E-commerce platform. Part 2. What is Demandware and what does it eat?

    Hello, Habr!
    We continue to introduce you to the most successful and popular e-commerce platforms. After our previous article, we got a lot of questions about what Demandware is like as an e-commerce platform. Well, let's get together and try to figure it out.

    Demandware began developing e-commerce software in 2004, thanks to Stefan Schambach and Wayne Whitcomb, who founded the company. Currently, the platform serves about 200 companies around the world. Of course, you can say that this figure does not amaze you, but it is worth noting that among these companies are mainly world leaders in the production of sportswear: Adidas, New Balance, Reebok; bison production of model clothes: Versace, Barneys, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss; the cosmetics industry giant L'Oreal with all its product lines, including Lancome, Vichy and many more.

    Let's first look at the statistics on the use of various e-commerce platforms in the Internet space. To do this, use the data from the builtwith.com website.


    fig. 1. TOP 10,000 commercial sites

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    Figure 2. Statistics of all commercial sites

    As can be seen from the first graph, among the 10 thousand largest online stores, sites on Demandware occupy a rather large share, namely 12.02%. But if you look at the statistics on the Internet as a whole, then it does not look so encouraging - only 0.07%. What is the reason?

    The answer lies on the surface: the price of services for writing and maintaining the site varies in the region of 0.75 - 1.25% of the monthly sales volume of the site. Agree, for many companies this amount is simply unbearable.

    This is not to say that Demandware is an ideal platform for e-commerce, it also has its advantages and disadvantages. Consider the pros and cons of the platform.

    Perhaps the main advantage of using the Demandware platform for e-commerce is that this platform does not stand still, but constantly strives to comply with market trends. Not the last role in this is played by the customers themselves, who, with their requests and requirements for the online store, “move” Demandware for the better. In other words, the marketing departments of brands, based on their desired changes, make certain requests to improve the platform, which are based on testing and really working features of online stores. These requests are processed by Demandware, and in turn come out in the form of releases. Update releases are issued at least 4 times a year (and already managed to be released in 2014), and they are used both on new projects and on already launched ones, because due to the flexibility of the platform,

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    fig. 3. Admin interface Demandware

    Demandware successfully works as a SaaS, which is simply a huge advantage for an e-commerce platform. Thanks to a well-thought-out system architecture based on the so-called balancers, the system itself is scalable. That is, during peak loads on the site, for example during Black friday, the system can be expanded to the required number of resources that minimize the possibility of the site crashing, and also allows production and environment reboots without downtime.

    Also, the flexible design of the platform allows you to make the site exactly the way you want to see it. One has only to look at already launched and mega-popular websites of companies, for example, such as adidas, Crocs, and the question of design on this platform will disappear by itself.

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    fig. 4. Crocs website

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    pic. 5. Adidas website

    And let's not forget that the solution “out of the box” Demandware allows you to run the site as soon as possible. To do this, you only need a designer and an online marketing manager who can only fill the site with his goods.

    Let's now move on to the shortcomings of the platform. Although there are not many of them, we have no right to pass them. The first and probably the most important drawback of this platform is that site control is almost entirely in the hands of Demandware. Although for some customers this fact can be attributed to the advantages of the platform, because in this way it loses the problems of maintaining the site.

    The second minus is pricing - a fee for maintaining the site. It is variable and depends on the success of the site directly. Also, an additional fee is charged if the sales of the site exceed the volumes prescribed in the original contract.

    So, as the e-commerce platform Demandware solves all the problems facing the online store, you only need to trust the right team, which will deal with both writing and maintaining the site.

    We remind you that the article is overview and if you have any questions, leave them in the comments, and we will try to give you answers.

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