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How turnkey commerce solutions help businesses focus on differentiation, customer value and growth

To discuss how businesses can approach their ecommerce technology stacks to create better digital experiences for their customers, Arc XP CTO and GM, Scot Gillespie, recently sat down with Digital Commerce 360.

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This article originally appeared in the Digital Commerce 360 Key Findings from the 2021 Ecommerce Platforms for B2B and B2C Report.

Digital transformation, particularly amongst retailers and ecommerce businesses, is accelerating faster than ever to adapt to shifting consumer buying habits. To discuss how businesses can approach their ecommerce technology stacks to create better digital experiences for their customers, Digital Commerce 360 spoke to Scot Gillespie, chief technology officer and general manager at Arc XP.

What are some of the ecommerce platform challenges you see facing businesses today?

SG: One of the biggest challenges we see is the number of applications it takes for businesses to just run their site. For merchandisers and marketers, they’re using several tools to manage product and promotional assets, curate the site, run A/B tests, and that’s just on the frontend. On the backend, it’s monitoring uptime and availability, maintaining the site and executing platform upgrades, new feature development, running the infrastructure. That’s a lot of investment, a lot of overhead that doesn’t add customer value. When you have to maintain all these integration points and different solutions, it reduces the capacity that can be put toward improving the customer experience.

So, what we’re seeing, as a lot of ecommerce businesses evaluate their ecommerce stacks, is this recognition that the way they’ve been operating doesn’t have to be. There are solutions like Arc that, while we have a robust headless commerce platform, we also bring together the content management system and the front-end experience into one fully managed solution so they can focus resources on the user experience, testing, experimentation and differentiation—those things that add customer value.

What should companies think about when evaluating their ecommerce technologies?

SG: While there is this shift to headless commerce, it only solves part of the equation. Ecommerce businesses still must couple several tools together to form the entire solution. While a lot of companies are asking for headless, when they realize there are turnkey platforms with all the needed capabilities, we’re seeing their interest shift to those solutions. The only tools they will have to plug into these turnkey solutions, like Arc, are those that are unique to their business like a unique pricing tool. But the rest of the platform will come from an overall out-of-the-box solution.

What common mistakes do you see companies make regarding their ecommerce strategies?

SG: It starts at a higher level from a business perspective. Coming from the commerce space before joining Arc, I have this inside view, an understanding of platform operations, and I see significant opportunity with how businesses are focusing their budget and resources. There is always room for improvement in how a company merchandises its site and develops rich content to pull its customers in and drive them to conversion. But the number one thing impacting ecommerce businesses is where they’re investing their dollars. They need to focus resources where they will have the most impact and value, which is on the customer experience.

How can businesses overcome this challenge?

SG: First, they need to ask themselves if they’re focusing on the right things that will drive the most customer value and business differentiation. Taking a step back, looking at where they’re spending their resources, the partners they’re using, and start chipping away and replacing legacy solutions where there are better ones in the market and where possible, consolidating individual point solutions. Having lived this life, ease of use for the merchandisers and marketers and speed of development for developers, those are the aspects that are going to make the biggest difference in driving revenue conversion.

The Digital Commerce 360 Key Findings from the 2021 Ecommerce Platforms for B2B and B2C Report provides a sneak peek at the full Ecommerce Platforms report and includes:

  • Detailed analyses and data charts
  • Insights into how commerce platforms progressed in the face of the pandemic
  • Examples of how new or upgraded ecommerce technology is opening new doors for businesses.

Interested in reading the full Key Findings report? Download now.