How to Choose an Ecommerce Platform

Sean Walsh

May 20, 2021

Evaluating & Evolving

2020 taught us a lot about how to navigate the ever-changing landscape of retail in this day and age. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was almost as if every business needed to find a way to conduct commerce digitally in order to survive.

Thanks to this driver, the digital operating model, and more specifically the technology that will enable the digital experience in the ecommerce platform has become more of a focal point in boardrooms then ever before.

When should I undertake a selection for a new ecommerce platform?

There are a few indicators that can determine when it’s time to look for a new ecommerce platform. Every business is different, but some of the most common factors are:

  • We do not have any ecommerce technology. The starting point, good news is you have a clean slate to build a solid foundation.

  • Our technology doesn’t have the functionality we need. Examples of this may be a business that has historically had a direct to consumer presence and now wants to enable ecommerce for their wholesale consumer. Be cautious about extending a technology to B2B that isn’t built for the complexities of such an environment.

  • Our wide technology environment has changed. Changes to other technology in the business that interoperates with your ecommerce platform may mean your current technology is no longer the best fit moving forward.

How should I approach selecting a new ecommerce platform?

With the transformation or migration of your ecommerce platform taking place so infrequently, the majority of businesses may not have the experience available internally to manage a process such as this effectively.

A framework that we have developed here at Pattern for supporting our clients and partners navigate this process is the 8 D’s of technology selection.

8 D's of Technology Selection - Ecommerce Platform Pattern Blog

A business can, and should go as deep as they need to in each of the framework areas to achieve the outcome, ultimately the goal of the framework is to help drive a final decision that everyone is truly comfortable meets the needs of the business. Some of the considerations we when running this process are:

  • Take people on the journey. It’s important that all stakeholders are kept abreast of the process and any key decision points. Gone are the days where a selection was run in an IT or Digital silo. Omnichannel experiences means your retail and logistics teams play a key role in what the ecommerce platform will be tasked with delivering.

  • Determine KPI’s for the technology. Technology change is inherently driven by business strategy, especially when the technology is customer facing. Ensure that you have metrics or outcomes attached to the selected technology, it will help with both the transformation development and the business-as-usual functions.

  • Seek independent guidance. We are extremely fortunate to have such a high number of very good partners in the network today. Partners typically only specialise in a subset of the technologies available in the market and will have limited understanding of other technologies available. Ensure you are seeing the complete opportunity to best fit your business needs.

  • Understand your investment capacity upfront. This should be your total investment, which will include technology, platform, and people costs over a multi-year period.

Platform or Partner, what’s more important?

There is a very valid argument for both sides of this debate, however here at Pattern we see them as begin of equal strategic importance. It’s pivotal to treat your technology platform and implementation partner as a single relationship. You cannot understate the importance of a trusted partner that for the most part, holds the keys to the growth vehicle that you are investing in. A strategic partner can help you get the most out of the technology and ensure you are focusing on the right areas in a prioritized way. When reviewing your technology platforms as part of the process, ensure you are vetting the partner with the same robust process. Delve into their experience with the platform, your vertical, your stage in your business journey.

What platforms should I consider?

Ecommerce platforms are not a one size fits all, and for good reason as business inherently have differing needs technically, commercially, and strategically. For this reason, a side-by-side comparison of platforms will likely only provide the tip of the iceberg in terms of what these ecommerce platforms can do for your business and may provide more questions than answers.

That said, if you are looking at a starting point for your ecommerce platform conversations the below technology providers are present in the majority of businesses we have worked with in the Australian retail market.

  • Business to consumer (B2C). Adobe Commerce (Magento), Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Shopify & Shopify Plus, Big Commerce, Commerce Tools

  • Business to business (B2B). SAP Commerce, Adobe Commerce (Magento), Big Commerce, Optimizely (Episerver), Commerce Tools, Oro Commerce

Get in touch

If you’d like to work with a dedicated team of tech specialists who understand just how to make the most out of your ecosystem, contact us today and connect with a member from our team.

