Sitecore Experience Platform and Sitecore Experience Commerce 10.1 is now released
Sitecore Experience Manager® (XM) and Sitecore Experience Platform™ (XP) 10.1 are now available, with features and functionality to help brands deliver experiences at warp speed. The new features of Sitecore Experience Platform 10.1 and Sitecore Experience Commerce 10.1 will mean that our clients will be able to deliver optimised digital experiences leveraging machine learning and AI technology.
The 10.1 release builds on the innovations delivered in 10.0, by introducing new functionality, including reusable tests and rule-based content profiling that can significantly increase time to market for optimisation efforts.
The 10.1 tighter integration between Sitecore Experience Accelerator and Horizon helps marketers create new content and evolve experiences with a simple drag and drop interface. Sitecore 10.1 also expands exsisiting headless services with introduction of new delivery models. The Sitecore 10.1 release reinforces Sitecore's commitment to evolving the platform and being a market leader in the Martech space.
When partnering with Speedwell to do your Sitecore upgrade, can rest assured that our team are focused on developing integrated, best in class B2B and B2C Sitecore solutions.
A focus of this release for Sitecore was on platform optimisations that help reduce run, upgrade, and hosting costs — from improved cold-start times to a new data purging tool for Sitecore® Experience Database™ (xDB), to name only two. Digital transformation and CX are more important than ever, and we recognise the need to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) for tech investment.
What is Sitecore® Experience Database™ (xDB)
The Sitecore xDB is the engine behind the Sitecore Experience and Sitecore Commerce Solution. It's the data repository that stores all visitor activities and interactions on your site and other channels to give you a 360-degree view of every customer, throughout their lifetime. It also:
- Collects interaction data from marketing campaign activity
- Stores interaction data from forms, landing pages, brochure downloads and information fact sheets
- Powers smart personalisation, testing, and optimisation
- Shows you the value of visits and how people are navigating through your content
- Shows email marketing metrics and engagement
In Sitecore 10.1 role scaling and configuration has been updated so that the xDB Reporting role has been combined with the Content Management role to reduce hosting costs. For more information about XConnect Scalable Reads and other changes view the Sitecore documentation.
A whopping 53% of visitors will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. - Sitecore 2021
Accelerating personalisation and deepening customer segmentation insights
When it comes to personalisation, quickly identifying something known about a visitor (even if they are relatively anonymous) is critical to delivering targeted, relevant information that drives trust and loyalty. This release introduces rules-based content profiling, significantly speeding the identification of visitors' interests and preferences based on their behaviour and matching content to them.
It would be remiss to not talk about the eagerly anticipated release of Sitecore AI Auto-Personalization, which we announced at this past year’s Sitecore Symposium. Sitecore AI Auto-Personalization Standard, which is now part of both Sitecore XP 10.0 and 10.1 with this release, enables brands to jumpstart personalization, without any manual definition of user segments.
For brands that have already begun their personalisation efforts, Sitecore AI helps by analyzing visitor behaviour to learn where they are in their journey, deepen their understanding of them, and determine the best content to optimize their experience.
Sitecore Form Enhancements
Sitecore 10.1 form enhancements makes work easier for form designers, you can create an autocomplete list of available CSS class options for each field type using easy-to-understand names. In past versions to apply styles to a form, the form designer can manually enter the CSS name, for example, btn-primary. This, however, requires knowledge of the CSS classes, and is prone to typing errors. To make it easier, in Sitecore 10.1 you can create a list of available CSS class options for each field type using easy to understand names that the form designer can choose from, as shown in the following image.
Send An Email Message via Submit Button
In addition to the above enhancements, in Sitecore 10.1 you can now also send an email message automatically using the email message submit action. To do this use the Submit button for navigation (previous and next buttons), to submit a form, and to trigger submit actions. In the Form designer, the Submit button is located in the Structure section of the Form elements pane. Drag a Submit button element onto the canvas and, on the General tab, you can name it, style it, and determine what happens after clicking the button. The navigation steps are Submit, Previous, or Next. Then you assign a submit action of Send email.
Ability to create custom form field validation
Sitecore 10.1 now allows you to create and craft custom form field validation. A webform validation ensures a website visitor enters the correct value in a field on a web form. You can implement custom validation or create a new validator based on the existing validation.
A new way to calculate contact behaviour profile
The Contact Behavior Profile (CBP) calculated facet stores the matched profiles and patterns for a contact and is represented by the Sitecore.XConnect.Collection.Model.ContactBehaviorProfile class. From Sitecore 10.1, two approaches for CBP facet behaviour are available:
- Using aggregated profile scores - this approach is enabled by default.
- Using the most recent profile scores - this approach is obsolete and disabled by default.
To learn more about the Sitecore contact behaviour profile view the sitecore documentation.
New Sitecore Upgrade Methodology
Since the release of the Sitecore 10.1 upgrade, the process has been simplified and improved with the introduction of a new Sitecore upgrade methodology. There is now a single Upgrade Guide that describes how to upgrade from Sitecore XP 8.1.0 or later to Sitecore XP 10.1.0. Please note that if your current Sitecore Solution is on Sitecore 7 it is highly recommended to upgrade your solution as your Sitecore version is no longer supported. For older versions of Sitecore, it is always recommended to use a Sitecore implementation partner like us as the path to upgrade can be a tricky one if your developer has done any enhancements or integrations that might not be compatible with the new version of Sitecore.
With Sitecore 10.1, you can now search for pages, content items, and media items in Horizon. Sitecore customers with 10.1 will also do the following:
- Create and edit data source items in Horizon.
- Publish items with subitems in Horizon
- Edit link fields and number of fields in Horizon
- Edit checklists in Horizon
- Edit drop-down menu fields in Horizon
4 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Sitecore Instance
- Improved personalisation & testing with Sitecore AI Auto-Personalisation: Enjoy enhanced personalisation and testing capacities with AI Auto. You are able to quickly set up articles evaluations for various audience segments, according to your own hypotheses as well as AI-powered recommendations.
- Better Data Capture & Integration: Get more from the client data, and make certain that the information you are collecting is GDPR-compliant. Set your data to function with omnichannel data integration which connects Sitecore with everything: your call centre, your CRM, your IoT devices.
- Get access to the latest Sitecore Support: As of 2020, Sitecore no longer provides any type of support for websites running on version 8.2 and older. For Sitecore 9.0 and 9.1 customers in December of this year, you will no longer get security updates, patches or Sitecore assistance with fixing Sitecore bugs.
So what does that mean for you?
In short, if you opt not to update, it implies that you are putting your website and your organisation at a fairly precarious position where the version will have secuirty issues, bugs and risks. Sitecore updates always require a fair amount of due diligence, planning, and attention to detail in execution. That is where our team of Sitecore experts can help.
Speak to us about your Sitecore upgrade
Staying ahead of the curve has always been a challenge in this experience-led economy. Now is the time for your company to optimise your digital operations, drive return on investment and get hyper-focused on activity that creates long-term relationships with your customers.
Speedwell has worked with leading organisations to implement Sitecore because it's a robust enterprise Martech solution that truly enables you to personalise every customer interaction and gain incredible insights. Speedwell has been a Sitecore implementation partner for over 10 years. Leverage our expertise for your Sitecore upgrade today.
|John King, Digital Marketing Technologist, Speedwell