When I’m shopping for perfume, I make my choice based on what ecommerce platform they’re using!
Well, there is truth to my joke. I don’t consciously. But subconsciously, the platform is a key factor in determining whether site visitors end up making a purchase or not. How you customize the experience or make the page on-target or optimize it for conversions is so deeply influenced by the limitations and the flexibility of the platform itself, that it is worth it to have a look and see what platforms are being used around the industry.
So let’s take the top 30 perfume brands and see which platform they’re using. There are some surprising twists (hint: Drupal is alive!). Here’s the list:
|Atlantic Marine Depot||WooCommerce|
|Bass Pro Boating Centers||Custom|
|Boat and RV Accessories||Onveos|
|Boaters Marine Supply||Custom|
|Field and Stream||HCL Commerce; Oracle Commerce|
|Mission Boat Gear||Shopify|
|West Marine||SAP Commerce Cloud|
And here is the list, broken down by platform:
|SAP Commerce Cloud||2|
So there are a bunch of interesting facts about this space that are worth analyzing. And no, the fact that Sarah Jessica Parker has her own line of perfume is not one of them.
First, of the 30 top perfume and fragrance brands, 14 of them (just about half) run their ecommerce on Salesforce Commerce Cloud, including Yves Saint Laurent, Bulgari, Armani, and lots of the brands all of us know. Over our many analyses, we’ve found about 1/3rd to 1/2 of the top brands tend to run Salesforce Commerce Cloud (variously known by its old name “Demandware” and it’s coming-soon-to-a-theater-near-you futuristic name “Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud.”) This is because it is overwhelmingly the leader in the high-volume ecommerce space, with the complex functionality you would expect: the ability to integrate into complex and legacy ERP systems, multivariate testing built-in, different user journeys depending on where the user is – the details that are a marketer’s dream.
The perfume space comes out at the high-end of the average. And it makes sense: it is an industry with very standard needs, with a few very high-volume brands, with lots of complex systems they need to integrate with – this is an almost pixel-perfect use case for Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
Let’s look at some of the other ones that appear on the list as well.
Calvin Klein runs on HCL Commerce, which tells me they have to be using IBM’s back-end to power their complex chain. HCL is the new name for IBM’s spun-off WebSphere classic platform. Not surprising for a huge bureaucracy! Similarly, Burberry runs on Oracle Commerce, which also tells me that Burberry long-ago jumped into the Oracle infrastructure, probably around the same time Calvin Klein jumped into the IBM infrastructure.
Hermès runs on, gulp, Drupal Commerce. Drupal! In someone’s unofficial and off-the-record opinion that is likely wrong (this is not in any way endorsed by UV nor UV’s tech team!): Drupal basically embodies the worst of WordPress (old, spaghetti PHP code) without any of WordPress’s benefits (powering 1/3rd of the internet, there are plugins and developers and integrations for anything under the sun you can imagine, combined with a fast pace of updating to keep-up with the times – hi, Gutenberg!). Drupal is the sort of platform that you’d use for an ecommerce system for only one reason: because you have been using it for a long time, and don’t want to invest in a full replatforming. No worries, Hermès; we know you can run fast, and if you don’t do that full replatforming now, give us a call in about 3 years when you’ll REALLY need to.
Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford are both using Amplience – going headless like Dior, but going with Elastic’s not as cool cousin. I’m curious to see how the platform fight plays out over the next few years. And to keep things fun, Old Spice is giving BigCommerce a go, continuing the headless movement.
Most interesting of all is Le Labo running Acadaca. Acadaca is an interesting case because they are a system integrator (like UV ourselves!) but they also have their own ecommerce platform as well. Now that is a huge red flag, for a few reasons. First, it ties your platform to one particular dev shop, so you can basically never get out of them. Secondly, private platforms tend to have a small fraction of the features of the public ones – there’s a reason they’re private. Third, they tend to lack any sort of documentation (since they are private, after all), so it’s hard to understand the limitations, or even if they do have features like record exporting. Fourth, the team can never approach any other technology from an objective point of view, because they’ll always be looking to promote their own technology. (Of course, the counter-arguments to this are: perhaps they have non-public super-power features that give your site a secret edge over the competitors; perhaps they have contractually agreed upon record exporting so replatforming isn’t a total nightmare; and any SI will be biased in favor of the technologies they’re strongest at and/or have the biggest team or bench for) – you never know, and one of the best ways to find out is to ask.)
All in all, lots of platforms, and lots of choices. And UV, of course, doesn’t have our own ecommerce platform so we can be clear-headed in our platform analyses. What platforms are you looking at? Let’s have a call and brainstorm. Just send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org