What does a common B2C e-commerce project look like? Well, every project is different, but they usually have a few key elements involved. When working with e-commerce implementations it’s all about the integrations. You’re going to be pulling data from various different systems to populate the products and inventory on the site. You’ll also most likely be pushing your order data back to a master system of record where that data is tracked. On top of that you’ll be integrating with Payment Providers to offload the payment processing, logistics systems to handle the shipping of physical products, and with analytics platforms to give you the valuable insights into how your customers are interacting with you.
A lot of the time the creation of the actual storefront ends up being just a small part of the project, with a larger portion of the time being spent weaving together these disparate systems. If you look at the diagram below you can see a high-level overview of what integrations there could be in a typical B2C e-commerce system.
This shows some of the common ways that the different users and systems will interact with each other.
As I said at the start of this post, this is only talking about typical integrations that we see on a large number of projects. As the market matures and retailers are looking to leverage any competitive advantage they can get we’re also seeing new integrations appearing to support this push. Things like integrating with Alexa or Google Home to implement conversational commerce interactions, or integrating with Machine Learning platforms to leverage the wealth of data being collected about their customers in the DXP.
On top of that this post has mostly only focused on the Web channel, when you also factor in mobile apps, in-store systems like Point-of-Sale (POS) or smart advertising boards you can see how the bigger picture can become a lot more complicated. However, if you implement Sitecore Experience Commerce our extensibility features make pulling these different channels together to get a truly holistic view of your customers a lot simpler.