Sitecore is a leading digital experience software used by organisations globally to create personalised digital experiences. Gartner rated Sitecore highly in their Gartner Magic Quadrant 2022 and have gone on to recognise the software more recently.
The question, ‘what is Sitecore?’ is a common one, and understandably as it’s often described as a DXP, an xDB or simply a CMS. So, which is it?
Sitecore’s origins began with a content management system (CMS) powered by .NET. Since then, Sitecore has evolved from only managing content, into a powerful digital experience platform (DXP) that provides a wide range of functionalities, including commerce and digital marketing tools, to support businesses in creating better engagement and experiences throughout the customer journey.
Today, Sitecore is reinventing itself once again with its first end-to-end SaaS composable DXP, empowering immersive customer experiences spanning everything from content to commerce. While they remain committed to their on-premises suite of products, Sitecore has made considerable investment to venture into SaaS, cloud-based solutions.
This move sees Sitecore support a transition from the older style of “monolithic” systems (where all the features are built into one product, to be used together) to the modern “composable” style (where each main feature is a separate product, and can be used independently). This gives developers even more flexibility.
Sitecore’s move to SaaS offers organisations more powerful options in terms of new products and more options on how to deploy them. They acquired four companies in 2021; Moosend, Four51, Boxever, and Stylelabs, expanding their offering to include marketing automation, B2B capabilities and data analytics.
So, a quick overview of Sitecore’s composable and more traditional products and their benefits:
In the composable space, Sitecore provide two content management products, depending on your projects’ needs:
- Content Hub One
For smaller projects, Content Hub One is a small, agile CMS for use with your preferred JAMStack delivery framework.
- XM Cloud
For projects which require the full power of Sitecore’s history with content management, XM Cloud provides a headless, SaaS-hosted version of its original CMS product.
Alongside their content management products, their suite of composable tools provide a wide range of features to add on top of basic content management. All these tools use a SaaS model, and can be used with any CMS:
- Personalize & CDP
The Sitecore Customer Data Platform can be integrated into your website to capture analytics and activity data about your users, and store them in a format suitable for reporting and personalisation decisions. And Sitecore Personalize allows you to use that data to make decisions on what content to present. This can work in web pages, mobile apps our other custom UIs.
- Content Hub DAM
For organisations that require a more formal approach to managing the creation of art and content assets, Sitecore’s DAM provides the technical and project management tools to plan and create your assets, and then integrate them with your CMS.
Many projects require some internal search to help users find content, or to efficiently retrieve content for “related articles” style controls. Sitecore Search provides the indexing technology to scan your websites and extract the content, as well as user controls and APIs to run fast, efficient queries against it.
Marketing automation activities like “a day after a basket is abandoned, send a reminder email” are important for modern sites, but the increasing complexity of anti-spam features in email makes hosting the email sending in your website difficult these days. Sitecore Send provides a way for you design your emails and manage delivery lists, as well as marketing automation integration points with your website.
Sitecore’s OrderCloud product provides the basis for building e-commerce on your website. It’s an API-first commerce solution which gives you the tools you need for product, inventory and order management, with the flexibility required to build your custom commerce processes.
While Sitecore Search targets website content, their Discover product is aimed at providing searchability over product catalogs with the minimum effort. It can index your product data and use this to answer search queries, recommend products and generate branded listings pages.
When you’re putting together a website using composable tools, you need a way to wire together the APIs of different SaaS products and build up the behaviours you need. Sitecore Connect provides a “no code” approach to wiring your chosen products together.
But not every project can make use of the SaaS products approach used above. In some spaces, data security requirements are more important than the ability to hand off the infrastructure and management work. In that scenario, you can still make use of the power and features of Sitecore’s enterprise platform DXP with hosting you manage yourself.
- Sitecore XP
If you require your marketing capabilities to be built into your platform DXP, Sitecore XP is a good choice. Beyond streamlined content management, XP incorporates omnichannel personalisation, consolidating customer data, marketing automation, search functionality, email sending and in-depth analytics within a single platform.
The benefits of Sitecore to marketers
With such a wide range of products, you can do much more than just manage your online content including:
- Tracking and analytics
- Integrated marketing campaigns
- Content optimisation
- Gaining a single customer view
With Sitecore you can create, deliver and optimise for an end-to-end customer experience that spans acquisition, nurturing, conversion, retention and advocacy. Importantly, these experiences can span across various sites, locations, languages, and all channels, devices, and touchpoints.
Want to find out more about Sitecore?
The best way to find out more about the platform’s powerful new features and how they could benefit your organisation is to get in touch with our expert MVPs.