I can explain the evolution of commerce technology using plate tectonics — really! Now imagine me telling you that commerce is no longer the nucleus of the commerce technology atom (… and that I could even mix a metaphor about Gremlins into this conversation).

It’s true — the commerce core is shrinking away.

We already knew the commerce suite was dead. But even our legacy notion of the commerce platform has become splintered by new, microservices-based architecture that picks functional bits out of their previous homes and sets them free.

So what does the ecosystem look like now?

Commerce tech ecosystems are developing dual cores at either end as businesses assemble their own “curated suites” of solutions. Replacing commerce as the core, the new dual-focused stack favors:

  • Experience and assets on one end
  • Operations and orchestration on the other

At the same time, the all-in-one commerce solution is making a triumphant comeback, though not in the same form as the old-school, standalone platforms we remember. Rather, these new systems are on FIRE: flexible, inexpensive, rapid, and easy. These solutions:

  • Enable incredible agility and speed.
  • Contain just enough functionality in areas adjacent to commerce (like content management and product information management).
  • Unite administration under modern, highly usable interfaces.

Digital businesses evolving their tech stack now have two decision points to make:

  1. First, they pick a model.
  2. Then, they choose a vendor within the chosen model.

The future is here and commerce technology vendors will have to pick a lane to stay relevant to the market. As businesses embark on this two-step selection process, vendors must easily identify themselves to prospects as either the curated suite model or the FIRE all-in-one model — or they simply won’t make it onto shortlists.

Read more about what’s happening in commerce technology in my new report The Future Of Commerce Technology: Commerce Platforms End With An Ecosystem On FIRE.

How I Can Help

I work with digital business leaders to determine which model is best for them and which vendor is the best fit within each model. I also work with vendors to help them shore up their messaging, get clear on their target market, and ensure they’re giving their prospects the opportunity to self-identify themselves as a good fit.

Get in touch to discuss this further — especially if you were just reading along waiting to see how Gremlins were going to be relevant. Extra credit if so — I’d be happy to explain!