Phil Robinson
Phil Robinson
Technology Consultant

Engineering

DEPT®’s view of industry leading DXPs

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Finding the right technology to power your digital business is critical to achieving your long-term goals and ambitions. But it’s not always easy. The digital solution landscape is crowded; content management systems have evolved rapidly over the years, maturing into platforms that can power multi-faceted digital experiences, resulting in the rise of digital experience platforms (DXPs). Here’s DEPT®’s view of the leading DXPs on the market.

What is a DXP?

A DXP is a set of technologies that are tied together to help organisations power their customers’ digital experiences. Content management is a big part of that, but a DXP can also cover data analytics, search, optimisation, marketing automation and e-commerce. 

Many DXP offerings derive from portals and web content management (WCM) systems. But driven by the demand for interoperability and integration with other technologies to support the customer experience (CX) strategy, they have evolved to unite all customer touchpoints: website; web application; app; billboards; customer portals; social media, and IoT devices. Through one system, marketers can craft compelling and seamless customer experiences. 

Market overview

As organisations pivot to embrace digital customer journeys that span multiple channels, the DXP solution landscape continues to evolve. Some of the trends that have influenced its latest evolution include:

01 Headless and composable architectures

Driven by multi-experience delivery demands, a desire to build ‘best-of-breed’ solutions and a move towards the cloud, headless architectures, including CMSes, have continued to disrupt the DXP market. 

This has fuelled an increase in the uptake of composable architectures, and the current proportion of organisations assembling DXPs from multiple components is roughly equal to those choosing to utilise a more ‘monolithic’ stack from a single vendor. Gartner predicts that in the near future, driven by the need for flexibility and agility, this will be more heavily weighted towards composable solutions.

02 Customer data platforms

As businesses’ have increasingly started to recognise the value of having a 360º view of customer data and interactions, many DXP providers acquired specialist CDP (customer data platform) solutions in 2021 in order to bolster their offerings and in turn, digital experiences.

03 Commerce acceleration

The pandemic fuelled a surge in digital commerce, with B2C and B2B companies launching new shopping solutions to meet customer needs, get access to first party data and open up new revenue streams. This led many DXP vendors to bolster and expand their commerce integrations to support customers in facilitating seamless interactions between buyers and sellers.

04 Low code tools

Following the dramatic growth of low and no code tools in 2021, businesses are pushing DXP providers to provide low-code tools so that they can customise by writing a small amount of code, to accelerate innovation and decrease time to value.

Leaders lens

DEPT®’s key DXP partners, Optimizely, Sitecore, Acquia and Adobe, were featured in Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for DXPs. Of the four categories: leaders; challengers; visionaries; and niche players, each were identified as ‘leaders’. Here’s why we think they deserve their ranking as the best solutions available.

Optimizely

Optimizely’s DXP includes content management, personalisation, customer data management and analytics functionalities. In 2021 it acquired Zaius CDP, bringing new customer journey mapping and personalisation capabilities. It is available on a subscription basis as a hybrid cloud solution, employing some SaaS components with management UIs, orchestrated around a single-tenant PaaS. 

It’s most often used at mid to large-sized B2B and B2C enterprises and most often by retail, manufacturing and distribution, high tech, healthcare, commercial services and financial services companies. Optimizely is credited for its simple, modular, scalable and transparent pricing that enables customers to start small and grow in line with their digital experience evolution.

Sitecore

Sitecore’s DXP offers capabilities for content management, personalisation, optimisation and customer data management. It’s most often deployed in the healthcare, retail, manufacturing and travel verticals. It is mostly used for B2C use cases, as well as some B2B use cases.

Sitecore DXP is currently transitioning to SaaS, as the vendor has adopted a new vision based on several acquisitions supporting customer data management, personalisation, marketing resource management and search. Its journey toward composability and the cloud is identified as a strength, converting its applications into SaaS and acquiring SaaS vendors with complementary capabilities. Another benefit is its large partner and alliance network, offering customers vast support.

Acquia

Acquia’s DXP is the Open Digital Experience Platform, comprising Drupal Cloud and Marketing Cloud. It has broad capabilities for content management and customer experience, including personalisation, analytics, customer journey management and a customer data platform. 

Acquia DXP is available as a PaaS offering, with some components available as SaaS. Like Sitecore, it is credited for its focus on composability, as well as its large partner network. The solution is largely deployed by financial services, manufacturing, retail and consumer packaged goods industries.

Adobe

Adobe’s DXP is Adobe Experience Cloud. It has wide ranging capabilities from content management and personalisation, to customer data management and multichannel campaign management. It is available on-premises and as PaaS, with some SaaS components. 

Its customers span a variety of industries of varying sizes, but its primary use cases are B2C; although some organisations also use it for B2B purposes, and occasionally for B2E (business to employee). Buyers often choose Adobe’s DXP as it’s a widely adopted, mature solution, but this also means it has a higher total cost of ownership than other options.

Making the right choice

Every DXP has its own sweet spot, just as all enterprises have their own demands. What’s important is selecting a solution based on your organisation’s unique needs and demands. But the landscape is vast and complex. To help you navigate it, we have compiled the ultimate guide to CMS selection in 2022

Click below to download the guide or get in touch to find out how our experts can help you find your needle in the haystack.

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Download the ultimate guide to CMS selection in 2022

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