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10 Most Popular Digital Experience Platforms of 2021

AICMSpersonalizationHeadless CMSTraditional CMSHybrid CMS10 most popular10 best digital experience platforms10 Most Popular Digital Experience Platforms of 2021DXPdigital experience platformwhat is digital experience platfromclosed DXPsopen DXPsDXP featuresDXP benefitsworkflow managementwhat is a digital experience platform
Updated May 6, 2021 Elena Dambrauskaite

Imagine if you were able to design every step and every touchpoint of a digital journey using one platform that unites all technologies to strive for the same goal. Since you’re here, you probably know that it’s not fiction – it’s a reality thanks to Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs).

 

In this article, we will introduce you to the 10 most popular Digital Experience Platforms of 2021 that will help you create, implement, and maintain the best digital journey quality through websites, mobile, and any other device.

 

Digital Experience Platforms – what are they?

Digital Experience Platform, in short also known as DXP, is a software system that integrates a set of technologies to connect data-based content with customers. This essentially means that the best user experience is established and maintained through a personalized digital journey across various digital touchpoints.

 

More specifically, DXP ensures a consistent and sustainable approach through a broad range of technologies. This includes tools that cover data security, digital asset management, DevOps, CRM, UX/UI design tools, as well as content hubs, and much more.

 

Digital Experience Platforms can be used for a large number of different types of activities that are managed and executed in an organization. Typically the main focus is, as mentioned, the user. Hence, DXP is a fantastic tool to improve every step of a user’s experience through websites, mobile, or any other type of digital platform.

 

While activities and responsibilities using DXPs can differ depending on an individual’s role and position in an organization’s hierarchy, DXPs can do it all.

 

For instance, it can be an incredible assistant with content management, website analysis, workflow management, search and navigation, personalization, collaboration, mobile and multichannel support.

 

Having a well-matching DXP can help a company or an organization improve not only customer satisfaction and experience, but the overall workflow can be improved in terms of speed and productivity.

 

Naturally, the best Digital Experience Platforms have many things in common as far as the goal itself is concerned. Things like the relationship between the offered features and pricing, on the other hand, are worth investigating before committing to one platform.

 

In addition, the installation and setup can also vary from one platform to another, therefore careful research could be helpful to ensure that the needs of your organization are fulfilled in the best possible way.

 

 

 

 

A visualized explanation of how the best Digital Experience Platforms function.
Source: xtivia.com

 

Different Digital Experience Platforms – Their Strengths and Weaknesses

You’re probably eager to get to the list of 10 best Digital Experience Platforms, but before you do, it would be a disservice if we didn’t discuss 2 different types of DXPS that are out there.

 

In a way, this is the first step of research before you can move on to the next points of the perfect DXP checklist. First, you need to learn about Open DXPx and Closed DXPs, their strengths, weaknesses, and which one will benefit you the most.

 

For a positive impact, you’ll need to be aware of what software your business or organization is using in order to have a compatible team consisting of your software stack and DXP.

 

Closed DXPs – Best for time-saving companies

In short, the Closed DXPs are focusing on tightly coupled components that come from the same vendor. This essentially means that components are already matched and work well together.

 

Strenght

Since the components don’t come from different vendors, a huge part of the work is already done, as you won’t have to spend time on the complex process of integration. Also, it’s just easier to have all components together from the same provider, rather than investigating each component separately from different providers. This way it’s less time-consuming.

 

Weakness

If it’s different, you might have difficulties integrating your current software stack with a closed DXPs. Also, the closed DXPs might not necessarily have the best product quality of all components.

 

Open DXPs – Best for Quality-Oriented Companies

The Open DXPs focus on the very best quality of components, even if they come from different vendors. As the name implies, the approach is open with a focus on quality rather than the easiest solutions. The integration and implementation of components from different vendors can be different. Some can be easier, some can require additional time and effort to make it all work together.

 

Strenght

Open DXPs can ensure the best quality and solution options for all activities involved. It’s more focused on individual components that are proven to be successful, so quality is ensured. Also, thanks to progressiveness and flexibility, Open DXPs can adapt to the newest technology improvements and quickly move on to the next best component.

 

Weakness

Open DXPs require additional knowledge about each component, integration processes, and solutions. Since the components are likely to be from different vendors, they’re expected to have different functionality strategies. Therefore, Open DXPs will likely require an additional investment of time and money to train employees who don’t have experience with at least one of the components.

