Sitecore Platinum Partner and leading
Sitecore Commerce Implementation team,
XCentium, explores why Sitecore Commerce 9 is
a great platform for customers that want to
deliver omni-channel Experience Commerce
Sitecore, the leading Customer Experience Management platform, is poised to become a rising challenger in the eCommerce space with the release of their new product, Sitecore Experience Commerce 9. What truly sets the new Sitecore Experience Commerce 9 apart is that it is the only cloud-enabled eCommerce platform, and is built on an industry leading Content Management System (CMS), with native, integrated marketing tools. This empowers marketers, merchandisers and partners to personalize the end to end shopping experience, before, during and after your customer’s transaction.
Just like the Sitecore 9 upgrade, there is a lot to love about Sitecore XC 9. As the leading Sitecore Experience Commerce Implementation team in North America, our XCentium Commerce team has identified nine reasons the Sitecore XC 9 upgrade will be a game changer in the eCommerce space.
1. Sitecore’s Commerce is entirely native to Sitecore
Commerce Server was running on outdated technology, which resulted in many limitations with scalability. Commerce Server integration also had performance and extensibility challenges, which should all be gone now with version 9. “We salute Commerce Server and warmly welcome the new Sitecore Experience Commerce 9. It is very exciting to us, as a company that walked the path of evolution from the very first Commerce Server integration with Sitecore, to see the maturation of the commerce platform. With the new release being native to Sitecore, it stands tall on the shoulders of the “big brother” Sitecore XP. It is important to remember that Sitecore Commerce is not simply a commerce box, it is a fully featured web commerce experience platform. This is what gives Sitecore Commerce a huge advantage over the other platforms, and we are proud to be onboard!” shares Vasiliy Fomichev, Technical Director of XCentium’s Sitecore Commerce practice.
2. Micro-Services Architecture
Sitecore Experience Commerce 9 is the only modern commerce platform built on .NET Core – the very latest and greatest Microsoft framework. This provides IT teams a flexible, extensible and scalable platform that fully integrates with backend systems including CRM, ERP, POS and other systems critical to running an efficient and effective Commerce company. Furthermore, the Miro-Services Architecture supplies IT teams with a simplified stack, agility, speed, and scale. Additionally, Sitecore Experience Commerce 9 features full PaaS support, enabling the Commerce Engine to be set up as an Azure Web apps and configured to auto-scale.
“In addition to all the robust and extensible features already available in the previous versions of Sitecore Commerce, XC 9.0 is a game changer especially with full PaaS support. The engine can be set to auto-scale and can easily handle large number of concurrent transactions. Not to forget, when combined with other existing Sitecore modules like EXM, SXA and features like Sitecore personalization rules, there are unlimited permutations and combinations available to grab the attention of shoppers and provide a connected shopping experience," shares Kautilya Prasad, Sitecore Commerce Archtiect at XCentium.
3. Sitecore Experience Accelerator Storefront
The new XC 9 Sitecore Experience Accelerator Storefront has the capacity to drastically reduce time to market by providing over 40 re-usable Commerce layouts and components to get your storefront running quickly. This enables customers to spend more time focusing on customizing experiences, rather than the foundational ground work. Included with the Sitecore Experience Accelerator Storefront are redesigned forms, enabling marketers to better capture information within their Storefront. Lastly, the SXA Storefront can serve as the foundation for implementation and officially backed by Sitecore Support.
4. Commerce Business Tools
The Sitecore Experience Commerce truly thought of marketers, merchandisers and IT teams, when they designed their new Commerce Business Tools. These new tools provide a much better, simplified and unified process for managing catalog, promotions, pricing, inventory, orders and customers. Our Sitecore Commerce practice team likes this feature, as it is an intuitive, one stop place for managing all commerce related entities.
