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Essential DXP components for robust composable architectures

The Contentstack TeamMay 31, 20247 min read

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Discover the essential DXP components crucial for building robust composable architectures. Learn how key elements like headless CMS, API layer, CPDs and analytics enhance your digital strategy. Build your DXP with confidence and with the right components. Request a free demo to start your composable journey. 


You’ll learn about the essential components of a composable DXP.

Key DXP components:

  • Headless CMS: Facilitates content creation, storage and distribution
  • API integration layer: Facilitates seamless integration between microservices
  • Analytics tools: Supports data-driven decision-making and performance tracking
  • Workflow automation tools: Streamlines processes and enhances productivity

Organizations like Reckitt and Brad’s Deals have benefited from switching to a composable DXP. It has the right components to transform your business. Request a free demo to see them in action.

Keep reading to learn more!

Whether by boosting customer experience (CX), facilitating omnichannel experiences, or improving personalized content delivery, composable DXPs are proving to be the real deal for businesses. 50% of organizations have already locked in, and Gartner is confident that the number will reach 70% in the near future.

Composable platforms are modular systems that rely on some vital DXP components. These components do the heavy lifting behind the scenes, resulting in an efficient composable platform. 

Composable DXPs differ from traditional DXPs. Monolithic DXPs offer all solutions from one vendor. This is usually fine for small and medium enterprises. However, as a business starts to grow, scaling them would require costly workarounds. There are no such issues with composable DXPs. You have control, allowing you to integrate solutions from various vendors.

What makes a DXP composable?

DXP components like CRM systems, headless CMS, and API layers are some of the essential cogs in the composable wheel. So, what is a composable DXP? It is a SaaS platform that allows businesses to integrate the best-in-class modules to service their customers. 

Here are some composable DXP use cases for your business:

  • Map and optimize customer journeys
  • Segment audiences and serve targeted content based on their interactions
  • Deliver omnichannel experiences That is consistent across all digital channels
  • Automate marketing campaigns, leading to more speed and efficiency

Composable DXPs vs monolithic DXPs

Not all DXPs are composable. A monolithic DXP offers all tools within one package. It is integrated and all in one. While that provides some simplicity, it is a challenge to customize, scale or integrate with other systems.

Then, you have composable DXPs. They combine multiple independent modules, giving you flexibility, agility, and scalability. You can pick the best tools for your business needs, you can plug in and unplug modules, and you can update features without disrupting the system.

Essential DXP components in a composable DXP

A composable DXP combines several DXP components to create a cohesive digital experience. Here are some of the main ones.

Content management system (CMS)

Composable DXPs come with headless CMSes. They are API-first, which adds to their flexibility. Headless CMSes offer an efficient way for digital marketers to create, optimize, and deliver content across multiple channels.

Headless CMS for Composable DXPs

Benefits of a headless CMS in DXPs

A headless CMS separates content storage from delivery. Hence, content creators have complete control over what happens in the backend, while software developers can design suitable user interfaces for content display. Here are other advantages of a headless CMS.

  • Flexibility: It delivers content across multiple devices and platforms
  • Future-proof: You can integrate a headless CMS with any digital device using APIs
  • Speed: Content creators and developers can work in parallel
  • Scalability: Headless CMSes can scale to accommodate extra volume

Start your free trial with Contentstack today. Transform your brand's digital presence with Contentstack's open MACH architecture and industry-leading technology. Witness a significant reduction in publishing and development time, and elevate your content management. Start your free trial now.

Digital asset management (DAM)

DAMs are essential DXP components that brands rely on to organize their digital assets. Users can search and retrieve documents, images or other content using easy queries. As DAMs are usually cloud-based, they are elastic and scalable. Hence, they can accommodate business growth. The main features of a DAM system are: 

  • Centralized storage
  • Metadata management
  • Version control
  • Advanced search and retrieval

Product information management (PIM)

Businesses with a wide range of products and services may struggle to harmonize all the details and information. A PIM system solves that problem, offering data accuracy and consistency of product information on all digital channels. This vital DXP component ensures that product data is current and consistent, which contributes to a seamless customer experience.

