This week, Forrester Research, Inc., announced a new report on e-commerce solutions. The Forrester Wave: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012 report found that commerce technology investment remains strong, with 56% of companies reporting plans to increase spending by 5% or more, and 18% of companies plan to increase spending by at least 20% in 2012 compared with 2011. According to the report, this level of investment is primarily driven by the ongoing growth of online and mobile channels, with online retail growth averaging 12% in the US and Europe. In my opinion, this report provides important validation for our Smarter Commerce strategy because it highlights the need for companies to transform their entire commerce lifecycle. For example, the report states, “The way we think of eBusiness technology has fundamentally changed. No longer are businesses selecting a set of solutions and technologies to launch a site; they are now selecting technologies that can support marketing, shopping, buying, and service capabilities across a multitude of customer touchpoints.”
In addition to changes in how companies approach the sales transaction, Forrester also foresees changes in how companies fulfill those transactions. The report states, “Tomorrow’s orders will be sourced from a wide variety of locations that include not only the fulfillment center but also drop-ship vendors, distributors, stores, and third-party logistics providers that may either regionally stage high-demand products or support seasonal inventory volumes — or both. Order management capabilities are critical to driving a high-quality consumer experience.” IBM was ranked as a leader among global business-to-consumer (B2C) enterprise-class commerce suite vendors. Forrester listed numerous facets in IBM’s solution, including:
- A highly flexible and scalable enterprise B2C eCommerce solution
- A strengthened suite through the added capabilities of IBM’s Sterling Commerce OMS solution, and product integrations with Coremetrics and Unica solutions
- A rich set of eCommerce capabilities that include flexible, service-oriented architecture (SOA) enabling the product to be extended and customized
- A strong product strategy that is focused on core product enhancements, including a build out of a comprehensive suite of multi-channel capabilities.
This year, IBM has seen significant interest in its commerce solutions, from companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch, the American Marketing Association, C&A, Radio Shack, and Roca. The company also introduced IBM Commerce on Cloud, the industry’s first integrated enterprise class e-commerce solution in the cloud that spans marketing, selling and fulfillment. IBM Commerce on Cloud brings the power of the IBM portfolio delivering Smarter Commerce to clients who prefer a Cloud deployment model, providing a prescriptive approach for rapid on-boarding and fast time-to-value.