 

Traditional CMS, Headless CMS, Hybrid CMS, and DXP – What’s the difference?

Traditional/monolithic CMS

I assume you have at least heard of WordPress? As a matter of fact, WordPress is one of the best examples of traditional CMS. As a traditional CMS, it stands for the connection between the front-end and the back-end of a website. A traditional CMS such as WordPress contains the entire system, which includes the database, the final result that we see on a website, and everything in-between.

 

Naturally, this makes the traditional CMS easier to use due to the fact that you need little technical knowledge. In addition, design matters are quite simple thanks to default themes and templates.

 

However, a traditional CMS works only with websites and not other devices. Also, it not as flexible as some wish it was and requires bigger investments (both time and money) for proper maintenance due to the fact that not all developers specialize in this type of CMS.

 

Best for: small businesses and/or those who seek to function without the assistance of developers.

 

Headless CMS

Headless CMS, in comparison to traditional CMS, doesn’t cover both front-end and back-end. Instead, it’s only meant for the body, which in this case means content. The head, that Headless CMS does not have, symbolizes the front-end and stands for the presentation layer.

 

Yes, tech people really do love their metaphors!

 

So, what happens to the content when it created?

 

When it’s ready to publish, it’s done through an application programming interface, in short referred to as API. After that nothing else is done, which means that you have the freedom and the responsibility to present the content however you wish.

 

Unlike the traditional CMS, Headless CMS allows you to present your content on any device you wish and allows you to focus on the content alone without an interruption from design matters.

 

However, it does require more upfront integration efforts and unfortunately, content preview is not a possibility.

 

Best for: any company or organization that wishes to display content through various devices. Also, those who use JavaScript frameworks like Angular, React, or VueJs for websites and apps.

 

The best Digital Experience Platforms have headless CMS or Traditional CMS as the core element. Here are the differences.
Source: contentstack.com

 

Hybrid CMS

The Hybrid CMS is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a mix of Traditional CMS and Headless CMS.

 

More specifically, a Hybrid CMS mainly functions with the architecture of a Headless CMS, but it also offers features that Traditional CMS does to make the experience more complete and fulfilling.

 

These features can include an e-commerce system, workflow support, the option to preview content, and a helpful hand to those who are less technical.

 

Hybrid CMS is widely-used among the best Digital Experience Platforms.
Source: e-spirit.com

 

Digital Experience Platform (DXP)

Finally, as you already know, a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) is a collection of different technology components that cover all touchpoints through a user’s digital journey. DXP can range from creation to delivery of digital experiences that appear on multiple channels.

 

More importantly, the components often include CRM software, personalization tools, data management platforms (DMP), digital analytics, marketing automation tools, and of course hybrid or headless CMS.

 

These are only a few possible solutions, but there can be much more. Basically, it depends on individual DXPs.

 

Compared to Traditional CMS, Headless CMS, and Hybrid CMS, DXP is much more thorough and efficient due to the massive scope of its supported actions. In fact, some even go as far as to speculate that DXP is the future, meaning that eventually, it will push out CMS.

 

However, knowing that CMS is the core of Digital Experience Platform, it’s hard to imagine DXP completely absorbing it and remaining as the last one standing.

 

What you can typically expect from Digital Experience Platforms (DXP)

In the previous parts of this article, we have briefly mentioned some of the features that DXPs can be entrusted with. Now it’s time to touch more on them and go more in-depth. Also, we’d like to emphasize that not all platforms may have all the features mentioned below, but it is realistic to search for one that does offer all of them.

 

User Data Management

It’s your company’s responsibility to ensure the safety of your customers’ data and privacy. The privacy policy is no joke and it is a must for a website to comply with GDPR and other measures to protect customers.

 

A Digital Experience Platform without a user data management feature is unlikely to be successful. Therefore, the data collected on each customer’s private data and sensitive information won’t be exploited when interacted with your website.

 

Headless CMS

Without context, your business can be misunderstood and less relatable. The content management system (CMS) is the component that keeps all the other components united and in order. So, without CMS, the other components would be forced to interpret and transform content like landing pages, banners, website content, and anything else. Instead of leaving the other components alone and confused, CMS provided content and context to them via API.

 

Digital Analytics and Optimization

Knowing what is successful and what isn’t will help you optimize your website to target your customers and create value for them. The analytics will speed up every marketer’s workflow by allowing them to easily access the gathered and categorized data.

