Catalogers’ E-commerce Tech Old and Homegrown

According to a recent survey of more than 200 catalog companies by Woburn, MA-based on-demand e-commerce technology provider Demandware, standard e-commerce functions such as ordering management, inventory management, and call center applications are most often handled by technology that was developed inhouse. Additionally, that technology hasn’t been replaced by more current solutions.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said their current e-commerce platform was homegrown, while 37% said their platform was a package solution, and 13% from an application service provider. Further, an overwhelming 68% said their business has been using its current platform for at least three years.

Respondents ranked customer/order management functionality the most important feature of an e-commerce platform, with a 3.9 rating on a scale of one to five, five being of critical importance. Other important functions include analytics/reporting features (3.7), operational features (3.3), and marketing features (3.1).

The majority of those surveyed, 67%, operate between two and five Websites. For 44% of respondents, online revenue accounted for 10% or less of overall annual sales; 23% of respondents said it accounted for 11%-25% of sales; 30% of said it accounted for 26%-50% of sales, and only 3% said it accounted for more than half.

Those surveyed said the most important shopping feature of an e-commerce platform was advanced search and navigation, with a 3.96 rating. Other important features include cross-sell/upsell (3.93), catalog quick order (3.78), and automated merchandising (3.36). Respondents rated onsite auction (1.67), advanced sale (2.26), and customizable products (2.37) as the least important.

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