Integration vs. Separation: Understanding the New Commerce Paradigm

Chris Williams

Solution Architect and Sitecore MVP, EPAM
Blog
  • Retail & Distribution

In today’s digital climate, retailers need to identify, define and meet consumer demands by leveraging the latest tech innovations. Experts in commerce emphasize the importance of a consumer’s purchase and search history to deliver highly personalized experiences, while marketers will gravitate to personas and email marketing. Marketers will also refer to a traditional marketing approach of building email lists in customer relationship management systems (CRMs) to send targeted, personalized emails based on a customer’s persona. That said, consumers expect a combination of what marketing and commerce professionals individually deem most important.

As recent as last month, a customer posted on social media about their experience with a retailer that used the traditional marketing approach:

A man purchased a pair of men’s jeans from the clothing retailer's eCommerce website. Somehow, he was classified as a female within the company’s distribution list. Perhaps his name sounded feminine, or maybe his daughter visited the same site and clicked on clothing items for herself. Either way, he was targeted and categorized under "people interested in women's clothes”. As a result, the man received a personalized email for women’s clothes and aired the outcome on social media. This opened up a chain of comments from other consumers who have experienced similar situations.

In this case, part of the solution would involve combining marketing and eCommerce approaches into a unified experience. Had the CRM tracked purchases directly or if the content management system (CMS) handled the entire experience, the proper weighting could have been applied, and a purchase triggering the appropriate marketing list. Changes in consumer expectations have introduced a paradigm shift.  For example, consumers are now accustomed to personalization and seamless omnichannel experiences. The traditional paradigm keeps the CRM and commerce sites separate. In the new, modern paradigm, the CRM and commerce sites are tightly integrated and, in most cases, within a single-site experience.

The traditional paradigm can have different levels of segmentation. In some cases, segmentation means entirely separate systems, but it could also mean partially integrated systems. For simplicity, we will focus on separate systems. Let us consider a popular toy company. When you navigate www.populartoycompany.com, you can view and search for products, however when you click the shopping cart icon, you are redirected to a different website, shop.popular toy company.com. What does this mean?

  • If a new product is released, marketing would have to create all of the marketing materials and schedule it to go live once the product is available in the eCommerce store.
  • When a product is no longer available, marketing either has to adjust the content so that the shop button disappears or when the user clicks shop, they are told an item is no longer available.
  • Marketers would know the products that customers looked at but not necessarily the ones they purchased.               

The modern paradigm is focused on integrating CRM, CMS and eCommerce platforms as much as possible. There are levels of integration. However, we will assume that, at minimum, the marketing system integrates with the eCommerce platform and both connect to the CRM. Let's consider the same toy company but in this case, everything lives under the same site or, at minimum, the customer is considered a single profile. What does this mean?

  • Products live in one place in the eCommerce system, so when a product is no longer available, the content can still exist but the shop button would disappear and you could indicate that the product is not currently available or on back order.
  • When a new product is released, a display rule could only make the product visible when the product becomes available.
  • From a marketing perspective, a purchase would be part of the same profile and some CMSs would consider that purchase as part of the equation in determining their persona and/or marketing list. This means the customer is more likely to receive the proper marketing materials.

As you can see from this simple example, some level of integration is necessary between commerce, CMS and CRM systems to successfully provide the customer with personalized content and product recommendations. The tighter the integration, the more consistent journey the customer will have with less manual work and more accurate personalized marketing to customers.

Chris Williams has been a Sitecore MVP since 2012, and in 2018, he became the only Sitecore Commerce MVP in Canada. He has worked on several Commerce projects, including Active Commerce and uCommerce. You may know Chris as @SitecoreGuild or the Sitecore Commerce Mentoring Guild, as he is an active mentor in the community.

Chris will be attending Sitecore Symposium 2018. Schedule a meeting with us or stop by our booth (#801).

Hello. How Can We Help You?


