Independent Study Shows Retailers & Manufacturers are Increasingly Reliant on E-Commerce Partners
hybris, the world’s fastest-growing commerce platform provider, today announced the results of a study that it has commissioned from Forrester Consulting entitled “The Path to Commerce Service Provider Maturity”, dated May 2013. The goal of the study was to gain insight into the demands on today’s e-commerce leaders and how commerce service providers (CSP) may need to evolve to better meet their needs.
The research, which involved a quantitative survey with 156 marketing, IT & e-commerce professionals at European firms with at least $20m in online revenues (and an additional combined quantitative/qualitative survey with senior executives at 21 European CSP firms), showed that 56% of senior e-commerce decision-makers have an active relationship with a commerce service provider, whereas only 12% have historically had such a relationship, and 21% currently have no CSP connections but plan to within the next four years.
The increasing use of CSPs can be attributed to the growing complexity of commerce and the need for e-commerce businesses to serve their customers across multiple channels and multiple touchpoints according to Frank Schoutissen, Vice President Channel at hybris; “With the fast changing face of commerce, and consumers demanding ever more flexible and dynamic ways to buy, both on and offline, many businesses are finding it challenging to make their e-commerce solutions scale to meet these expectations. As such, CSPs are seen as a valuable asset to help extend the technology to meet these demands. At hybris, we have worked hard to ensure the excellence of the partners that we work with, so that our customers have a CSP that can meet their exact requirements.”
The study shows that around 90% of CSPs surveyed agreed that the demand to provide multi-channel commerce is behind the increased complexity of the projects they are delivering. Enterprises are looking across the entire business to see how to drive revenue from sales and integrate this—no-longer simply viewing e-commerce in isolation. Another driver is mobile commerce, with 59% of enterprises surveyed in the study stating that they have worked with a CSP to help support this increasingly important channel and to integrate it with the rest of the sell-side of the business.
Supporting the views of the CSPs, the Forrester study states; “Today's commerce technology projects are complex, and growing e-commerce revenues mean the bets are getting bigger. e-Commerce executives are increasingly reliant on partners to help them architect, select, implement and support their commerce technology while simultaneously seeking collaboration with strategy and customer experience.”
“While many e-commerce decision-makers see the value of working with CSPs, it is crucial that they chose the right partners. We always put our customers first and focus on the value they will get from our selection of partners and CSPs so that they can gain the maximum value from our solutions and unlock the potential they have to support complex and innovative omni-channel sales,” continued Schoutissen.
However, in its key recommendations, Forrester states; “On paper, commerce service providers have a sea of opportunity in front of them, but many lack the maturity to meet the increasingly complex demands of their clients. CSPs must find their niche, be it in retail, high tech, consumer products, healthcare, or telco. Deep industry expertise is a must for CSPs – clients demand it. Being a jack of all trades, but master of none simply won’t cut it – retailers expect deep expertise in online, store operations and supply chain while manufacturers will demand help with channels, ERP integration and field sales.”
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