Customer Experience

Demandware Teams With eBay on Omnichannel E-Commerce Solution

Demandware andeBay Enterprise on Monday announced an alliance to develop a fully enabled omnichannel commerce solution that will provide integrated access to Demandware’s Commerce Cloud platform and eBay Enterprise’s suite of back-end and fulfillment technologies and services.

The solution will let current and prospective clients significantly reduce the complexity of managing their front- and back-end systems to deliver an all-around customer experience, said the companies, which have several customers in common, including Michaels Stores.

“Demandware gains a broader set of capabilities beyond just e-commerce cloud for its customers, which should enable it to better compete against other e-commerce partnerships out there,” said Rebecca Wettemann, a research VP atNucleus Research.

“Likely more important is the boost Demandware gets from the eBay brand,” she told CRM Buyer.

Current Offerings

Demandware’s Commerce Cloud streamlines retail operations across all digital channels, delivering a unified view of customer data across all shopping channels, the company said.

It’s automatically updated throughout the year, is highly secure and customizable, and can scale to support the largest enterprise dealers.

The eBay Enterprise suite of post-click commerce technologies and services includes retail order management, store fulfillment and drop-ship management.

It provides users with a centralized records system for orders and inventory across the supply chain so they can fulfill orders from distribution centers, physical stores or suppliers.

The company’s commerce services include payments, tax, fraud prevention, fulfillment, and freight and customer care. They let users maximize order conversions, minimize risk, introduce operational efficiencies, and deliver great customer experiences, eBay Enterprise said.

It’s not clear when the joint solution will be rolled out.

Potential Impact

“The announcement is very attractive to both existing and new customers,” remarked Ray Wang, principal analyst atConstellation Research.

“Consider Demandware the front end and eBay Enterprise’s offering the back end that makes the front end more efficient and smarter. They work hand in hand and address a gap many customers have had,” he told CRM Buyer.

Demandware “has a great customer base; eBay has a more modern architecture,” Wang said. The joint solution will “help Demandware customers who seek to modernize an older platform.”

However, the announcement “is unlikely to make existing eBay Enterprise customers that are using another commerce platform today jump to Demandware unless their existing platform is aging or in need of a significant upgrade,” observed Nucleus Research’s Wettemann.

eBay’s Evolution

eBay Enterprise is owned by a group of investors — Sterling Partners, Longview Asset Management, Innotrac, and companies owned by the Permira Funds — that purchased it from eBay last year for US$925 million.

The investors then spun out Magento, an open source e-commerce platform that eBay had acquired back in 2011 to serve as one of the pillars of its X.commerce ecosystem together with PayPal, Milo and RedLaser. PayPal wasspun off last year.

Importance of Omnichannel Strategies

Consumers increasingly are accessing online stores from mobile devices in a variety of ways — through search engines, directly from a retailer’s site, and through social media and other apps — giving rise to data that retailers need to track.

The move to engage customers online has spawned yet another source of consumer data.

Additionally, consumers often want to be able to continue conversations they began in one medium in yet another medium.

All of that makes omnichannel support critical for businesses.

“The market is shifting as CRM is changing to include commerce,” Constellation Research’s Wang said. “Right now, companies expect to deliver from campaign to commerce, and we can expect more partnerships and acquisitions in this space in the next 12 to 18 months.”

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it's all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon's Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+.

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