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On the heels of accelerated digital transformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, customers increasingly rely on and prefer digital interactions. In a little less than three years, the number of surveyed customers who report that 80% or more of their interactions with businesses are digital has tripled. In a market where 32% of customers will ditch brands after a single unsatisfactory experience, businesses must leverage all the tools they can to ensure that they provide outstanding digital experiences at all touchpoints. The most critical of these is a digital experience platform (DXP) with core DXP features.

Trends in the valuation of the global DXP market closely track recent shifts in customer preferences and expectations. The DXP product market had a total value of $10.11 billion in 2021. According to current estimates, this value will triple by 2030, topping $31.7 billion, demonstrating a sustained compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3% for the forecast period. 

The digital transformation of customer interactions shows no signs of ebbing in the foreseeable future. Sixty percent of customers expect increased digitalization, and among Millennials and Gen Z, this percentage rises to 89%. Businesses who want to change with the times and thrive in the new digital marketplace will use DXPs to optimize their digital experiences end to end. In this guide, you’ll learn what DXPs do and what core features they require to meet your needs. 

Key takeaways

  • Customers increasingly want to interact with businesses digitally.
  • Customer expectations for digital experiences are high and unforgiving, challenging businesses to create and manage engaging, personalized experiences with seamless consistency across all touchpoints. 
  • Digital experience platforms (DXPs) are the best tool in the martech kit to handle these challenges. Although platforms vary individually, they require certain core capabilities to deliver what you need. 

What is a DXP?

DXP software allows your business to manage and integrate the digital content customers experience wherever they encounter your brand. Before the digital era, businesses communicated with customers through just a handful of almost exclusively one-way channels such as TV, radio and print media. The internet and digital transformation technologies have not only proliferated the number of channels through which businesses communicate. They also introduced the real-time interactivity that now shapes customer expectations for rich, personalized experiences.

Managing brands in today’s digital environment requires creating, aligning and delivering digital content across a diverse spectrum of channels.

  • Websites
  • Digital Advertising
  • Mobile Apps
  • Social Media Platforms
  • Email
  • Customer Portals
  • Digital Signage

With the number of connections and devices per person in North America rising from 8.2 in 2018 to 13.4 by next year, businesses should also expect customer uptime in all channels to increase along with sensitivity to alignment and personalization at different touchpoints.

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To meet these challenges, DXPs use API-based integrations to connect the array of adjacent technologies that publish digital content. In a DXP, businesses can shape their digital content holistically to create a seamless and personalized experience from the customer’s perspective. For content alignment and management, DXPs have equally broad applications in B2C, B2B and B2E contexts. 

7 core DXP capabilities and features

To create the fine-tuned, versatile content management control that businesses increasingly need, DXPs require a set of core functionalities. Individual platforms will append other features to this list and tweak the UI/UX to suit different preferences, but effective digital experience design and control require certain baseline capabilities.

1. Content and asset management

DXPs should provide a repository for content and digital assets – content other than text files such as images, video and audio – storage with tiers of user permissions determining who can upload, access, edit, or publish. Your DXP repository should integrate easily with your channels to streamline publication and monitoring. Cloud infrastructure provides the most scalable solutions to evolving business needs in this context.

2. E-commerce

DXPs push a lot of digital content into spaces where customers make transactions or where ad links lead them. Your DXP should allow you to set up the back end of e-commerce digital storefronts and handle associated tasks – accepting payments, tracking orders and fielding customer service issues – within the platform.


3. Customer relationship management

Consolidating access to the channels you use to create your brand’s digital experience does more than just streamline the process of getting content out to your customer audiences. It should also allow you to capture valuable customer data created in interactions across platforms without manually stitching it back together. The integrated customer data you store and analyze contains actionable insights to drive personalization in the digital experiences you deliver.


4. Analytics and content intelligence

The raw customer data you capture through interactions with your digital content can’t speak for itself. To mine its value and derive insights that can shape better digital experiences, you need analytical tools such as artificial intelligence to render meaningful trends and impacts visible and intelligible to creatives and decision-makers.


5. Automated personalization

Customers in today’s digital environment expect businesses and brands to remember and recognize them. They expect digital experiences that speak to them personally and adversely react when businesses fail to meet this expectation. Your DXP should capture and analyze customer data for behavioral patterns as well as group trends so that you can serve customers personalized digital experiences wherever they engage with you.

6. Content performance testing

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Achieving optimized content and digital experiences rarely happen on the first try. Rather, it’s a process of refining incrementally better iterations and keeping your ear to the ground for new developments. Your platform must enable actionable experimentation types such as A/B testing sequences to accomplish this.


7. Flexible APIs for future integrations

Even the most forward-looking solutions can’t anticipate all necessary adaptations to come. A good platform will always operate on easily integrated architecture with flexible APIs to facilitate the incorporation of new technologies and channels as the techscape changes. 

Optimize digital experiences across all channels with Optimizely’s DXP

Optimizely’s DXP enables you to create content in minutes, feature products, and innovate new engaging experiences through powerful testing processes. Trusted by 9,000+ businesses and millions of happy customers, Optimizely’s platform provides a consistent foundation for effective digital experience creation and management.

To get started, contact Optimizely today.