Fantastic news for retailers: the ecommerce marketplace is maturing and the cost of ecommerce platforms is generally declining.
However the demand for services and solutions remains high, which means there’s an ever-growing appetite for new functionality to help businesses increase sales, improve customer engagement, reduce costs and extend their reach.
Our second annual Technology for Ecommerce Report, published by Econsultancy and sponsored by Neoworks takes a look at the most important aspects of ecommerce functionality and integration, and how companies rate the performance of their solutions in these areas.
The research is based on a survey of more than 600 client-side and agency ecommerce business professionals and also looks at spending trends, challenges, and the use of implementers and integrators.
Here are a few key takeaways from the report.
62% of companies favour a customised package solution
In 2015, almost two-thirds of companies favour a customised package or solution as their ecommerce technology of choice over other solutions, such as packaged applications (20%) and on-demand SaaS (15%).
The research also reveals that smaller companies are more likely to use out-of-the-box solutions, while bigger ones tend to invest in customised solutions.
Nearly three-quarters (71%) of UK companies generating £50m or more from ecommerce use customised solutions. Only 14% use packaged applications, compared to two in five (41%) organisations with annual ecommerce revenues of less than £1m.
Mobile-supported ecommerce is seen as the most important functionality
Retailers now recognise the need to optimise for mobile devices, as mobile supported ecommerce is seen as a ‘critical’ function of ecommerce solutions by three in five (59%) companies. An additional 39% regard mobile support as ‘important’.
When selecting an ecommerce solution, how important are the following types of functionality? (company respondents)
As we saw in 2014, high-quality site search functionality (54%), product management (53%) and content management system (51%) have remained high on the list.
However, these aspects have taken a backseat to mobile-supported ecommerce, which is regarded as ‘critical’ by 20% more companies compared to last year.
Mobile support is set to become even more vital to companies as Google changes its algorithm to use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.
Integration with current and legacy systems still most significant challenge
Despite the significant opportunities afforded to them, there still are many challenges that retailers face when choosing and adopting an ecommerce platform.
The proportion of those citing integration with current/legacy systems (44%) and building a personalised shopping experience (40%) increased only slightly since last year’s survey.
What are the most significant tech-related challenges you face in growing your ecommerce business? (company trends)
Organisations that are satisfied with how their ecommerce solutions are performing are in the minority, however optimistically ‘limited capability of current ecommerce solution’ is seen as a challenge by 17% fewer respondents compared to last year.
Email database and CRM system most common areas for integration
In order to understand the extent of integration, we asked company and agency respondents to state which areas they are currently integrating with their ecommerce platform.
As was the case last year, the two most common areas for integration for both companies and agencies were email database (61% and 69% respectively) and CRM (52% and 66% respectively).
The percentage of organisations integrating their ecommerce platforms with fraud systems (26%) and Enterprise Resource Planning (28%) has increased by 30% and 27% respectively since last year. The largest increase for agencies was warehouse fulfilment, increasing by 35% to 50%.
For more insight, download the full 87 page report: Technology for Ecommerce Report 2015