Our Offices

  • Canada

    • Ottawa

      343 Preston Street,
      ON K1S 1N4, Ottawa
      Canada

      Map
    • Toronto

      5 Park Home Avenue,
      Suite 400,
      ON M2N 6L4, North York,
      Toronto
      Canada

      Map
      P: +1-416-591-4004
      F: +1-416-595-1551
  • Mexico

    • Guadalajara

      Periférico Sur #8110,
      Col. El Mante
      45609 Tlaquepaque, Jalisco
      Mexico

      Map
      P: +52-33-462-400-98
  • United States

    • Newtown, PA

      41 University Drive,
      Suite 202,
      Newtown, PA 18940
      USA

      Map
      P: +1-267-759-9000
      F: +1-267-759-8989
    • Bellevue, WA

      110 110th Ave. NE,
      Suite 310
      Bellevue, WA 98004
      USA

      Map
    • Boston, MA

      21 Drydock Avenue,
      Suite 410 W,
      Boston, MA 02210
      USA

      Map
    • Cambridge, MA

      One Mifflin Place,
      Cambridge, MA 02138
      USA

      Map
      P: +1-267-759-9000
      F: +1-267-759-8989
    • Conshohocken, PA

      101 East 8th Ave,
      Suite 201,
      Conshohocken, PA 19428
      USA

      Map
      P: +1-484-382-1300
    • Los Angeles, CA

      11601 Wilshire Blvd,
      Suite 350,
      Los Angeles, CA 90025
      USA

      Map
    • Mountain View, CA

      465 Fairchild Dr,
      Building B,
      Suite 221,
      Mountain View, CA 94043
      USA

      Map
    • New York, NY

      24 West 25th Street,
      5th Floor,
      New York, NY 10010
      USA

      Map
      P: +1-267-759-9000
      F: +1-267-759-8989
    • Philadelphia, PA

      30 South 15th Street,
      9th Floor,
      Philadelphia, PA 19102
      USA

      Map
    • San Francisco, CA

      222 Kearny Street,
      Suite 308,
      San Francisco, CA 94108
      USA

      Map
    • Washington D.C.

      7901 Jones Branch Drive,
      Suite 400,
      McLean, VA 22102
      USA

      Map
  • Austria

    • Vienna

      Nottendorfer Gasse 11,
      1030 Wien
      Austria 

      Map
  • Bulgaria

    • Sofia

      69 Bulgaria Blvd.,
      Infinity Tower,
      1404 Sofia
      Bulgaria

      Map
      P: +359-700-20-273
  • Czech Republic

    • Prague

      City Tower building,
      Hvezdova 2b,
      Prague 4
      Czech Republic

       

      Map
      P: +420 22 888 28 23
  • Germany

    • Frankfurt am Main

      Franklinstrasse 56, 
      60486 Frankfurt am Main,
      Germany

      Map
      P: +49-69-31019090
  • Hungary

    • Budapest

      Corvin Offices I.
      Futó street 47-53,
      Budapest, H-1082
      Hungary

      Map
      P: +36-1-327-7400
    • Debrecen

      Bethlen Street 3-9,
      Debrecen, 4026
      Hungary

      Map
      P: +36-52-999-485 / 45050
    • Szeged

      Felső Tisza-Part 25,
      Szeged, 6723
      Hungary

      Map
      P: +36-62-808-013
      F: +36-62-550-655
  • Ireland

    • Dublin

      Alexandra House,
      The Sweepstakes,
      Ballsbridge, Dublin 4,
      D04 C7H2
      Ireland

      Map
      P: +353-(0)-1-631-9280
  • Netherlands

    • Delft

      Delftechpark 37j
      2628 XJ Delft
      Netherlands

      Map
      P: +31 20 241 6134
    • Schiphol

      The Base B
      Evert van de Beekstraat 104
      1118CN Schiphol
      Netherlands

