Online shopping is among the top activities of Internet users worldwide, and its popularity is still growing. This trend inevitably impacts the extension of the global retail eCommerce market and has resulted in the increased demand for powerful tools and solutions needed to develop and support the digital marketplace. Sitecore eCommerce platform is one of the leading products in the space of digital commerce management.
In this article, we will discuss Sitecore Experience Commerce 9 and provide core reasons for why you should love this solution, as well as how your business can benefit from it.
An Overview of Sitecore
Sitecore is the leading provider of customer experience management software that empowers companies to deliver personalized information to their clients. It has created a great combination of tools for content management, commerce and customer insights in one platform, all of which build up user loyalty and drive revenue growth. The platform is able to:
- Collect real-time data from various channels (Sitecore Experience Cloud)
- Integrate with complementary third-party solutions and analyze their data (Sitecore Experience Database)
- Generate relevant content for users utilizing machine learning (Sitecore Cortex)
- Easily create marketing scenarios (Marketing Automation tool)
|Read also: Sitecore Launches Version 9: New Features You Need to Know|
As of February 2019, Sitecore is positioned among five leaders in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms. More than five thousand brands, including L’Oréal and American Express, have chosen Sitecore as a reliable CMS partner, proving the company’s ability to understand end users and meet their requirements.
Sitecore has had a commerce platform for a couple of years, but it was far from ideal. In 2018, commerce functionality was fully integrated into Sitecore CMS with the release of Sitecore Experience Commerce (XC) 9. This module has already become a serious contender in the electronic trading market due to a range of advantageous features.
Since the platform is customizable, Sitecore commerce cost varies for each organization and should be discussed individually. Product licensing depends on the set of services you choose for your business and some other factors, such as:
- Number of domains powered with Sitecore
- Territory coverage for your operations
- Number of languages
- Integration with additional modules and third-party solutions
- Number of website visitors
- Number of simultaneous users (developers, designers, editors)
- Custom development to meet your unique requirements
Sitecore eCommerce Platform Benefits
The main Sitecore eCommerce features that distinguish XC from other platforms is that it is cloud-enabled and fully native for an industry-leading CMS. This means that commerce, content and experience are unified in one place and can provide real-time data analysis and end-to-end shopping experience personalization.
We would like to highlight six reasons why you should choose Sitecore eCommerce services for your online business.
1. Microservices Architecture
The legacy commerce platform was built on COM+ technology and couldn’t provide developers with the required flexibility. XC 9 is built on .NET Core stack, unleashing the full potential of a microservices architecture.
The essence of a microservices structure is in the absence of strong connections between elements. Each element of the system is set in a separate plugin and can function on its own. If you don’t need some elements, you don’t have to include them into your solution, nor do you depend on additional plugins. As a result, having less code in the system adds agility, speed and reliability, simplifying the development process.
In addition, the platform is able to fully integrate with other systems, such as CMS, POS, ERP, and Sitecore modules, such as Experience Accelerator, allowing for unlimited effective combinations for an improved shopping experience.
|Read also: Monolithic vs. Microservices: Real Business Examples|
2. Catalog Management
The product catalog within XC 9 has been improved by leveraging the global product list approach. It enables marketers to put items in multiple catalogs and categories, and sell not only physical items but also services and warranties. To simplify catalog creation, a default scheme that contains generalized properties is implemented. It also helps search engines find your products.
3. Inventory Management
Implementing Sitecore Commerce 9, you get new inventory capabilities:
- Support at both product and variant levels
- Online-to-offline commerce via allocations
- Multi-store, multi-warehouse and multi-site inventory management (especially useful for large businesses)
- Shipment tracking
- Reservation per inventory bin
- Notifications of expiring or sufficient inventory thresholds
- Multi-currency support
4. Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) Storefront
This accelerator is integrated with XC 9 in the form of 40+ commerce-specific reusable components and layouts. They don’t require programming skills and can be used with the drag-and-drop function for the rapid design of pages and storefront implementation. SXA allows for the front-end and back-end development to happen in parallel, greatly reducing time to market. With SXA support, marketers get a chance to focus on capturing information and personalizing experiences, rather than on development.
5. Experience Cloud
As we’ve already mentioned, XC 9 is fully integrated with Sitecore Cloud platform that offers endless possibilities for creating a customer-centric shopping experience. This powerful personalization engine with native tools for digital commerce and marketing generates insights on the basis of machine learning and delivers omnichannel shopping experiences. What’s more, cloud infrastructure ensures security and scalability.
6. Licensing Options
Three options are available for the Experience Commerce 9 deployment: Azure PaaS, IaaS, and on-premises. There are also payment options: you can either purchase a perpetual license or a subscription for a certain period.
Sitecore Commerce Marketplace
For those who need a wide choice of Sitecore modules or want to join the community and contribute to technology development, Sitecore Marketplace is the appropriate destination. This is the gateway to more than 800 modules from which you can choose the most fitting ones for your website. You can also share your own modules with peers.
Members of the Sitecore Commerce marketplace get opportunities to socialize with each other, discuss issues, comment on modules, and review, rate and recommend the best solutions. For their activities, marketplace members are awarded points that can be used to unlock various Sitecore features.
We create eCommerce solutions for our customers, taking care of the technical part and allowing them to focus on their business. SaM Solutions’ Sitecore implementation team has more than ten years of experience and has completed dozens of projects successfully.
A Website for an Insurance Company
Within this project, the challenge was to build a website for a Dutch insurance company. The client wanted to provide access to different content and services for registered and unregistered users.
Our specialists developed the website with dynamic pages and content blocks on the basis of Sitecore CMS. They also used AJAX technology for instant data actualization and implemented the use of third-party services.
A Website for an Educational Organization
Another organization in the Netherlands required an educational website to help students learn more efficiently and to help teachers manage the learning process.
The SaM Solutions team built a powerful site with separate interfaces for students and teachers. A wide range of training materials encourages students to learn on their own, while the teachers’ tool allows them to control student profiles and check their reports and assignments.
SaM Solutions’ Sitecore Accelerator
Our team has elaborated its own Sitecore CMS development framework that facilitates and hastens related projects — the Sitecore accelerator. The accelerator integrates a batch set of ready-made components and features, a start-up development project in Visual Studio and an eCommerce module. The deployment of this off-the-shelf project framework can substitute the opening stages of Sitecore CMS creation, which allows reducing the development time by approximately two months.
The potential users of this solution are companies that require cost- and time-efficient development of a Sitecore-based CMS.
SaM Solutions has recently entered into a partnership agreement with Coveo — a company that provides cloud-based AI-powered search and recommendations. This partnership brings numerous benefits, including a special product — Coveo for Sitecore — that is actively used in our current projects.
The creators of Sitecore Version 9 indicate that they have analyzed the feedback of digital marketers who worked with previous versions and learned many lessons. In Version 9, they introduced a fresh approach to meet the requirements of marketers and to build next-generation user experiences.
XC 9 offers a range of advantages for companies of all sizes:
- Reduced time-to-market
- More choices to end-users
- Value-driven shopping decisions
- Improved management
Businesses look to Sitecore eCommerce solutions to better understand their clients’ needs and provide them with the most relevant information, turning visitors into loyal customers.
SaM Solutions is a reliable and experienced provider of Sitecore services. In case you are looking for a vendor, please write to us to discuss your project.