 

That way, digital analytics through DXP will make your decisions data-driven by measuring your content performance and improving the overall user experience.

 

Content Search and Discovery

Forget about the search bar! The digital customer journey is much more than that. Nowadays in order to create a seamless navigation experience, your organization will require an in-built search that supports the whole structure of pages, filters, and overall navigation.

 

Personalization and A/B Testing

Personalization is the new normal, so it’s not surprising at all that this feature is invaluable. As a matter of fact, we don’t even expect that there even is a single DXP that didn’t have personalization as their main focus. DXPs streamline personalization by integrating data collected by a business into the systems that deliver content.

 

As for A/B testing, it performs testing of at least two variations in order to compare which one works out better for your business goals. In this case, A/B testing strives to improve engagement and conversions through behavioral analysis of the customers.

 

Collaboration and Workflow Management

It doesn’t take much explaining why transparency and keeping up-to-date with the progress inside a company are crucial. DXPs will connect your team to manage the workflow efficiently, stay productive, and engaged. In addition, the transparency of work progress will help your team to avoid duplicate content that can happen due to a lack of communication and cooperation.

 

Marketing Automation and CRM

CRM will collect practical and useful information about your users, allowing sales and marketing to take over and use it as leads. How the leads will be used is completely up to the management of the company.

 

One thing for sure is that with the leads and overall data on the customer journey, your company will be able to improve engagement and interactions. This goes for multiple channels of your choice.

 

Other Integrations

The other integrations can include:

  • HR management to automate and fasten the workflow;
  • E-commerce integration that provides more advanced features, inventory management, and payment gateways.
  • Social media to include performance on social media on analytics and the improved performance in general.

 

The benefits of Digital Experience Platforms

Improved Personalization

Combining and integrating technologies that on different factors really gives the full-scale view of the possibilities and opportunities. Combine CRM, social media, CMS, as well as many others, and you’re prepared for everything. Fast and intuitive technology has your back. Consequentially, each customer benefits from getting a personalized experience every step of the way.

 

Integrated Control Center

All components work together in Digital Experience Platforms. As you know, this means that content management, customer data, and analytics cover every step of the way to keep you organized, up-to-date, and in control. Moreover, you’re not the only one who benefits from this, as the customers get a logical, smooth, and connected digital journey.

 

Adaptability and Progressiveness

Most Digital Experience Platforms are open, therefore they are able to adapt to new technologies and successfully integrate them to become a productive member of your software family. After all, technologies change and improve every day at lightning speed. Stagnation is not something that will keep your company successful – adaptability and progress are.

 

Improved Workflow

Be it the sales, marketing, or HR department – Digital Experience Platforms can do it all. An automated, intuitive, and smart team of components will get the less significant small tasks out of the way. All that you’ll need to do is focus on the bigger picture.

 

10 Most Popular Digital Experience Platforms

#1. SAP Fiori

SAP Fiori supports all company sizes and industries, as well as different types of devices. In addition, SAP Fiori is a fun tool to use and it even has a record of success among influential companies such as Adidas.

 

The features include:

  • Web analytics
  • Campaign tracking
  • Audience insights
  • Reports and dashboards
  • Customizable Templated Workflows
  • Asset management
  • Portals and sites
  • No-code app development
  • Low-code app development
  • Self-service capabilities

 

 

#2. Sitecore Experience Platform

As Sitecore itself claims, it helps companies to turn insights into action. It offers hybrid CMS and Headless CMS, as well as the newest and up-to-date improvements. In addition, Sitecore has been recognized as the #1 Content Management System in the industry.

 

The features include:

  • Multi-site and multi-lingual options
  • Enterprise-class search functionality
  • Content scheduling
  • Asset management
  • Workflow management
  • Versioning and validation
  • Content targeting based on device, geographical IP, and actions from the visit
  • Preview capabilities with device simulators

 

 

#3. Kentico Xperience

If you’re looking for a platform that could combine digital marketing, e-commerce, and content management – Kentico Xperience might just be something for you. The award-winning company will guarantee not only a personalized digital journey but also a smooth integration into a technology stack of any kind.

 

As Kentico Xperience’s customer, you can expect increased customer engagement, a perfect content match for each customer, and overall optimization as the final result.

