WHO ARE THE LEADERS AND WHY?
eCommerce platforms had modest beginnings with stand-alone eCommerce website development and models right at the end of the previous century. Today, such platforms have advanced multifold and now incorporate various related functionalities and technologies.
Gartner defines eCommerce as:
Buying and selling encounters among people, businesses, and things for products and services through digitalization technologies. These encounters yield a valuable transaction to the client, based on an array of factors, including satisfactory customer experience, cut-rate price, ease of use, timeliness, and clear policies, among other factors. As of 2017, the following are the leading digital commerce players:
IBM is leading the digital stratosphere based on its product functionality, as well as the capacity to support B2B and B2C business models. Also, its interlinked ecosystem of applications that connects to IBM’s eCommerce platform globally adds to its market superiority. IBM’s eCommerce portfolio consists of Watson Commerce Insights, Watson Commerce, Order Management; Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ), Watson Order Optimizer; real-time customized solutions, Watson Content Hub, Store Associate, and Watson Customer Experience Analytics (CXA).
Although the tech giant offers its services to all client segments with digital commerce Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) revenue from $10 million to more than $1 billion, bigger and more sophisticated businesses are its largest customer segment. The company relishes a prominent degree of presence in every discipline, except tourism.
IBM is a publicly traded company, geographically based in New York, U.S., with a global presence in over 215 countries.
Global sophistication and scalability
IBM Watson Commerce facilitates and backs sophisticated, global, and incredibly trafficked commerce sites, including some of the most eminent ones across the globe. Also, the majority of customers rank IBM highly in complexity and scalability.
IBM has remained consistently ahead of other vendors in its focus on AI and machine learning. The tech giant is now integrating these into its commerce portfolio by harnessing the endeavors of other areas of IBM, as so aptly exemplified by Watson Commerce Insights, for predictive search and predictive merchandising. Additionally, the referenced clientele is highly satisfied with its capacity to stay in sync with the market and to bring novel, relevant product innovations to the market.
IBM sustains an exhaustive set of partners in the eCommerce ecosystem, regarded highly by its reference customers who scored it to be either very high or outstanding.
- SAP Hybris
In the context of eCommerce website development, SAP Hybris is a leading market player due to its capacity to support both B2C and B2B business models and worldwide scalable commerce implementations. Its prominent presence in various vertical industries, as well as its ecosystem and related technology areas add to its dominance.
The front-office portfolio of SAP Hybris includes SAP Hybris Customer Experience, SAP Hybris Commerce, SAP Hybris Marketing, SAP Hybris Sales, SAP Hybris Profile, SAP Hybris Service, SAP Hybris as a Service (YaaS), and SAP Hybris Revenue. Organizations of all sizes purchase the company’s products, but the most typical eCommerce customer yields GMV revenue in the range of $50 million to $1 billion. The company is publicly traded and is headquartered in Germany, with expanded global presence.
SAP Hybris is consistently churning out double-digit revenue increments for its software solution and triple-digit surges for both its cloud packages, in addition to new clients for B2B and B2C. Similarly, SAP Hybris Commerce continues to attract a healthy amount of inquiries from Gartner customers across a range of regions and industries. Gartner projects SAP Hybris Commerce customer growth of about 35% in 2018. All reference clientele recorded very high overall satisfaction with SAP and SAP Hybris digital commerce platform.
SAP Hybris Commerce has a robust set of core commerce functionality (subscription billing, services, digital and physical goods, and data-rich products and services). Also, the company carries on with its investment in adjoining eCommerce technologies and solutions to further refine SAP Hybris Commerce, such as SAP Hybris YaaS and SAP Hybris Revenue. In addition, the platform melds with other SAP applications like SAP ERP, through SAP Data Hub. SAP also continues to build more functionality in CX, WCM, marketing, customer service, and merchandising.
Vertical industry support and ecosystem
SAP continues funding to increase its network of technology partners and service providers (for example, Capgemini, Accenture Interactive, Deloitte Digital, Infosys, and IBM). Also, SAP Hybris Commerce got modules and accelerators for particular industries, such as education, grocery and CPG, utilities, public sector/government, financial services and insurance, and telecommunications.
Oracle is a distinguished name based on its digital power to facilitate both B2B and B2C business models, multiple eCommerce delivery models, and a robust partner ecosystem. It can also field adjoining customer experience applications (both for external customers and internal users) for customer service, marketing, and other areas. Its two commerce products are Oracle Commerce Cloud, an emerging hybrid SaaS solution based on Oracle Commerce, and Oracle Commerce, a software solution that Oracle also hosts.
While the vendor serves various customer segments, its most recurring clients are ones with digital commerce GMV of more than $250 million. The company is in the public domain, and is headquartered in California with offices worldwide.
Oracle Commerce and Commerce Cloud have different implementation requirements, pricing models, and functionality. Commerce Cloud has a faster time to market, while Oracle Commerce offers broader functionality. Both are able to integrate with optional Oracle customer service and merchandising, and can assist configuration of sophisticated products through Oracle CPQ Cloud embedding.
Oracle’s Customer Experience (CX) Suite offers adjoining functionality for customer service, CPQ, marketing, and sales functionality. The Unified CX platform furnishes a common architecture for interoperability between supporting applications and Oracle Commerce through REST APIs. Most of the reference clients rated Oracle high to outstanding on its user experience capability.
