Selecting the Perfect eCommerce Platform for your Business
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Selecting the Perfect eCommerce Platform for your Business






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  • We are an SMB. We don’t have a huge IT or marketing budget; and we do not expect we’ll hit $10M online in our first year. Let’s keep it simple.
  • We’re a strong offline brand, and ready now for ecommerce. We need help from a partner that assembles the tools and processes to reach our potential fast.
  • Our online sales are on the rise, and we know exactly what we need to improve results even more. We just don’t have the dedicated IT/dev support to deliver.
  • We are self-sufficient and can operate the online channel soup-to-nuts, with great skills all around. But our current technology platform is slowing us down.

Selecting the Perfect eCommerce Platform for your Business Selecting the Perfect eCommerce Platform for your Business Presentation Transcript

  • Selecting the Perfect eCommerce Platform for your Business Panelists: Lou Pietragallo, American Eagle Outfitters Janet Beasley, Urban Outfitters, Inc. Larry Promisel, Barneys New York George Hitler, Bath & Body Works Direct Moderator: Bill Mirabito, B2C Partners
  • Types of eCommerce Platform Vendors
    • Catalyst Starter kits for SMBs with modest revenue projections; and is built for resourceful clients who need/expect minimal support
    • Crew Primarily professional services team with turnkey suite of tools, processes and experience to quickly launch an online channel
    • Console Commercial-grade shared SaaS for experienced online merchants lacking adequate time/resources to buy/integrate new features
    • Custom Dedicated enterprise software for self-sufficient retailers with adequate internal development skills and support
    Copyright 2008. B2C Partners. All rights reserved.
  • Catalyst matches retailers with…
    • Scrappy, small- or mid-size business
    • Small budget for IT and marketing
    • Modest online revenue projections < $6M
    Copyright 2008. B2C Partners. All rights reserved.
  • Crew matches retailers with…
    • Strong offline brand, ready for ecommerce
    • Huge potential early on, with just a little help
    • Needs a partner for both tools AND processes
    Copyright 2008. B2C Partners. All rights reserved.
  • Console matches retailers with…
    • Growing online channel, confident marketers
    • Know what they need, not how to get it
    • Limited or no dedicated support from IT
    Copyright 2008. B2C Partners. All rights reserved.
  • Custom matches retailers with…
    • Self-sufficient, multi-channel commitment
    • Proficiency on technology, marketing & ops
    • Current platform impedes; upgrade needed
    Copyright 2008. B2C Partners. All rights reserved.
  • Lou Pietragallo Director of Web Development American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. Lou heads web strategy and development for American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. which includes three distinct brands, and Lou has held many leadership positions at American Eagle throughout his 8 year career. In 2005, he lead a team of 30+ consultants and internal technical resources while implementing ATG Commerce, Contact Center and OMS. Prior to coming to American Eagle, Lou worked as a consultant at EDS in Plano, Texas. American Eagle Outfitters selected ATG as its ecommerce platform in 2004. C U S T O M
  • Janet Beasley Director of Ecommerce Systems Urban Outfitters Inc. Janet has responsibility for the systems and team supporting brand web sites for Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People. Previously, Janet was Director of Information Systems at GSI Commerce where she had responsibility for business intelligence, call center and marketing systems. Janet also held management positions at Saks Direct, Barnes& and Barnes & Noble Direct – where she helped launch both the Saks and B&N sites. Urban Outfitters launched on the latest version of ATG Commerce last year. C U S T O M
  • Larry Promisel Vice-President, E-Commerce Barneys New York Larry is Vice President, E-Commerce for Barneys New York; managing all aspects of Barneys emerging e-commerce business. Prior to Barneys, Larry served as Director of Online Retail for, where he implemented strategic site enhancements and revisions to optimize the customer experience and business results. Larry also held previous marketing positions at Coach and Bloomingdales. Barneys is a brand new Demandware client. Its implementation is still in progress. C O N S O L E
  • George Hitler Manager, Web Operations Bath & Body Works Direct At Bath Body Works Direct, George manages site enhancement projects and is the primary interface between customer service and the business team. At BBW, he also handles the relationship with the brand’s online technology partners. For four years prior, George served as Client Services Manager at Resource Interactive, a digital marketing agency out of Columbus OH. Bath & Body Works is a subsidiary of Limited Brands. It launched its online store using GSI Commerce’s platform in 2005. C R E W
  • Bill Mirabito B2C Partners [email_address] (508) 728-4702 Panel Discussion
  • Bill Mirabito B2C Partners [email_address] (508) 728-4702 Handouts
  • Types of eCommerce Platform Vendors
    • Catalyst Starter packages for SMBs new to online retail, with limited provider support.
    • Crew Outsourced professional services with dedicated instance of software. Built to provide supplemental services for site maintenance, creative and marketing. Options may also include contact center and fulfillment.
    • Console Advanced features built for business users; bundled as a subscription. Shared instance delivers more frequent upgrades to code base. Custom development often requires some degree of partner assistance. Hosted only (SaaS).
    • Custom Software license runs on a dedicated app server. Built for self-sufficiency and in-house maintenance by a skilled IT/dev team. Longer to deploy and upgrade. Customization is limited only by clients’ skills, resources and ingenuity on staff. Hosted options available (as a managed service).
    Copyright 2008. B2C Partners. All rights reserved.
  • Characteristics of Vendors by Type Copyright 2008. B2C Partners. All rights reserved. Self-Directed (You Extend) With Provider Assistance With Provider Assistance Limited Support, Least Flexibility FLEXIBILITY to Differentiate Business & IT/Dev Skills Required Business Skills Required None Required None Required EXPERIENCE Skills Required Lots Needed for Staffing & Resources Some Required for Contract Terms Some Required for Contract Terms None Required COMMITMENT of Client Organization Usually > $30 million online revenue Usually > $6 million online revenue None Required Up to $100 million None Required Up to $6 million REVENUE Typical Thresholds Hosting Available (Dedicated Instance) Hosting Only (Shared Instance) Full Service (Dedicated Instance) Hosting Only (Shared Instance) OPERATIONS Services for Hire ATG, IBM, iCongo, Escalate Retail, Sterling Commerce Demandware, MarketLive, Truition, Venda GSI Commerce, eFashion Solutions, Fry, Novator, Vcommerce Yahoo Merchant, eBay proStores, Amazon VENDORS in this Category CUSTOM CONSOLE CREW CATALYST
  • Tips for Your RFP Process
    • SHORT LIST: Align your business profile to the best vendor type before RFP distribution. Send only to vendors who match.
    • SCORE CRITERION: For apples-to-apples comparison, structure your RFP to rank responses in six dimensions (with weighted scoring):
      • F eatures Current Capabilities of the System
      • A dministration Tools to Manage/Upgrade the System
      • S ervices To Enable, Maintain, Operate the Business
      • T raction Within the Market for Your Needs
      • E stimates Deployment, Maintenance, Resources/TCO
      • R equests Special/Future Needs Unique to Your Business
    • VALIDATE CLAIMS: Never confuse “strategy” with “parity.” Use active clients with similar needs to check references. Don’t expect perfection. Prepare your questions to weed out scripted referrals.
    Copyright 2008. B2C Partners. All rights reserved.