 

Here are its features:

  • Digital Asset Management
  • Workflows and versioning
  • Multilingual content
  • Multi-site management
  • Personalization
  • Campaign management
  • Search
  • Social media
  • E-commerce integrations
  • Marketing automation
  • Cloud deployment
  • Headless API

 

 

#4. Progress Sitefinity

Did you know that Progress Sitefinity is trusted by more than 10,000 websites? Well, now you do and it just can’t be a coincidence, right? The platform is best known for its engaging web content management and successful conversions that its clients can gain.

 

Even better, it doesn’t matter if you’re a big or a small business – there are options for all. After all, the name “Sitefinity” does seem to be referring to infinity.

 

Features:

  • Content versioning
  • Page templates
  • Mobile optimization
  • SEO support
  • Built-in e-commerce
  • Analytics
  • API
  • Multi-language
  • Content personalization
  • A/B testing and content optimization

 

 

#5. Adobe Experience Manager

Like other successful DXPs, Adobe Experience Manager is here for you every step of the way when creating a digital journey. Your business will be able to approach every digital channel on every device while making sure that your content is optimized and data-based. It’s also one of the best-known platforms in the market with a large following of satisfied customers.

 

Features:

  • E-commerce
  • Content management
  • Workflow management
  • Omni-channel management
  • Multi-language
  • Personalized media
  • Content update tool
  • Multisite
  • Social media integration
  • A/B testing
  • Analytics
  • Marketing campaign management
  • Digital asset management

 

 

#6. Liferay Digital Experience Platform

With Liferay Digital Experience Platform will build bridges between you and your customers through technology. As an enterprise-grade platform, Liferay will ensure transparency and simplicity when it comes to connecting digital experiences via different devices.

 

Features:

  • E-commerce
  • Analytics
  • Workflow management
  • Back-end APIs
  • Integration framework
  • Workflow management
  • Personalization
  • Multi-language support
  • Enterprise DAM
  • Analytics
  • SEO support
  • Multi-channel support

 

 

#7. HCL Digital Experience

HCL Digital Experience wouldn’t be among the best ones on this list it wasn’t able to turn complex into simple. The platform has a proven record of success in the industry through digital processes that provide a united stage with the best tools. Simplicity, availability, and productivity are probably the best words to describe HCL.

 

Features:

  • Asset management
  • Content repository
  • Pre-built templates
  • SEO support
  • Internalization
  • API
  • Analytics
  • Campaign tracking
  • Audience insights
  • Asset management

 

 

#8. Magnolia

The ultimate goal that Magnolia has is digital excellence through speed and scale. The platform seeks to make the big and overwhelming operations easily comprehendible and achievable.

 

Features:

  • Page templates
  • Internal search
  • Mobile optimization
  • Content management
  • Analytics
  • E-commerce
  • SEO support
  • API
  • Multi-language

 

 

#9. Crownpeak DXM

Crownpeak DXM is yet another celebrity in the Digital Experience Platform market. Just like the others, it’s among the most recognized platforms thanks to the enterprise-level CMS that is delivered through the cloud. Crownpeak is mostly recognized among large agencies, so if you’re a representative of one, this might just be the one for you.

 

Features:

  • CMS
  • Personalization
  • Digital Quality Management
  • Saas delivery services
  • Social media management
  • 60 pre-built integrations

 

 

#10. Acquia Cloud Platform

Just like all the other platforms, Acquia aims to enhance your performance by uniting analytics, new machine learning models, reporting enhancements, and new compliance workflow capabilities. However, this also requires sustainable improvements and innovation, therefore the platform is constantly reaching for the best and most innovative solutions possible to exceed your expectations.

 

Features:

  • Personalization
  • Marketing automation
  • Customer data and analytics
  • Digital security
  • Marketing campaign management
  • Multi-lingual and localization
  • Agile CMS

 

 

To Sum Up

Now you know everything about DXPs and what the best Digital Experience Platforms have to offer. Thanks to the platforms, your company can unite all the best technologies that cover different steps of the digital journey. That way, you can get all the best in one place and have a transparent work process that doesn’t contradict itself.

 

Once again, we’d like to emphasize that before committing to a certain platform, you should define your own needs for features and capabilities. That would be the first step of finding the perfect DXP for your company.

 

We hope that this article was useful to you and wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors!

 

If you need assistance with your web development needs, don’t hesitate to book a meeting with our friendly and helpful Wiredelta team!

 

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