Transcript of "eCommerce Platforms - an introduction"
Founder & Director
What is an eCommerce Platform?
It is a software technology solution that allows you to build storefronts
(a storefront is any customer or business facing proposition relating to the selling of
products and services)
Website In Store
Mobile app Call Centre
The big eCommerce platforms
What types of solutions do they offer?
Some vendors offer fully integrated platforms whilst others pre-integrate with external
(Pre-integrated means that one solution can be plugged into another with very little
What are ecommerce platforms made of?
They are usually based on a common programming language
(Java is becoming the most widely used programming language to build eCommerce
platforms because of its object based, standards based nature)
Java PHP .net
How do you build storefronts with an eCommerce platform?
You use a set of developer tools, processes and frameworks provided by the
(an API is an Application Programming Interface, it is a set of building blocks that a
developer can use to create functionality on a storefront)
APIs Data models Business logic
Integrated Development Environments
How do you deliver an eCommerce platform on the web?
You host it yourself or on the Cloud
(The Cloud, is a worldwide infrastructure where hosting and software is delivered ‘on
demand’ over the internet)
On-premise On Demand
Host in your building
Know where your data is
Hard to scale
Host it in the Cloud
Low set up costs
Easy to scale
Potential data and security issues
Who builds the storefronts with the eCommerce platform?
It depends on your implementation model
(an SI or System Integrator is a Third Party company who specialise in the building
eCommerce platforms for clients)
Build a development team in your business
More control and flexibility
Potential issues around quality
Hard to find resource
Get an SI to do the build for you
Less control and more fixed scope
Usually better quality
On demand resource
How does the business use an eCommerce platform?
Using as set of business tools provided with the eCommerce platform
(Product management means how you manage your product information, both for
business purposes and customers)
Promotions Personalisation Search
What is happening in the market?
Lots of replatforming
Most of the large retailers are either looking at new platforms or already replatforming
to enhance and future proof ecommerce and multichannel offering
SaaS / Cloud eCommerce is gaining ground
Retailers are realising the benefits of Cloud and SaaS – low total cost of
ownership, roadmaps, less IT involvement
Custom Licensed Managed SaaS
Margins are being squeezed
Historically platform vendors made money out of license fees. Now SaaS is upon us, they
have to look at other margin makers, e.g. consultancy
Acquisitions for fully integrated solutions
Money is to be made in full service solutions and not individual offerings
eCommerce is becoming less about just websites
Storefronts are not just websites now. Regardless of channel or interface there should be
the same common, master solution and common customer experience.
Hybrid development models
Development models are evolving from traditionally outsourced or in house to a hybrid
Open Source Frameworks & pre-integrations
The open source community is gaining traction with backing from major SIs and
International is the buzz word. Retailers are looking to expand their offering to
international markets through cross border selling or international websites
BEST BUY EUROPE
12 eCommerce businesses
2 million UVs/wk
Mobile selling has become a standard feature of any ecommerce platform
Commerce gets social
eCommerce vendors are investing in social capabilities in order to drive customer
engagement through social channels
What about the future?
Facebook evolves into an eCommerce platform?
Retailers exploit their bricks and mortar infrastructure
Customer can buy online and collect in store
Customer can sell their own product online and post in store via Tesco fulfilment
Suppliers can build their own stores on tesco.com and customers collect in store
eCommerce becomes ‘commerce’
eCommerce platforms become retail commerce platforms
Departmental functions become blurred
Heads / Directors of commerce
Holistic view of purchasing cycle
Differentiation becomes customer experience and operational efficiency (not platform)
Ben Adams – Founder & Director
Thanks for listening!
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