Forrester Research assesses e-commerce suites for their strength of offering and strategy. The results are published in The Forrester Wave™ which has just been published for both B2C and B2B e-commerce suites.
“We believe that our placement as a Strong Performer in both Forrester Wave reports, along with the exciting new brands we’ve launched on the platform, validate the market shifting toward our open SaaS, best-of-breed approach to ecommerce.”Brent Bellm, Chief Executive Officer at BigCommerce
Why is Microservice a BIG Deal?
Lets think of the two options for running a digital commerce system:
- Monolithic – The majority of services come from one provider.
- Microservice – Each service is from a specialist provider integrated via API.
Microservice systems offer merchants a more competitive and lower risk long term solution. Choosing the right IT system is a process of assessing risk vs reward, so let’s take a look at some important considerations:
- Innovation – Vision drives innovation, often the best ideas come from new companies that bring new thinking to existing problems and challenges. For companies that offer specialised IT systems, they will put 100% of their R&D budget and talent strategy into making their service even better. Companies with diversified offerings have to spread their focus across their offerings.
- Offering – A monolithic platforms offers multiple services within their system. On the surface, this is appealing. If they offer all the things a merchant needs to run e-commerce then that makes a lot of sense. The problem is, every merchant is different – different strategy, product offering, operational processes, and incumbent systems to work with. Even in a single industry like footwear and apparel, there are many differences in selling shoes vs clothes. Finding one system that does all you need is rare because that system can’t be all things to everyone, so the best it can be is most things to many.
- Risk – In a microservice system, you spread your risk. Let’s say you have the option to choose 1 monolithic system or 5 microservices integrated into one system. Choosing the monolithic option means you are all-in on that system. If that company folds or fails to deliver on the roadmap you were sold on, then changing to a new system will be costly in terms of time and money. If you choose the microservice, you are still at risk of one of the companies in your system folding or failing to deliver. Let’s use the example of Termando, any merchants using their service had to quickly migrate to one of their competitors. Being just one part of the overall system the impact of this change was contained. Termando’s competitors were quick to take advantage of the situation and help merchants with a smooth transition to their service. Overall, as a merchant changing one part of a system is much easier than overhauling the entire system.
- Competitive Advantage – In a competitive business environment, merchants are looking for an edge over their competitors. These are what change the game for all players. The speed of innovation in this industry requires merchants to stay agile and to stay competitive. Similar to the way we see risk being reduced by a microservice, we also see reward increased. By its very nature, the microservice has more innovation built into the system. The innovation is coming from multiple vendors all striving to improve their offering and dominate their niche. Ultimately, the merchants benefit and are freer to select the best service for them.
Merchants that implement a microservice strategy are better positioned to navigate the rapid evolution of e-commerce and succeed over competitors. Partnering with an agency that understands this strategy is the best way to acquire the capability to innovate and execute this strategy.
Platform Assessments in APAC
As BigCommerce specialists we’ve been brought into many platform assessment processes as an implementation partner. We are often brought in when the merchant has shortlisted the platforms under consideration and want to get an idea of how the agency would implement their chosen platform. Choice of platform is critical for the merchant, but so is choosing an agency that understands a client’s vision and can execute it using the chosen technology.
In this process we see merchants considering BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, Epi Server, SAP and Salesforce.
Shopify and BigCommerce are often considered side by side as they both have strong SaaS offerings. Shopify has a strong brand and plenty of local agency expertise that can implement Shopify developments. It’s popular with recognisable B2C based brands, especially in the fashion industry.
Where To Next For BigCommerce?
As the BigCommerce roadmap rolls out, we will see their offering strengthen and fit the use-cases of more merchants, both B2C and B2B. The structures within BigCommerce allow for B2C and B2B customer groups to be catered for through the one frontend site. Future multi-storefront updates will allow for a more nuanced approach to both customer groups.
We see innovations within the platform leading to more flexibility and control over storefronts. Advancements in the handling of currency, inventory and merchandising will see storefronts being built specific to regions and brands from a single BigCommerce account. Storefronts will be built to be more targeted to the customer, increasing relevance and conversion. Tight system integrations with BigCommerce will create operational and management efficiency, as a single system can produce multiple customer-facing channels.
As BigCommerce continues to perform strongly its credibility will increase attracting investment from third-party vendors in the e-commerce space. This will build more depth to the ecosystem, and create more powerful microservice systems.
Behind the technology, the approachable, cooperative and strategically minded people at BigCommerce will build relationships that will attract and retain a more significant portfolio of merchants.
To learn more about our views on the BigCommerce platform fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.