In our newly published “The Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q2 2020,” we evaluated the 10 most significant commerce vendors in the B2C space along 31 criteria: Adobe, BigCommerce, commercetools, Elastic Path Software, Episerver, Kibo Commerce, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, and Sitecore.

The Leaders for B2C in 2020 are Adobe, Salesforce, and commercetools. Adobe’s strategic acquisition and further development of the Magento platform allowed the solution to graduate from its position as a Strong Performer in our 2018 evaluation. Salesforce held strong in its position as a Leader in B2C commerce.

In a major move for headless providers, commercetools catapulted to a Leader position in 2020 from a Contender in 2018. This change indicates a fundamental shift in the commerce technology industry as more merchants embrace microservices and move away from an all-in-one suite approach to their stack.

In 2018, we noted that vendors were making investments in more seamless upgrades and were shifting from on-premises solutions to the cloud. These changes have accelerated in the two years since, and merchants now expect these modern features as table stakes.

For merchants and brands, we recommend selecting a commerce provider that:

  • Streamlines integrations — and choice. Merchants want to select their own best-fit providers for each need within their tech ecosystem. Look for partner solutions now that are offered as “plug and play” apps or as preintegrated, complementary services. The keys are that the connections between these systems are prebuilt by the providers (or by development partners and then certified by the providers) and that there are multiple options per functional area. This means that vendors must support easy implementation of competing solutions.
  • Offers true cloud-based, software-as-a-service offerings. Frequent, painless, transparent upgrades are mandatory, and versionless offerings are becoming more common. With customization and front-end experience development moving away from the commerce platform, upgrades and improvements can roll out much more easily.
  • Prioritizes the business user experience. Tech providers must unify operations and create efficient workflows for merchants. Providers that add value by bringing multiple tools into their own user interfaces and creating effective processes that simplify daily work will win as business leaders seek partners — not just providers — in their commerce technology.

You can read our full Wave evaluation here and our preceding 2020 Now Tech report here.

Merchants, brands, and retailers: Please schedule an inquiry or advisory with me to see how to use this report to identify the best-fit solutions for your needs. I’ll walk you through my findings and help you adjust the report to identify the vendors that should make your shortlist.

Commerce vendors and commerce-related solution providers: Please schedule your inquiry or advisory with me to discuss what my findings mean for the industry and your offering. Let’s discuss how you fit into this changing world and identify the partnership opportunities for you moving forward.

(Brandon Shaik contributed to this blog post.)