Posts Tagged ‘e-commerce’

e-commerce software

Thursday 2 October 2008

I was surprised to find out that local Dutch online retailer bol.com switched their platform from Intershop to ATG. Surprised mainly that ATG is still alive and apperently doing well. ATG is one of the dinosaurs from the internet age. ATG evolved really well from a complete packaged solution provider to a module based system providing J2EE building blocks for doing e-commerce.

I know from experience that selecting the right tools and products for an e-commerce website is not an easy task. For larger websites and volumes you quickly run into integration problems with your backoffice, problems that most simple packages cannot solve combined with the steep list of functionality you can incorporate. Look at the list of things the bigger e-commerce websites need:

 

  • Catalog
  • Searching/browsing
  • Shopping basket
  • Differentiated pricing (loyalty, promotions, vouchers)
  • Payment
  • Recommendations
  • Customer reviews
  • CRM
  • Order fullfillment (including shipping and returns)
  • Campaign management
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Content management (FAQ’s, our conditions etcetera)
And that list does not include things you need for any website such as interaction design, visual design, well formed HTML, SEO.
I have seen a few -mostly corporate- e-commerce initiatives fail because they aim to high in the beginning. You can keep it simple and still be succesfull. Look at apple.com: their website offers only one price, no recommendations, simple content based catalog.
Some of the leading top tier e-commerce vendors that offer sophisticated integration these days:
Interested in more background? Read the Gartner Magic Quadrant for E-Commerce.