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What is digital experience composition (DXC) and how does it work

Is the emergence of digital experience composition (DXC) really here to stay? What exactly does DXC mean, and should you adopt it? Let’s talk about this buzzword today.
Jing Li

Jing Li

Jan 31, 2023
What is digital experience composition and how does it work

Every now and then, digital experience leaders get exposed to a wave of buzzwords cluttering their social media feeds with posts about some new technology and have hard time to distinguish the benefits of it compared to the status quo. Similar to the notions that marked the last ten years of web content management, such as multi experience platforms or omnichannel experinces, digital experience composition (DXC) is a new kid on the block for enterprises that wish to provide their users with the most enjoyable digital experience.

Several concepts have been presented throughout the years to solve the challenge of sluggish digital experiences. Therefore, is the emergence of DXC really here to stay? What exactly does DXC mean, and should you adopt it? Let’s talk about this today.

#What is digital experience composition (DXC)?

DXC orchestrates digital experiences as modular pieces that can be composed and assembled in different ways.

Gartner has defined DXC as an emerging technology that ‘’uses API connectivity to orchestrate multiple digital experiences in a headless, decoupled framework. Extending from frontend as a service (FEaaS) or 'visual page builders', these tools allow developers to set up digital experiences and hand them to business users for day-to-day management in no-code environments.”

To put it simply, DXC should enable enterprises to achieve business composability. As mentioned by Gartner in Hype Cycle for Digital Commerce, 2022: “DXC is a step toward complete composability, providing a packaged business capability (PBC) for composable experience.”

But wait, what about DXP?

#How does DXC differ from DXP, CMS, and everything else?

You might not be unfamiliar with the concept of DXP (digital experience platform). Traditionally, DXPs have been monolithic in providing an architecture for businesses to digitize their business goals, marketing activities, analytics, and content management.

Over time, with the rise of API-driven approaches and the need for omnichannel content distribution, there has been an emergence of modular and composable DXPs, which are essentially a loosely-coupled combination of best-of-breed products working in harmony. Essentially, DXPs can be made composable, so they can be integrated in various ways, which is what DXC is all about.

You might also wonder where DXC stands among other technologies like CMS and DAM. As expected, there is a constant debate about the terms used in the digital experience market (such as the differences between DXP and headless CMS). A CMS, by its definition (and let's stick with that definition for the moment), manages the creation and modification of content. DXC, on the other hand is the process of designing and delivering a digital experience.

To offer an impeccable experience to users, DXC might use commerce, media, content, and marketing tools, connect them with APIs, build experiences, and eventually deliver the presentation layer by orchestrating the frontend. So all can be essential components of a composable architecture, whether it's DXC, DXP, CMS, DAM, PIM, or anything else. Still, they serve different purposes, even though they are somehow related.

#How does digital experience composition work?

DXC breaks the monolithic experience into smaller pieces using tools connected with APIs that can be added to or removed easily from an architecture. This will enable us to deliver an omnichannel digital experience. According to Gartner’s definition, we can see that DXC has 2 principles:

  • No-code or low-code environment that allows both technical and non-technical teams to collaborate seamlessly while working independently. This means, with an intuitive UI, a content editor can update the content on the frontend without involving developers so that the engineering team can focus on the backend.

  • The headless framework that enables ongoing migration. A CMS migration project is commonly stereotyped as taking a long time and having to be implemented simultaneously. It is similar to assembling all the rocket parts but only getting to push the button after years of calculations and seeing if it works. However, with a modular setup, you can switch part of the stack piece by piece without migrating the stack all at once.

DXC embraces the idea that content teams can deliver digital experiences that meet their needs by combining data from CMS, CRM, PIM, DAM, ERP, and other backend systems, with behavioral and contextual data from digital destinations feeding this information to a frontend framework of their choice. On the other hand, the engineering team can work on integrating new technologies piece by piece.

#Delivering an omnichannel experience with DXC

Innovations alone are unpalatable in the business world, but innovative solutions are praised. Now that we know what DXC is and how it works, how does it help enterprises deliver an omnichannel experience?

An outstanding digital experience is best achieved with appealing content. The ultimate goal for DXC on the frontend is to extend the relevant content offered to users, thus keeping the users on brands’ platform.

Samsung improved the consumer engagement rate by switching its legacy Member platform to a composable one.

Since roughly 8 years ago, Samsung has had a members platform that was initially mobile-only and was intended to keep Samsung customers engaged. As the program grew, there came increasingly more blockers with the CMS in place, such as lengthy content update process, inefficient cross-functional team collaboration, and unengaging website users.

To provide customers with a better digital experience, Samsung used an API-driven headless approach empowered by Hygraph to migrate to a composable member platform. Using the renovated platform, both the content team and the development team can now work independently and deliver timely content to both desktop and mobile users.

Through more frequent content updates on its members platform, Samsung increased user engagement by approximately 15% in half the time it took to market.

Benefits of DXC

By now, if you're considering a DXC solution, you can expect to see the following benefits:

  • Customizable digital experience: DXC tools allow you to design a customer-first experience. You can visually assemble pages, components, and blocks, then define the content the way you want it without compromising because of the stack limit

  • Increased operational efficiency: Delivering digital experiences often involves cross-functional team collaboration, and you would naturally expect it to be frictionless.Nevertheless, when technology is hindering your team, they will be forced to do manual tasks. The no-code to low-code principle offered by DXC should help with this and therefore improve your teams’ productivity.

  • Faster time to market: Delivering content in a timely manner is just as critical as providing unique content. In competitive environments such as e-commerce, user acquisition is often first-come-first-served. By enabling team productivity as well as reusing pre-built components, you will be able to achieve faster time to market.

  • Optimized cost synergy: By using prebuilt components, you save time on once-upon-a-time manual tasks; your team's potential is also maximized when they are relieved of manual tasks, so they can focus on improving more important features of the product.

#What’s next for the digital experience market

Embracing a modular, API-first approach gives you an edge over defining your customer experiences, so you're able to focus on your business model, not waste time maintaining your stack.

At Hygraph, we've spoken to experts from leading organizations across the world to gather unique insights on where the digital experience market is headed, what composable DXPs are, and how they can impact your business strategy going forward.

Download our report to learn more about modernizing your approach by embracing modular Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) and Composable Architectures.

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Blog Author

Jing Li

Jing Li

Jing is the Content Marketing Manager at Hygraph. Besides telling compelling stories, Jing enjoys dining out and catching occasional waves on the ocean.

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