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Gartner’s Look into Top Commerce Platforms Names LiveArea, a Merkle Company, Partners as Key Contenders

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Gartner has recently published their Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce – a report into leading vendors and their ability to help those working in digital commerce make informed decisions. We are proud to say that a number of LiveArea, a Merkle Company’s partners are referenced in the report, highlighting the fantastic merits of each of their platforms. Read on to see which of our partners featured in the report, and the aspects of their platforms that earned them Gartner’s praise. 

Here at LiveArea, a Merkle Company, it’s great to see our partners get the recognition they deserve. We’re proud to work alongside such reputable partners, ensuring our clients get the best out of their digital commerce offerings.  

Salesforce – Experience and Flexibility 

With four commerce platform offerings, Salesforce was marked out as a leader by the Gartner report. B2C Commerce, B2B Commerce on Classic, B2B Commerce on Lightening Experience, and B2B2C Commerce on Lightening Experience all allow Salesforce customers to utilize a platform tailored for their particular business type. Being a global company, working with companies across industries and currencies, and serving clients in different regions allows Salesforce to use their expertise to deliver for customers. 

Gartner highlighted the ability for customers to repurpose Salesforce products across different commerce sites as one of the benefits of Salesforce. The platform’s flexibility allows customers to share products, content, inventory, and loyalty across commerce sites. Both B2B platforms allow for personalization, as well as search, and a loyalty functionality. 

Salesforce launched various solutions during the pandemic that allow for combined services such as digital commerce with payments, implementation, three months of managed services, and a yearly contract. These “commerce accelerators” helped Salesforce stand out to Gartner as one of the leaders in the digital commerce platform field. 

SAP – Scalability and Capability 

SAP’s Commerce Cloud is lauded by Gartner as SAP’s primary commerce offering. Ideal for enterprise companies with large amounts of revenue and SKUs, this platform allows for complex organizations. SAP’s acquisition of Emarsys in 2020 means they also have an offering of enhanced personalization. Available across a range of regions and industries, SAP has the experience and coverage to be able to offer their products to virtually any customer. SAP’s ability to scale is one of the main benefits highlighted by Gartner, with its ability to cope with handling large amounts of revenue. 

SAP’s B2B specific capabilities are lauded by Gartner, who call attention to the platform’s “strong functionality for punchout, RFQs, approval workflows, and other B2B specific capabilities.” Gartner explains that because of these capabilities, organizations often consider SAP for enterprise-grade B2B implementations. 

SAP’s Commerce Cloud is fully integrated with SAP Product Content Management (PCM), which Gartner applauds for having more robust functionality than some of the other platforms they discuss in their report. 

Adobe – Reach and Versatility 

Adobe was praised for its global reach, and for having the largest number of service partners spread across all major markets. This lends it to being very accessible for organizations to find partners in their regions. Gartner recommended Adobe for midsized organizations looking for a robust, deeply customizable commerce solution, as well as larger global organizations looking to better leverage Adobe suite, which offers digital marketing assets and insights. 

Adobe also received accolades for its out-of-the-box functionality – enabling organizations to use the platform with no additional customizations needed for requirements with basic to medium complexity. As the report mentions, the platform allows for “multiple user roles, multistores, catalogue management, marketplace integration, promotions and discounts, languages, and currencies, all with good granular control.”  

 Adobe’s UI was commended for being “modern and intuitive”, which lessens the learning curve for new users. It can integrate with multiple data sources and analytics tools, meaning you don’t have to re-work your entire existing library of products to accommodate it. All of this allows users to focus on the data and make good business decisions based on the outcomes.  

BigCommerce – Capability and Customization 

BigCommerce was marked out by Gartner as a challenger in this report. Recommended for small and midsized businesses (but with a growing enterprise focus in the EMEA and APAC regions), mainly focused in the US, but with a growing customer base in EMEA and the APAC region. Gartner pointed out that the platform provides “extensive API coverage (with unlimited API calls), meaning that users are able to build out custom storefronts and extensions without affecting other capabilities. 

BigCommerce’s prebuilt integrations were called out by Gartner as a great asset to clients –BigCommerce allows for over 20 payment integrations, one-click check-out with Bolt Commerce, and the ability to check-out through Instagram. It also has prebuilt connectors for leading CMS platforms, customer front-end frameworks and progressive web applications.  

It also has the ability for building custom widgets, and over 100 themes. BigCommerce’s Page Builder received praise for being easy to use, with the ability to go from creating pages to publishing in a quick turnaround. 

Shopify – Growth and Integrations 

Shopify Plus is selected by Gartner as a great option for small to midsized businesses, predominantly for B2C, outlining that, while the majority of their customers are based in North America, the platform has a global reach.  

One of Gartner’s reasons for selecting Shopify as a challenger in their research was due to the company’s huge customer growth. The platform reported a growth of 40% year on year between 2019 and 2020. This growth indicates Shopify is beginning to attract companies with high revenue and bodes well for the trend of existing customers upgrading to Shopify plus. 

Shopify’s Shop Pay expanded into Facebook and Instagram in early 2021, which allows brands to sell their products through these social media platforms, allowing a more connected customer journey and increasing brands’ potential to reach out to new or more specific audiences. 

Shopify’s APIs, including enabling integrations to PIM, CRM, ERP, 3PL and OMS suites, are extensively by larger customers. Having these larger customers reliant on Shopify’s APIs demonstrates the APIs robust functionality and how key they are to running many commerce storefronts globally. 

Spryker – Agility and Adoption 

Spryker’s key customer base is in North America and Europe, targeting B2B: brand manufacturing, marketplace operators, wholesale, and distributors, and B2C retail. The brand’s transformation into a modular platform, designed for business agility was praised by Gartner in the report, described as a leader in this field. 

With its ability to support B2B and B2C, Spryker appeals to both offerings equally – with almost an even split of B2B and B2C customers. The platform continues to invest in its B2B functionality, and more customers than average using the platform to manage both B2B and B2C. 

Spryker had the highest overall growth score out of any other brands looked into by Gartner for the report. For a comparatively smaller vendor, customer and revenue growth nearing 100% was marked as “impressive” by Gartner.  

VTEX – Breadth and Simplicity 

VTEX is deployed on AWS and supports both B2B and B2C markets. The majority of its customer base is in Latin America, with a growing North America and EMEA base. 

Gartner praised VTEX for its investment in product and functionality – not only does the platform offer functionality for digital commerce, but also for market operations; OMS; intelligent search and personalization; a headless CMS; and a low-code and serverless development platform. The brand continues to make acquisitions and product investments to expand and improve its offering. 

VTEX’s 400 strong ecosystem of application partners (available via API or plugin) lend itself to its status as a visionary in Gartner’s report. With over 175 implementation partners is continuing to grow. With VTEX making over 5,400 in 2020, you can be sure the team are keeping their platforms well maintained and updated. 

VTEX’s modern multitenant SaaS platform has over 100 independent modules, and Gartner specifically calls out that these modules are monitored, managed, and maintained independently, so you can be sure your VTEX teams won’t stop work on one module to concentrate on work on another. Having a low-code and serverless development platform available allows a quick learning curve. 

LiveArea, a Merkle Company, is honored to be working alongside partners that are able to deliver such a range of products, solving an array of problems faced by those working in digital commerce. We work with a wide range of best-in-class partners to deliver innovation and accelerated digital transformations for our clients – take a look at a sample of our ecosystem of our partners here. If you’d like to know more about our work with these partners, get in touch

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