IBM is cited as a leader in The Forrester Wave B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012


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IBM is cited as a leader in The Forrester Wave B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012

  1. 1. Forrester Research, Inc., 60 Acorn Park Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140 UsATel: +1 617.613.6000 | Fax: +1 617.613.5000 | www.forrester.comThe Forrester Wave™: B2C CommerceSuites, Q3 2012by Brian K. Walker, september 24, 2012FOR: eBusiness &Channel strategyProfessionalsKey TaKeaWaysCommerce suite Vendors don’t Just provide Basic Functionality;They enhance Commerce CapabilitiesToday’s marketplace is forcing eBusiness professionals to consider alternativesto selecting solutions focused on just a transactional website. Vendors now offersolutions that enable marketing, commerce, and service capabilities across manyconsumer touchpoints and geographies.The Commerce suite Market is growing as Firms look ForMultitouchpoint solutionsThe B2C commerce suite market is growing as firms respond to changing customerexpectations. The growing importance of online, mobile, and social interactionsfor serving customers across touchpoints with multiple brands, opportunities toexpand globally, and complex order management needs are driving the market forcommerce suite solutions.iBM, hybris, oracle, and demandware lead The pack in TheCommerce suite MarketAs previous technology becomes outdated, less effective, and more expensiveto maintain, improved multitouchpoint commerce features, business tools, andsolution flexibility will dictate which providers lead the pack. Vendors need strongsite management, content management, order management, and merchandisingtools to win with clients.
  2. 2. © 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best availableresources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester®, Technographics®, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar,and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. Topurchase reprints of this document, please email For additional information, go to eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsWhy Read This ReportIn Forrester’s 75-criteria evaluation of global business-to-consumer (B2C) enterprise-class commercesuite vendors, we identified the 10 most significant software providers — Demandware, Digital River,hybris, IBM, Intershop, Magento, Micros-Retail, Oracle (ATG), RedPrairie, and SAP — in the categoryand researched, analyzed, and scored them. This report details our findings about how well each vendorfulfills our criteria and where they stand in relation to each other to help eBusiness and channel strategyprofessionals select the right partner for their B2C online and multichannel commerce solution.Table Of ContentsBusinesses Continue To Aggressively InvestIn Commerce TechnologyB2C Commerce Suite Evaluation OverviewB2C Commerce Suites Have EvolvedSubstantiallyVendor ProfilesSupplemental MaterialNotes & ResourcesForrester conducted product evaluations inFebruary 2012 and interviewed nine vendorcompanies: Demandware, Digital River,hybris, IBM, Intershop, Magento, Micros-Retail, RedPrairie, and SAP.Related Research DocumentsSMB eCommerce Solutions 2012April 12, 2012The Agile Commerce PlatformOctober 19, 2011eCommerce Technology Selection ChecklistApril 4, 2011The Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites,Q3 2012The Solution Providers That Matter Most And How They Stack Upby Brian K. Walkerwith Peter Sheldon, Zia Daniell Wigder, and Lily Varon25101419September 24, 2012
  3. 3. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 2© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012Businesses Continue to Aggressively Invest In Commerce TechnologyToday, the global retail and business landscape remains uncertain: Traditional retail and direct-to-consumer companies are under ongoing pressure to meet even low-single-digit comp storeincreases.1Yet commerce technology investment remains strong: 56% of companies report plansto increase spending by 5% or more, and 18% plan to increase spending by at least 20% in 2012compared with 2011 (see Figure 1).2This level of investment is primarily driven by the ongoing growth of online and mobile channels,with online retail growth averaging 12% in the US and Europe.3Online and mobile commerceare becoming critical components of today’s multichannel customer experience — whether thecustomer buys online or not. In a sense, all businesses today are online; increasingly, they must havea direct-to-consumer strategy, driving the demand for B2C commerce solutions overall. But otherimportant factors are driving investment in commerce technology, including the need for:■ Cross-touchpoint solutions. The way we think of eBusiness technology has fundamentallychanged. No longer are businesses selecting a set of solutions and technologies to launch a site;they are now selecting technologies that can support marketing, shopping, buying, and servicecapabilities across a multitude of customer touchpoints. To accomplish this, today’s solutionsmust enable consistent core platform capabilities to manage products, orders, and customer data,integrating consistently with enterprise systems. At the same time, solutions must be open andflexible to power websites, mobile sites, applications, call center interfaces, and in-store options.This requires solutions frameworks, accelerators, and application programming interfaces (APIs)that expose the platform in such a way to enable developers to much more easily develop newcustomer experiences off existing platform capabilities. This represents a significant evolutionfrom the requirements that these solutions have needed to support in the past.■ Increased flexibility. As consumer Internet-connected devices proliferate and incorporateecosystems like, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft,, andTencent, it seems that every business is prone to further disruption.4The eBusiness leaderis snarled up trying to connect with, market to, sell to, and serve customers across an ever-dividing Splinternet.5Even with the advent of responsive design and HTML5 — which mayhelp simplify how these experiences are designed and supported — the Splinternet adds to thecomplexity and cost of serving customers and puts pressure on enterprise content, marketing,and commerce platforms to meet these emerging opportunities in an efficient and cost-effectiveway.6While many of these emerging touchpoints are unproven, businesses that can experimentwith, support, scale, and optimize emerging touchpoints have an opportunity to differentiatethemselves from competitors and capture new market opportunities.■ Better order management to handle increased fulfillment complexity. Today’s direct-to-consumer businesses are increasingly leveraging multiple fulfillment centers and drop-shipvendors while adding cross-channel capabilities like ship-to-store and in-store pickup. Wal-
  4. 4. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 3© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012Mart has even enabled customers to order online and then pay with cash when picking up theorder in a store.7As a result, orders will no longer be fulfilled from a single fulfillment center.Tomorrow’s orders will be sourced from a wide variety of locations that include not only thefulfillment center but also drop-ship vendors, distributors, stores, and third-party logisticsproviders that may either regionally stage high-demand products or support seasonal inventoryvolumes — or both. Order management capabilities are critical to driving a high-qualityconsumer experience. These capabilities may include business logic to support best-fulfillment-node selection, flexible integration with a diverse supply chain, and customer service interfacesto manage issues and exceptions. And to drive profitable orders, transportation and fulfillmentcosts must be factors in how orders are routed and brokered.■ Support for multiple businesses and regions from a common infrastructure. Today’smultichannel businesses are increasingly multisite and multibrand businesses. This trend enablesmore specific and targeted marketing opportunities for customers; they can also benefit fromsearch engine optimization (SEO) by enabling the use of more specific terms and metadata totarget related search terms. Innovative merchandising and marketing in areas like flash sales,social commerce, and mobile commerce are also driving forces behind the need to support adiverse set of sites and customer touchpoints from a common infrastructure. But globalcommerce has also emerged from being a nice-to-have requirement to a must-have one — eventhough many organizations may not yet be ready to fully invest in standalone sites and businessesfor new global markets. For many businesses, international markets present a long-termopportunity to grow and diversify their global retail operations and/or brands.