      Map
      P: +31 20 241 6134
  • Poland

    • Gdańsk

      Grunwaldzka 472D,
      Olivia Six,
      80-309 Gdańsk
      Poland

      Map
    • Katowice

      Chorzowska Str. 148
      40-101 Katowice
      Poland

      Map
      P: +48-12-222-02-02
    • Krakow

      Opolska Str. 114
      31-323 Kraków
      Poland

      Map
      P: +48-12-222-02-02
    • Warsaw

      Al. Jana Pawła II 23,
      Atrium International,
      00-854 Warszawa
      Poland

      Map
    • Wroclaw

      Ul. Piotra Skargi 1,
      Budynek A,
      50-082 Wrocław
      Poland

      Map
  • Sweden

    • Göteborg

      Lilla Nygatan 2,
      411-09 Göteborg
      Sweden

      Map
      P: +46-85-250-06-98
    • Stockholm

      Kungsgatan 50,
      111 35, Stockholm
      Sweden

      Map
      P: +46-85-250-06-98
  • Switzerland

    • Glattpark

      Boulevard Lilienthal 2,
      8152 Glattpark (Opfikon)
      Switzerland

      Map
      P: +41-43-500-21-49
  • United Kingdom

    • London

      114 Middlesex Street,
      London, E1 7HY
      United Kingdom

      Map
      P: +44-203-514-0027
    • Manchester

      Tower 12,
      18-22 Bridge Street,
      Manchester, M3 3BZ
      United Kingdom

      Map
      P: +44-203-514-0027
  • Australia

    • Sydney

      31 Highgate Cct
      Kellyville NSW 2155

      Map
      P: +61-28-310-82-72
  • China

    • Guangzhou

      Unit B01, 23/F,
      Yuexiuxinduhui Building,
      No. 236, 6th Zhongshan Road,
      Yuexiu District, Guangzhou,
      China 510180

      Map
    • 广州

      中国广州市越秀区
      中山六路236号
      越秀新都会大厦中座 23楼 B01室
      邮编510180

      地图
    • Shanghai

      Room A11, 6th Floor, Block C,
      666 East Beijing Road,
      Huangpu District, Shanghai,
      China 200001

      Map
      P: +86-21-53080606 +86-21-53085450
    • 上海

      中国上海市黄浦区
      北京东路 666号
      科技京城C区 6楼 A11室
      邮编200001

      地图
      P: +86-21-53080606 +86-21-53085450
    • Shenzhen

      3/F, Block 5, Vision Shenzhen Business Park,
      9th Gaoxin South Road, 
      Shenzhen Hi-tech Industrial Park,
      Nanshan District, Shenzhen,
      Guangdong, China 518057

      Map
      P: +86-755-36899008
    • 深圳

      中国广东省深圳市
      南山区高新南九道
      威新软件园5号楼3楼
      邮编518057

      地图
      P: +86-755-36899008
    • Suzhou

      Building 12, Creative Industrial Park,
      328 Xinghu Street,
      Suzhou Industrial Park,
      Suzhou, China 215123

      Map
    • 苏州

      中国江苏省苏州市
      苏州工业园区星湖街328号
      创意产业园内12号楼
      邮编215123

      地图
  • Hong Kong

    • Hong Kong

      198 Wellington Street,
      17F, Central
      Hong Kong

      Map
      P: +852-5808-6018
  • India

    • Hyderabad

      10, 11 & 12th Floors,
      Salarpuria Sattva Knowledge City,
      Plot No. 2, Phase - 1,
      Survey No. 83/1,
      Raidurgam Village,
      Serilingampally Mandal,
      Hyderabad, Telangana - 500081
      India

      Map
      P: +91-40-47979900
    • Pune

      SmartWork Business Center Pvt Ltd,
      Suite 8, Level 1,
      West Wing, Nyati Unitree,
      Samrat Ashok Road,
      Yerwada, Pune - 411006,
      Maharashtra
      India

      Map
      P: +91-20-4913-6025
  • Japan

    • Tokyo

      Floor 1-10-11
      Shibadaimon Centre Building 10th
      Shibadaimon Minato-ku
      Tokyo 105-0012
      Japan

