It’s a new year! And fresh from a short break from the blog, to focus on presenting at the xDB training course in New Orleans and Sitecore User Group in Cardiff, I’m back. So let’s get to it!
I talk a lot about the value of extending xDB to store data relevant to the client and how to surface that data for Content Editors to use. I now want to cover how to use that data on a grand scale. From accessing that data for all your contacts in a performant way. Then using that data to create lists of similar contacts based on their interactions. Finally allowing you to target groups of individuals with relevant email communications, via EXM, or synchronize with a CRM (more on that in a future blog).
For a while now I’ve been writing about collecting and displaying data unique to a client in Sitecore’s Experience Profile. What went hand in hand with that is the use of Sitecore Goals and Outcomes – giving a business value, sometimes monetary, to actions performed on the site. The Experience Profile currently shows the goals for each Contact.
However, beyond the goal being registered we don’t know the context in which the goal was met. Wouldn’t it be great if we knew WHAT was added to the basket when the ‘Add to Basket’ goal was registered?
Part 2 – The Experience Profile App
Sitecore’s Experience Profile shows a detailed breakdown of each Contact (visitor of the site) and is built using Sitecore’s SPEAK, so to modify the app it we are going need to use the Sitecore Rocks Visual Studio Extension. To refresh, here is an overview of what we’re trying to achieve.
We’re going to create a new Tab on the Experience Profile App for our Interaction Facet we built previously, the Tab will show the actions the User has completed on the site which are unique to the client. Within that Tab we have a collection of Sub Tabs, one for each Element of the Facet, e.g. Sample Orders, Videos Played etc. Then each Sub Tab has a Panel to display the data.
Part 1 – ExperienceProfileContactViews Pipeline
I’ve been writing this series on Sitecore xDB, Contacts and the Experience Profile for a while now. I’ve been covering how to identify Contacts for Sitecore’s Experience Database (xDB) and how to extend xDB so it can hold custom data.
This time I’m going to explain how to surface that useful BIG DATA you extended xDB to hold so that it is accessible to Content Editors. This is a large topic so I’ll be splitting it between two posts, this first part will focus on the ExperienceProfileContactViewsPipeline which retrieves the data in a format that the Experience Profile can use.
It’s worth noting that I figured most of this out by just jumping into it, decompiling code and a reasonable amount trial and error. Just take that into consideration 🙂
In my previous post I explained how to extend Sitecore’s Experience Database so that you can store custom data against each Contact (visitor) of your site. I also recently posted about updating an xDB Contact with basic information. This post will explain how to uniquely identify Contacts from one another and how to merge Contacts, and their data, once you have determined that they are the same User. Continue reading
This is a quick, short and sharp post covering how to add data to Contacts in xDB, specifically to the Facets and Elements that come with Sitecore out-of-the-box. This post is to provide additional info to that goes with recent posts covering how to identify and merge Contacts in xDB and how to extend xDB to store custom data.
It’s about time we start doing with Experience Database. Out of the box, xDB is awesome for collecting general data such as name, address, contact details etc and that’s really useful. But how about we take it to another level; store specific information to the website, the client and the interactions of the visitor.
Sitecore 8 Content Testing
Anything with the codename Skynet immediately gets my attention so I dug into Sitecore’s Content Testing. Essentially Content Testing can learn from AB and Multivariate tests to suggest changes and create tests which can improve conversion rates, engagement values, site usage. So lets create some robotic Overlords!
How to Add Content Testing to Sitecore Workflow
To give the option to Content Test in workflow you need to create new Workflow Commands under a new or existing Workflow State, commonly the State before Item is publishable. In this example, the Content Test will be created on the Review State before the Item is moved to the Approved State for publishing.