  5. 5. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 4© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012Figure 1 Commerce Platform Investment Activity Is SignificantSource: Forrester Research, Inc.80141We already have a project underway6%“When, if at all, are you planning to change your eCommerce platform technology solution?”Within 12 months9%12 to 18 months12%18 to 24 months25%24 to 36 months20%More than 36 months5%We are not planning to replatformin the foreseeable future17%Increase more than 20%18%Increase 5% to 19%38%Stay about the same44%Base: 140 eBusiness decision-makers“How is your investment in eCommerce technology changing in 2012 compared with 2011?”Base: 140 eBusiness decision-makers(”Don’t know”responses have been removed from this analysis)Source: May 2012 Global eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professional Online SurveyNote: No respondents told us that investment was decreasing.More than half of companies plan to replatform in the next 24 months1-2Companies’investment in eCommerce technology will increase in 20121-1
  6. 6. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 5© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012The Commerce Solutions Market Has Seen Many Significant Changes RecentlyThere have been a large number of mergers and acquisitions in the commerce solutions space overthe past two years, keeping bankers, lawyers, and, indeed, analysts busy. Old alliances have beentorn apart, new portfolios formed, and old sales arguments reconfigured.In the past few years alone, IBM has acquired Sterling Commerce, Coremetrics, and Unica (amongothers), proceeding to “blue-wash” the offerings and embark on an aggressive product developmentand marketing initiative it terms “Smarter Commerce.” Oracle has acquired Art Technology Group(ATG), Endeca, RightNow Technologies, and FatWire Solutions (again, among others) and soughtto rationalize the product portfolio and sales team organization as well as clarify the marketing andpartner messages. Micros-Retail bought Fry Multimedia, integrating the OCP product into Microsand splitting off Fry as a design shop. RedPrairie acquired Escalate Retail and began to invest inthe Blue Martini product and “clienteling” in-store solutions while shedding some of the productbaggage. eBay acquired GSI Commerce and gained a controlling interest in Intershop while alsoacquiring the remaining portion of Magento that it did not already own. CDC Software boughtrelatively little-known commerce solution Truition and has struggled to re-energize it. And lastly,we saw Demandware execute an initial public offering, rendering its software-as-a-service (SaaS)business model and product strategy open for all to scrutinize and evaluate. Phew!There may not be many significant independent players left in the market, but we can expectpartnering and potential changes of control to be ongoing forces as payments providers, contentmanagement system vendors, enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors, and point-of-sale (POS)vendors all react to the changing dynamics in their industry — especially the overwhelming need tobe multichannel, multitouchpoint, agile commerce solutions.8We will also see many startups form,SMB players move upmarket, emerging market solutions gain worldwide interest, and many pointsolutions added to the rosters of the commerce solutions providers.B2C Commerce Suite EVALUATION OverviewTo assess how well the B2C commerce suite vendors meet the evolving needs of the market and todetermine how the vendors stack up against each other, Forrester evaluated the strengths andweaknesses of top B2C commerce platform vendors across a range of business and technology criteria.The Focus Of Our B2C Commerce Suite Forrester WaveOur Forrester Wave evaluation focuses on the requirements and needs of the direct-to-consumeronline retail business. We have principally focused on products that enable:■ Direct-to-consumer commerce shopping and customer experiences. These capabilities includesearch/browse, rich shopping cart functionality, product comparison, promotions,personalization, cross-sells, wish lists, registries, multichannel ordering, rich Internet application(RIA) support, customer data management, marketing tools, and customer self-service.