      Map
      P: +81-03-6880-9198
      F: +81-03-6880-9201
  • Singapore

    • Singapore

      5 Shenton Way
      UIC Building, #10-01,
      Singapore (068808)

      Map
      P: +65-6911-6888
  • United Arab Emirates

    • Dubai

      EPAM Systems FZ-LLC
      Dubai Branch,
      Building 16, Office 241,
      Dubai Internet City,
      PO Box 501929, Dubai
      United Arab Emirates

      Map
      P: +971-4-568-3569
  • Armenia

    • Yerevan

      15 Khorenatsi Street,
      Elite Plaza Business Center,
      0010 Yerevan
      Armenia

      Map
      P: +374-10-60-00-65
  • Belarus

    • Brest

      6A Masherov Avenue,
      224030 Brest
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-162-52-5268
      F: +375-162-50-9888
    • Gomel

      80 Rechitsky Avenue,
      246012 Gomel
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100, ext. 54079
      F: +375-232-70-50-31
    • Grodno

      87B Gorkogo Street,
      230005 Grodno
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100, ext. 69011
    • Minsk

      1/1 Academician Kuprevich Street,
      Suite 110,
      220141 Minsk
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100
      F: +375-17-268-6699
    • Mogilev

      19 Cosmonaut Street,
      Suite 510,
      212009 Mogilev
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100, ext. 1001
    • Vitebsk

      11-a Stroitelei Avenue,
      Suite 311,
      210032 Vitebsk
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100, ext. 54433
  • Kazakhstan

    • Astana

      8 Auezova Street,
      Office B,
      010000 Astana
      Kazakhstan

      Map
      P: +7-7172-475-970
      F: +7-7172-688-774
    • Karaganda

      58/3 Ermekova Street,
      100009 Karaganda
      Kazakhstan

      Map
      P: +7-7212-93-01-01 +7-7212-93-01-00
  • Russia

    • Moscow

      9th Radialnaya Street,
      Building 2,
      115404 Moscow
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-495-730-6362
      F: +7-495-730-6361
    • Izhevsk

      150 V. Sivkova Street,
      426000 Izhevsk
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-3412-27-13-37
    • Nizhny Novgorod

      30 Poltavskaya Street
      603089 Nizhny Novgorod
      Russia

      Map
    • Ryazan

      16 Gogolya Street,
      390035 Ryazan
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-4912-55-99-10
    • Saint Petersburg

      22/2 Zastavskaya Street,
      MegaPark,
      196084 Saint Petersburg
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-812-611-1094
      F: +7-812-611-1094
    • Samara

      21 Michurina Street,
      443110 Samara
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-846-200-0970
    • Saratov

      37 Tankistov Street,
      410019 Saratov
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-8452-692-981
    • Sergiev Posad

      7 Akademika Silina Street,
      141313 Sergiev Posad
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-496-547-11-39
      F: +7-496-547-11-39
    • Togliatti

      31E Yubileynaya Street,
      445037 Togliatti
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-495-730-6360, ext. 47650
    • Tver

      8 Kolodkina Street,
      170002 Tver
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-4822-630-070 +7-4822-630-071 +7-4822-630-072
      F: +7-4822-630-073
  • Ukraine

    • Dnipro

      17A Volodymyra Monomaha Street,
      49000 Dnipro
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-56-790-5651
    • Kharkiv

      33G 23 Serpnya Street,
      61072 Kharkiv
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-57-728-06-22
    • Kyiv: Registered office

      28 Fizkultury Street,
      03150 Kyiv
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-44-390-5457
      F: +380-44-390-0861
    • Kyiv: Visitors office

      14B Kudryashova Street
      03035 Kyiv, Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-44-390-5457
      F: +380-44-390-0861
    • Lviv

      45 O.Stepanivny Street,
      79018 Lviv
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-32-242-4642
      F: +380-44-390-5458
    • Vinnytsia

      51 Ovodova Street,
      21000 Vinnytsia
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-432-551-294 +380-432-551-275
      F: +380-432-551-293