In Forrester’s recently published report, “The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites, Q2 2020,” we evaluated the 13 most significant vendors — Adobe, Apttus, BigCommerce, commercetools, Elastic Path Software, Episerver, Insite, Intershop Communications, Oracle, Salesforce, Sana Commerce, SAP, and Unilog Content Solutions — against 29 criteria.

After researching, analyzing, and scoring each vendor’s current offering, strategy, and market presence, we identified two Leaders: Adobe and Salesforce.

Here’s what we learned along the way:

  • The devil’s in the versions. We spoke to nearly 40 customers during our evaluation, and one thing stood out: Painful, resource-intensive upgrades leave customers back-versioned and unable to consume innovation from their vendor. Some vendors have reached the point of being versionless, while others still struggle with upgrades that feel like replatforming.
  • Leaders prioritize the business user experience. Administrators and business users rely on technology to drive efficiency. Simple, intuitive business user tooling was a strong differentiator in our evaluation. And vendors with continuous deployment models are at an advantage here: They can A/B-test the business user experience and instantaneously release improvements without major disruption.
  • It’s no longer about what your vendor owns. Some B2B businesses still want to get all commerce suite components from one vendor, but more are opting to assemble a suite of best-fit solutions tailored to their needs. The top vendors don’t limit customers to their first-party functionality but offer app stores with prebuilt integrations to industry-leading options for key components. Leaders go a step further by unifying the business user interface so that using those third-party components is a seamless experience.

Use the B2B Commerce Suites Wave evaluation to help you choose vendors based on your strategy and business needs. Forrester clients can check out the full report here and the preceding Now Tech report here. For B2C clients, check out the companion report, “The Forrester Wave: B2C Commerce Suites, Q2 2020.”

B2B businesses: Please schedule an inquiry or advisory with me to see how to use this report to identify the best-fit solutions for your needs. I’ll walk you through my findings and help you adjust the report to identify the vendors that should make your shortlist.

Commerce vendors and commerce-related solution providers: Please schedule your inquiry or advisory with me to discuss what my findings mean for the industry and your offering. Let’s discuss how you fit into this changing world and identify the partnership opportunities for you moving forward.

(Emma Huff contributed to this blog post.)