Visionaries see things far beyond the present moment, things that seem far away for most observers yet they grasp them as if they are at their fingertips. While they fight today’s challenges with appetite, their true passion comes from shaping what is yet to come.
Within the domain of digital commerce, visionaries reveal the future through the vectors they point to, the growth areas they spotlight, and the nascent trends they push. Unlike much of the industry, somewhat content with the status quo and how things have been established, visionaries welcome risk-taking through novel ideas. In fact, they reach for them as readily as flowers turn to the sun.
Through unorthodox approaches and staying ahead by championing innovation and imagination – what truly makes visionaries. And while visionaries may sometimes lack execution dexterity, they are best at understanding the industry’s future trajectory and potential to alter market dynamics.
Market leaders are somewhat similar to celebrities – they possess an aura of success and crowds ready to consume their production with eyes wide open.
These industry giants and leaders hold a lion’s share of the market; their ecosystems are constructed on solid and fail-safe foundations. They provide all-in-one solutions that successfully solve the numerous difficulties consumers encounter, based on tried-and-true methods.
What about visionaries, you ask – aren’t they just wanna-be leaders? Well, no. They possess another mindset, viewpoint, and optics. They are uncomfortable with traditional answers and want to disrupt the status quo.
Visionaries are continuously seeking to question and replace established processes and technology. They thrive on innovation and are motivated to provide solutions that push the limits of the industry.
What makes a visionary attitude resilient? What are the pillars and superpowers of a visionary ecommerce platform?
It’s all about adding something new – something established over rules of the game. One of the superpowers of visionaries is innovation in its product offerings, features, or technology at a next level, a next generation.
Vision and Strategy
Visionaries gaze at their crystal balls with the smiles of cats noticing prey, not only do they have intuition – they anticipate future market shifts, mastering their clear vision and strategic roadmap for the future of digital commerce.
Trendsetters go beyond intuition and rely on comprehensive market analysis and an in-depth understanding of the digital commerce industry. They gather and interpret data to make sense of the chaos, providing forward-thinking solutions that cater to evolving customer needs.
Adaptability and Extensibility
Cutting-edge platforms ensure the future-proofing of their customers’ assets. They understand the risks associated with platform lock-ins and offer solutions that enable seamless migration, avoiding significant disruptions. These visionary digital commerce platforms empower companies to expand operations, handle increased traffic, and integrate new functionalities without major setbacks.
Top 5 cutting-edge digital commerce platforms
|A composable commerce platform enabling microservices architecture. Allows for headless and progressive delivery models.
|Large B2B/Enterprise customers
|Packaged Business Capabilities, PaaS + Cloud, App Composition Platform, Code Updater, Software Development Kit, State Machine, Spryker Middleware
|By use cases:
Digital Self Service
Product as a Service
CMOs & Business
CIOs & IT
CFOs & Finance
|A digital commerce platform featuring APIs, headless capabilities and localization support for global selling.
|Large global brands and retailers. Mostly B2C.
|Digital commerce platform, OMS, VTEX IO development platform, Marketplace and Seller Management, Live shopping, etc.
|By use case:
Consumer Packaged Goods
|An open source B2B eCommerce platform focused on customization.
|B2B, especially companies with complex requirements like multiple pricing, workflows.
|Corporate Account Management, Access Controls, Roles, & Permissions, Personalized B2B Catalog Management, Multiple Price Lists, Segmentation & Custom Reports, CMS, SEO, email, IMS, CRM, taxes, etc
|By use cases:
Head of Marketing
Head of IT/Digital
Head of Sales
|A leading open source eCommerce platform. Extensible via official and third party plugins.
|B2C and small/medium B2B
|AI commerce, AI copilot, Spatial commerce, Shopware Cloud, Digital Sales Room, Flow Builder, Rule Builder, B2B Suite, Shopping Experiences, Subscriptions
|By use case:
|A headless commerce platform focusing on microservices, APIs and composability.
|Large enterprises, especially for headless and app integrations
|CX studio, Product Experience Manager, Commerce Building Blocks, Composer, Self-Managed Commerce, Elastic Path Architecture
What sort of strikes you when you first face the Spryker brand is their oryx avatar, which perhaps is aimed to tell potential customers: we are friendly and easy going but we also have these huge horns – with our service, you are fully armed and ready to fight any challenge popping out of the blue. Paradoxically, “spryker” in Afrikaans means “storyteller,” inviting us to wonder even more about their nature. So, what is under the hood of Spryker, the visionary digital commerce platform according to Gartner?
