The ecommerce platform landscape has matured considerably over the last five years, making platform selection a harder task. Recent studies have found that 20% of companies are in the process of re-platforming, and a third (32%) said they were considering re-platforming in the future.*
An important perspective to consider when selecting an ecommerce platform is being able to discern which of the many platforms available will have the best fit with the organization’s resources. The purpose of this article is to help decision makers choose the best ecommerce platform for their organization from the plethora of options available.
Corsis has evaluated many ecommerce companies as part of our IT Assessment service offering and has found that successful implementations can generally be categorized by the organizational capabilities of the company and their revenue size. To help navigate the selection process, the table below illustrates how these two variables can impact an organization’s ecommerce platform selection.
The Features Fallacy
“In our experience, organizational fit is the most commonly overlooked success factor when selecting an ecommerce platform.”
Because ecommerce platform selections are typically made using a feature comparison matrix, the importance of organizational fit as a critical success factor may sound counter-intuitive. However, this becomes a challenge because today’s major middle-market ecommerce platforms offer similar features and capabilities. Given recent trends toward open architectures, missing features can be obtained from a variety of low-cost resources, such as:
The People Perspective
“An ecommerce platform must fit the technical skill sets of the organization”Successful decision makers view their platform selection through the lens of the organization, not just features. Executive leadership of the organization should look internally at the skills of its people and match their platform accordingly.
The matrix above illustrates how the organizational perspective has impacted the various retailers Corsis has evaluated. It shows the capabilities of an organization and its size, and then gives the recommended platform within those categories. By outlining the typical platform architecture selection along with examples, this simplified matrix can serve as a tool in the decision making process of an ecommerce platform and shed some light on the differentiating factors involved.
The Corsis Ecommerce Assessment Experience
Corsis is regularly engaged by Venture Capital and Private Equity firms to evaluate ecommerce platform selections of their portfolio companies or potential target investments. Our proprietary Corsis Confidence Index is used to measure a retailer’s compliance with ecommerce best practices. Based on our expertise, we have noticed that the success of an ecommerce platform is often determined by organizational fit. This critical factor is typically overlooked by retailers when evaluating the bewildering array of ecommerce platform options in today’s marketplace.
We have seen this observation hold true for many types of retailers; ranging from a rapidly growing streetwear marketer with under $10 million in revenue, to a $40 million B2B beauty products wholesaler, all the way up to a $250 million revenue global fashion retailer.
As the feature sets of the major ecommerce platforms converge, Corsis expects that organizational fit will become an even more important factor in successful storefront implementations.
*Econsultancy’s Technology for Ecommerce Report