With the recent release of Sitecore 9, a new feature has also been introduced called, xConnect. According to Sitecore Documentation, “xConnect is the service layer that sits between the xBD and any trusted client, device or interface that wants to read, write or search xDB data.”
In simpler terms, it is the interface/channel that allows the transfer of information between Sitecore 9 and any external data source (e.g. CRM).
Where were we before the Sitecore 9 release?
Before xConnect was introduced, exchanging data between Sitecore and external systems was full of challenges and one-off custom solutions. Unifying all that data of how users were interacting with your brand through different channels was a major barrier for marketers to get that 360° view of their customer. Simply put, there was a disconnect between the xBD data and all the different marketing channels, like Salesforce as there was no consistent interface for these systems to communicate with each other.
xConnect has changed that. It is that consistent and standardized interface (API) between platforms.
What does xConnect mean for marketers today?
As a marketer, you should care about xConnect because it provides a more convenient way for you to get all user data from every interaction they have with your brand. Here are a couple examples:
- Push offline data about your customer into xDB in order to personalize their online experience.
- Say you know a customer just bought a product in your store. When they visit your website, rather than pushing a sales message, you can highlight warranty information about the exact product they purchased.
- Pull online web interactions into your offline sales tools
- Say a user triggers a goal on your website by submitting a form to get more information about a product. When your sales team talks to them on the phone, they can use this information to cater the conversation to the personal needs of that customer.
The future of xConnect
Sitecore 9 & xConnect are still fairly new to the market place, but it will be exciting to see how marketers and technologists leverage xConnect to get the full view of their customers to create a relevant and personalized experience at every customer touchpoint.