Packaged Business Capabilities
Spryker offers packaged business capabilities that enable common B2B use cases right out of the box, like multi-channel sales, custom pricing, inventory management and catalogs. These capabilities can be quickly implemented to get a store up and running fast. Moreover, the packaged capabilities serve as reusable building blocks that can be extended and composed to create highly customized B2B commerce solutions.
PaaS + Cloud
Spryker’s PaaS + Cloud technology allows merchants and vendors to deploy the Spryker platform on certified cloud providers like AWS and Google Cloud through fully managed platform services. This eliminates the need for in-house infrastructure setup and maintenance, as Spryker handles ongoing operations such as updates, scalability and high availability. With PaaS + Cloud, customers can focus on their core business needs.
Spryker App Composition Platform
The Spryker App Composition Platform is a modular commerce platform that allows merchants to compose customizable applications via microservices, REST APIs and frontends. It provides modular building blocks for common commerce functions that can be combined flexibly. This composability enables developers to quickly create new features by assembling only necessary components, rather than overhauling the entire system.
Spryker’s Code Updater technology automatically updates code between platform versions. It ensures extensions and custom code only require one update after a core upgrade, avoiding manual reimplementation. This streamlines migrations and reduces breakages, minimizing costs to stay current with new Spryker releases.
Frontend Enablement Services
Spryker’s Frontend Enablement Services provide APIs and tools to simplify custom storefront and B2B app integration and development. They offer out-of-the-box components and services for frontend teams to build feature-rich user interfaces without managing complex back-end logic.
Software Development Kit
Spryker’s Software Development Kit includes tools and documentation to customize and extend the platform. It provides APIs and services to build extensions through an API-first approach. The SDK speeds development by standardizing interfaces and providing an integration framework. It offers full control and flexibility to modify any default functionality.
Spryker uses State Machine to model and control complex order fulfillment and business workflows. This allows configuring customizable states for orders and entities to transition through. State machines provide visibility into process steps and ensure integrity by controlling valid status changes.
Spryker middleware are reusable code pieces that intercept requests and responses, modifying or enhancing processing. This allows custom business logic to be inserted at specific points, altering default behaviors and actions.
Overall, Spryker offers extensive guides and tutorials for ecommerce software developers willing to “join the herd.”
Another visionary player in ecommerce is VTEX, an enterprise digital commerce platform. In 2023, Gartner acknowledged VTEX’s capabilities for digital commerce. Gartner also ranked VTEX second for B2C and B2B commerce on a single platform.
As a pioneer for over 10 years, VTEX has been a microservices-based, API-first, cloud-first, and headless solution. VTEX also grew the fastest globally according to IDC.
VTEX stands out through inclusiveness and collaboration. Their website suggests caring values. VTEX markets emancipating brands from legacy constraints through modern commerce and expertise. Their collaborative approach positions VTEX innovatively.
How is VTEX aiming to disrupt the digital commerce realm and what technologies are they leveraging?
VTEX Digital Commerce Platform
VTEX Platform enables businesses to deliver high-performing shopping experiences across various channels and touchpoints, including emerging ones like conversational commerce and live shopping. With its headless architecture, VTEX allows for the creation of content-rich and customizable storefronts, optimized for speed using modern front-end technologies. The platform also offers comprehensive B2B capabilities, empowering businesses to meet buyer expectations, reduce costs, and enable collaboration between buyers and sellers.
VTEX Marketplace and Seller Management
VTEX empowers businesses to find, onboard, and manage sellers quickly within their marketplace ecosystem. Businesses can customize the sellers’ experience based on specific needs and efficiently handle seller product catalogs, pricing, inventory, and logistics information. The platform also provides built-in performance dashboards, split payment systems, and sales dashboards, enabling visibility, control, and success monitoring for both marketplace operators and sellers.
VTEX Order Management System
VTEX OMS is a powerful solution that enables businesses to integrate and manage inventory from their entire fulfillment network, including stores, fulfillment centers, suppliers, and third-party sellers. With VTEX OMS, businesses can intelligently route orders for fulfillment, ensuring efficient operations and maximizing profitability. The system provides a centralized view of inventory and orders, allowing businesses to optimize their commerce operations, manage inventory and orders in one place, and seamlessly orchestrate orders across channels.
VTEX IO development platform
VTEX has their development platform that empowers businesses to jumpstart their B2C or B2B projects by providing a complete set of APIs, open-source components, and a user-friendly CLI for cloud development. It improves development team efficiency by eliminating manual tasks, optimizing storefront development with a WebOps platform, and ensuring scalability and performance.
VTEX Live Shopping
VTEX Live Shopping allows brands to bring their catalogs to life by demonstrating product details and engaging with customers in real-time, creating content that drives sales. Integrated with marketplace and order management solutions, VTEX Live Shopping offers one-to-many reach, improves digital presence, and facilitates personalized interactions, building meaningful relationships with customers during livestream events.