  7. 7. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 6© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012■ Multitouchpoint and site management, content management, and business optimization.These tools include product content management, web content management (WCM), onlinemarketing, analytics and testing, security, order management, and customer service.■ The common integration needs of online retailers. These include integration to ERP systems,merchandise planning systems, content management systems, customer service and customerrelationship management (CRM) systems, inventory management systems, finance andaccounting management systems, and business intelligence (BI) solutions.How We Have Evolved Our Evaluations Of B2C Commerce SuitesWe have taken a hard look at the requirements of our B2C commerce clients to understand how thisyear’s evaluation needed to evolve, driven by the nature of the many inquiries and projects wherewe support clients directly in their commerce technology selection projects. We made a number ofchanges that have affected the criteria, scoring, and weighting within the Forrester Wave since ourevaluation of B2C commerce platforms in Q4 2010, including:■ An increased emphasis on order management. While we increased the number of ordermanagement criteria in our Q4 2010 B2C eCommerce platform evaluation, we have furtheremphasized this capability in the criteria and their weighting in this evaluation. This is driven bythe increased complexity of clients’ B2C fulfillment scenarios, leveraging multiple fulfillmentcenters, drop-ship vendors, participation in marketplaces, and use of physical retail stores as bothpickup points and fulfillment locations. Increasingly, clients are looking to solve all direct ordersvia the commerce system, including the Web, phone, and mobile, as well as to support ordersinitiated or fulfilled in stores. And that solution must also span multiple sites and geographies.While existing ERP systems and warehouse management systems may have capabilities in theseareas, B2C companies are increasingly looking for third-party systems that specialize in ordermanagement to meet these needs. Pairing these systems with commerce platforms isadvantageous, given that the platforms increasingly power multiple customer touchpoints.■ An increased emphasis on site, product, and web content management. Product contentmanagement and WCM capabilities are not new requirements for most commerce platforms, butthe stakes and the solutions have continued to increase as the sources of product content —editorial, vendor-supplied, syndicated, and user-generated — have grown. Businesses areincreasingly seeking tools to improve workflow and efficiency, as well as tools that allow them toleverage a variety of content across touchpoints and user experiences. This desire for greatercontrol over the customer experience — minimizing the need for developer or IT interventionfor every change — is a common reason why businesses are looking to migrate from homegrownsolutions or their existing first- or second-generation commerce solutions. The growth ofbranded sites, flash sale sites, and globalization as well as the ongoing focus on SEO continue tobe key drivers for improved content and site management tools.
  8. 8. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 7© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012■ A focus on global multichannel and multitouchpoint product strategy. When evaluatingthe strength of a vendor’s product strategy, we looked for a number of leading-edge strategiccapabilities that we expect to become increasingly important. These include “front-end”capabilities such as multichannel/multitouchpoint site management capabilities, mobilecommerce, and in-store and call center solutions. We also included “back-end” suiteintegration across critical modules for merchandising, site and content management, and ordermanagement. We also looked at the accelerator or “starter store” (reference application) that thesolutions provide, and we examined support for multiple ownership and operating models, suchas on-premises, managed/hosted, and SaaS solutions with multiple remuneration models, suchas license, revenue share, and utilization. We also looked at how well these vendors understandtheir clients and their clients’ business problems and how they work to build and refine theirproduct strategy as a result.Our Evaluation Covers A Range Of Solution Types — From Licensed To SaaSIn this evaluation, Forrester focused on the leading commerce platforms for direct-to-consumeronline retailing — or B2C commerce. Evaluated solutions include a variety of delivery models andthe vendors that offer their solutions across these delivery models, including:■ On-premises licensed software platforms. These applications can be implemented and run in-house by internal IT resources, or they may be supported via various outsourcing models on aclient’s behalf. Typically, these platforms will offer the most flexibility over time. Often, systemsintegrators (SIs) or commerce services providers (CSPs) implement and support these solutions.9■ Hosted/managed platforms. Close cousins of licensed software applications, the vendors thatoffer hosted/managed platforms typically implement and run applications on behalf of a client,reducing the internal IT resources required to a bare minimum. A few hosted/managedapplication vendors also allow clients to install and run applications internally via a license model.■ SaaS platforms. SaaS solutions rely on a multi-instance application, where many clients usethe same technology and hosting environment. These solutions typically cost less to run, offerthe benefits of shared development and support, and may be implemented more efficiently forclients. Downsides in the past have been a lack of flexibility and control and a sense that thedevelopment needs of an individual client may be subject to the needs of the vendor or its largerclients. This concern appears to be lessening as SaaS solutions continue to mature.How The Criteria Are OrganizedAfter examining past research, user need assessments, and vendor and expert interviews, wedeveloped a comprehensive set of evaluation criteria. We evaluated vendors against 75 criteria,which we grouped into three high-level buckets:
  9. 9. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 8© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012■ Current offering. The criteria we selected to assess the strength of companies’ current offeringsare weighted heavily toward business user tools — a requirement that commerce executives havetold us is critical as marketing and merchandising take the front seat in commerce strategies. Weevaluated each offering against 15 groups of criteria: solution architecture; technologyarchitecture; multisite management; multiple device/touchpoint support; catalog, productcontent, and site content management; B2C eCommerce features; marketing tools; customeraccount management; customer service; order management; reporting and analytics; security;community and social commerce; globalization/internationalization; and professional services.■ Strategy. We compared the strategies of each company with the needs of commerce executives,industry trends, and Forrester’s forward-looking vision of the commerce market to assess howwell each vendor is positioned for future success. We examined each vendor’s product road map;planned B2C enhancements; target market and B2C focus; key technology partners and channelstrategy; commerce service providers; and cost of ownership.■ Market presence. Many firms support online businesses with technology orphaned by vendorsthat struggled to be profitable or have gone out of business. eBusiness and IT executivesmust look for vendors with a strong and stable installed base, steady growth, and a networkof partners and resellers. To determine the current market presence for our evaluation, wecombined information about each vendor’s installed base, new customers, revenue, revenuegrowth, and the financial resources to support the strategy and product development.These B2C Commerce Suites Are The Best Of The BestForrester included 10 vendors in this assessment: Demandware, Digital River, hybris, IBM,Intershop, Magento, Micros-Retail, Oracle (ATG), RedPrairie, and SAP.10While we consideredincluding a large number of companies offering commerce solutions for this assessment, each of thevendors we included has (see Figure 2):■ A significant focus on — and market presence in — enterprise B2C commerce solutions.Although many of the vendors included in this assessment serve clients in other marketsegments — such as business-to-business (B2B), business-to-government (B2G), and business-to-employee (B2E) — each has a focused product offering for its established B2C commercecustomer base as well as an ongoing to commitment to B2C commerce clients.■ A profitable or stable business with at least $20 million in revenues and client momentum.To ensure that the vendors we evaluated will remain viable in this evolving market, Forresterlimited its analysis to companies that have the resources and momentum to sustain themselvesthrough variable market conditions. Each of these companies has a minimum of $20 million inannual commerce solution product sales, is profitable or indicates it is approaching profitability,and has at least 50 existing clients as well as positive sales momentum.
