Tjeerd Brenninkmeijer

Jun 22, 2018

How API-driven commerce is changing the digital customer experience

Gartner releases 2018 Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Earlier this month, Gartner released its June 2018 Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce and a lot of our commerce technology partners had good reasons to pop the bottles. Digital River, Salesforce, and SAP were positioned in the Leaders quadrant whereas Commercetools and ElasticPath were positioned by Gartner as Visionaries and Skava got recognized as a Niche Player. Congratulations to all!

Of course it's always intriguing to look at the dots and speculate on the reasons behind Gartner's evaluation but far more interesting are the trends the analyst firm recognizes. Especially because Gartner themselves state that their "view on the digital commerce market is focused on transformational technologies or approaches delivering on the future needs of end users. It is not to be focused on the market as it is today."

So what are the key takeaways? Well, it's not very surprising that Gartner sees smart personalisation technologies on the rise. "By 2020, smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase thier profits by up to 15%." They also predict that "by 2020, 25% of leading online sellers will have enabled first generation commerce that comes to you capabilities." And, according to Gartner, "by 2022 at least 5% of digital commerce orders will be predicted and initiated by AI." Given the hype around AI that has been going on for quite some time now, you might even think that estimation could be a bit on the low side.

What's really intriguing though is that Gartner predicts "by 2022, 10% of the organizations running digital commerce will build that into a platform business to transform into digital business, and 60% of those will use an open ecosystem to scale the growth." Now this is really interesting and we feel underlines the vision on the market we have at BloomReach. To keep up with the speed of market changes with new touchpoints developing every day and customer behaviour changing continuously businesses can't afford to be locked in by a monolithic software suite anymore. They need to be able to adopt new technologies as they appear without having to wait for their software vendor to put them on the roadmap.

Especially in ecommerce things are moving fast and brands that aren't on top of emerging technologies like voice search and artificial intelligence will run out of business faster than you could imagine. That's why the development of an open ecosystem is so important and why we at BloomReach are true believers in API-driven commerce. That's why we have been heavily expanding our partner ecosystem and why we will continue to develop easy integration options for a wide range of commerce platforms to give our customers the choice to work with the commerce solution that best fits their needs.

We asked some of our commerce technology partners for their view on the market and how they see that reflected in Gartner's recent report. Here's what they had to say:

"A modern commerce platform meets the need of enterprise businesses for a flexible and nimble solution that helps them compete at speed," said Dirk Hoerig, CEO of commercetools. "Our cloud native platform was built from the ground up on APIs which means companies can connect to their digital experience platform and make every experience on every channel shoppable. This so-called 'API-first' approach allows consumers allows your customers to shop from their car, with their voice, on a mobile app, in a virtual world, and on any IoT enabled device."

"An API-oriented solution allows businesses to innovate faster," confirmed Peter Lukomskyj, SVP Products at Elastic Path. "Our customers are seeking a nimble approach - one that can easily leverage emerging customer touchpoints from a single, unified commerce platform. Elastic Path Commerce is especially suited to monetize experiences created by advanced digital experience platforms like BloomReach DXP."

"Shopping on the web today goes way beyond a product grid and a checkout functionality," said Kevin Harris, Global VP of Channel for SAP CX. "Businesses need to build an emotional relationship with their customers which involves offering them engaging and relevant content across all touchpoints that is tailored to their personal taste and needs. Our recently launched partnership with BloomReach allows our customers to do exactly that."

"Brands increasingly look for customization capabilities as they build their ecommerce technology stack, so they can quickly mirror their customers’ ever-changing needs and desires." said James Gagliardi, Chief Product Officer at Digital River, "While there will always be companies that value a full-service end-to-end ecommerce solution, shifting demands require flexibility through a modern, componentized, microservices-based model.”

"It is a seminal moment and very encouraging for Skava to have our modular, flexible, microservices based approach to commerce evaluated by Gartner and to have recieved the highest product score in the Modular, Flexible Implementations Use Case in the June 2018 Critical Capabilities for Digital Commerce report," said Arish Ali, the CEO of Skava.

"We’re proud to be recognized as a Leader by Gartner, but even prouder of the success and innovation of our customers and partners around the world," said Gordon Evans, Vice President of Product Marketing for Salesforce Commerce Cloud on their own blog. "Salesforce has always been about connecting with our customers in new and innovative ways, and we are unrelenting in our commitment to helping our customers grow and see faster time to value by connecting with their customers in smarter ways."

 

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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