications

Commercial DXPs are predominantly for front-end e-commerce user experiences. Connected through APIs, they integrate with your backend systems (e.g., ERP, CRM, inventory/order management) to deliver engaging customer experiences across all your sales channels.

Large brands and department retailers use them to manage shopping cart, online checkout, fulfillment and inventory management processes for their ecom sites and mobile apps. They also provide content delivery for web interfaces, though.

Composable DXPs

Anne Neubauer
By Anne Neubauer
December 03, 2021
With e-commerce demand at an all-time high and marketing budgets at an all-time low, marketers are in need of tools that allow them to do more with less when it comes to scaling their content approach. A modular content approach supports content reuse and optimization.
3 Min Read

A composable DXP is a relatively new concept in e-commerce, combining headless CMS and traditional DXP capabilities.

Unlike traditional DXPs, which have their own pre-defined features and functionalities, composable DXPs are highly customizable. They connect best-in-class microservice solutions from different vendors using APIs for an agile and flexible digital experience delivery.

As you grow your company, a composable DXP like Brightspot gives you the freedom to integrate additional features like voice search and chatbots to your existing e-commerce infrastructure.

Unlock the power of effective e-commerce content management with a CMS that can elevate content-to-commerce storytelling, optimize SEO and drive sales with personalization.

Key features of DXP solutions for e-commerce

Though your digital experience platform will be unique to your business in at least some ways, there are a few features you'll see in any good e-commerce DXP:

  • Content management (the core of your platform)
  • Omnichannel delivery (website, mobile app, socials, kiosks, PoS, and customer portals)
  • Personalization at scale (guided shopping, dynamic content, product recommendations)
  • E-commerce tools (product catalog, shopping cart, payment gateway integration)
  • Targeting capabilities (e.g., persona-based segmentation, A/B testing)
  • Analytics and reporting (e.g., customer engagement, sales data)
  • Comprehensive customer journey support (nurturing, acquisition, retention, and post-purchase experiences)
  • E-commerce integrations (CRM, ERP, PIM, and plugin tools extend your DXP's capabilities, share data, and create automations)

Integrating e-commerce functionalities and digital experience management

The exact e-commerce integrations you build largely depend on your sales and marketing channels and the digital touchpoints throughout the customer journey.

In general, an e-commerce DXP will need to integrate with some or all of the following systems:

  • Payment gateways and processors
  • Installation payment solutions (e.g., Klarna, Afterpay)
  • Social media, social listening, and analytics
  • Inventory/order management
  • Marketing automation
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Product information management (PIM)
  • AI plugin tools (e.g., chatbot, gen AI, voice search)
  • Website builders (e.g., Shopify)

For B2B e-commerce, you might need to integrate directly with your suppliers, partners, and/or sellers. And if there are physical sales channels, like a brick-and-mortar store or pop-up shops, you'll need PoS system integration.

Tips for selecting the best e-commerce DXP

Your ability to string together all your digital touchpoints and deliver a personalized omnichannel experience to your customers depends on (a) the type of DXP you choose and (b) whether you assemble it with the right e-commerce tools.

Here are some tips to help you choose the best DXP for your business:

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June 07, 2023
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Evaluate your current systems and touchpoints ahead of time.

Before you begin, you need to know how your customers are buying from you.

  • How long is the customer journey?
  • How many touchpoints do you have?
  • What are they?
  • Are they partially, mainly, or completely digital?
  • How diverse is your audience base?

Then, look at the backend systems you currently use to reach your customers and capture data. Consider how your DXP will have to integrate with them.

With e-commerce demand at an all-time high and marketing budgets at an all-time low, marketers are in need of tools that allow them to do more with less when it comes to scaling their content approach.

Look at integration capabilities first.

By evaluating your needs ahead of time, you can go into the selection process already knowing what you need. Before moving on to pricing, technical capabilities, or even usability, narrow down your options based on what easily integrates with your current backend systems. And factor in extensibility for additional tools you might build in later.

Otherwise, you'll never be able to create automations, personalize experiences, and facilitate data sharing across all your channels.

Prioritize customer privacy.

The gradual demise of third-party cookies (which Google announced is under way as of 2024) and the enactment of data privacy regulations like the CCPA/CPRA (California's equivalent of the EU's GDPR) mean you have to reconsider how you target and personalize.

When evaluating DXPs, look for those with privacy and consent management built-in features. This way, you can capture customer data in compliance with privacy laws and their preferences.

Pay attention to voice over.

At present, only 27.4% of shoppers say they've used smart assistants to make a purchase before. But ~41% of U.S. adults use voice search daily to find information, and it's quickly becoming a useful tool for product discovery (not to mention, web accessibility). When you're looking for a DXP, go in with the mindset that you'll eventually need to integrate with voice search or at least have the option to.

Use automation to drive personalization efforts.

For businesses, personalizing digital content for individuals instead of relying solely on segmentation makes automation essential for tailoring web pages, emails, chatbot greetings, and app notifications to each user.

Be flexible, and you'll go straight to the top.

To future-proof your e-commerce initiatives, focus on choosing a flexible DXP with open APIs. That way, you can add/remove microservices, integrate software apps, and leverage new tech like AI, data management, and voice tech. This will be critical as you expand and evolve you digital touchpoints.

Elevate your customer experience with the best DXP

Most e-com businesses have numerous backend systems that aren't connected to one another. Since DXPs are assembled, not purchased outright, you need a digital experience platform that's both flexible and scalable. With the right tools and integrations in place, you'll finally be able to successfully fuse content and commerce.

illustration depicting DXP ecosystem and the place for e-commerce

In summary: DXP definitions

What does DXP stand for?

DXP stands for digital experience platform. It is a software framework that enables organizations to deliver seamless, integrated and personalized digital experiences across various channels.

What is an example of DXP?

An example of a DXP is Adobe Experience Manager, Sitecore DXP or Brightspot. These platforms combines content management, digital asset management and digital commerce into one ecosystem, allowing businesses to create, manage and optimize customer experiences.

What is DXP in e-commerce?

In e-commerce, a DXP integrates various tools and technologies to provide a unified customer experience. It includes features such as personalized content, seamless checkout processes and customer data management, enhancing the overall shopping experience and customer satisfaction.

What is a digital experience platform?

A digital experience platform (DXP) is a comprehensive suite of tools and technologies designed to create, manage and optimize customer experiences across all digital touchpoints. It enables businesses to deliver personalized and consistent interactions, improving customer engagement and loyalty.

See how Brightspot's composable DXP approach fits into your e-commerce by booking a demo.


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