Demandware is a cloud-based e-commerce platform that was launched in 2004. The company uses a subscription model that is based off of revenue sharing. For example, one of Demandware’s clients1-800-Contacts pays about 1.25% of its sales per month to Demandware. Demandware recently had its IPO. In March 2012, Demandware began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, raising $88 million. After an initial IPO, its shares increased by 50% the next day. Demandware’s e-commerce platform is intended primarily for retailers, letting them mange and design commerce sites. The technology, based off of an open, cloud-based platform, empowers customer engagement across devices, including laptop, desktop, tablet, and smartphones.
Demandware is one of the perfect products for large- and enterprise-level businesses. In the industry, we found that their subscription pricing was ultimately unique. Demandware’s subscription model is based off of revenue sharing. Each of Demandware’s clients pays a small percentage of their monthly sales towards their subscription. This reduces the high amount of overhead associated with traditional license-based subscriptions found throughout the e-commerce industry.
Another thing that we liked about Demandware was the responsive themes that could be designed through the development center. With the development resources available through Demandware, businesses can modify, deploy, and fine-tune custom e-commerce logic among multiple channels and different devices. It is possible to create custom objects, including dates, currency, pick lists, and a whole lot more.
We also liked Demandware for its API integrations, as well as its extensive network of technology partners. With the RESTful API integration, Demandware works with external applications, such as CRMs. Developers can also quickly build custom applications and interface legacy programs with the Demandware platform.
There are also third-party integrations available through the third-party LINK Marketplace. Demandware makes its partners go through a lengthy trial period before they can be considered major Demandware affiliates.
Here are some of the other benefits of Demandware:
- LINK affiliates provide Demandware customers with the best possible support and design to make integration work.
- The cloud-based platform mitigates loss of data and information.
- Demandware has a high level of uptime guaranteed, at 99.98%.
- Demandware is scalable for speeds during high traffic periods.
- Highly responsive web design that works from tablets, to phones, to desktops.
- Some of the best SEO and marketing tools in the industry.
- Online and in-person classes to help businesses learn how to use and manage their online store.
- 24/7 support and security monitoring.
All these features make Demandware one of the best enterprise-level products available for business.
Inventory optimization is also possible with Demandware, something that we didn’t see very often in the e-commerce industry. You can create promotion rules that are based off of customer behavior analysis and inventory on hand information. You can get a real-time update on your inventory, coordinated by some of the backend systems in the industry.
Another great feature of the Demandware platform is centralized product and content management. There is a powerful user interface that lets merchants manage products across catalogs and site. Merchants can easily manage their product descriptions with master catalog structures. The developers on your team can also use their favorite web-editing suite to mange your online store.
There were some concerns that we had with Demandware. We found that the software is only targeted for large- and enterprise-level businesses, like Oracle. If you are a small business or retailer, Demandware is not a good e-commerce solution for your business.
We also were worried about the implementation time for a Demandware e-store. With Hybris, they had a Commerce Accelerator that came with ready-to-go themes. We couldn’t find a similar download to use with Demandware, so we have questions about how long it takes to build an online store with Demandware.
Additionally, we had some concerns with the subscription payment paradigm:
- Demandware is an expensive e-commerce solution.
- Pricing is variable, so if your company does more sales, you end up paying more.
- The subscription package with Demandware is much like transaction fees charged by other e-commerce providers.
While Demandware is pretty streamlined for your business, you give up a lot of your site’s functionality and control to Demandware and its partners. If one of Demandware’s affiliates upgrades their service, you might have to make some changes to your website.
Also, we didn’t see any demonstrations of Demandware’s solutions on their website. With other e-commerce providers in the industry, we were able to see demonstrations of e-stores, but not with Demandware.