The whirls of technological change continue to fasten the pace of ecommerce development. And digital platforms are expanding ever wider and ever deeper, as their complexity increases with an ever growing network of products and services, delivery technologies, pricing models and functionality.
Keeping pace with the fourth industrial revolution is a constant battle — and is worth keeping in mind the perspective of Camus: while endlessing toiling through struggles, staying upbeat and riding the waves with a smile will hopefully equip you with the inner strength to keep on keeping on.
(Well… let’s get out of this philosophical ditch I just dug. Out we get.) To provide you with a great snapshot of the best ecommerce platforms that can help you support your leading digital commerce needs, research giant Gartner has evaluated the top 13 which it categories into leaders, challengers, niche platforms, and visionaries.
Before we get to the rankings, Gertner set its guidelines in order for a platform to qualify. It must have out-of-the-box capabilities or alternatively the APIs that support a fully-serviced ecommerce experience, which include the fundamentals like a storefront, product catalog, shopping cart, checkout service, and the ability to create a customer account.
The platforms that Gartner consider are leading the way at the forefront of ecommerce are SAP, Magento, Oracle, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. For a platform to be considered a leader, it must meet the highest standards set by Gartner, and flex its muscles when it comes to providing a depth of ecommerce functionality for both B2C and B2B, across industries and business models, technological updates and new functionality, and the ability to scale.
These king and queen platforms stand at the frontlines of ecommerce and are the gold standards to which other vendors compare themselves. It’s for that reason why big brands consistently choose these leaders. Let’s take a look at each one.
The ecommerce platforms that are charging behind the leaders are Shopify and Episerver. These challengers have a more limited scope in hosting top ecommerce brands with their functionality, and tend to focus on a narrower range in terms of geography, industry, or business model. They do, however, make heavy technological investments to keep pace with the leaders and attempt to break into the elite club.
Then there are the niche players of BigCommerce, Digital River, Unilog, VTEX, and Sitecore. This big group has a few things in common: they narrow their focus typically to a specific industry, company size, region, and hold narrower technological abilities (for example by focussing on either B2C or B2B but not both). And because they tend to provide lower-cost capabilities, they are the target for small and emerging companies.
And finally there are the visionaries; the disruptors of the establishment; the force of change that uses innovation in new technologies. These platforms include Elastic Path and commercetools. They may have a smaller share of customers but win over new customers due to their strength of serving a niche market.
The niche players and visionaries share the drive for technological investment, yet due to their limited capital tend to be funded by private equity companies and venture capital.
Here are the current rosters for the Platform Games. We expect some to continue driving forward; we anticipate that some will fall; and we predict the unpredictable because we are aware that these talented ecommerce platforms have the ability to breach the barriers and challenge for the top prize.
Let the games continue!
PS: UV is one of the world’s leading Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware) consultancies. Contact us to see how we can work together.