Personalization engine

A recent McKinsey report states that around 71% of customers expect personalized content from brands, and 76% get frustrated when that does not happen. So, personalization engines offer real value in composable platforms. With a proper presentation layer, they deliver visually appealing and engaging digital experiences.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

CRM systems collect data from various customer interaction points with a brand. It organizes the data in a centralized view from which marketers can improve their interaction with customers. CRM systems offer vital features like;

  • Contact management
  • Sales and marketing automation 
  • Real-time analytics
  • Customer service

CRMs integrate with other systems via APIs, and they help automate marketing tasks. Paired with AI, they also predict customer requirements based on their interactions with brands.

API layer

APIs are the lifeblood of digital experience platforms. Without APIs, it would be difficult for modular systems to interact and share data. That makes them an essential DXP component. 

An API layer provides the background infrastructure and rules for secure, efficient, and scalable API integration. It sits between the DXP and underlying systems, offering an interface for API calls and requests.

Analytics and reporting tools

Analytics is one of the vital components of any DXP as it is relevant for any industry or business size. Analytics tools gather and categorize data that marketers can access via visualization dashboards. 

With analytics and reporting tools, you can track your marketing performance and how customers interact with your business. This allows you to become a truly data-driven enterprise.


If you manage an online marketplace or require an integrated shopping experience, you would be interested in an e-commerce platform. It is one of the essential components of DXPs as it directly impacts customer experience. A fast and intuitive transaction keeps your customers excited.

A DXP e-commerce tool offers several functionalities that include;

  • Product catalog management
  • Order management
  • Customer support integration
  • Localization tools for Multi-language and multi-currency
  • Multichannel content management and omnichannel support
  • Customer account management

Customer data platform (CDP)

A CDP is a packaged software that creates a unified customer database that other systems can access. CDPs are very versatile and can do some of what other systems do. Many often confuse them with CRM systems. 

However, CDPs integrate data to help marketers understand customer behavior, and design targeted digital marketing campaigns. They are not concerned with customer interactions and customer service like a CRM system.

Search & discovery

This is one component of DXPs that makes life easy for everyone. The search and discovery tool is a robust discovery tool that powers navigation and filters. 

It offers universal information retrieval, contextual search, personalized search, and search analytics. Within the corporate intranet system, employees rely on them for resource searches. In e-commerce, you can use them for product searches—shoppers do not need to scroll hours on end looking for products. 

Other DXP components

There are also other DXP components aside from the ones mentioned. For instance, the identity and access management (IAM) tool adds extra security by preventing authorized access. Other components include;

  • Workflow and collaboration tools
  • Marketing automation
  • A/B testing
  • Content delivery networks (CDN)
  • Presentation layer

These are some of the essential components to consider when building your composable DXP solution. However, it is worth noting that the components of a DXP will vary based on your business needs or industry.

Building a composable DXP

So, what does it take to build a composable DXP? It takes a lot—considering the technology, change management, stakeholders, cost, and technical implications. It requires careful planning and understanding the need for a robust DXP solution, but here are the three main steps.

Assess business needs

Before you start putting the system together, outline your business needs and clarify your goals. 

  • What are your pain points? 
  • What do your customers want the most?
  • How best can you deliver the needs of customers? 
  • How can you improve customer experience?

These questions will help you understand where and how a modular architecture can add value to your business.

Select the right components

Once you are clear on the direction to go, review the DXPs available to see if they offer the components you need. Here are the essential ones to consider.

  • Automation features
  • Integration middleware
  • Headless CMS, CRM, and DAM 
  • Security and compliance

You want a DXP platform that offers suitable modules, apps and integrations to support your business goals. Also, consider ease of integration and available customer support for your IT team during and after onboarding.

Integrate the system

Once you have settled on the right modules, ensure they are compatible. Then, use APIs and middleware to facilitate integration. Deploy microservices and activate security protocols. Test system performance, security, and user acceptance. Ensure that your composable DXP works as it should. As a best practice approach, create a backup and recovery plan for extra security.