  10. 10. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 9© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012■ The ability to support enterprise-class commerce clients across multiple B2C verticals.Forrester defines enterprise-class commerce as websites transacting more than $100 million inonline sales annually. Many clients of the assessed vendors may be transacting less than this, butthese solutions are running one or more sites at this level and have demonstrated this capabilityacross clients in multiple B2C verticals. Vendors that primarily serve clients in one specificvertical, such as software or media, were not included in this report.11Forrester did not include companies in this assessment with a primary focus in other related marketsegments, such as:■ B2B-focused solutions with limited current B2C commerce capabilities. We may considercompanies like BigMachines, Ignify, Insite Software, NetSuite, and Oracle’s Siebel in the futureas their B2C commerce capabilities evolve, but they do not have a mature B2C-focused solutiontoday. We may evaluate these, as well as many of the companies represented in this B2Ccommerce suite evaluation, in upcoming research focused on B2B commerce. Past research isalso available for B2B commerce solutions.12■ Solutions focused on small and medium-size businesses (SMBs). This includes solutions fromcompanies such as (Webstore by Amazon), eBay (ProStores), Shopify, Volusion,and Yahoo (Yahoo Merchant Solutions), which tend to serve clients operating with less than $10million in annual online revenues. However, we have written research on these and many otherSMB commerce solutions in North America and Europe.13■ Full-service solutions aimed at providing a suite of capabilities for commerce companies.We have written separate research on and an overview of the capabilities of full-service solutionslike Amazon, eCommera, GSI Commerce, ModusLink Global Solutions, OneStop, PFSweb, andSpeed FC.14■ Digital- or media-focused solutions. These providers focus their solutions on media, software,online subscriptions, and other virtual or digital goods. We have written separate research onvendors that specialize in the unique requirements of selling digital goods, including asknet,Avangate, BlueSnap’s Plimus, cleverbridge, and Elastic Path Software.15Digital River, a providerincluded in the current B2C commerce suite evaluation, also offers solutions for this market.
  11. 11. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 10© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012Figure 2 Evaluated Vendors: Vendor Information And Selection CriteriaSource: Forrester Research, Inc.VendorDemandwareDigital RiverhybrisIBMIntershopMagentoMicros-RetailRedPrairieSAPProduct versionevaluatedSaaSSaaS4. 2.0Vendor selection criteriaThe vendor’s product was generally available at the time of data collection, with at least three referencesavailable for contact.The vendor has a focused product offering for, an established customer base in, and an ongoingcommitment to B2C commerce.The vendor generates at least $20 million in annual eCommerce platform software and services sales, isprofitable, and has at least 50 clients with positive sales momentum.The vendor demonstrates the ability to support enterprise-class direct-to-consumer businesses with salesof more than $100 million per year with the product evaluated.B2C Commerce SuiteS Have Evolved SubStantiallySince our last evaluation in 2010, we have seen the welcome evolution of many commerce platformsand solution suites. This evolution is driven in part by solution providers’ focus on changing clientrequirements, as well as by the significant merger and acquisition activity over the past two years.Since our earlier detailed evaluation, we have seen dramatic improvements and advances from manyof the evaluated solution providers as well as across the market as a whole. As a group, these systemsare poised to support their clients as they increasingly move into multichannel and multitouchpointcommerce and support the next generation of customer shopping and research touchpoints.However, our evaluation also highlights very important differentiators and models this year.
  12. 12. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 11© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012Our evaluation uncovered a diverse and complex market in which (see Figure 3):■ IBM, hybris, Oracle, and Demandware lead the pack. IBM, hybris, and Oracle offer strongeCommerce capabilities, the ability to support multiple touchpoints and multichannelrequirements, and strong or very strong business management tools. IBM has the lead in ordermanagement capabilities with its Sterling Commerce solution, whereas hybris and Oracle haveless mature solutions in this area. Demandware offers a SaaS solution with strong multisiteand effective merchandising tools, but its order management solution is nascent and aimed atsmaller and less complex clients at this stage. IBM, hybris, and Oracle offer traditional softwareapplication licensing models but have also worked to add flexibility that utilizes third-partyhosted/managed or SaaS models.16■ Micros-Retail, Intershop, RedPrairie, and Digital River offer compelling solutions. Eachof these vendors offers strong eCommerce capabilities, with varying multitouchpoint andmultichannel capabilities. Each offers strong to moderately strong eCommerce features andmoderately effective business management tools, but the vendors vary considerably in areassuch as product catalog management, WCM, order management, and support for globalization/internationalization. Micros-Retail offers strong merchandising tools, differentiated testing,and effective site and content management tools. Intershop has made significant strides, largelythrough leveraging its relationship with GSI and their joint “next-generation” V11 project, butthe company still lags the market leaders. RedPrairie has combined the former Escalate RetailBlue Martini product with its order management system (OMS), call center, and supply chainsolutions, but it has yet to see the benefit of its investment in the core eCommerce solution.Digital River is largely geared toward smaller enterprise or midmarket clients, and it continuesto focus on consumer electronics, software, and manufacturing clients.■ SAP and Magento lag behind. These two vendors can offer well-placed solutions for the rightclient, but they lag behind the competition as solutions for the enterprise B2C eCommerceclient. SAP’s solution is unique in this evaluation as the product is not intended to really standalone as a commerce platform; rather, it aims to help SAP ERP/CRM customers extend thatproduct to support eCommerce. While holding promise in terms of reducing integrationcomplexity and simplifying the management of the solution — especially for on-premises,IT-led programs — the combined solution requires third-party CMS tools and lacks overallcompetitive capabilities when compared with the wider market. Magento is a commercial opensource solution that has enjoyed remarkable success since it launched its open source product —Magneto Community Edition — targeting small businesses five years ago. However, at its core,the “enterprise edition” remains geared toward these smaller clients, with the extensions thattarget more sophisticated clients falling short.
