In this post, Shopware partner PIA UDG explains what’s behind the DXCP concept, revealing how you can use it to win the trust of potential customers – and, by extension, obtain more leads.
There are all kinds of digital channels and touchpoints where you can appeal to existing or potential customers. And every target group is home to people who are being asked by others to consume information and make decisions. As a result, the terms B2C and B2B are things of the past: Now, H2H, or “human-to-human” communication is all the rage.
When people know and communicate directly with each other, they generally do so in a familiar, informal way. Conversely, if they don’t know each other, their conversation is usually more stilted and formal in tone: It’s not personalized. Just imagine a phone conversation between two people who are speaking to each other for the first time and didn’t know anything about each other beforehand.
Online or offline, knowledge is power
The challenge in personal communication lies in our lack of knowledge when we’re not familiar with the person we’re talking to. When we don’t know what their needs are or how we can make them happy. Until we’ve established contact and reached a certain level of familiarity, we try to act neutrally and identify our interlocutor’s preferences from their behavior.
Once we’ve figured these out, we draw on them in a targeted way to generate a positive atmosphere. This is how we get closer to people and find out if we’re on the same wavelength.
We often face the same situation in the digital world. Frequently, companies operating an online store know very little about their customers and their needs. In other words, they’re left facing the same uncertainty and lack of knowledge found in interpersonal communication with a stranger. And the solution is the same in the digital world, too: The situation can be overcome with communication, analysis, and by identifying preferences and communicating them to the person in question.
Trust means leads and conversions
If you want to personalize your website or online store for visitors and align it with their needs, you need to start with an analysis. The outcome of this analysis? Information about preferences, interests, and expectations. Once you’ve identified all this, you need to inspire your visitors and capture their imagination.
By the time that’s done, you’ve created trust – and you can build up a customer relationship. This trust can be measured in the form of conversions, like product purchases, or simply in the form of lead generation, such as newsletter registrations or whitepaper downloads.
Why are we telling you all this?
Because there needs to be a concept behind all these psychological processes, along with the systems and functional architectures (IT) that are based on them. This is where the digital experience comes into play.
The concept: DXCP
We’ve developed a model to determine the maturity level for the use of the digital experience commerce platform (or DXCP, for short). What does that mean in practice? We analyze and evaluate UX elements and digital maturity factors using a sales funnel or flywheel view. Ultimately, the model shows whether it will be possible to inspire visitors and how much potential there is for generating trust. It, therefore, lets you estimate the likelihood of a successful conversion or lead generation. It’s clear that commerce and the digital experience are closely intertwined. That’s where the acronym DXCP comes from: It combines the DXP (digital experience platform) with composable commerce. Converting visitors to customers is always the name of the game for platform operators. DXCP revolves around ensuring that all the systems are perfectly harmonized with one another – and the “composable” concept fits perfectly within this.
The system landscape: Combine, analyze, optimize
The findings of the maturity level assessment and the inspection of the existing system landscape allow conclusions to be drawn about the opportunities for personalization and scalability. These are then taken into account in the technical concept. Different options are available for the system architecture depending on whether your aim is a relaunch using the greenfield approach or using the system landscape at hand. Shopware 6, for instance, lets you combine a wide range of systems for personalization, analysis, and data processing – right through to architecture that aligns with the MACH paradigm – to outstanding effect.
Once the system architecture has been designed to ensure that the digital experience – in other words, the information architecture and UX – is perfectly aligned with the target group, it makes sense to expand the system landscape. Along with the CMS, SAM, PIM, CRM, marketing automation, and ecommerce systems, you might like to include a DXI tool, like FullStory. This will draw on historical usage data to analyze and optimize the digital experience on an ongoing basis.
Architecture: The future is in the cloud
PIA UDG believes that IT architecture is always based on interfaces between systems that exchange data, be it statically or dynamically. This enables customers’ needs to be communicated quickly and individually in the form of product recommendations and suitable content elements.
In many instances, this can be undertaken by Shopware 6, with its extensive store features – for example, an API-connected personalization solution, marketing automation, or a CRM tool.
The DXCP concept and the maturity analysis really prove their worth in more complex architectures. These include architectures where the leading ERP system handles end-to-end order management, a customer data platform (CDP) deals with customer data, and the CRM undertakes marketing automation and personalization, along with other systems that play a set role in the IT architecture.
It’s simply a fact that every solution will be available in the cloud in the future. The necessary middleware will consist of cloud services and every user-oriented frontend will most likely be based on the headless approach. As a result, websites, online stores, and all other touchpoints will be designed with the target group in mind moving forward, instead of being limited by, say, the rigid features of monolithic systems.
Implementation: Think big, start small
Sure, the architecture of the future is all about the cloud and headless approaches – but that doesn’t mean that MACH is the only option available to you. The MACH paradigm (microservices, API, cloud, and headless) is all about using best-of-breed solutions and categorically excluding monolithic systems. But is that always necessary?
When deciding on an ecommerce system, people often consider the MVP approach: For their online store, for instance. Think big, start small – this should be the motto of every company launching an ecommerce business model. Doesn’t it seem self-evident to start with an ecommerce system where all the features – from order management and customer accounts to product information, content management, and modular extensions – are available out of the box? If this system starts as an all-in-one store that can then be successively connected to new systems via the interfaces at hand, the sky’s practically the limit when it comes to scalability.
Similarly, you can also start with a content management system whose architecture already permits additional systems to be connected and content to be displayed via interfaces at various touchpoints.
In the target architecture, the content comes from the CMS, the order pathway from the ecommerce system, customer data from the CRM/CDP, and the personalization solution from the components. All told, this creates the perfect digital experience in a frontend tailored to the target group.
In short, the aim is to offer visitors such a positive digital experience that they become customers – and keep coming back! That’s why PIA UDG worked with its partners to develop the concept behind the digital experience commerce platform (DXCP). We draw on the DXCP systematically when designing websites, customer platforms, and ecommerce solutions.
About the author
Frank Sauer | Principal Consultant | ecommerce expert
Frank Sauer is a Principal Consultant at PIA UDG and an expert in ecommerce solutions. Before joining UDG, he worked as a consultant and project manager at industrial enterprises and agencies. He is one of the pioneers of digital commerce.