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WEBINAR OVERVIEW The experts’ guide to ecommerce platform selection and delivery

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In a recent InternetRetailing webinar, The experts’ guide to ecommerce platform selection and delivery we heard from Andy Hoar, VP, principal analyst at research company Forrester, and Craig Harper-Ashton, multichannel director at ecommerce consultancy Salmon. Here’s a bulletpoint overview of the event.

Forrester research into ecommerce platforms for B2B and B2C

• Andy Hoar of Forrester opened the webinar with an overview of the Forrester Wave, a data-driven evaluation of software and hardware.

• Today’s commerce suites support four core pillars of functionality: experience management, commerce management, order management and product information management.

• How the different platforms score across different criteria.

• Forrester Wave graphic: how the key B2B Commerce Suites rate in 2017. Outright leader was SAP Hybris, followed by Intershop and Insite Software. Graphic shows how around 11 different platforms rate in total. Andy Hoar discussed why the leaders stood out and how others performed.

• Graphic: how the key B2C Commerce Suites rate: SAP Hybris joined as a leader by Salesforce. Ten platforms feature in the graphic in total.

The Salmon approach to implementation

• Craig Harper-Ashton of Salmon opened with an brief introduction to Salmon and its work in ecommerce consultancy and a client list that includes Argos, DFS, Game, Sainsbury’s, Ted Baker and, in the B2B sector, Punch Taverns.

• He shared insights from Salmon’s global study across enterprise level companies, including that 90% of respondents said ecommerce platform selection was the most important decision in a multichannel offering. Some 84% said they felt pain during the platform delivery process, while 30% said resistance to change was a key challenge.

• Security, scalability, and dependability are all important, the study found, while 87% said that ecommerce would be the fastest growing area in the next five years.

• “I think it’s one of the most interesting periods in ecommerce right now. There are some incredibly disruptive and exciting technologies emerging that threaten to change our busiensses successfully, including ours. Although it’s different for any one to predict precise timings on those, we can be certain that your digital platform will become even more important in supporting this new tech, whether its artificial intelligence, chatbots, or more complex marketing precision and precition, virtual or, more likely in my mind, augmented reality, voice, and the Internet of Things, which will allow clients to get closer than ever to their customers and deliver real value and extended services as everything then becomes a sensor.”

Dos and don’ts of ecommerce platform delivery

Key metrics: Delivery of value, against the business vision, efficiency in cost and time and satisfaction both of clients and customers.

Top five recommendations: data is everything; set the vision, let the experts do their thing; create a single empowered team and let them roll, never compromise on the fundamental principles; have fun: don’t squash great ideas. “Creativity is intelligence having fun” Albert Einstein.

The webinar was followed by a Q&A session. To see the webinar, slides and hear the Q&A session in full, visit the Salmon webinar page here.

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