How to align your approach with the emerging digital commerce platforms landscape?

Authored by Ameex Technologies on 29 Mar 2019

There are numerous emerging digital commerce platforms available on the market these days. Nevertheless, these can group into three main categories: commerce-led, experience-led, and API-oriented architectures. These digital commerce platforms can also be looked at through a lens of two trends concerning application delivery.

Challenges in new digital landscape

The significant shift towards cloud computing enables both.  

These are:

  • The transition from licensed software to SaaS or even to application platform as a service (aPaaS).
  • The transition from a monolithic-type architecture to a modular, service-based, microservice architecture. 

Those who are interested in purchasing technology are looking forward to taking advantage of these approaches. And while some are interested in packaged technology solutions or plug-in commerce capabilities, others may be interested in API-oriented architectures. The emerging market is perfectly able to cater to these needs while the monolithic providers are struggling to compete. 

What Are the Challenges of Aligning to These Emerging Digital Commerce Platforms?

There are, however, several challenges to this process. For starters, selecting a digital commerce platform is difficult, mainly because the vendor landscape is confusing and complicated. It is in large part since vendors target different customer segments by offering different levels of maturity. 

Also, matching an organization's needs to a solution is also burdened by market disruption, vertical specialization, the emergence of new products, as well as the different deployment methods and architectures. Lastly, organizations also have to deal with constraints due to their current architectural state. It increases uncertainty when selecting new options that have to balance integration, value, the opportunity for innovation, and expected capabilities.  

Selecting the Best Vendor for Your Digital Commerce Requirements

One approach to choosing the best vendor for your needs is by utilizing a packaged SaaS end-to-end platform. It is suitable for general e-commerce and web shops that are looking for speed to market and integration. It's also right for retail businesses that are looking to integrate in-store experiences. 

A second approach is either via preconfigured connectors or through a vendor that provides integrated products, flexible DXP, and commerce capabilities. It is suitable for organizations looking to diversify their digital CX. 

A third approach is via API-based commerce platforms that allow for head-optional commerce capabilities. It is for digital companies looking for more innovation, flexibility, and agility, particularly concerning the presentation layer. A healthy mix of cloud-based services for commoditized capabilities and the company's IP is desired. 

Evaluate the Provider’s Platform

Once you've chosen the type of your digital commerce platform, it's time to evaluate and select a vendor that will fit your needs. You will need to pick one that will support these CX capabilities, which will align with your core commerce capabilities. 

  • Customer data platforms (CDPs) - CDPs and similar products need to provide a 360-degree view of the customer and feed the information to personalization engines, DXP, and product search engines. 
  • B2B capabilities - Very few vendors provide a depth experience in B2C and B2B skills. Several vital functions such as invoice generation, EDI integration, and subscription management are rare on commerce platforms. It is because they require separate ecosystem solutions. 
  • Unified OMS, 3PL, supply chain, and inventory system integrations - These capabilities enhance online purchases, pick up in-store, optimize fulfilment, and returns.
  • CaaS and CMPs -  With the rise of DXP and an emphasis on CX, content is again on the front lines. APIs also see the growth of CaaS and CMPs, providing marketing and sales teams with practical and straightforward tools for personalized content regarding the generation of traffic and conversion rates. 

If you are interested in working with a provider that will accommodate your needs, talk to us today. Our specialized consultants are standing by to answer any questions you may have.