Laptop with Sitecore XM on screen
CMS Sitecore

What is Sitecore Experience Manager?

Mar 17, 2022

Sitecore Experience Manager (XM) is a uniquely powerful, enterprise-grade CMS with rich features and capabilities to help businesses grow, attract, convert, and retain customers. Highly successful digital experience platforms are built on a powerful content management system and Sitecore XM is a comprehensive suite of solutions that can help you personalize content and deliver the best marketing campaigns.

According to McKinsey, consumers now spend more time online exploring beyond their favorite brands and across several digital channels. With that, omnichannel content delivery and personalization have become increasingly popular and crucial to business success. For instance, 71% of consumers expect enterprises to provide personalized experiences, while 76% will switch brands if the experience is not satisfactory.

Experience Manager provides a robust set of tools for content-driven enterprises to create, personalize, and maximize content ROI. In this article, we’ll delve into the features that make up Sitecore XM and its benefits to your brand.

What is Sitecore Experience Manager?

Sitecore Experience Manager (XM) is the core of Sitecore’s enterprise-class marketing tech stack. With this CMS solution, marketers and designers can develop, design, track, deliver, and tailor experiences. One of the biggest advantages of using XM is that you can integrate with several third-party services, enabling you to create a powerful, interconnected solution to serve several business purposes.

You can integrate it with a CRM, e-commerce system, CDP, ECM, social media tool, ERP, DAM, language translation service, and more. With these integrations and features, Sitecore XM enables you to build engaging, rich experiences that convert more effectively than ever.

Experience Manager vs Experience Platform

Sitecore Experience Manager comes as one of the core offerings on the Sitecore Experience Platform. Additionally, Sitecore XP offers marketing automation, advanced personalization features, Sitecore AI, JavaScript services, Sitecore Cortex, and an enhanced editing experience.

In a sense, one can say that Sitecore XM is a simplified and streamlined version of Sitecore XP. XM only provides personalization on explicit, user provided profile data while Sitecore XP extends that capability to user behaviors and patterns including AI.

The marketing automation features remove the need for a separate marketing automation platform and allow marketers to nurture prospects using data from multiple sources and channels. Unlike XM, XP includes an analytics platform that lets you personalize the experience based on user behavior. Similarly, XM cannot perform campaign management, multi-variant testing, or engagement plans.

The XM platform will probably suffice if you are primarily creating website content and you do not intend to use the site as a core part of your funnel to perform actions like lead generation. Of course, you can always upgrade to Sitecore XP if you deem it necessary as your strategy matures.

On the other hand, most of the brands that choose Sitecore XP hardly use all the features it offers. As such, before making a decision on which platform to use, be sure to evaluate your current and probable future marketing and sales strategy and align it with the capabilities of both product variations.

The Key Features of Sitecore Experience Manager

The following are some of the main features of Sitecore XM:

  • Experience editor: Marketers have the simplicity and flexibility of drag and drop templates, WYSIWYG editor, visual previews that let you edit webpage elements such as images, text, buttons, links, and other content.
  • Forms: With this user-friendly feature, you can create interactive forms and collect visitor data. Additionally, you can export form data, apply validation rules to the form, style it as you wish, and generate reports on their submission.
  • Sitecore Publishing Service: This service lets marketers speed up the time it takes to publish large volumes of content. It also increases throughput and enhances the user experience in the process.
  • Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA):This is a user-friendly interface that non-content authors can use to manage the site while developers work on the underlying components and data templates, enabling faster deployment of your sites.
  • Data Exchange Framework: With this tool, you can import and integrate data, such as content and analytics from third-party apps into Sitecore.
  • Search: Sitecore provides scalable and flexible search options that include Azure, Lucene, and Solr depending on your enterprise needs and the architecture you choose.
  • Active Directory: This service allows you to integrate domain users and groups into Sitecore.
  • Sitecore JavaScript Services: This provides React, Angular, and Vue-based headless JS applications built with Sitecore. That way, marketers can deliver omnichannel content to all devices.
  • Sitecore Mobile API for Xamarin: This framework uses Portable Class Library (PCL) to enable developers to work with content items and fields. That way, developers can serve content from Sitecore through mobile apps.

Enterprise Benefits of Sitecore Experience Manager

Enterprises should consider several criteria when selecting a new CMS. Experience Manager offers many essential benefits that allow brands to deliver modern, optimized, and personalized experiences across all digital channels. Additionally, you get the added benefit of integrating with other Sitecore products and services or upgrading to Sitecore XP when the need arises.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why enterprises choose XM:

  • Omnichannel content delivery : Customers consume content from several channels. For enterprises to meet the demands of these channels, they need to deliver omnichannel content automatically to each customer’s device by writing once and publishing it across multiple channels through a headless CMS.
  • Multiple hosting options : Enterprises can leverage several options to deploy sites on Sitecore. They can deploy on-prem, in the cloud, or through Sitecore’s Managed Cloud services.
  • Centralized content and website management: Enterprises using Experience Manager can centrally manage and monitor multiple websites, sharing content, presentations, and modules seamlessly.
  • Higer global reach: With the feature for multilingual content delivery, enterprises can provide customers with their preferred language regardless of the device or channel they use.
  • Faster content search : Brands want to ensure that visitors can easily find relevant content on their site. With XM, enterprises can leverage a user-friendly search engine that’ll provide a seamless content search for visitors and authors.
  • Faster time-to-market: Enterprises can significantly reduce development time using a Docker-based workflow and Sitecore Containers.
  • Higher customer loyalty and retention : With personalization features on Sitecore XM, enterprises can enable better engagement, increase conversions, and enhance the user experience by delivering targeted and relevant content to visitors.
  • Mobile-friendly: Enterprises can detect and optimize content automatically for mobile devices. In addition, Geo IP detection allows them to personalize content according to visitor location.

Sitecore XM: The One-Stop Shop for Enterprise-level Personalized, Conceptual Digital Experiences

Sitecore offers several products and services that make it easier for enterprises to deliver top-notch digital experiences. Sitecore Experience Manager is just one of those core features. With this CMS, you can deliver personalized experiences and functionalities to enhance content creation and delivery. Before you can implement XM, you should know how to choose the right Sitecore partner.

Having a partner like Oshyn will make the process of adopting XM seamless and worthwhile. Oshyn is a certified Sitecore Partner with extensive expertise in implementing Sitecore XM and Sitecore XP. Most enterprises opt for XP because of its extensive features.

Interested in learning how Oshyn implements a CMS? Have a look at Oshyn’s CMS implementation process.

Related insights