  13. 13. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 12© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012This evaluation of the enterprise B2C commerce suite market is intended to be a starting point only.We encourage readers to view the detailed product evaluations and adapt the criteria weightings tofit their individual needs through the Forrester Wave Excel-based vendor comparison tool. We alsoencourage clients to review the research on other solutions types and segments and to leverage theirinquiry access to learn more before beginning a selection process.Figure 3 Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 ’12Source: Forrester Research, Inc.Go online to downloadthe Forrester Wave toolfor more detailed productevaluations, featurecomparisons, andcustomizable rankings.RiskyBets Contenders LeadersStrongPerformersStrategyWeak StrongCurrentofferingWeakStrongSAPMagentoDigital RiverRedPrairieIntershopMicros-RetailDemandwarehybrisIBMMarket presenceFull vendor participationIncomplete vendor participationOracle ATG
  14. 14. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 13© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012Figure 3 Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 ’12 (Cont.)Source: Forrester Research, Inc.CURRENT OFFERINGSolution architectureTechnology architectureMultisite managementMultiple device/touchpoint supportCatalog, product content,and site content managementB2C eCommerce featuresMarketing toolsCustomer account managementCustomer serviceOrder managementReporting and analyticsSecurityCommunity and social commerceGlobalization/internationalizationProfessional servicesSTRATEGYProduct road mapPlanned B2C enhancements(next 24 months)Target market and B2C focusKey technology partners andchannel strategyCommerce service providersCost of ownershipMARKET PRESENCEInstalled base for this version ofthe productNew customers (past 12 months)RevenueRevenue growthFinancial resourcesForrester’sWeighting50%5%5%7%5%15%10%5%5%5%15%3%5%2%10%3%50%50%30%10%5%5%0%0%30%20%25%15%10%Demandware4.023.353.904. scores are based on a scale of 0 (weak) to 5 (strong).
  15. 15. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 14© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012vENDOR PROFILESLeaders Provide Robust And Flexible Commerce CapabilitiesLeaders in our B2C commerce suite evaluation include:■ IBM. IBM’s WebSphere Commerce represents a highly flexible and scalable enterprise B2CeCommerce solution; it shows significant adoption within the top tier of eCommerce retailers andcontinued successful growth. The suite is strengthened through the added capabilities of IBM’sSterling Commerce OMS solution along with the Coremetrics and Unica product integrations.The IBM solution combines a rich set of eCommerce capabilities with a flexible service-orientedarchitecture (SOA) and integration capability, enabling the product to be extended andcustomized. However, clients have reported concerns over the total cost of ownership, as IBM’ssolutions are less contemporary and use fewer open source elements and conventions that today’sdevelopers are able to learn quickly. Business user tools such as the IBM Management Center haveevolved, although they are no longer industry-leading, necessitating further investment by IBM.IBM has a very strong product strategy focused on core product enhancements as well as thebuilding out of a comprehensive suite of multichannel capabilities. A soon-to-be-released SaaSoffering combining WebSphere Commerce and Sterling Commerce in a cloud-based format willbe a compelling option for clients that may otherwise be drawn to Demandware.■ hybris. As a solution, hybris has continued to mature over the past two years — and gainedmarket share quickly as a result. Specifically, hybris has made significant improvements to itsproduct’s site management tools, content management tools, and order management capabilities.While hybris severed its relationship with Endeca (which was acquired by Oracle), the companyacquired iCongo in a creative deal that made iCongo’s key investors the lead ownership groupof hybris.17Taking advantage of the team and solution experience at iCongo, hybris turned toredevelop an OMS solution and hosted offering. Its progress in these areas is notable for anenterprise software solution, illustrating the contemporary nature of the hybris architecture.The key differentiators of hybris remain strong product content management tools, catalogmanagement, enterprise integration, and globalization/internationalization capabilities. ItseCommerce features have also matured notably, and there is a well-defined ability to extend theproduct and customize it to develop differentiated eCommerce sites across a variety of verticals.This remains a young company growing very quickly, which continues to raise questions of thepotential for over-commitment to clients by either hybris or its partners, which are adding andscaling their hybris-trained teams exceptionally quickly.■ Oracle. Oracle declined to participate in this evaluation directly; however, Oracle’s ATG continuesto be a leader in B2C eCommerce platform solutions. A number of factors have led to a perceivedloss in position among the best-of-breed solution providers. First and foremost was the acquisitionof ATG by Oracle. Customers are eager to understand how Oracle is fitting ATG into its overallOracle software and solution offerings, which is only now beginning to be communicated. A series
