In the latest Wave ™ report from Forrester (31 August 2017) Magento is highlighted as one of four leading providers of B2B ecommerce for mid-sized companies. We’ve taken a look at what Forrester has to say.

Who’s who

As always, Forrester are very careful about their selection criteria. They only included 11 companies in their review. Each had to have a strong product offering that demonstrated innovation and agility. To be included in the final selection, each provider had to have a clear strategic vision and an established, sustainable position in the marketplace.

All of the solutions had to offer all the key elements of a core ecommerce platform. They also needed to have extended capabilities like omnichannel order management, product information management, and user experience management.

What mid-sized businesses want

Providers that deliver excellent sales support, personalisation, and content management are really standing out for mid-sized businesses. Their priority is to deliver seamless digital ecommerce experiences.

There’s no time to waste for these businesses, so they want to speed up the time-to-market (TTM) and have a reasonable total cost of ownership (TCO). They are also looking for strong analytics and user experience management.

Partner-driven in the Cloud

Forrester recognises the long history of Magento Commerce with mid-sized B2B organisations. As an open source solution Magento appeals to this market. It has a large network of systems integrators (SIs) and an extensive range of extensions such as advanced shopping carts, content management tools, and Apple Pay features.

Its most recent Magento Commerce release is a platform as a service (PaaS) solution offering all the flexibility of ecommerce in the Cloud. All of the key B2B ecommerce features are available with its out-of-the-box module.

Forrester says that Magento Commerce 2.2 is a best fit for mid-sized B2B companies that want an open, feature-rich solution that can be easily and inexpensively extended.

Rob Williams, CEO at Williams Commerce, says: “As an Enterprise Partner we are long-standing admirers of Magento. We are very pleased that Forrester has highlighted its strengths.

“It’s very quick to deploy a purpose-built Magento B2B platform with all the essential functionality and integration.”

“Collaborative selling is supported by features like bespoke quote management, contract pricing and easy access to the sales team. It’s also easy to create specific user journeys with separate product catalogues, pricing, merchandising and promotions. It’s an all-round solution.”

Other providers

Oracle NetSuite SuiteCommerce for small to medium sized businesses includes an enterprise system, billing and financial management features, order and inventory management, and customer account management. Forrester says it’s a good choice for businesses looking for an easily configured and reasonably priced solution that will work with NetSuite’s enterprise resource planning system (ERP).

SAP Hybris, better known for its enterprise-scale systems, has struggled with the low TCO and fast TTM demanded by mid-sized businesses. The Standard Edition has been created for this market. Forrester says it has good out-of-the-box capabilities but lacks key functions such as omnichannel order management (OMS). For companies looking for a powerful platform that could be extended as business grows SAP Hybris might be a good choice.

Insite Software was the fourth provider to feature in Forrester’s list of leaders.

It aims to combine ecommerce and sales team support with persona-driven selling. However, Forrester says that its artificial intelligence (AI) offering is late and dynamic personalisation and product information management (PIM) are relatively weak. It could suit midmarket companies with complex product catalogues that would benefit from Insight’s original roots in B2B ecommerce.

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