Insights | Marketing

Rise Of The Digital Marketing Suite – Part IV (The Independents: eCommerce)

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Michael Brown

July 12, 2019

downloadIn Part I of our series on the rise of the digital marketing suite we laid the foundation for the categories that the CMO buys within. For Part II we moved on to talk about the broad landscape of who is currently operating in the space today and selling into the CMO suite. In Part III we continued to understand how all the major players got to where they are covering the largest players in the space like Adobe Systems, Salesforce, Oracle, IBM and Microsoft. As we know that is not the full picture of who is operating in the space so for Part IV we will move outside of the Big 5 to see “who are the major independent companies that are talking to CMOs?“ We will follow our categories and cover the earliest market leader in the eCommerce space up to where we are at today.

Of all the categories that we cover, eCommerce contains the fewest significant independent players than the other categories. The M&A side has also been non-existant by the big guys, with Oracle the only player of the big 5 to buy a B2C commerce suite in the space (ATG). While IBM has a huge business in their WebSphere Commerce product this segment still is largely left alone by the large players that own the CMO landscape.

The story really begins on the independent side in 1994 with the launch of Digital River. The business has lost share in recent years with the growth of the big 4 in this category (IBM, Oracle, Demandware, Hybris) but still has a strong presence in consumer electronics, software, and manufacturing and boasts over 200,000 customers including Skullcandy, Jawbone, Ticketmaster and many of the large PC vendors. The business remains a public independent company.

In 1997, we see the emergence of Hybris which continues to provide strong tools around content/catalog management, enterprise integration and globalization/internationalization. The business remains in the top 4 in terms of revenue and market share and has several huge companies on the platform including Toys-R-Us, Levi’s, Nikon and P&G. The company was acquired by SAP in June 2013 ($1.3B EV / 10.7 LTM Revs).

Finally in 2004, Demandware launched to the public as one of the first SaaS B2C eCommerce suites in market. With a high degree of flexibility, differentiation and pricing elasticity the company grew quickly and today is arguably the only SaaS player focused on this vertical. The company, like Digital River, remains one of the only public independent companies in the space.

That’s really it from an independent company standpoint for the eCommerce category although we would note that eBay Enterprise, through it’s acquisitions of GSI Commerce, Intershop and Magento, could be considered a larger player within this category. We don’t include MICROS Retail and RedPrairie given their standing in the market and focus. That is it for eCommerce, next we will move on to Campaign Management / Email Marketing.