5 Capabilities you should look for when evaluating a digital commerce platform - Gartner Recommendation

A recent article by Business Standard suggests that the Indian e-commerce market is projected to grow by 96 per cent between 2021 and 2025, surpassing US$120 billion in transaction value. Similarly, an IMARC Group Research Report states that the global eCommerce market will reach US$ 55.6 Trillion by 2027.

The growth projections are encouraging. However, we feel if businesses want to be a part of this exclusive growth cycle, they need innovative digital commerce platforms. This will keep your business aligned with the fast-paced and ever-changing market landscape.

Business leaders strategy

Business leaders need to rethink their omnichannel commerce strategies in line with the emerging technologies. The reality is monolithic eCommerce platforms have constraints when it comes to flexibility, agility and scalability. In addition, they are quite rigid when it comes to adapting to the latest and fast-evolving retail touchpoints such as smart mirrors, IoT, wearables, mobile commerce and more.

How Monolithic eCommerce Systems Constrain you

The problem with Monolithic applications is that they do not support the new touchpoints like mobile apps, voice, IoT, AR/VR and chatbots. The modern customers shop from wherever they want to, they do not like to be constrained by where they make their purchases. Traditional eCommerce platforms were designed two decades ago. They are incapable of engineering omnichannel digital commerce journeys and customer experiences. The demanding customers of today expect great shopping experiences. To provide such experiences your business needs Digital Commerce Platforms.

5 Capabilities of Digital Commerce Platforms

One of the problems with the selection of digital commerce platforms is understanding what you get out of the box. While it is easy to select a digital commerce platform for your business, determining how far the platform is fit to your unique business is challenging. Moreover, businesses that have already shifted to digital platforms still need to maximize their functionality to suit their business’s unique needs.

Here are the 5 Capabilities layers Gartner suggested in their research “Harness the Core Capabilities of a Digital Commerce Platform”. Let’s get familiar with them better.

1. Digital experience

Digital ExperienceWhile selecting the ideal digital commerce platform, it is recommended to consider the following attributes.

  • Personalized Customer Experience
  • Presentation Orchestration
  • Search and Content Management

Customer experience is a crucial aspect of every business. There are two types of digital commerce platforms- some include digital experience management and others are ‘Headless’ and only provide APIs. The vendors of these commerce platforms also provide client-side ‘reference applications’ to help their customers to deliver the storefront experience.

2. Core Commerce

Core commerce allows enterprises to set up their fully functional digital commerce businesses online. Here are crucial components of core commerce that a business needs to consider while selecting a digital commerce platform:

  • Product and Catalog
  • Shopping cart and promotions
  • Check-out and payment integration
  • Customer account management

Sometimes organizations use third-party tools in an alternate commerce architecture, such as DXP, search engine, personalization engine, DOM, etc. However, a single-vendor core solution is the best option for the above capabilities.

3. Commerce Operations

Backstage operations hold a significant role in the success of overall functions of commerce. But with digital commerce, businesses can streamline overall operations. Here are the recommended aspects that need to be analyzed:

  • Analytics and Insight (actionable analytics and reporting)
  • Integration framework (Ex: price, inventory, and engagement: including chatbots, etc.)
  • Staging and preview
  • Notification and alerting

In addition to this, capabilities are crucial for core configuration and operational capabilities as they enable platform management by business users and integration with ecosystem components. Although some integrations are usually developed, there are vendors that provide an app marketplace and put the power in the hands of business users.

4. Supply Chain Integration

Supply chain integration with digital commerce can make organisations more agile. Here are the attributes that can make a difference to your organization’s overall supply chain management:Supply Chain Integration

  • Pricing engine integration and dynamic pricing engines
  • Inventory management
  • Order management / Distributed order management
  • Fulfilment and logistics integrations

Some digital management platforms offer everything necessary for inventory, order management, and fulfilment, either natively or as an add-on module.

5. Systems of Record/ERP/MDM

Omnichannel brands draw comprehensive benefits from ERP integration with digital commerce. Here are the capabilities that one can look forward to while selecting a digital commerce platform for business:ERP Integration

  • Finance reconciliation and reporting
  • Customer Relationship Management Systems and Master Data Management for customers
  • Customer Communications: Email/SMS/IM gateways.
  • Master Data Management with Product Information (MDM Product/PIM)
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Although these integrations are technically challenging and complex for implementation, It is important for businesses to understand these interfaces before dealing with them

Connecting the Missing Dots with MACH-X

MACH is an acronym for Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless solutions. MACH solution is a Best-of-the-breed technology platform that enables an enterprise to adopt emerging technologies without undertaking multiple platforms. With modernized tech stacks, businesses can adapt and modify their systems to market dynamics.

How MACH-X Supersedes MACH Platforms

MACH-X supersedes MACH by enabling organizations to future-proof their development with Open Stack advantage. It divides API layers in such a smart way that keeps the customizations separate from the core. This lowers the complexity of the operation and protects the longevity of developmental efforts.

While MACH platforms deploy software-as-a-service (SaaS) to offer the elastic benefits of the cloud, the MACH-X platform offers a huge advantage over other SaaS providers by enabling businesses to create their own custom microservices using the same open stack as the core or by using third party microservices. MACH -X overcomes the shortcomings of specific SaaS platforms, which cannot connect with microservices outside of their own offering, requiring clients to maintain siloed dashboards. Therefore, the unified deployment simplifies orchestration and facilitates streamlining operations and their monitoring within common dashboards.

MACH Solutions lacks business tooling. Until recently, only digitally and technically savvy organizations could propagate microservices’ journey. Building a microservices admin interface on a headless platform enables the functionality that can be customized for any business tooling they use. Extensible admin tooling benefit maintains a balance between IT and business agility.

The Power Lies in Your Hand

The power of 5 capabilities is capable enough to create a difference from traditional practices. MACH-X architecture is easy to integrate, provides flexibility, and gives power to organizations to formulate platform alterations based on their own schedule.

Organizations that have outgrown their monolith legacy platforms need a full suite microservices platform that can cover all core eCommerce components and capabilities and serve the entire commerce lifecycle.

Organizations can transform to a complete digital commerce model in one go like a big bang model or they can use the Strangler Pattern for a seamless transformation. Although, Strangler Pattern is slower compared to the big bang model, it enables businesses to avail the benefits of modular applications and at the same time, allows businesses to take advantage of legacy investments. Moreover, this process will not cause disruption to operations and customers. Furthermore, organizations can deploy a-la-carte microservices to gear up their innovative journey.

MACH -X platforms can meet the unique requirements of futuristic businesses by serving both customers and business users. To know more about how to migrate to futuristic capabilities, you can reach us here.

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