  16. 16. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 15© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012of related acquisitions — such as RightNow, FatWire, and, most notably, Endeca — hascomplicated matters. Despite that, ATG combines a strong and well-rounded eCommerce featureset with an array of targeting, personalization, and customer interaction tools. Oracle’s uniquedifferentiator at this point is the opportunity to combine ATG and Endeca, adding search-drivencustomer experience management to a commerce platform offering — something that Oracle isjust beginning to execute. However, Oracle’s order management solutions — eBusiness suite, Siebel,and Fusion Distributed Order Orchestration (DOO) — are not as strong for B2C multichannelapplications. The biggest question for prospective Oracle customers at this point is its vision forATG, Endeca, RightNow, and Fusion DOO as an integrated commerce solution offering.■ Demandware. Demandware has improved its solution in terms of our evaluation perhaps morethan any other solution from our previous evaluations. Demandware accomplished this throughsignificantly improved site and content management tools; the addition of a still relatively basicbut improving order management and call center solution; the addition of commerce serviceproviders to support client integrations; and the development of open commerce APIs to extendthe platform. Demandware’s LINK program remains a differentiator, along with its developerportals and customer training. Look for Demandware to continue to improve its businessmanagement tools and the sophistication of its integration capabilities. While it remainscommitted to its revenue share model, Demandware appears ready to introduce an alternative“utilization” model soon, aimed at larger prospective clients and partners.Strong Performers Blend Different Strengths With Some WeaknessesStrong Performers in our B2C commerce solution evaluation include:■ Micros-Retail. Micros-Retail has completed the integration of the Fry solutions into itsofferings, spitting out the services and products while pulling the Fry OCP commerce solutioninto MICROS and turning what was left of Fry into an interactive agency focused principallyon MICROS customers. While the OCP product remains a very strong eCommerce solutionwith key differentiators in areas such as merchandising and customer targeting, MICROS hasyet to fully integrate its order management and call center solutions with the OCP product sothat it can sell and support these effectively as a suite. It seems the product development tractionwas affected by MICROS’ decision to develop a lodgings-industry-focused product based onOCP; it also showed some indecisiveness in integrating the Fry product and sales teams withMICROS. However, MICROS has a significant opportunity to leverage OCP and its othercommerce offerings in a well-integrated multichannel and multitouchpoint solution with theright investment. Customers will want to see further development of a MICROS OCP partnernetwork as well as improved hosted offerings for MICROS to be fully competitive.
  17. 17. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 16© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012■ Intershop. Intershop has made significant progress since our last evaluation, although it stillhas room to improve before becoming a best-of-breed solution. The core improvements inthe Intershop product came from the joint development work it did with GSI Commerce anda number of supporting partners. Many of these improvements are in the latest versions ofIntershop and in GSI’s next-generation V11 product, and they will continue to become evidentover time. However, it still needs to deliver improved site and content management tools thatbusiness users can leverage, minimizing the need for ongoing developer and IT support. Manyof Intershop’s largest clients have reported improved satisfaction with Intershop, but they arealso more reliant than ever on Intershop’s professional services for support. Intershop has basicorder management and product content management capabilities, but many more sophisticatedcustomers will require third-party solutions in these areas. While Intershop has benefitedfrom the controlling stake that GSI (and now eBay) have taken in the company, there remainsa nagging lack of clarity as to the long-term role that Intershop will play in an eBay or GSICommerce solutions offering. This lack of clarity will continue to plague Intershop’s customerand partner growth, particularly in North America.■ RedPrairie. RedPrairie acquired Escalate Retail and its collection of commerce solutions —including Blue Martini, Ecometry, and GERS Retail Systems. The company has performed somesurgical product portfolio rationalization and combined these different solutions with RedPrairie’sorder management and supply chain solutions. On paper, this combination makes for a dynamiccapability set able to meet the eCommerce, OMS, CRM, and supply chain managementrequirements of retailers looking to embrace multichannel retailing across digital touchpoints.However, RedPrairie’s Blue Martini commerce platform lags the market-leading solutions insupport for enterprise B2C commerce. RedPrairie has already made a notable investment in itsplatform and integration with other RedPrairie products, and this continued focus on eCommercebusiness solutions and multichannel features will be very important for current and future clients.Focus may be a challenge for RedPrairie as it looks to add commerce platform solutions to its basesupply chain and transportation management offerings, but it has a strong vision and appearscommitted to developing solutions for its core retail and grocery markets.■ Digital River. Digital River is best known for supporting software clients’ eCommerce needswith checkout, payment, and digital and physical fulfillment needs. But as that market hasplateaued to some degree and new entrants have challenged Digital River’s market dominance,Digital River has diversified into providing broader B2C commerce capabilities. However, thesolution remains somewhat limited by this heritage and lacks the features to compete as a best-of-breed multichannel and multitouchpoint solution. Digital River will appeal to consumerelectronics and digital goods companies looking for a discrete eCommerce solution paired withfull-service capabilities such as payments, fulfillment, and customer service. Digital River hassome strengths in globalization, payments, and security.