VTEX also cares for new ecommerce developers, and has their extensive resource center.
The open-source OroCommerce platform was developed with the B2B industry in mind. The folks behind OroCommerce were also behind Magento, which eBay bought out of their hands. OroCommerce is a modular platform that offers a wide range of features for digital commerce and B2B marketplaces. These features include customization, localization, sophisticated pricing, workflow automation, customer retention tools, and connection with OroCRM. Designed with B2B merchants in mind, it caters to their unique requirements.
Corporate Account Management
Oro’s Corporate Account Management technology allows businesses to efficiently manage relationships and operations for multi-level customer accounts. It provides tools to structure corporate hierarchies, assign account representatives, and track sub-account activity and invoices. This centralized account view gives businesses deeper insight into large customer relationships for improved service and growth opportunities.
Access Controls, Roles, & Permissions
Oro’s access controls, roles, and permissions technology enables fine-tuned user management across complex B2B operations. Administrators can establish flexible security rules to determine what data and functions individual user roles can access. This ensures sensitive corporate information stays protected while allowing collaboration between teams and customers.
Personalized B2B Catalog Management
Oro’s personalized catalog management technology allows businesses to create tailored product catalogs for individual customer accounts or user groups. Advanced capabilities like product prioritization, conditional fields, and tailored layouts deliver curated experiences. This streamlines the shopping process for complex B2B buyers while maintaining a central catalog database for suppliers.
Multiple Price Lists
Multiple price lists technology enables businesses to define and apply different pricing schemes to various customer segments. Businesses can configure unique price lists inclusive of custom pricing, taxes, rebates and more, and associate them to customer types. This flexible pricing capability helps optimally monetize products and meet diverse customer demands across regions and industries.
Multiple Shopping Lists
Multiple shopping lists feature allows buyers to maintain separate wish lists tailored to their unique departmental or project needs. Individual lists can then be shared with appropriate stakeholders for input or approval.
Multiple Organizations, Websites & Stores
The featureset helps businesses to create and manage multiple organizations, websites, and storefronts from a single backend. This allows subsidiaries or departments to operate autonomously with their own domains, brands, catalogs and admin teams while still connecting to a shared commerce platform and order management system.
Segmentation & Custom Reports
Segmentation and custom reports technology provides tools to analyze customer, product, and sales data across departments, divisions, or any other relevant segment. Administrators can quickly build targeted reports and dashboards without relying on IT.
Content Management System
Oro’s CMS enables the creation and management of dynamic product, category, and page content directly within the ecommerce platform. Marketers can leverage powerful editing and workflow tools while technical teams utilize the API to surface customized information. This centralized content powers compelling digital experiences across all customer touchpoints.
Flexible Workflow Engine
This toolbox allows businesses to model customized approval and processing flows for common tasks like orders, invoices and support cases. Powerful out-of-the-box tools and APIs simplify the creation of role-based workflows tailored to individual organizational needs.
Oro’s SEO management capabilities enable optimization of product and category pages right within the admin interface. Businesses can leverage integrated tools to enhance content, manage meta data and analyze performance to improve searchability.
In case you need robust transactional email capabilities to automate communications like order confirmations and shipment notifications, Oro’s got you covered. Marketers can leverage templates and drag-and-drop editors to design responsive emails that engage customers throughout their journey.
Oro’s IMS allows businesses to establish detailed stock tracking across multiple warehouses and locations. Advanced rules like reservations, minimum stock levels, bulk updating ensure optimal order fulfillment while avoiding over or understocking.
Oro’s promotions management technology enables brands to easily configure, target, schedule and automate coupons, discounts, bundles and more. Sophisticated conditions and layering of offers maximize upsell opportunities and drive desired customer behavior.
Oro’s tax management technology supports tax calculation and compliance across multiple jurisdictions. Complex tax rules can be modeled and automatically applied based on customer location, products, shipping method and other variables.
Quotes & Orders
Oro’s quotes and orders technology allows businesses to generate product and service based quotes that can seamlessly convert to sales orders. Sophisticated tools provide visibility and control over quoting, ordering, invoicing and fulfilled lifecycles.
Customer Relationship Management
OroCRM provides a single view of customer profiles, transactions, support cases and marketing preferences. Tools for targeted campaigns, loyalty programs and automated workflows enhance customer engagement throughout their journey.
For developers, willing to kickstart their career within Oro ecosystem, there are Oro academy and multiple trainings.