5. Catalog Management
One big improvement we think eCommerce customers are going to be happy about is the Catalog Management within Sitecore XC 9. The new Catalog Management features a global products list of sellable and entitlement items. New within the entitlement section is the ability to sell digital goods, services and warranties. Yes, a total game changer for Sitecore Experience Commerce customers. In addition to this feature, the Catalog Management features new generalized default schema based on schema.org standards, enabling your products to be found by Google and other search engines
6. Inventory Management
There are several new functions within the Sitecore XC 9 Inventory Management, we think will excite Commerce customers starting with the capability to have online to offline support via allocations. The new managed multi-store, multi-warehouse and multi-inventory feature makes it easier for larger businesses to manage their complexities within the Sitecore Experience Commerce platform. Other notable features in the Sitecore XC 9 Inventory Management include shipment tracking, reservation per inventory bin, notifications of expiry and inventory thresholds and multi-currency support. With all these additional inventory management features, it is clear Sitecore has listened to what their B2C Commerce customers have been asking for over the evolution of the Sitecore Experience Commerce product.
7. Identity Server
Separate identity service endpoint is now built on top of IdentityServer4. Sitecore XC uses headers passed in through the service APIs to establish context for the call. Every user must be authenticated to be able to call any controller from the Commerce Engine. There are two ways to authenticate – Certificate or Bearer Token. Sitecore Identity Server provides the bearer token to connect to CE. Out of the box, the identity server is configured to talk to Sitecore for authentication, but because it is built on Identity Server 4, it can be easily extended to support external identity providers like Azure Active Directory, Google, Facebook etc.
8. Separation of Roles
Sitecore Experience Commerce 9.0 also provides new role-based security functionality enabling customers to structure workflows and approval processes within their teams. Examples of these roles include:
- Authoring Role – Serves traffic from the Commerce Business Tools.
- Light traffic
- Low Scale Requirements
- Shops Role – Serves traffic from Storefront
- Can independently scale to support high transactions.
- Scaling can be dependent on location and/or traffic
- Deployed close to Sitecore Experience platforms that generates storefront traffic.
- Minion Role – Post processing
- Post Order Capture processing
- Support Asynchronous processing
- DevOps Role
- Internal and only for DevOps
- Allows maintenance tasks that are not permitted to other roles. (Bootstrapping, Clean, Initializing)
Each of the four roles can be an independent instance of the Commerce Engine and have different policies and behavior. All roles share the same database, but can have independent caching strategies.
9. The Sitecore Experience Cloud – An Industry Leading Platform with Endless Commerce Possibilities
Sitecore’s cloud-first digital experience platform truly offers everything Commerce customers need to manage a customer-centric shopping experience, including natively integrated digital marketing and commerce tools, industry-leading content management and machine learning-generated insights to deliver omni-channel, end to end personalized shopping experiences at scale. “As a content strategist, I'm stoked about the promise of commerce and product content leveraging the greatest personalization engine, all in one. The possibilities are really exciting,” shares Dave Stawinski, XCentium’s West Coast Practice Director.
In summary, we are very excited about the launch of Sitecore Experience Cloud. Combined with the recently announced CRM integration partnership with Salesforce and the integrated User Generated Content partnership with Slackla, Sitecore is truly building an end to end personalized shopping experience that will propel them to the forefront of eCommerce Platforms. "The launch of Sitecore Commerce 9 marks a paradigm shift in .Net based commerce,” shares XCentium Co-Founder, Martin Knudsen. “We are incredibly excited that Commerce 9 is finally here and we are seeing a lot of interest for it in the market. The ultimate flexibility ingrained in the veins of Commerce 9 enables us to get to market faster and easier for our clients. We expect to launch a number of highly customized and superiorly performing commerce solutions in 2018 utilizing the power of Sitecore Commerce 9."
To start a conversation about how the new features of Sitecore Experience Commerce can work for your company, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on how to harness the power of Voice Commerce with Sitecore Experience Commerce, please view our Voice Commerce blog.
XCentium is the leading Sitecore Experience Commerce implementation partner globally. XCentium is also one of few Sitecore Platinum Partners with experience implementing the entire Sitecore Platform, including Sitecore’s CMS, Commerce, Cloud, EXM and PXM, enabling you to work with one software platform and one implementation partner for all your digital experience solutions.