With record growth in 2017 and a billion dollar evaluation in 2018, it’s no secret that Episerver is hot, but what may be lesser known is that experience-driven commerce is a big reason why.
When content, commerce and marketing work together (in the cloud, of course), marketers and merchandisers profit from having their entire digital strategy on one screen. With this cohesion, customers get friction-less experiences that speak to who they are and what they are trying to achieve at any given moment and on any given channel/device.
Via Episerver, commerce goes beyond basic transactions into mature interactions, evolving with each click. So, if you’ve only thought of Episerver as a web content management company, here’s our take on five commerce wins you’ve missed from this year alone.
Months in the making, Forrester’s TEI* was worth the wait as Forrester Consulting analysts interviewed Episerver Digital Experience Cloud™ customers and analyzed the data as to what it means to run their businesses on Episerver. Among many notable figures, their independent analysis and research found that Episerver provides a 443% return on investment (ROI) in three years for customers with a payback period of six months. Here’s what you need to know about TEI from four perspectives:
Ecommerce Take: “Too often companies running digital commerce are focused on conversions and not the customer experience,” said Ed Kennedy, Senior Director of Commerce at Episerver. “What we believe Forrester’s TEI affords is a factual conclusion that when businesses invest in experience, in this case Episerver’s experience management tools, it reduces the cost of operating large-scale commerce websites while supporting content marketing strategies that balance conversion optimization with engagement. What’s more, Forrester Consulting found Episerver customers using our personalization suite benefit from $3.7 million in extra revenue as soon as the first year due to uplifts in conversion, basket size and click-through rates, as well as a decrease in number of clicks to purchase.”
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Episerver Take: “We owe gratitude to the Episerver customers who volunteered to open their books and work with Forrester Consulting to determine what has happened since implementing Episerver Digital Experience Cloud,” said James Norwood, EVP Strategy and CMO of Episerver. “Through their transparency with Forrester, we can plainly say that over three years, businesses similar to the composite organization (a North American-based brand with annual revenues of $300+ million) can expect a return of $4.6 million from Episerver Digital Experience Cloud. It’s a testament to our full suite and customers’ getting paid back for investing in digital experience.”
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Partner Take: “One of the most critical elements of Forrester’s findings, in our opinion, was how pivotal of a role Microsoft Azure plays in saving companies money over on-premise options,” said Karen Chastain, Senior Director of Global Strategic Partnerships at Episerver. "The three-year benefit of Episerver customers moving to Azure was $875,609, and we have to imagine more based on less heartache internally and more love from customers externally due to interacting with quick, flexible and reliable sites. Episerver is committed to our strong partnership with Microsoft, which continues to bring value to our mutual business customers and their customers as well.”
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Product Take: “Companies at the mercy of their many mar-tech integrations, or who are bogged down with their prehistoric on-premise infrastructure (hitting it with a rock every time there’s an influx in traffic), aren’t doing themselves any favors,” said Justin Anovick, VP of Product at Episerver. “We think the independent TEI study conducted by Forrester Consulting on Episerver’s behalf explicitly proves the value of CMS, digital commerce and marketing working together to reduce labor resources (time and money) such as mitigating redundant development efforts and scaling more easily for everything from automatically reacting to traffic (Azure) to reacting to a person’s behavior (Episerver Personalization). Even with all this value built into Episerver Digital Experience Cloud—and there’s more to come—our customers are still paid back their investment in less than six months.”
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Episerver has long recognized the value of third-party validation, as evidence in participation and inclusion in dozens of analyst reports. In September of this year, Episerver was named one of the 12 providers that matter most for The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites, Q3 2018 (having been named a Contender) and one of the 12 providers that matter most for The Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2018 (having been named a Strong Performer). Here’s our commerce take:
Ecommerce Take: “Episerver has been included in both of Forrester’s commerce evaluations,” said Kennedy. “We are one of only six vendors featured in both reports, which we believe is a testament to our complete commerce suite, strength of WCM and, in our opinion, as proven by the Forrester TEI, low total cost of ownership. There’s no waiting period for our customers to be able to execute on the experience-driven commerce that we have brought to market, as our solution is working seamlessly now.”
Episerver Take: “Our first North American partner, Blend Interactive, recently told us they admired the fearlessness into which Episerver entered the U.S. market decades ago,” said Norwood. “They also remarked that it was with the same boldness that Episerver set forth to capitalize on the vision of making smart content part of standout commerce experiences. We believe it’s what business is calling for today and analyst reports like Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce show us the vision was the right one, as being a full-featured platform is what continues to set Episerver apart when companies want to transform digitally.”
Just this Fall, IDC published new MarketScape reports in the distinct areas of B2B Commerce, B2C Commerce and Manufacturing Commerce – in each of which Episerver was named a Major Player. Episerver believes that today’s brands are only as good as their digital experience, regardless of what industry they are in and Episerver has features to fit everyone.
Partner Take: “Episerver has the products to transform the digital experiences for brands that may have thought they were immune to the pressures of higher customer experience expectations or the Amazon Effect,” said Chastain. “B2B manufacturers beginning to sell online, for example, are held to the same standards their customers are getting when they’ve clocked out and are at home shopping from their phones. We appreciate the separation IDC gave B2B, B2C and Manufacturing commerce as each requires a different feature set, and Episerver and its partners have both the tools and the expertise to meet those digital experience demands in every industry.”
Whether it’s for new work software or new work shoes, today’s shoppers rightfully assume that each step of their shopping experience will look nice, function even better, and suggest more content and products suited to them. On the business side of things, Microsoft recognizes retailers are under greater pressure to offer personalized, seamless shopping experiences for today’s digital-savvy consumers. This year, Episerver was named one of three partners to help Microsoft deliver Intelligent Customer Journey for Retail (see image), both for Episerver’s personalization suite and Episerver Digital Experience Cloud.
Product Take: “Episerver Digital Experience Cloud with Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows organizations to easily conjure up the omnichannel store fulfillment scenarios they’ve dreamed of since buy online, pick up in store, visibility into store inventory online and endless-aisle became the golden standard for multichannel merchants,” said Anovick. “By adding our personalization suite into the equation, that seamless retail experience becomes tailored to each shopper and creates a new goal for retail organizations.”
Check out more analyst and media love:
* The Total Economic Impact™ Of Epierver Digital Experience Cloud, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Episerver, August 2018
** Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, Penny Gillespie, Jason Daigler, et al., 05 June 2018. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.