Where Does Commerce Technology Investment Stand Today?

As customer behavior continues to evolve, and digital channels become ever more important to businesses, eBusiness budgets have been steadily rising since 2008. In 2010, the average company invested $34.4 million on their customer-facing online presence, and the average mobile and social spending both passed the $2 million per year mark. There has also strong growth is spending in eCommerce technology, with nearly two-thirds of eBusiness professionals citing an increase in eCommerce technology investment in 2011.

So where do firms stand today? Help us find out by taking our latest eBusiness & Channel Strategy Panel Survey on eBusiness budgets and commerce technology investment. It will take only about 10-15 minutes to complete. We invite Forrester clients and non-clients alike to participate in the survey. For non-clients, as a thank you for completing the survey you will be given a choice of one of three complimentary Forrester reports.

I really appreciate your help in understanding the state of eBusiness budgets and spending and we look forward to putting that research together for you. 

Click here to take the eBusiness survey

How to Start Your eCommerce Business in China

China has become the leading emerging market for many Western brands and retailers. For many businesses, the growing spending power of high-income consumers and the middle class in China has become a compelling growth engine. For luxury brands, China is already a huge growth market, and many Western companies have had a brand presence in China for many years, albeit often with counterfeit products and even whole counterfeit stores. But as the economy grows in China and consumer thirst for foreign brands increases, companies will be compelled to consider an online direct-to-consumer presence due in-part to the following factors:

  • The scope of the Chinese market is immense. Not only is China one of the largest in the world by area, it already had more than 171 cities with more than 1 million inhabitants as of the country’s last census, which has likely increased markedly in the last 10 years. While launching physical stores in core markets such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen may be feasible, reaching even just the top-tier cities is extremely challenging operationally, particularly for a Western brand or retailer. eCommerce presents an important way to reach consumers across the entire country while complementing any decision to invest in core physical retail operations.
Read more

Adobe Partners With hybris: What It Means

Adobe recently announced its partnership with hybris. This deal has been a poorly kept secret as Adobe waited to make public announcements at its customer summit even after it has been out selling the joint solution and working with partners. Adobe is integrating the hybris commerce platform with  Adobe's Web Experience Management (WEM) solutions, an artist formerly known as Day CQ5. This is intended to add commerce capabilities to the CMS/CXM solution represented by WEM. Companies should consider a number of things when evaluating this product relationship between hybris and Adobe, including:

Read more

Online Marketplaces Set To Proliferate

It seems online marketplaces are cropping up everywhere. Retailers, software companies, media companies, and consumer electronics makers are using marketplaces as a means to enhance and augment their own offerings with products made, owned, and distributed by third-party retailers, distributors, developers, and brands. The most successful examples of these today are of course Amazon’s Marketplace, eBay, Apple’s App Store, and Valve’s Steamworks. But based on numerous inquiries of late, soon we will see many, many more marketplaces online. Key reasons why we are seeing the proliferation of marketplaces in the next 18-24 months:

  • For retailers, it’s about growing the assortment without the inventory risk. Larger scale pure-play online retailers and multichannel retailers look to the significant growth of Amazon.com’s marketplace — which today comprises approximately 35% of Amazon’s gross retail sales — and wonder if they could also benefit from a marketplace. Adding a marketplace provides the opportunity to extend the product assortment and available pool of inventory without taking on the inventory risk and expense of merchandising, buying, warehousing, and shipping an assortment in unproven categories. For some it may be even a way to bring licensed products under a brand umbrella. Amazon’s model is to take roughly half the margin of the products sold — based on expected margin by category — as the fair value of driving that demand, but they bear none of the inventory sourcing, carrying, or logistical costs.
Read more