2020 has been both a challenging and active period for content management platform providers. Despite battling the persistent headwinds of COVID-19 and the looming specter of economic uncertainty, it’s clear that businesses are embracing digital transformation at all levels of the market – and shifting resources from physical to virtual.
This has been a transformational period for some vendors, particularly those focused on digital experience (DX). In fact, a recent study by McKinsey suggests that we’ve just experienced 10 years of eCommerce growth in the last 3 months.
As the study suggests, that pain you feel in your neck might just be digital whiplash.
Market challenges aside, this has clearly been a dynamic news cycle for the CMS industry. Soon after Acquia released its new Open Digital Experience Platform with the vision of bringing marketers and developers closer than ever, Sitecore announced a major release to its flagship products: Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) 10 and Sitecore Experience Commerce (XC) 10.
What’s more, both releases follow the recent launch of Sitecore Content Hub 3.4, which offers enhanced Digital Asset Management (DAM) and smarter orchestration of images and video.
Based on these releases, it seems like the pandemic hasn’t slowed down the rise of digital experience. On the contrary, with DX becoming the lifeblood of many organizations, companies are working harder and faster than ever to provide the best customer experiences online. Sitecore’s latest updates reflect this goal, bringing marketing and IT teams together and allowing them to work more efficiently.
What you can expect from Sitecore’s new releases
As a legacy leader in the CMS space, Sitecore commands a strong footprint in the enterprise market. This is both an advantage and disadvantage, as their monolithic ecosystem has been challenged over the past few years by mid-level market solutions with smaller pricetags. As digital and content professionals demand greater freedom and control over their martech stack, they have embraced API-driven and headless platforms like Contentstack to shape experiences across a broadening landscape of endpoints and devices.
What’s evident is that Sitecore is responding to their market shifts, investing heavily in the transformation of their products and services to meet a changing world – one where flexibility is essential. At the enterprise level, there continues to be demand for well-architected, highly integrated solutions that provide the trusted scalability for distributing content across a multitude of channels, and making the “Holy Grail” of personalization less of a myth to marketers.
If you’re not familiar, Sitecore is composed of four integrated products: Sitecore Experience Platform, Sitecore Experience Commerce, Sitecore Experience Manager, and Sitecore Content Hub. When combined, they form Sitecore Experience Cloud: the end-to-end content, commerce, and personalization platform.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into each of Sitecore’s products, click here for more details.
Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) 10
The new Sitecore XP 10 comes with updates such as enhanced analytics reporting, ASP.NET Core headless development, and Sitecore Containers – which provide greater efficiencies across teams. Now, IT and marketing can accelerate customer success by aligning workflows and timelines, evolving customer experiences quickly, and deploying data-informed updates or new experience elements faster than ever.
Sitecore XP 10 features new innovations around usability and performance. The updated editing environment offers an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, and provides real-time insights for multisite and multilingual experiences as content is created and published – giving marketers the knowledge they need to drive improved conversions.
In addition, Sitecore XP 10 includes enhanced reporting that enables marketers to make informed decisions with more granular visibility, specifically with how personalization is driving performance. It also includes improvements to out-of-the-box forms and enhancements to email and marketing automation.
With full container support, XP 10 eliminates that problem with smooth deployment flows between environments through consistency, isolation, and reproducibility.
XP 10 also makes collecting, analyzing, and acting on enhanced customer data faster for marketers, providing even deeper insights for audience segmentation to strengthen personalization capabilities across channels and grow customer loyalty.
Other XP 10 updates include:
- Enhanced data capabilities coupled with the ability to extend targeting with auto-personalization.
- Horizon editing interface, providing in-context insights across multilingual and multisite experiences.
- Updated connector functionality for sending current visitor Experience Database® (xDB) information to Salesforce Marketing Cloud in real-time, enhancing Salesforce marketing automation.
Sitecore Experience Commerce (XC) 10
The new Sitecore XC 10 release truly reflects the market shift towards eCommerce. It provides more tools to drive higher average order value and revenue with dynamic product bundling and new promotion capabilities.
For example, using the new product bundling capability, brands can sell related and complementary products and services together at one price, driving higher order value and selling more products and services.
Sitecore has also been doubling down on their container infrastructure for deploying their solutions. To accelerate time-to-value and increase agility, Sitecore XC 10 includes broad support for Docker and Kubernetes, making the deployment process more lightweight and faster than ever. Containers are generally complex, particularly Kubernetes, and require an advanced level of expertise to manage successfully.
Sitecore Content Hub
Formerly Stylelabs – which was acquired by Sitecore in 2018 – the new Sitecore Content Hub provides a 360º view of your content landscape, helping you manage every dimension of your marketing content through a single, integrated solution.
More than a DAM, Content Hub provides a broad array of features. Along with housing all of your digital assets, media, and content elements, Content Hub allows users to “feed” their Sitecore personalization with AI/ML content tagging and Image Similarity. The entire system is designed to integrate with Sitecore CMS and Experience Commerce, so you can seamlessly organize your assets and plan around content production and operations – and power your campaigns for the right channels, regions, and audiences.
The other cool aspect of Content Hub is its marketing resource management, allowing teams to sync more effectively and collaborate across workflows. Content Hub also features product content management, so you can control versions of catalogs and eCommerce items and more personalized web-to-print capabilities.
If you’d like to try out Sitecore, you can request a demo here.
Sitecore delivers a digital experience platform that empowers the world’s smartest brands to build lifelong relationships with their customers. A highly decorated industry leader, Sitecore is the only company bringing together content, commerce, and data into one connected platform that delivers millions of digital experiences every day. Leading companies including American Express, ASOS, Carnival Cruise Lines, Kimberly-Clark, L’Oréal, and Volvo Cars rely on Sitecore to provide more engaging, personalized experiences for their customers. Learn more at Sitecore.com.