What is a Composable Digital Experience Platform (DXP)??

Oct 13, 2023
  • sales, marketing and service

We all want a smooth, intuitive experience when we interact with companies online.

When everything works seamlessly and you can switch painlessly from platform to platform, you can be sure there's a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) working hard in the background.

But what is a composable DXP and is it the next step?
 

What is a DXP?

Let's start with the basics. Put simply: 

 
A Digital Experience Platform empowers organisations to create, manage and optimise digital experiences. 

Organisations who use a DXP are able to deliver personalised, consistent and engaging experiences across multiple digital channels and touchpoints because all relevant data is kept in one central hub.

How does it work?

A DXP brings together a variety of tools, technologies, and capabilities, including:

  • Content management: creating, organising and publishing digital content, such as text, images, videos, etc. 

  • Personalisation: tailoring content and experiences to individual users, based on demographics, behaviours, and preferences.

  • Multichannel delivery: delivering content and experiences across various channels and devices, including websites, mobile apps, social media, email, etc.

  • Customer data management: collecting, storing, and managing customer data (to enable customer personalisation).

  • E-commerce integration: facilitating online transactions and sales thanks to direct integration with e-commerce platforms.

  • Analytics and insights: measuring user engagement, tracking performance insights, and gaining insights into the effectiveness of digital experiences.

  • Integrations: connecting with third-party systems, services and tools via APIs to enhance functionality.

  • Automation: creating automated workflows and processes for delivering content and managing interactions. 

  • Experimentation and optimisation: setting up A/B and other testing mechanisms to determine what works best for users and further optimise content and experiences.

  • Security and compliance: protection against bad actors and ensure compliance with data protection and privacy regulations.

What makes a composable DXP different?

In today’s ever-changing digital landscape, with a plethora new technology and changing expectations, we’ve developed a need for something even more powerful and flexible:

Welcome to the era of the composable DXP.

A need for something new

Until recently, most DXP solutions were monolithic in nature.


Monolithic = a single application that contains all functionalities


Monolithic solutions quickly proved to be too inflexible and rigid as user demands grew alongside new, emerging technologies. 

Users increasingly wanted agile and scalable platforms that allowed for fast and easy ad-hoc developments and implementations. 


Contrary to a traditional, monolithic DXP, a composable DXP is not a one-size-fits-all package with a fixed set of features.

 

Instead, you can consider it to be a collection of various modular components and services. 

These components can be broken down into independent building blocks that can be assembled and reassembled – or ‘composed’ – to fit the organisation’s needs and objectives. 

The ability to select and configure individual components results in several powerful competitive advantages: 


- Agility and adaptability: By quickly assembling and reassembling components, your business can respond faster to changing market conditions, user preferences and emerging trends. 

- Swapping out or upgrading features is also relatively simple and can be done without disrupting the entire system, and is a surefire way to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. 

- Cost optimisation: By selecting only the components you need, you avoid investing in irrelevant features. What’s more, most composable DXPs work well with existing, third-party tools and services thanks to built-in APIs and integration capabilities. So for example, if you have a good CMS or PIM already, you won’t have to replace it. This also reduces the risk of vendor lock-in.

- Better return on investment (ROI): Because the composable DXP matches your exact requirements, you’ll maximise the value of your investment in digital experiences.

 

A composable DXP empowers organisations to create adaptive, personalised, and efficient digital experiences that can evolve with the changing needs of their users and the industry. It provides a versatile foundation for innovation and growth in the digital space.

Going composable: what's next?

Beyond the technical aspects, composibility is also a mindset. 

This means that switching to a composable solution doesn’t happen overnight: it requires careful planning, assessment and execution

Here are the most important steps for organisations looking to embark on a ‘composable transformation’.


Assessment: Understand the current state of the organisation’s digital experience ecosystem in terms of technology stack, digital channels, user needs, and pain points. 

Here, you should also define goals and objectives for the transition to a composable DXP, e.g., improving personalisation, automating workflows, cost reduction, etc.


  1. Requirement definition: Identify the exact components and services the organisation requires to achieve these objectives and prioritise them. 

  2. Component selection: Evaluate different vendors and solutions to find the best fit. 

Optional: conduct a proof of concept to assess how well the selected components and services work together in your specific environment.


  1. Planning and design: Create an architectural plan that outlines how different DXP components will integrate and interact with existing and other third-party systems and solutions. Plan the migration of existing content and data to the new DXP and design the user experience, interface, and overall look and feel.

  2. Development and integration: Develop or configure the chosen components to work together seamlessly and ensure that APIs and integration points are properly set up. If needed, custom components or extensions will have to be developed as well.

  3. Testing and quality assurance: Testing each component as well as the complete platform to ensure they work correctly and align with user expectations and needs.

  4. Training and onboarding: Providing training to users and administrators on how to use and manage the new composable DXP and providing the necessary documentation and resources for users. 

  5. Deployment and launch: Gradually migrating users and content to the new platform, and providing support for any issues that might arise. 

And things don’t end after go-live. To make the most of the investment, don’t forget to gather feedback from users and stakeholders to identify areas for further improvement and refinement, establishing a culture of continuous improvement. 


Nice to know: at Delaware, we work together with three of the most renowned vendors of composable DXPs: Sitecore, Optimizely, and Kentico. Get in touch to find out which one is right for you.

A step in the right direction

It's worth remembering that transitioning to a composable DXP is a comprehensive process that requires:

- a solid strategy

- careful planning

- cross departmental collaboration

 If all of that seems pretty daunting to you, don’t worry: our experts can help you every step of the way.