Ecommerce platforms vs Best-Of-Breed

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Ecommerce platforms vs Best-Of-Breed

The global eCommerce growth

How it all started

The first eCommerce trade occurred back in 1972 when students at Cambridge used the Arpanet (a predecessor to the Internet) to purchase some marijuana from their counterparts at Stanford, yes you read right... This illegal deal is widely considered to be the first eCommerce transaction in history.

Power in our pockets

In 2007, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone to the world. With smartphones, people suddenly had computers in their pockets. They could surf the web and make purchases from pretty much anywhere. Today in 2021 we see that more than 50% of online buyers do their purchases through a mobile device. And eCommerce only continues to grow, As stated by Forbes, mobile commerce sales are estimated to reach $3.5 trillion in 2021 globally.

man using smartphone

According to Grandview Research, the global eCommerce market was estimated to reach 9,093.6 billion USD in 2019 and 10,361.0 billion USD in 2020. The global eCommerce market is expected to have an annual growth rate of 14.7% from 2020 to 2027 to reach 27,147.9 billion USD by 2027.

Ecommerce platforms

During all these years where eCommerce has blooming year after year, we have seen eCommerce platforms trying to keep up and to offer a one-size-fits-all suite packed with all kinds of features, all from basic CMS and eCommerce capabilities to search engines, A/B testing tools, personalization features to omnichannel capabilities. This worked well for businesses in the first wave of eCommerce when companies went online for the first time and customers required simple, standardized experiences.

Fast-forward to the twenty-first century and that is no longer the case.

child in too big shoes

Ecommerce has turned out to be the most vital sales channel for retailers worldwide. Retailers have invested hundreds of millions of euros each year to meet the needs of the end customer's demands in various sales channels.

The addition of new digital touchpoints that these eCommerce platforms were not originally built for, the ever-increasing consumer expectations for modern digital commerce have changed all of that.

With consumers getting used to consuming content and making purchases through various touchpoints - from IoT devices to progressive web apps - Amazon Dash buttons, smart voice assistants, and in-store interfaces are giving consumers new ways to explore product information, read reviews, and place orders. In other words, consumers are embracing the IoT era, even if most retailers haven’t (yet).

smiling man using smartphone

No eCommerce vendor can offer all the applications needed to meet the retailers’ expectations and the end-customer’s needs, even if some larger eCommerce platforms have tried to bring in as much functionality as possible into their suite through different acquisitions, we all know how that usually turns out; read problems with integrating, scaling issues, hosting, behavioural data that is in various systems, etc. If we summarize all this, eCommerce platforms today need to be indifferent to various things and to keep the head above the water to survive in this fast-growing industry.

Many retail teams have been burned by painful multi-year implementations where they got forced into a corner where they ended up with systems that are not scalable or built for their retail segment, it’s like you try to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. This leads to workarounds and manual steps outside the system. This is not just inefficient— it also compromises the integrity of your data and leaves you with an incomplete picture.

Best-Of-Breed

As a result, retail organizations are favouring a new, more agile type of software: “Best-of-Breed.”

So, if we google ‘Best-of-breed’ we get the hit;

The best system in its referenced niche or category. Although it performs specialized functions better than an integrated system, this type of system is limited by its specialty area.

So now we know what a Best-of-Breed solution is, but what are the benefits of this?

1. Best-of-breed solutions do exactly what you need them to.

By default, a Best-of-Breed solution is 100% devoted to doing one thing perfectly. By specializing in one area, a provider can offer faster and newer technology and more extensive capabilities than companies providing broader applications. You can also expect more frequent updates and greater product innovation from the best-of-breed vendor.

2. ROI in Days or Weeks not Years.

Because they involve fewer stakeholders and offer specialized solutions, Best-of-Breed solutions have lighter training and implementation requirements — making them a good fit for teams that need results today and can’t wait for a longer implementation.

3. Nobody plans for their software implementation to fail,

but a lot of them do. Best-of-breed solutions have much lower implementation time and start-up costs. This means that the risk of getting locked into a system that doesn’t work is much lower and you also reduce the risk of postponing the Go-Live date.

woman using smartphone

About Apptus

Apptus has been at the cutting edge of high-performance computing, search and navigation technologies, recommendation engines, and online behavioural analytics since its launch in 2000.

Today its ground-breaking, AI-powered eCommerce Optimisation software – Apptus eSales – is redefining online merchandising and enabling some of the worlds' leading retailers to dramatically improve sales performance, reduce cost, and drive organisational efficiency.

Providing one single, unified solution for modern online merchandising across site search, site navigation, product recommendations, content, and email recommendations. Apptus eSales draws on big data and machine learning to constantly tune strategies for exposing products aligned to wider conversions, revenue, and profit goals.

It transforms previously reactive, manual, and rule-based merchandising – enabling automated, predictive merchandising that works with even the biggest product ranges to present the right products in the right context at the right time across the entire site.

The knowledge from working with customers from all segments during 20+ years have resulted in Apptus eSales being able to deliver deep domain knowledge, out of the box, to support any retailer's needs. Apptus is trusted by some of the largest and strongest retailers in the Nordics, companies such as: NA-KD, Lyko, Dustin, Adlibris, Clas Ohlson and Fyndiq.

Do you want to know more about how your customers can benefit from utilizing a best-of-breed solution for product discovery?

Simon - Apptus partner manager

Simon | Partner Manager
Please contact me at simon.fredriksson@apptus.com