As an Oracle Commerce Cloud or ATG/Oracle Commerce customer, the news that Oracle is laying off its platform developers is troubling, to say the least. Worse, those who remain say they’re actively looking for new jobs. This doesn’t bode well for any eCommerce business that relies on its eCommerce platform to engage with customers and sell products.
Obviously, it’s a prudent move to migrate to another eCommerce platform sooner rather than later. Which platform should you consider?
There are plenty of options to choose; Magento Commerce, Shopify Plus, BigCommerce, IBM WebSphere, and SAP Hybris Commerce are well-known players.
Clearly, we can’t fit into a single blog post a complete analysis of every platform, so let’s just look at some of the big and current business considerations that will affect your decision.
The right platform is the one that suits the business model of your organization. Are you a B2B, B2C, DTC company, or combination of multiple models? Some eCommerce platforms like Shopify Plus and BigCommerce are essentially designed for B2C retailers, though they offer some B2B functionality. If you’re a B2B company, or a manufacturer who intends to launch a DTC channel in the future, Magento Commerce, IBM Websphere, or SAP Hybris Commerce may be better options for you.
How extensive is your product catalog? If it’s in the 100K range or highly configurable, your best option is to select a platform designed to handle large product catalogs. Magento Commerce, for instance, offers unlimited catalog size.
This is an important consideration when replatforming. You want to ensure that the platform you migrate to will serve your business for a long time to come. Growth comes in many forms:
- more sales and higher AOV
- a larger customer base
- a more extensive product catalog
- the introduction of new or acquired brands
- entrance into new geographies or market segments
Not all platforms support all of these elements of growth. For example, BigCommerce and Shopify Plus will require you to maintain separate instances of their software for each brand you introduce. Some, such as BigCommerce and Shopify Plus, tie their fees to your revenue; the more you earn, the more you pay. Others, like SAP Hybris Commerce, charge you a $1.00 fee for every user who registers on your website. Those fees can add up if your goal is to gain millions of customers.
Be sure to document your growth plans so you can ask each vendor how they can support your company as it grows.
Open Source vs. Closed Source
Are you interested in an open-source platform? An advantage of an open-source platform is that any developer can download the code for free and use it to create innovative extensions and plug-ins. For instance, Magento has a strong community with more than 150,000 developers and 300 Magento partners that offer additional compatibilities through extension.
With closed systems, like SAP Hybris Commerce, customers are reliant on SAP to provide details for development purposes. If you opt for that platform, you will have less access to out-of-the-box functionality from third parties. The lower-end closed products like BigCommerce and Shopify have vibrant developer communities, though they’re not as large as Magento’s.
Internal Skill Set/Access to Developer Resources
Consider the resources you have at your disposal to enhance your site on an ongoing basis. What programs are they well versed in? Magento Commerce is built in PHP, while SAP Hybris is built in Java Spring. Shopify Plus is in Liquid, an open-source template language created by Shopify and written in Ruby.
Ready access to the skills should be a key criterion in your selection process.
Speed to Market
Obviously, if you’re concerned about the lack of support you’re likely to receive from Oracle as it goes through rounds of layoffs, your goal is to get up and run as quickly as possible. Some implementations, such as Shopify Plus and BigCommerce, are lightning-fast, as they are template driven. If you’re a mature business that requires a fair to a high degree of customization, these platforms may not meet your needs in the long run, a situation you certainly want to avoid.
While every implementation is unique, in our experience, the process for the non-templated solutions are as such:
|Magento Commerce Cloud||SAP Hybris|
|With no integration||3 months||6 to 10 months|
|With integrations||4 to 5 months|
The bottom line is: you need a platform that will allow you to grow in terms of products offered, new brands launched, new channels opened, and new markets entered.
Choosing your eCommerce is one of the most important decisions you will make, and it’s one that requires careful consideration. Ziffity is happy to help you document your needs, identify table stakes functionality, and make a decision that’s right for you.