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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters]( Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News]( Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail]( DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail]( The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (20th September 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 20th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to raise pay and add extra work benefits for delivery drivers Following the rise in fuel prices and protests by Amazon workers, the ecommerce giant is raising its delivery drivers’ pay and adding more work benefits. Amazon has mentioned that it will be investing $450 million into rate increases along with an education program and a Delivery Service Partners program. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon announces it will give away shipping software to merchants at no cost Amazon has recently announced that it will be giving ecommerce merchants free software to manage shopper orders on and off its platform as it extends its reach. The ecommerce giant will be ending monthly costs for sellers using Veeqo, a shipping software it recently acquired and instead offer to them a new, free shipping software. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Walmart unveils new virtual fitting rooms In an effort to drive clothing sales, Walmart has launched virtual fitting rooms while competitors reduce spending amid the cost of living crisis. The virtual try-on tool can be used by Walmart customers to virtually measure the clothing items and see how the products would look on them. Shoppers will now be able to see how over 270,000 clothing items on Walmart’s ecommerce site would look on their bodies. [Read more on Charged Retail]( THG slashes sales and profit expectations The Hut Group has slashed its forecasts for 2022 as rising interest rates, inflation and energy costs take a toll on consumers. Previously, THG estimated its sales growth to be between 22-25% but after a recent evaluation, has lowered this prediction to between 10-15%. Initial predictions did not take into account the negative effects of ceasing sales in Russia and Ukraine along with the impact that the cost-of-living has had on consumer spending. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- DHL and Post Office team up to provide click and collect services Through a partnership between delivery company, DHL and Post Office, a new click and collect service is to be tested at Post Offices before rolling out to over 1000 branches across the UK. Online shoppers will now have the option of choosing their local Post Office as a collection point, and DHL will fulfil the delivery aspect, opening up networks for both parties. [Read more on Charged Retail]( US consumer watchdog plans to further regulate the BNPL sector The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has raised concerns regarding the collection of consumer data and the fast-growing nature of the BNPL sector, which includes companies such as Affirm and Klarna. The CFPB is worried that these companies could be negatively impacting consumers’ financial health and aims to put better regulations in place to ensure consumers are safe and empowered. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Japanese ecommerce market estimated to grow by 6.9% in 2022 The ecommerce market in Japan, largely dominated by domestic online retailers including Reakuten and Mercari, is set to reach $194.3 billion USD in 2022, after seeing an annual compound growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021. This makes Japan the fourth leading ecommerce market globally, following China, the US, and the UK. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Ecommerce brands are spending more on TikTok ads TikTok may soon be surpassing Facebook and Google as the most lucrative advertising channel, with ecommerce brands spending 60% more on TikTok ads in Q2. Facebook is still ahead as the top choice for ecommerce advertisers but only grew by 5.6% from Q1, while Google grew 20.5% in Q2, and Snap declined 10.8% in Q2. [Read more on SearchEngineLand](

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (13th September 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 13th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon scales back on US warehouse facilities Amazon is shutting down two facilities with 300 employees, discarding plans for 42 facilities, and delaying plans to open a further 21 buildings across the US. The ecommerce giant is scaling back on hiring as well as the expansion of its vast delivery network, as it was left with an excess of space following its rapid expansion during the pandemic. [Read more on Business Insider]( --- Other Marketplace News --- is ‘betting’ on ecommerce grocery market Amidst a slowing economy and a decline in ecommerce, Chinese ecommerce giant has increased its urgency to seek new growth engines. The company is looking to boost its online grocery business through offline partnerships and expansion into lower-tier cities, where it may be able to unleash more consumption power. [Read more on The Star]( Shopee shuts operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico Sea’s ecommerce arm, Shopee, has shut local operations in some LATAM countries but will continue to maintain cross-border operations in a few markets. Latin America is Sea’s most important region following South-east Asia, accounting for close to 19% of its revenue in 2021. The move away from these countries is largely due to increased levels of macro uncertainty and rising interest and inflation rates, and rather putting a focus on its core operations. [Read more on Straits Times]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Instagram scales back in-stream shopping elements Instagram is re-examining its approach as it hasn’t been able to make ‘fetch’ happen. ‘Fetch’ in this context being the online shopping trends which have become all-consuming in China, and what Western social platforms have been hoping to add into their apps to make them more addictive and revenue-generating. Consumers have not been swayed by the latest shopping tools on TikTok and Instagram, leading to Instagram scaling back its in-stream shopping program. [Read more on SocialMediaToday]( FedEx Express supporting the growth of cross border ecommerce FedEx express has expanded its international commerce shipping service to four more markets across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region in an effort to support the strong development of ecommerce in this region. Three of the fastest growing markets, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam are leading Southeast Asia’s ecommerce sales, which is set to reach $100 billion by 2023. [Read more on Post & Parcel]( India ramps up hiring as companies prepare for shoppers Ecommerce companies are getting ready for the festive season by rapidly expanding their temporary workforce. As ecommerce in India grows, the country is predicted to have 372 million online shoppers by the end of 2022. The festive season this year, running from October to December, is expected to see a two-fold increase in logistics and delivery alone. During this period, companies are predicted to add 20% more to their existing workforce base, with a 8-10% higher pay scale compared to last year. [Read more on Business Insider India](