Gartner recognized Shopware as a visionary digital commerce platform in its 2023 Magic Quadrant report. Shopware is suitable for businesses of all sizes, from those under $100M annual GMV to larger enterprises, due to its flexibility and adaptability.
It has a strong regional presence and focus in Europe, where most of its customers are located. The PHP Symfony-based platform offers licensing flexibility for small and mid-sized businesses through its self-hosted and cloud offerings, providing options for managing retail and wholesale operations.
Shopware AI commerce
Shopware is rapidly transforming ecommerce through AI-powered tools that revolutionize the customer experience, boosting operational efficiency, driving sales, and creating highly personalized journeys; over 20% of its technical resources are dedicated to developing AI innovations that will enhance its platform and enable up to 50% reductions in merchants’ operating costs through artificial intelligence. Sophisticated AI solutions within Shopware utilize machine learning to optimize processes like inventory management, prevent fraud, provide 24/7 chatbot support, and precisely target customers through personalized recommendations.
Shopware AI copilot
Shopware AI Copilot harnesses the power of artificial intelligence through ten features infused with AI that aim to revolutionize the ecommerce experience by assisting merchants with various tasks. These AI-powered features are designed to provide invaluable support to merchants within the Shopware platform and help them operate more efficiently through enhanced speed and capabilities unlocked by AI.
- AI-generated content for Shopping Experiences
- AI export assistant
- AI-based customer classification
- Image keyword assistant
- AI-generated product review summary
- Custom checkout message
- AI-generated product properties
- AI-based translation for reviews
- AI Copilot for product descriptions
- Search by context
Shopware spatial commerce leverages 3D imaging, mixed reality, and real-time location data to revolutionize the online shopping experience. It allows merchants to showcase products from every angle through interactive 3D models, place virtual items in the real world, and enhance buyer journeys across devices. Spatial commerce gives merchants future-forward tools to operate in emerging virtual environments and create unforgettable shopping journeys through augmented realities. Merchants can use precise 3D imaging to showcase complex products and provide ongoing support to buyers. Overall, Shopware spatial commerce equips merchants with the visual and location-based capabilities once only available to large ecommerce companies.
Shopware Cloud allows merchants to build and scale their online stores with maximum efficiency through a fully hosted platform that handles infrastructure maintenance and updates, freeing merchants to focus on their business. It provides merchants the option to choose between a fully managed SaaS solution or self-hosted PaaS deployment, both offering advantages like low total cost of ownership, fast time-to-market, and effortless setup.
Digital Sales Room
The Shopware Digital Sales Room provides B2B merchants with a cutting-edge digital sales channel that can be created seamlessly within their ecommerce platform. It streamlines sales processes by enabling merchants to effortlessly showcase products, present offers, and engage customers in an interactive and visually captivating way. Digital Sales Rooms accelerate the sales cycle through features like personalized video assistants and customized pricing recommendations. Merchants can replace tedious paperwork, lengthy email chains, and on-site meetings with video consultations to optimize time, effort, and costs.
Shopware Flow Builder
The Shopware Flow Builder enables merchants to automate complex business processes and workflows within their stores through intuitive visual design without coding, allowing predefined tasks and actions to be triggered by events. It provides merchants the power to create highly customized and automated flows and procedures to optimize operations, improve flexibility and control, and respond more quickly to opportunities or changes. This tool facilitates scaling business models by integrating with both internal Shopware systems and third-party applications.
Shopware Rule Builder
The Shopware Rule Builder is a central tool that allows merchants to define sophisticated rules based on conditions to streamline and optimize customer-focused operations without coding. Merchants can automate complex workflows and strategies for areas like shipping, payment options, pricing, content and promotions by linking various conditions through an intuitive interface. It provides the flexibility needed to quickly adapt operations and processes to changing business needs and market demands. The Rule Builder also works seamlessly with other modules to facilitate highly customized automation of daily workflows.
Shopware B2B Suite
The Shopware B2B Suite provides a powerful administrative platform tailored for the complex operations of B2B commerce, offering extensive and highly customizable features to streamline workflows and facilitate business interactions. It automates processes to reduce overhead costs while maximizing customer satisfaction. Merchants benefit from advanced capabilities and scalability supported by Shopware’s expert guidance. Additionally, the suite strengthens customer relationships by empowering B2B buyers with comprehensive account management and simplified ordering tools.
Shopware Shopping Experiences
Shopware Shopping Experiences provides merchants with an integrated content management system to effortlessly design immersive shopping experiences across devices through features like intuitive drag-and-drop page building, quick view functionality, and targeted content visibility rules. Its dynamic data mapping and organized sectional layouts streamline content workflows. Merchants can also leverage tools like the form builder and integrated third-party apps to further customize experiences and branding. Additionally, its open architecture allows merchants to collaborate remotely and extend capabilities for consistency across their digital presence.
