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eCommerce Platforms - an introduction


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An introduction to eCommerce Platforms for non-technical people. Ben explains some of the key trends in the eCommerce platform and online retail space.

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eCommerce Platforms - an introduction

  1. 1. eCommerce Platforms: an introduction Ben Adams Founder & Director 1
  2. 2. 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) eCommerce Platform Website In Store Facebook store Mobile app Call Centre 2
  3. 3. The big eCommerce platforms 3
  4. 4. What types of solutions do they offer? Some vendors offer fully integrated platforms whilst others pre-integrate with external solutions (Pre-integrated means that one solution can be plugged into another with very little development effort) Fully Integrated ATG CMS PSP PIM Social Mash up 4
  5. 5. 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 eCommerce Platform 5
  6. 6. How do you build storefronts with an eCommerce platform? You use a set of developer tools, processes and frameworks provided by the eCommerce platform (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) Developer framework APIs Data models Business logic Development environment Server side scripts Integration framework eCommerce Platform 6
  7. 7. Integrated Development Environments 7
  8. 8. 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 More control 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 8
  9. 9. 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) In-house Outsource 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 9
  10. 10. Big SIs 10
  11. 11. 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) Business Tools Product management Merchandising Pricing Promotions Personalisation Search eCommerce Platform 11
  12. 12. Business Tools ATG Business Control Centre Demandware Business Manager 12
  13. 13. What is happening in the market? 13
  14. 14. 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 14
  15. 15. 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 Component, CPU based pricing Rolled-into-one usage based pricing More retailer involvement Less retailer involvement 15
  16. 16. 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 16
  17. 17. Acquisitions for fully integrated solutions Money is to be made in full service solutions and not individual offerings 17
  18. 18. 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. 18
  19. 19. Hybrid development models Development models are evolving from traditionally outsourced or in house to a hybrid model SI In-house 19
  20. 20. Open Source Frameworks & pre-integrations The open source community is gaining traction with backing from major SIs and technology providers 20
  21. 21. International International is the buzz word. Retailers are looking to expand their offering to international markets through cross border selling or international websites Sweden 105 stores Switzerland Insurance Fixed line Portugal 154 stores UK 820 stores Ireland 76 stores Spain 443 stores The Netherlands 187 stores Belgium 83 stores Germany 216 stores France 332 stores BEST BUY EUROPE 2,500 stores 12 eCommerce businesses 2 million UVs/wk 21
  22. 22. Mobile Matures Mobile selling has become a standard feature of any ecommerce platform 22
  23. 23. Commerce gets social eCommerce vendors are investing in social capabilities in order to drive customer engagement through social channels 23
  24. 24. What about the future? 24
  25. 25. Facebook evolves into an eCommerce platform? 25
  26. 26. 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 network Suppliers can build their own stores on and customers collect in store 26
  27. 27. eCommerce becomes ‘commerce’ eCommerce platforms become retail commerce platforms Everything everywhere Departmental functions become blurred Heads / Directors of commerce Holistic view of purchasing cycle Differentiation becomes customer experience and operational efficiency (not platform) 27
  28. 28. Ben Adams – Founder & Director /in/benjadams @function22uk Thanks for listening! 28