Sitecore 9 – Your new Business Ally
Change in consumer behavior – The only assurance
Web technology and design has grown in leaps and bounds in the recent years. Customers are aware of their needs and what businesses have to offer, what with information available at their fingertips (Literally!). This change in consumer behaviour pattern is inherent and the need of the hour and with contextual experiences that are prominent everywhere, companies are moving on from traditional Content Management Systems(CMS) to a more dynamic Digital Experience(DXP) platforms to keep pace with this change, as they should!
That Personalized Experience – The Talk of the town
Be it a product or any content that showcases your brand, the spotlight has been on personalization and how all the products/services are customized as per your customer’s liking, so much so that customer loyalty can easily go for a toss if your CMS is not able to pique the interest of the customers, draw insights from their behaviour and deliver a personalized experience that is tough to match and make the customers feel at home.
CMS? Sure, but give me DXP – The transition and latest trends
CMS has been constantly evolving to match the exceeding customer expectations, keeping the customers and the developers alike in mind, and therefore is no wonder that DXP is the new and improved CMS. The following trends are poised to disrupt the CMS technology in 2018 and it’s well underway already.
- Analytics (Of course!) – With today’s technological advancements at play, content creators can easily analyse, dissect and present information to customers that strike the right chord. Move on from BI(Business Intelligence) to AI(Artificial Intelligence), where the onus is more on predictive analytics and what might happen next and which metrics that are yet to be uncovered. In fact, it is becoming more and more crucial to continuously learn with time to come up with creative solutions.
- GDPR – The announcement of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has spread like wildfire becoming a hot topic and featuring in most of the discussions. As much as personalization is important and being harped upon, the company’s handling of customer data and safeguarding it is equally if not more critical. There is a rising fear of constant data breaches and hence, companies need to maintain data privacy even as they try to leverage customer data.
- Deep Integration – With the rise in IoT and data interactions, IT vendors are well aware of addressing the issue of integration with systems, devices and plug-ins. They provide APIs and tools to bring all the business processes under one roof. The open APIs facilitate the developers to export, install or even share the Sitecore package. Digital transformation is all about sculpting a cohesive workflow – through data integration.
- Customer Experience – The core of it all. Products and services, yes but companies are striving to offer an experience that matches the customer’s expectations and are aiming to provide consistent and relevant data to customers at various digital touchpoints. Creating remarkable customer experiences requires marketing technology tools that give you the power to follow and measure your customers’ journeys in real time and make changes to the customer experience accordingly, based on business rules and other key performance indicators (KPIs).
Sitecore 9 – Feature rich XP (Experience Platform)
Sitecore 9.0 has also adapted to the changing digital & consumer experience trends. It has definitely stepped up in style bringing in loads of uber cool features, functionalities and improvements to assist every business. Some of them are -
- 360◦ Customer View –
On an average, Sitecore personalization has about 24% conversion rate, much better ROI than its competitors. This is possible because of deep personalization and customer insights brought onto the table by having a 360-Degree view of any individual.
- xConnect – Data Integration –
It performs data interchange in and out of Sitecore Database(xDB). High level of personalization can be achieved by shifting customer data to Sitecore xDB. It follows open application structure and uses Client API for all data access.
- Omni-Channel marketing automation –
Sitecore 9’s Omni-channel marketing brings Email marketing, Web Forms & CRM together. It provides simple builder tools with drag-and-drop functionality that will be pivotal in lead generation leveraging custom campaigns. The easy and intuitive interface can help estimate the behaviour pattern of consumers.
- Better configuration control –
The configuration files can be loaded with a specific order as defined by Layers.config file by the user. The servers can be configured with the specific roles of Standalone, Reporting, Content Management & Content Delivery using ‘Role’ setting. In the end, it eases the complexity of managing & handling many configuration files.
- SIF(Sitecore Installation Framework) –
It provides installation based on Power Shell-based framework instead of .exe files. The major advantage of SIF is it helps in creating repeatable scripted deployments.
- SXA(Sitecore Experience Accelerator) –
With the help of SXA, developers, designers & editors are all on the same page. This provides better turnaround time and enables ease of deployment. The result of unified design and development is shortening the time to market by being productive at each stage of the process.
- Headless feature – Publish externally
Any content created using Sitecore can be published elsewhere wherever we want. The content delivery can be made to any webpage, app, smart devices, etc. basically any IoT(Internet of Things) device. It is a treat for any marketers to expand and bring forward the content to many people i.e. create awareness.
- Sitecore Cortex – The nerve centre
It is the mind powering the Sitecore Experience that works as the Machine Learning engine.
Cortex leads to better understanding & opportunities for marketers to generate insights about the customers. Sitecore Cortex will help in identifying potential customers, target them and generate content optimised for the new audience.
- PaaS – Sitecore Experience Cloud
Sitecore’s entire suite is now available as an offering with Microsoft Azure, out of the box. With Sitecore Experience cloud, the advantages are scalability, faster speed and buying licenses to host based on the new subscription model. Licensing of Sitecore can be done in a more cost-effective way as per the business requirements – this contributes to better ROI.
- Redesigned Web Forms – Sitecore Forms
In Sitecore 9, the Web Forms would be reusable. There is also a feature of Multi-step forms. Data would be managed dynamically in xDB. Simplicity is the key hence it also follows a Drag-and-drop layout. To put it in a nutshell, these new forms are customizable & integrated that overcomes the challenges presented by the previous Web Form.
Sitecore 9 – Your new ally
Sitecore has been rated by Gartner as a Leader in Digital Experience(DXP) and Web Content Management(WCM). It has established itself as a powerful digital marketing tool that helps to transform your business and reach new heights. It is imperative for any business to create, manage and measure cross-channel customer experiences and Sitecore fits right in. Sitecore as an Experience Platform has proved its mettle by positioning itself as a complete digital marketing solution that can suffice the needs of any business, irrespective of their size. With so many features and tools in its arsenal, Sitecore is poised to become a gamechanger (as common this word is) in upcoming years as far as CMS technology is concerned.