Customer feedback. That’s what we used to design Sitecore® Experience Platform™ (XP) 9.2. It’s also what we’re using to measure its success. And from what we’re hearing, we are on the right path. There are so many benefits that come with upgrading to XP 9.2, it’s tempting to have a blog consisting of just bullet points.
While listicles have their place, it’s probably best to make the possibilities come alive for you by presenting many of XP 9.2’s benefits in the context of the most common digital goals we see:
- Website refresh
- Brand refresh
- Digital transformation
While these don’t cover every possibility, they can also help you imagine what’s possible with today’s latest and greatest technology.
Website refresh: SXA and JSS
This is the simplest use case, but it can still be incredibly powerful. Whether as part of a holistic brand overhaul or a digital brand refresh, a website refresh can make your organization more digitally accessible, increase customer awareness and engagement, and create a firm foundation for further expanding your digital reach.
The first XP 9.2 benefit to highlight in this context is Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA). It was built to decrease the resources you need to create and edit your site while speeding your time to market. Its benefits include:
- Drag-and-drop functionality for easy and intuitive page design
- What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editing
- Pre-built components, templates, and layouts
- Create wireframes and reuse as templates
- Create designs and turn them into themes
- Responsive, mobile-friendly design by default
Volvo Cars, for example, used SXA to revamp their website, creating a feature-rich mobile site with over 300 images (from one with only 10), as well as new and exciting online experiences that helped drive a 31% increase in web traffic and a 7% increase in sales.
JSS also lets your team build headless solutions while retaining full personalization capabilities. This means your marketers can deliver personalized experiences on any device and channel — while keeping their ability to gather intelligence from them.
It’s also worth mentioning here our new forms. Specifically designed for marketers, these forms further increase the ease-of-use of the platform, also reducing the resources needed and speeding your time to market.
Brand refresh: Content Hub
All of the benefits highlighted above apply here, of course. But for rolling out your new brand, XP 9.2’s integration with Sitecore Content Hub™ brings an all-new level of efficiency and productivity.
With Content Hub, you and your team can plan, create, collaborate, and manage content on a single integrated and intuitive platform that includes:
- Digital Asset Management (DAM): store, manage, and find all marketing assets easily — includes metadata and digital rights management, security and support for global distribution
- Content Marketing Platform (CMP): plan, manage, and collaborate on content creation with streamlined production, optimized distribution, and increased visibility
- Marketing Resource Management (MRM): enable cross-team visibility and collaboration
- Product Content Management (PCM): your team’s single source of truth for all product content
Sitecore Content Hub offers a connected solution for managing every aspect of your content lifecycle, as well as the visibility and collaboration so essential to smooth functioning teams today.
Personalization: Headless, omnichannel tracking, machine learning, and more
Delivering the right content to the right person at the opportune time — personalization is what every savvy marketer is trying to figure out today. As Sitecore CMO Paige O’Neill explains in her 5 hard truths for marketers, Truth #2 is that when it comes to personalization there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But you can start small, get some fast wins, and build from there. We know because our customers are doing just that.
Competition is fierce, not only with other hotel websites but also with online travel agencies. Using Sitecore, we deliver a better guest experience that drives look-to-book conversions and therefore revenue.
Two Roads Hospitality personalized their customer experience across multiple brands using v9 of Sitecore XP, which introduced several innovative capabilities to support personalization — headless personalization, omnichannel tracking, holistic cross-domain reporting, and ML-based suggestions.
Another incredibly powerful personalization feature is the Sitecore Universal Tracker. A new API-based tracking mechanism introduced in 9.1, the Universal Tracker removes any limitations in tracking scale. It enables you to follow your customers throughout their entire journey — beyond browsers and across devices, even those that don’t support cookies and those that do support offline use.
With XP 9.2’s Sitecore xConnect™, our data integration capabilities are much more powerful as well. And XP 9.2 also includes out-of-the-box integrations with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce CRM, and Microsoft Dynamics 365.
In short, upgrading to XP 9.2 allows you and your team to scale your marketing efforts across sites, devices, and channels using a model that continuously optimizes your efforts based on the cross-channel data it enables you to collect and connect.
Digital transformation: Consolidated and connected
Digital transformation is really just a catch-all for a wide scope of processes, technology, and staff changes. Here are two customers who used v9 for their digital transformation.
Dine Brands Global, the parent company for IHOP and Applebees Grill + Bar, has been on Sitecore for almost a decade. With thin margins and stiff competition, the restaurant business is challenging, to say the least, and lacking the online experiences customers had come to expect, both IHOP and Applebees where falling behind. It was time for a change.
By upgrading their Sitecore platform and licenses, Dine Brands was able to connect their websites, customer data, and their commerce platform. Both brands now offer advanced onsite ordering (responsive for all devices), geolocation-based interaction, and multilingual menus. Their platform also powers social network integration and uses xDB to synchronize Customer Profiles.
(Learn more about the process of Dine Brand’s digital transformation and its results.)
A leading provider of sustainable urban development and business-space solutions across Asia, Acendas-Singbridge supports their tenants with an abundance of tailored services across signage, email, kiosks, and a mobile app.
With Sitecore, we were able to ensure consistent brand identity, gained operational efficiencies, and enhanced our customer experience across multiple channels. The platform enables us to respond continuously to how people work in today’s information-driven business environments.
Using Sitecore XP 9, Sitecore® Experience Manager, and Sitecore Experience Database™, all deployed on Microsoft Azure PaaS, Acendas-Singbridge consolidated numerous sites onto one platform, connected various touchpoints and backend systems, and now pushes communications out across every channel with ease.
(Learn more about Ascendas-Singbridge digital transformation and its results.)
Wrapping up with path analyzer, security, and more
There are many more benefits to upgrading, such as our path analyzer, a visual tool that enables you to see clearly what pathways in your site are working and which you can further optimize, and Sitecore Host, a new pluggable framework that standardizes several common pieces of base functionality for development. To say nothing about the security provided by encryption at rest and over the wire, the enhanced authentication through single sign on, or the various benefits — easier deployment, reduced infrastructure costs, greater flexibility and scalability, and more — of deploying on Managed Cloud.
And, of course, it’s important to remember that mainstream support for v8 expires at the end of this year. After this, you will only have support for production and security, not development.
If you’re considering an upgrade, or if you simply want to explore all the ways an upgrade might support your digital aspirations and strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out now.
Desta Price is the Executive Vice President of Product Management at Sitecore, Find her on Linkedin.