Currently there are two products which are clashing for the numero uno spot in e-commerce – IBM Websphere Commerce and ATG (Art Technology Group) Commerce. The article below provides a brief comparison of each product on various parameters.
- Features: All those familiar with IBM Websphere commerce know that it is feature rich. It supports B2B, B2C and extended sites (which ATG doesn’t) and some other features. But it is complicated. The best part I like about Websphere commerce is its robust extendable calculation framework. Calculation framework is used while calculating shipping, state tax, shipping tax and promotions. You can use/extended the same framework for your new custom module.
ATG Commerce is a comprehensive, highly scalable e-commerce solution that automates and personalizes the online buying experience. Its flexible, component-based e-commerce software architecture enables you to help your customers easily find desired products, learn about new offerings, comparison shop, register for gifts, pre-order products, redeem coupons, and easily complete their purchase
- Ease of Customization: Both ATG commerce and Websphere Commerce expose their API to be extended/ customized. Websphere Commerce is known to be highly complex with huge learning curve for new developers. ATG on the other hand has simple framework and more easily customizable.
- Scalability and Performance: ATG is known to be more scalable and high on performance as compared to Websphere Commerce. Sometimes developers, who are new to Websphere Commerce, don’t understand its complex framework and end up customizing it at the cost of performance. ATG is highly successful in taking peak traffic without much increase in CPU cycle. This is one of the main reasons for the ATG why ATG is increasing its client count so fast.
- Reporting and Business Process visibility: One of the coolest features of ATG is the ‘monitor shopping cart abandonment’ option that allows webmasters to identify areas of improvement and helps them to turn more shoppers into buyers. To increase and track conversion rate Websphere Commerce needs Corematrix developers help and code change to achieve same functionality.
- Targeted e-marketing: The best selling point of ATG is its rule based and event driven marketing strategies. One can leverage ATG’s Adaptive Scenario Engine to create targeted campaigns that are more complex and span time. ATG rather than blast out one-size-fits-all promotions, e-seller can serve up compelling promotions based on customers’ click history or order history.
IBM Websphere Commerce has old framework of creating e-spots and campaigns. These campaigns can be targeted based on customer segments. (E.g. show banner if ‘Tools’ item present in shopcart)
- Social Media Integration: Rumor has it that IBM Websphere Commerce’s next version – V7 will be designed to integrate with social media. This integration will completely change the dynamics of online purchasing
- Business Tools Customization: Both the products have business tools to customize site and handle organization structure. Tools framework developed by IBM Websphere Commerce (Accelerator, Site Admin console, Org Admin console) is considered to be the most challenging tool to customize. Based on my personal experience, estimates to customize these tools are double than the actual website. IBM Websphere Commerce has come up with a new tool – Sales Center which has integrated administration approach to handle all tools through one screen. But so far not many clients have adopted Sales Center due to performance issues.
ATG Content Administration on the other hand has simple easily customizable interface.
IBM Websphere Commerce Clients:
Childrens Place, Borders, Tractorsupply, Wasserstrom, Home Depot, Hallmark, Sonystyle, Hollister, Audio Vox, Abercrombie Fitch, Timelife.
ATG Commerce Clients:
AT&T, Best Buy, Coca Cola, Continental Airlines, CVS, Dell, Diane von Furstenberg, DirecTV, Eastman Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, Hilton, HSBC, Jostens, Macy’s, Microsoft, Neiman Marcus, New York & Company, Nokia, NutriSystem, OfficeMax, PayPal, Philips, Premier Farnell, Procter & Gamble, Sears, Sony, Superpages.com, Symantec, Target, Thomas Cook, T-Mobile, Tommy Hilfiger, Urban Outfitters, Verizon, Viacom, Vodafone and Walgreens.
Overall ATG Commerce is penetrating into the ecommerce business quite rapidly.
- Customer Support:IBM being a global firm with well tested products in the market has undoubtedly better customer support than ATG Commerce. But I have been through instances where IBM Commerce support team takes weeks to solve a trivial issue.
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