Big retailers turn to full e-commerce platforms


The bad year for retailers has forced them to look online, as they invest in the only area that that is growing: e-commerce.

According to Frank Lord, managing director of e-commerce company ATG in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), larger retailers were now looking at complete e-commerce platforms rather than trying to put together something in pieces by themselves.

He said that new e-commerce platforms allow major retailers to differentiate themselves. Lord added that retailers usually started by having technology that met their needs, but as they grew, building things on their own presented a series of problems as they needed to scale.

Lord used the example of major UK retailer Tesco, which used to build its own e-commerce solutions, but decided this year to move to an ATG-based e-commerce platform.

He said Tesco previously spent 80 per cent of its time developing functionality that already existed in the marketplace, where as it should have been spending that time making itself different from other companies.

"The bigger retailers and the bigger brands right now are really thinking about how they invest in platforms," Lord said. "It's a way to accelerate their business, cut costs, and provide functionality that they need to compete in the space."

He said that retailers needed to have at least 30 million in yearly online sales to really make having such an e-commerce platform necessary.