The 2017 Leading Vendors to the Top 1000: Change is the only constant
October 11, 2016 06:00 AM
When it comes to top vendors serving North American online retailers, there’s one common theme: Change. That’s according to new data and analysis in the just-released Leading Vendors to the Top 1000, which delivers competitive metrics on the nearly 2,000 e-commerce applications and services providers catering to North America’s Top 1000 e-retailers by annual web sales. The new guide illustrates that successful vendors can’t sit still for long.
Technology companies are adding new e-commerce capabilities in order to offer retailer clients a fuller range of services. Some are moving to offer or improve increasingly popular web-based or cloud-based software options and providing tools to help retailers execute on notoriously difficult-to-manage but much-touted omnichannel programs. As technology changes at a rapid clip, vendors too are constantly evolving to better serve and appeal to merchants.
Take, for example Sur La Table, No. 265 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 1000. It is one of several retailers that have spotted the benefits of a web-based e-commerce platform, such as being easier to update and more agile. It is moving to a new offering from tech giant Oracle Corp., the Oracle Commerce Cloud, which was introduced in late June 2015, says Gary Shatswell, vice president of information technology for Sur La Table. The move, slated for mid-2017, is part of a plan to move to web-based services throughout the company, he says. Sur La Table currently uses the on-premise Oracle ATG Commerce Suite for its e-commerce platform. Oracle purchased ATG in 2010 for $1 billion.
“We moved away from the [ATG] product for a number of reasons,” Shatswell says. “First it was because of the complexities of reintegrating [the on-premise ATG system] with our new order management system. Also, we had a number of failed implementations with integration partners that left our code base dilapidated, leading to a difficult path to stay up on patch releases.”
Shatswell says the Oracle team has been attentive to his needs, which can be a concern when dealing with a tech behemoth with more than 120,000 employees. He attributes this in part to Oracle focusing heavily on seeing its new Commerce Cloud product succeed. “The product is new but is really maturing rapidly and they are pulling out all the stops to get it there,” Shatswell says. “I believe you will continue to see a move away from data centers and owning iron.”
In July, Oracle announced it would buy NetSuite in a $9.3 billion deal in part to fill out its cloud offerings. The combined Oracle/NetSuite will rank as the No. 1 e-commerce platform provider to the Top 1000 North American retailers as ranked by the web sales of those clients. The combined web sales of the new entity’s 108 e-commerce platform retail clients in the Top 1000 would total a staggering $61 billion. 77 of the would-be Oracle/NetSuite e-commerce platform clients are in the Top 500 and 31 are in the Second 500. In terms of number of e-commerce platform clients in the Top 1000, Oracle/NetSuite would rank second only to Magento Inc.
Buying NetSuite positions Oracle to offer business software, including e-commerce technology, to small and midsized companies, along with the larger clients Oracle previously served. NetSuite was developed as a lighter-weight, less-expensive version of Oracle’s high-end business software and has become a significant provider of e-commerce technology, both to retailers selling to consumers and to companies that sell online to businesses, government agencies and other large organizations.
At its founding, NetSuite was among a new wave of technology companies adopting what was then called the software-as-a-service model: The vendor hosts the software and clients access it via a web browser, paying monthly subscription fees instead of large, lump-sum licensing fees for on-premise software a retailer installs and runs in-house. That SaaS model is now generally referred to as “cloud-based” or “web-based” software, and the success of such cloud companies as Salesforce Inc. has made cloud technology a hot commodity among investors and increasingly popular among enterprises of all sizes.
As Oracle builds out its Oracle Commerce Cloud product, cloud veteran NetSuite will add to the options it can offer retailers and B2B sellers that don’t want to run their e-commerce technology themselves.
The Leading Vendors to the Top 1000 explores these vendor strategies in detail. The new and completely updated data and analysis in the 2017 edition is available in a PDF or a fully customized online database version.
The vendors outlined in the Leading Vendors to the Top 1000 are at the head of the class. Online retailers seeking new technology service providers as well as vendors can use this guide to make informed business decisions and to keep an eye on the competition. You can learn more about the guide and buy it here.