  18. 18. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 17© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012Contenders Present Unique OpportunitiesContenders in our B2C commerce solution evaluation include:■ SAP. SAP Web Channel Experience Management is a solution long in development by SAP.The product is implemented in either an on-premises or hosted/managed fashion. The goal ofthe solution is to enable a client with a heavy investment in SAP’s ERP and CRM solutions toleverage that capability in online commerce. Therefore, areas such as order management andcustomer service are inherently intended to leverage the other SAP applications. However, SAP’sWeb Channel Experience Management solution also assumes you will run the digital channelsoff CMS solutions, such as SAP’s preferred partner CoreMedia, which notably has little marketpresence outside Northern Europe. This assumed level of both SAP investment and relianceon third-party solutions for such central commerce capabilities will limit the appeal of the SAPsolution, though it will be a great fit for some. Ultimately, though, many competitive solutionsalso integrate deeply with SAP, making SAP Web Channel Experience Management perhaps lessappealing as a standalone solution.■ Magento. Magento’s growth over the past few years has been remarkable. Tapping into a PHPdeveloper and agency community with a low-cost or free licensing model and a well-matched setof solution capabilities for the small online business, Magento has also made inroads in themidmarket and enterprise market. However, upon close evaluation, Magento still lacks the corefeatures and partner extensions to compete in the enterprise arena, with particular gaps in areaslike CMS, OMS, and customer service features. Magento is a strong fit for a smaller onlinebusiness inside a larger enterprise — such as a smaller brand or emerging market solution — andwill continue to appeal to companies seeking a high degree of customization on the platform, butthe solution lacks many of the multichannel capabilities required today. The development ofeBay’s X.commerce web services solution — which eBay dubs a “fabric” — may enable Magentoto add these features through partners more effectively at some point in the future.There Are Many Important Players Beyond Those We Evaluated HereThe commerce solutions market is a diverse one, and there are additional solutions that may berelevant to companies looking for a commerce platform or services. There are numerous platformsto support companies of different sizes, levels of sophistication, geographies, as well as differentchannels and touchpoints. Some additional solutions to consider include:■ MarketLive. MarketLive offers an effective product aimed at the midmarket eCommerceretailer, and it continues to gain momentum in the midmarket specialty retail segment witha well-priced and well-rounded solution. MarketLive has also improved options for workingwith its integration partners or a customer’s own IT staff for launching and optimizing a sitepost-launch. MarketLive has more than doubled its R&D investment over the past several yearswith a focus on expanded merchant tools, order management, and content management, whichcontinues to position it well in the midmarket specialty retailer solution segment.
  19. 19. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 18© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012■ GSI Commerce. GSI has been hard at work over the past few years — together with Intershopand a number of partners — in developing its next-generation V11 platform. The platformholds much promise for both GSI and its customers, not to mention GSI’s parent, eBay. ForGSI, the new platform will be an important departure from a model in which GSI staff had toexecute almost every change and update to the site on a client’s behalf; it will move to one inwhich customers will have self-service business management tools and GSI will be much lessinvolved day to day. Alongside the Intershop-based commerce platform, GSI has developeda Sterling Commerce-based retail OMS and a business intelligence (BI) suite for reportingcapability, both of which may prove to be key differentiators. However, migrating customers tothis next-generation platform is a significant undertaking fraught with risks, and impatient andfrustrated customers will add to the challenge.■ Elastic Path Software. Elastic Path is an effective eCommerce solution but has some limitationsthat reflect its specific vertical focus. Elastic Path now largely focuses on digital goods andsubscriptions, making it relevant to the media, telecom, and software industries in particular.These industries have a subset of eCommerce requirements that differ from those of other B2CeCommerce verticals, although these are often very specialized. As a result, areas such as WCM,product content management, and order management receive much less focus or require third-party solutions as well as Elastic Path. Somewhat uniquely, Elastic Path ships source code withits application and leverages many common open source frameworks and products, enablingdevelopers to extend and customize the product widely. However, Elastic Path has struggled todevelop partners to support clients, limiting its growth as a commerce solution.■ Ascentium. Late in 2011, Microsoft announced that it was dropping its Commerce Serverproduct; this had been the market leader in the early days of eCommerce but had lagged inour recent evaluations. Ascentium — through its acquisition of Cactus Commerce — becamethe beneficiary of Microsoft’s exit from the commerce solutions market; Microsoft handedthe Commerce Server product over to Ascentium due to its history of building the productand technical expertise with it.18With that transition complete and with customer and partnersupport in place, Ascentium is now beginning to invest in the Commerce Server product and isdeveloping compelling partnerships that will help it attempt to regain relevance as an enterprisecommerce solution. This will be a challenge for a product that today resides within an agencyand that may lack the resources needed to innovate and invest, but it is welcome news for amarket in need of Microsoft-centric enterprise commerce solutions.
  20. 20. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 19© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012Supplemental MATERIALOnline ResourceThe online version of Figure 3 is an Excel-based vendor comparison tool that provides detailedproduct evaluations and customizable rankings.Data Sources Used In This Forrester WaveForrester used a combination of four data sources to assess the strengths and weaknesses of eachsolution:■ Hands-on scenario-based lab evaluations. Vendors spent one day with a team of analysts whoperformed a hands-on evaluation of the product using a scenario-based testing methodology.We evaluated each product using the same scenario(s), creating a level playing field byevaluating every product on the same criteria. Scenarios for this evaluation focused on routinecommerce management and content tasks. For more on scenario-based evaluation, refer to ourreport on the scenario-based commerce technology evaluation process.19■ Vendor surveys. Forrester surveyed vendors on their capabilities as they relate to the evaluationcriteria. Once we analyzed the completed vendor surveys, we conducted vendor calls wherenecessary to gather details of vendor qualifications.■ Product demos. We asked vendors to conduct demonstrations of their product’s functionality.We used findings from these product demos to validate details of each vendor’s productcapabilities. Demos for this evaluation focused on core commerce features, differentiation of theproducts, and the business user tools used to manage client sites.■ Customer reference calls. To validate product and vendor qualifications, Forrester alsoconducted reference calls with two of each vendor’s current customers.The Forrester Wave MethodologyWe conduct primary research to develop a list of vendors that meet our criteria to be evaluatedin this market. From that initial pool of vendors, we then narrow our final list. We choose thesevendors based on: 1) product fit; 2) customer success; and 3) Forrester client demand. We eliminatevendors that have limited customer references and products that don’t fit the scope of our evaluation.After examining past research, user need assessments, and vendor and expert interviews, we developthe initial evaluation criteria. To evaluate the vendors and their products against our set of criteria, wegather details of product qualifications through a combination of lab evaluations, questionnaires,demos, and/or discussions with client references. We send evaluations to the vendors for their review,and we adjust the evaluations to provide the most accurate view of vendor offerings and strategies.