Global and scalable
In 2016, Oracle Commerce Cloud was selling primarily to mid-tier clients. However, bigger clients are being taken onboard as it matures. It can facilitate a global and scalable commerce environment in sophisticated B2B and B2C environments. Oracle’s worldwide presence and partner ecosystem enable it to offer further support resources for mega implementations.
- DIGITAL RIVER
Digital River is gaining ground due to its propensity to offer global, scalable and end-to-end eCommerce solutions to clients. In the context of eCommerce website development, the vendor offers a multitenant SaaS B2B and B2C platform with international payment capabilities, alongside operations subscription services and optional marketing. Digital River principally sells to companies with digital commerce Gross Merchandise Volume revenue lower than $250 million. It primarily serves customers in software and gaming, hard goods (such as tools, housewares, home improvement, sports equipment, and office products), and consumer technology.
Digital River is privately owned by Siris Capital, and is headquartered in Minnesota, U.S., with a presence in Europe, Asia, and South America.
Complete global eCommerce solution
Digital River can provide functionality for B2B or B2C, including payments, customer service, marketing, global logistics, and warehousing. Also, it can act as the merchant as well as the seller of record for its clients. The reference clientele rated its globalization capacities as being very good to outstanding, while its ability to scale and accommodate complexity was marked as very high to outstanding.
Pricing and TCO
The Digital River reference clientele was recorded as being supremely content with the overall value proposition, as case studies indicate a lower TCO than integrating many components from different vendors. Additionally, the company provides very flexible pricing models – the flexibility in price is based on the merchandise value, or the number of transactions or, through product licenses.
Beyond conventional digital sales, Digital River offers capability for commerce through virtual reality, subscription-based eCommerce, purchases originated by physical products (IoT), and purchases on games consoles.
Salesforce is swiftly climbing the top ranks based on its expanding customer base of B2C brands and retailers. From the perspective of eCommerce website development, its ability to speedily deploy commerce sites and subsites is making it a significant force in the market. In 2016, the company acquired Demandware and rebranded it as Salesforce Commerce Cloud. The platform is a multi-tenant Software as a Service (SaaS) commerce product, which was previously licensed almost exclusively on a revenue-share basis to branded manufacturers and retailers. Commerce Cloud is particularly feasible for B2C companies yielding eCommerce GMV revenue between $50 million and $100 million, although client size is gradually increasing.
According to Gartner’s projections, at the time of acquisition, about 11% of Salesforce Commerce Cloud clients had digital commerce GMV revenue in excess of $100 million, with some producing over $200 million. The company is in the public domain, and is based in California, U.S., with offices across the globe.
Market and vertical presence for retail
Salesforce Commerce Cloud relishes a strong and credible reputation with B2C brands and retailers for its vertical market expertise, which includes assisting retail POS integration and AI functionality unique to Commerce Cloud Einstein for product recommendations and email marketing. Its clientele terms it a quick and trustworthy setup of multiple eCommerce sites and subsites, with a comparatively low overhead for internal users. Furthermore, all reference clients recorded extremely high satisfaction with the SLA compliance of Salesforce.
Salesforce and ecosystem
Gartner is of the conviction that the Demandware acquisition was highly positive for both companies. It gave Salesforce a credible commerce platform and Demandware additional sales/support resources and valuable market presence. Additionally, Salesforce’s robust CRM market presence and adjoining technologies will enhance the charm of Demandware for the existing user base.
Technology and pricing model
The revenue share pricing model and multitenant SaaS architecture of Salesforce Commerce Cloud allow a relatively short time in terms of productivity and the rollout of periodical functional product upgrades. They help lessen the TCO, especially in the short term. This pricing model and technology is attractive for B2C organizations with modest technical resources, or the ones requiring the capacity to rollout and enhance an eCommerce platform swiftly.
Magento is making a leading place for itself due to its progressively growing and fluid commerce platform that is deployed in many verticals and by businesses of various sizes across several countries. The vendor offers two solutions: Magento Enterprise Edition and Magento Community Edition. In 2016, Magento released the Enterprise Cloud Edition with managed hosting, and with an embedded CDN that enables customers to serve their store’s static files through Amazon Web Services. All patches and upgrades for the Enterprise Cloud Edition are supplied by Magento and included in the subscription.
In addition, the vendor’s Enterprise edition is typically used by companies with eCommerce digital Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) revenue of under $100 million. Magento is privately owned by a global investment firm, Permira. During the first half of 2017, Magento garnered an additional $250 million in funding from a prominent Hong Kong-based investor, Hillhouse. The company is based in California, U.S., with several offices in Europe.
Courtesy of its REST APIs and open-core solution, Magento can be extensively customized, for example, through in-house development, or through its large extension marketplace. This very ecosystem makes Magento conducive for a broad array of transaction types outside the ambit of conventional retail or electronic sales of physical goods.
Magento extends a flexible pricing model premised on tiers of eCommerce GMV revenue generated through each client B2B, B2C, or B2B2C site(s). This model, in conjunction with low license costs than several competitors, makes Magento a financially viable option. Most of the reference clientele recorded high satisfaction with the value on offer by reporting supremely high satisfaction with Magento and its eCommerce platform.
Architectural enhancements and speed
Since the launch of Enterprise v.2.0 in late 2015, Magento has made architectural and performance improvements in all subsequent versions. It includes separating databases for product data and clients, and checkout improvements that allow businesses to manage escalating transaction volumes.