Shopware’s Subscriptions technology streamlines the order automation process for recurring deliveries by allowing merchants to configure flexible subscription plans with customized frequency, terms, and discounts. Merchants can automate subscription order management to improve planning while also providing customers the flexibility to easily manage and cancel subscriptions from the storefront. Rules and workflows are further automated through seamless integration with Shopware’s Rule and Flow Builders to facilitate personalized subscription availability and promotions.
On top of this, Shopware provides a large developer resource center, several online trainings, advanced integration choices, and an easy Magento transfer.
Gartner recognized Elastic Path as a visionary digital commerce platform in its 2023 Magic Quadrant report due to its strengths like Composable Commerce.
Composable Commerce allows brands to customize experiences for their unique requirements. As a headless platform, Elastic Path provides flexibility to deliver consistent experiences across touchpoints. Its core capabilities include payment processing, ordering, and promotions.
CX Studio is a fully-hosted frontend-as-a-service that enables merchants and marketers to create personalized customer experiences without IT involvement. With a no-code visual editor and 30+ one-click integrations, users can design, launch, and optimize turnkey storefronts and campaign-specific landing pages, driving conversion and revenue through data-driven personalization.
Product Experience Manager
The Product Experience Manager gives merchandising and product teams complete flexibility to design and launch engaging customer experiences through an advanced Commerce PIM, powerful product merchandising features, and fast catalog management capabilities. It allows teams to import, enrich, and centrally manage product data to deliver consistent experiences that grow revenue. Teams can leverage dynamic bundles and other data-driven merchandising strategies without reliance on custom development, enabling optimization of product margins and inventory.
Commerce Building Blocks
The Commerce Building Blocks provide products tailored to specific use cases or unique business requirements, including support for all payment models through a Stripe-powered solution. Companies can also choose self-managed headless commerce to embrace unparalleled customizability and control over their data and infrastructure. This modular approach allows merchants to configure highly customized and performant digital commerce solutions based on their specific technical and business needs.
Composer is an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) that uniquely provides commerce intelligence to reduce risk when orchestrating, building, and managing composable solutions. It offers an Integrations Hub where merchants can quickly activate preferred integrations from a library of no-code options. The Builder allows organizations to rapidly develop any integrations needed through low-code tooling and reuse of thousands of pre-built components and actions. Merchants can also leverage Composer’s unified Monitor dashboard and proactive alerting to spend less time on integration maintenance and more on innovation.
The Self-Managed Commerce Features in Elastic Path are built for engineering teams with specialized performance and operational needs, giving them the ability to customize any functionality through an Extension Point Framework or source code modifications. It supports complex merchandising with advanced catalog capabilities and a powerful promotions rules engine. Teams also have the freedom to finely tune every element and optimize the platform for the most demanding transaction scenarios requiring high throughput.
Elastic Path Architecture
Elastic Path leverages a MACH architecture approach to allow brands to quickly deliver unique commerce experiences. Its microservices-based design provides agility through independently deployable services. An API-first approach and headless structure accelerate time-to-market for new front-ends through simple yet powerful commerce APIs. Together these enable flexibility across touchpoints and enable scaling through the high availability, security and efficiency of the cloud-native SaaS platform.
So, what do visionary digital commerce platforms have in common?
Next-gen flexibility: Gartner, Spryker, VTEX, Oro, Shopware, and ElasticPath are recognized as industry visionaries in modular and API-first architecture, enabling businesses to create highly customized commerce solutions with rapid innovation, scalability, and adaptability to changing market needs.
Headless commerce: These cutting-edge platforms excel in delivering advanced features for headless commerce, allowing businesses to provide seamless customer experiences across various touchpoints like websites, mobile apps, voice assistants, and IoT devices.
Extensive B2B commerce: Forward-thinking ecommerce platforms prioritize B2B capabilities, including complex pricing, quote management, and buyer-seller workflows, catering to unique B2B transaction requirements.
Strong ecosystem: All these platforms have a robust ecosystem of partners and developers, fostering innovation and expanding capabilities through integrations and extensions, ensuring hassle-free growth and adaptability.
Developer-friendliness: The next-gen platforms offer thorough documentation, examples, open APIs, and customizable architecture, empowering developers with simplified development, easy integration, and full control over frontends, databases, and code organization.
Source from Grinteq
Disclaimer: The information set forth above is provided by grinteq.com independently of Alibaba.com. Alibaba.com makes no representation and warranties as to the quality and reliability of the seller and products.