With growth comes investment, so given that eBusinesses across the globe continue to experience double-digit compound annual online sales growth, it should come as little surprise that 66% of these same firms are planning to increase their investment in commerce technology in 2014. In my latest research report “Commerce Technology Investment And Platform Trends — 2013”, Forrester polled 49 eBusiness leaders to understand their investment and technology implementation plans for the next 12 months. Here’s what the top of the investment priority list looks like:
- Omnichannel Execution. Omnichannel initiatives have become a major focus for every retailer and brand with a physical brick-and-mortar presence. eBusiness teams (and their counterparts in store operations) are rushing to implement the following programs among others: pickup-in/ship-to store, store inventory visibility, ship from store, and associate enablement.
- eCommerce Replatforming. eCommerce platforms are the backbone of any digital channel, and replacing legacy home-grown systems or outdated (and often unsupported) platforms remains a top priority. With these platforms now supporting omnichannel programs such as “buy-online, pick-up in-store”, having a scalable and flexible platform that can support future growth is an imperative.
- Content Management. Content is king. With the proliferation of digital touchpoints, swelling product catalogs and a growing focus on rich and personalized content, half of eBusiness teams are planning to implement web content management tools in the next 12 months. They are investing in WCM tools to provide content governance in a landscape where merchandising teams are growing and demands for rapid content creation and publishing have reached new levels.
Beyond these 3 priorities eBusiness leaders have a long laundry list of other technology implementation projects they want to tackle, including mobile, customer insights and product content management. As they embark on these initiatives, they face the challenge of choosing between an assembled set of "best-of-breed" solutions from a variety of different vendors and making strategic bets with a few vendors to reduce integration complexity; lower total cost of ownership; and have fewer "throats to choke". There is no right or wrong answer to this conundrum, however the report takes a close look at the way eBusiness leaders are choosing to procure these solutions.