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Gartner: ‘Intershop among the top in retail software’

What’s the best software for retail businesses? IT research company Gartner tried to answer this question and came with an extensive report. It ranked ecommerce software provider Intershop third, behind the two retail software giants IBM and SAP. The German company is active for many years, but now it really seems on the rise, especially in mature ecommerce markets such as the Netherlands, Sweden and its home market Germany.

For Intershop, the third place in Gartner’s research is a clear signal quality pays off. Of course, it has to accept the fact IBM and SAP score even better, but Gerrit Enthoven, director sales EMEA West, doesn’t think it should be considered a loss. “Intershop can compete perfectly with the absolute giants in the market”, he tells Ecommerce News. “Of course, if budget doesn’t play any role, like in the Gartner research, then IBM and SAP are probably a better choice, but how many retailers have unlimited budget?”

‘Retailers spend 1-6% of their revenue on their software’

According to Enthoven, online retailers who are active for quite some time have an ongoing budget for software between the 1 and 6 percent. “When big updates or new launches pass by, this budget could be a little higher, but generally it’s about that share between 1 and 6 percent that retailers spend on their software.” So, that means there aren’t that many ecommerce players who can continually spend more than half a million euros every year.

Intershop positions itself as an affordable solution for the middle- to high-end market. Gartner’s research shows that Intershop can compete with the absolute top when it comes to the requirements for complete, diverse and large organizations. The study looked at 14 critical capabilities and 5 use cases to assist IT leaders and those responsible for digital commerce in their vendor selection endeavors. “Think of performance on multiple channels, selling globally and the requirements for both B2C and B2B opportunities.”

Intershop launched a new update of its software in conjunction with the new Intershop Commerce Suite this month. Enthoven thinks this will make the software more accessible to a larger market. Aside from that, he sees an increasing demand for a multichannel or even omnichannel strategy. “Intershop is a strong force in the B2B industry, which ensures we are accustomed to deal with other systems. And that’s of course essential when it comes to retail trade across multiple channels.”

20% growth expected in the Benelux

Earlier this year, Intershop also agreed to a new European partnership with Wincor Nixdorf, a company that provides debit card transactions throughout European. By further integrating these kinds of solutions, one retail solution for all channels is increasingly better possible with Intershop, Enthoven suggests. He sees the second half of this year as a promising period of growth, in which Europe plays an important part. “Currently we serve over 300 retailers who together run about 2,500 online stores. More than two thirds of them are European. Germany, or actually the whole DACH area, is our biggest market, although the Benelux is up and coming with 50 retailers. We expect a growth of at least 20 percent in this area.”

‘Nordics are new growth pillar of Intershop’

Another upcoming market is the Nordics. Both in Sweden and in Norway the company has welcomed some great retailers. One of those players is Ellos, a big fashion retailer from Sweden which will run on Intershops software at the end of this summer. Åhléns, the biggest department store chain of Sweden, switched to Intershop earlier this year and Sweden’s largest sports chain Stadium recently renewed its online store completely, again with Intershop.

Enthoven is certain the Nordics offer more growth opportunities. “It’s a mature ecommerce market. Customers order a lot online, so the software that’s being used should be scalable and offer the latest features. Retailers are demanding, but in a market of 10 to 25 million people (it depends on the countries where a retailer is active) the software of Intershop fits perfectly, even for the absolute top retailers in these countries”, he says. “Well, we always knew, but it’s nice it has now been confirmed by Gartner.”

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