Contentstack: Your partner in scaling digital experiences. Twice named a Leader in Forrester's composable DXP award, Contentstack offers an innovative approach to DXP. Experience our 100% microservices architecture and API coverage that allows instant scalability. Start your free trial today.

Challenges in implementing a modular DXP

Building a composable DXP comes with some challenges that business leaders must know and prepare for. Here are some challenges and best practice approaches to overcome them.



Systems integration can be complex and time-consuming

Use standardized APIs and middleware tools to simplify integration

Ensuring data consistency poses challenges

Implement a robust data governance and leverage tools that synchronize data

Scaling a DXP may lead to technical debt

Deploy microservices and cloud-native solutions to support future growth

Case studies


In the words of Paweł Płoneczka, IT&D Senior Manager Websites. “What we had was sufficient, but we couldn’t expand beyond the layer we were at.

Reckitt needed a digital solution to support its 84 brands and 700 websites in 200 countries. Switching to Contentstack allowed them to do that. They increased website performance by 40%, reduced costs, and migrated 140 websites.

Paweł Płoneczka, further said. “With Contentstack’s global governance and control over the content model, we can make sure that all sites are compliant, have full accessibility, and work as they should out of the box.

Read more about how Reckitt scaled multi-brand content operations across 200 markets.

Brad’s Deals

Before switching to Contentstack, Brad’s Deals relied on three in-house CMSes, and multiple other legacy open-source CMSes. However, the systems were not unified, leading to silos.

Contentstack’s Composable DXP delivered the needed changes. The front-end automation allowed them to create bespoke integrations, which simplified their content strategy. They boosted production by 95% and publishing time by 99%, while costs dropped by 70%.

Keith Mazanec, the Director of Software Engineering, discusses the overall impact of Contentstack on the business. "Thanks to Contentstack, we can now have a content strategy that leverages all of our assets, without an email strategy here, long-form strategy there, and deal content somewhere else. We can now look at a campaign holistically, as a campaign-level strategy where everything comes together in Contentstack. We’re no longer limited by the silos of our tech stack."

Read more about how Brad Deals transformed its content strategy with bespoke automation.

FAQ section

What is a composable DXP?

A composable DXP is a flexible, modular SaaS that allows brands to create engaging digital experiences using best-of-breed modules. It is scalable and enhances tailored content delivery across multiple platforms.

How does a composable DXP differ from a monolithic DXP?

A composable DXP allows users to select digital solutions from any vendor. They are API-first, modular and built on a microservices approach. Meanwhile, monolithic DXP is an integrated solution with dependence on only one vendor. 

What benefits does a composable DXP offer?

Composable DXPs are cost-efficient as you only select what tools are relevant to your businesses. They are flexible and scalable, ease integration and give you better control of your technology stack. They are also agile, enabling you to adapt to new technologies and market shifts.

What DXP components are essential for a composable platform?

Composable platforms rely on vital DXP components, such as analytics tools, CRM, headless CMS, and API layer. These systems are the main driving force behind the efficiency of the composable architecture.

Learn more

A composable DXP is versatile, dynamic, and efficient like a Swiss army knife. It enables you to deliver tailored digital experiences to your customers. 

But none of that can happen without all the vital DXP components that work together in the background. A composable DXP is the complete package, and it is future-proof—so, you can bet on it. Building one requires careful planning. But once done, you can expect exceptional benefits.

Go composable today to stay ahead and future-proof your digital strategy. Request a free demo to get started.

About Contentstack

The Contentstack team comprises highly skilled professionals specializing in product marketing, customer acquisition and retention, and digital marketing strategy. With extensive experience holding senior positions in notable technology companies across various sectors, they bring diverse backgrounds and deep industry knowledge to deliver impactful solutions.  

Contentstack stands out in the composable DXP and Headless CMS markets with an impressive track record of 87 G2 user awards, 6 analyst recognitions, and 3 industry accolades, showcasing its robust market presence and user satisfaction.

Check out our case studies to see why industry-leading companies trust Contentstack.

Experience the power of Contentstack's award-winning platform by scheduling a demo, starting a free trial, or joining a small group demo today.

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