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Why the Gartner Magic Quadrant for WCM Matters to Commerce

Three weeks ago, Acquia reached a major milestone. Gartner released its annual Web Content Management Magic Quadrant, and for the first time, Acquia made the coveted Leaders quadrant. This is a huge accomplishment for Acquia, and makes everyone here extremely proud to work for such an amazing company.

Since Gartner does a Magic Quadrant report for both WCM and Commerce, commerce execs may pay little attention to the WCM report. I’m here to tell you - that’s a mistake. The lines between commerce and content are blurring, and commerce professionals need to be paying attention to what’s happening in content.

The commerce landscape is changing. New, digitally native brands like Houzz, Bonobos and Thrillist are changing customer expectations through their content-rich commerce experiences. Consumers are now expecting great brand experiences and user generated content embedded into the shopping flow, instead of simply living on separate-but-equal brand sites (what Forrester calls the “Two Site Syndrome”). Traditional B2C and B2B commerce are struggling to keep up with these evolving expectations, and every day these expectations increase, making it even more challenging to keep up.

In the weeks since the release of the Gartner report, I’ve witnessed the momentum shift among buyers who've beat a path to our door. They’re seeking to build great brand experiences, and not just for their content sites. The Web Content Management Magic Quadrant is hugely impactful to the commerce market as well as content-pure-plays.

Last month Gartner released its Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce and the stats they open with are staggering:

  • By 2018, 70% of e-commerce will move from B2C and B2B models to models that focus on the individual customer experience
  • By 2018, organizations that have fully invested in all types of online personalization will outsell companies that have not by more than 30%

What’s more, Gartner listed WCM as a strength for only one commerce platform – IBM WebSphere (yet 63% of those who did not select WebSphere cited inflexibility and complexity as the reasons).

In the new world of commerce, separating brand and user generated content from the shopping experience is not an option. To keep up with the Bonobos and Thrillists of the world, commerce managers, merchandisers and marketers need unprecedented flexibility and control over the presentation layer of their commerce sites.

So how do brands do it? Last August, CMSWire published an article that dealt with the most burning question on the mind of many commerce professionals: Can One Firm Provide Complete Digital Experience? The short answer: No. At least not today. CMSWire cites the (then) newly released Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms, which determined that no vendor genuinely offered a truly “end-to-end solution.” The Gartner Magic Quadrant for commerce released last month confirms that.

The CMSWire article goes into much greater depth (and is a great read) and argues that one-size-fits-all does not exist. And likely never will. Yes, there are vendors out there who will claim to provide a complete end-to-end solution, however, it’s unlikely that any so-called comprehensive solution is best-of-breed through and through.

“Best-of-breed point solutions focus on one aspect within the digital experience. That focus might be the website, native apps, social, data append, gamification, marketing apps and so on. To expect one platform to innovate fast enough to solve one of those needs is asking a lot. To ask one platform to solve all those needs is a recipe for mediocrity.”
~ Dom Nicastro, CMSWire

At Acquia, we’re building a solution that allows marketers, merchandisers and content managers to create beautiful commerce experiences. As brands innovate with the changing landscape, the Acquia Platform will power their innovation, enabling easy integrations with enterprise commerce providers, and allowing brands to create their own best-of-breed ecosystems.

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