  21. 21. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 20© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 2012We set default weightings to reflect our analysis of the needs of large user companies — and/orother scenarios as outlined in the Forrester Wave document — and then score the vendors basedon a clearly defined scale. These default weightings are intended only as a starting point, and weencourage readers to adapt the weightings to fit their individual needs through the Excel-basedtool. The final scores generate the graphical depiction of the market based on current offering,strategy, and market presence. Forrester intends to update vendor evaluations regularly as productcapabilities and vendor strategies evolve.Endnotes1 Comp-store refers to comparable store sales. This compares retail sales at stores open for more than oneyear and is a metric that’s commonly used to gauge the performance of retail stores.2 Source: May 2012 Global eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professional Online Survey of 66 eBusiness andchannel strategy professionals.3 Source: Forrester Research Online Retail Forecast, 2012 To 2016 (US) and Forrester Research Online RetailForecast, 2011 To 2016 (Western Europe).4 Interaction ecosystems include the combination of Apple’s iOS, Mac OS, iTunes marketplace, and Apple TV,for example. Other interaction ecosystems include: Google’s Android, Chrome OS, Wallet, and Google+;Microsoft’s Windows 8, Office, Bing, and Xbox; and Facebook. Often, these ecosystems are combined andintegrated with third-party services to develop innovative opportunities to interact with, sell to, and servecustomers.5 For more on the Splinternet, see the January 26, 2010, “The Splinternet” report.6 For more on responsive design, see the July 12, 2012, “Understanding Responsive Design” report.7 Source: Christine Hauser, “Growth in Retail Sales Slows From Last Year’s Numbers,” The New York Times,July 5, 2012 ( For a vision of the commerce platform of the future, see the October 19, 2011, “The Agile CommercePlatform” report.9 For more on systems integrators and commerce services providers, see the February 24, 2012, “TheForrester Wave™: Global Commerce Service Providers, Q1 2012” report and see the February 9, 2012, “HowTo Select A Commerce Services Provider” report.10 While Oracle chose not to provide full information for its solution, we placed it in the Forrester Wave basedon our knowledge of Oracle’s solution from past analysis and publicly available information in order toprovide a complete picture of the competitive landscape.11 For an overview of digital-goods-focused commerce solutions, see the November 7, 2011, “MarketOverview: Digital Commerce Solutions 2011” report.12 For an overview of B2B eCommerce platforms, see the December 7, 2009, “Market Overview: B2BeCommerce Platforms” report.
  22. 22. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsThe Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 21© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited September 24, 201213 For an overview of SMB-oriented eCommerce solutions, see the April 12, 2012, “SMB eCommerceSolutions 2012” report.14 For an overview of the full-service eCommerce solutions marketplace, see the October 31, 2008, “MarketOverview: Full-Service eCommerce Solutions” report.15 For an overview of digital-goods-focused commerce solutions, see the November 7, 2011, “MarketOverview: Digital Commerce Solutions 2011” report.16 Note that hosted/managed and SaaS offerings from IBM, hybris, and Oracle differ in a number of waysfrom the full enterprise software licensed product reviewed in this report.17 For more on the hybris acquisition of iCongo and what it means for the market, read the following blogpost: Brian K. Walker, “hybris & iCongo Come Together: What It Means,” Brian Walker’s Blog For eBusiness& Channel Strategy Professionals, August 22, 2011 ( Cactus Commerce was actively engaged in product development for Microsoft’s Commerce Server for manyyears prior to its acquisition by Ascentium.19 For more on using scenarios in technology evaluation, see the May 17, 2010, “Scenario-Based eCommerceTechnology Evaluation Process” report.
  23. 23. Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice toglobal leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals in 17 key roles at major companies providing proprietaryresearch, customer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more than 29 years, Forrester has been makingIT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day. For more information, visit 80141«Forrester Focuses OneBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsResponsible for building a multichannel sales and service strategy,you must optimize how people, processes, and technology adaptacross a rapidly evolving set of customer touchpoints. Forresterhelps you create forward-thinking strategies to justify decisionsand optimize your individual, team, and corporate performance.ERIC CHANG, client persona representing eBusiness & Channel Strategy ProfessionalsAbout ForresterGlobal marketing and strategy leaders turn to Forrester to helpthem make the tough decisions necessary to capitalize on shiftsin marketing, technology, and consumer behavior. We ensure yoursuccess by providing:n Data-driven insight to understand the impact of changingconsumer behavior.n Forward-looking research and analysis to guide your decisions.n Objective advice on tools and technologies to connect you withcustomers.n Best practices for marketing and cross-channel strategy.for more informationTo find out how Forrester Research can help you be successful every day, pleasecontact the office nearest you, or visit us at For a complete listof worldwide locations, visit supportFor information on hard-copy or electronic reprints, please contact Client Supportat +1 866.367.7378, +1 617.613.5730, or We offerquantity discounts and special pricing for academic and nonprofit institutions.