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Retailers more bullish this year on e-commerce tech spending, analyst says
Several forces are driving up retailers’ interest in replacing or upgrading their e-commerce technology, including integration among multiple channels to produce more revenue, Gartner analyst Adam Sarner says.
Chief Technology Editor
Several forces are driving up retailers’ interest in replacing or upgrading their e-commerce technology, including integration among multiple channels to produce more revenue, Gartner Inc. analyst Adam Sarner says.
Sarner, noting that he has already evaluated about 50 retail e-commerce platforms this year, says retailers are moving beyond concerns about just having a reliable e-commerce platform to investing in integrated systems that also support multi-channel selling and marketing.
Two other forces driving up retailers’ interest in new e-commerce technology is a preponderance of home-grown systems that can no longer handle the volume and shopping demands of today’s consumer market, and the continuing growth of online retail spending, Sarner says. “Before the dot-com bomb in the 1990s, there was a lot of investment in e-commerce, but not a lot of users,” Sarner says. “Now there are a lot of users, but e-commerce investments have been flat, so there’s a new gap that retailers are starting to fill.”
At the same time, he adds, the vendor community has improved on its ability to deliver packaged e-commerce applications that don’t require much development by IT staffs. “This is providing more flexibility for business owners to work on customer relationships,” Sarner says. “Instead of just testing that a site is not falling apart, they can do more A/B testing to find out what customers want.”
In a first-quarter Gartner report on b2c e-commerce platforms, “Business-to-Consumer E-Commerce Magic Quadrant,” Sarner cited Art Technology Group and IBM as the leading providers of e-commerce platforms. IBM scores well for its overall e-commerce platform functionality and its broad presence in the retail market; ATG scores more for its strong e-marketing and site personalization technology, Sarner says.