On The Commerce Ecosystem

It’s been some time since I posted an article to this blog. While I’ve been party to a number of communications and conversations since my last post here, I have a growing need to explain my (and, I hope, “our”) orientation towards the broader commerce ecosystem – including to our competitors.

In our line of business, the ability for merchants to create distinctive and innovative customer experiences is EVERYTHING, full stop. Empowering merchants was a founding principle for Magento, and the Magento ecosystem has driven expectations for merchant control of customer experience ever since. Fortunately for merchants (and for us as well), we have competitors who shape this dynamic along with us. This is an inherently good thing. The success of merchants and commerce platforms is a collective, self-sustaining economy. Together we all – merchants, platforms, and platform ecosystems – create more value for our respective businesses.

Given my role as Magento’s evangelist, I am often asked my opinion on our competitors, and more specifically on the crossover between our community, customers, and competitors with these other solutions. Many people expect me to be opposed to the various regional and enterprise players as though this were a zero-sum game where ecosystems lose or gain value based on deals won. I am here to tell you that this has never been, nor should it ever be, the case. Every person involved in commerce should be seeking the best solution for a merchant, and as participants of an ecosystem (or ecosystems), doing their best to add value to those solutions, which is easier to do in some ecosystems than others (NB: it’s very easy to add ecosystem value in the Magento world). To do anything less is just a waste. In commerce, capital and fitment combine to fuel innovation velocity, and I can’t think of anything more important in this line of work.

The proper measure of a commerce platform’s worth is its ability to solve the evolving challenges of commerce, particularly around customer experience management. Each platform and platform ecosystem have distinct approaches to solving these challenges, and we each serve our respective roles in the overall landscape of commerce. For me it is paramount that each platform and ecosystem do & market their abilities as best they can, and to sell that capacity as appropriately as they can. Second to this is, in my opinion, for these ecosystems to work closely with one another to ensure that we deliver merchants to the best solution – both for where they are now and for where they aspire to be.

Facilitating merchant innovation is something which unites Magento with every other commerce offering in the business. I can think of no more important focus than this. It is therefore incumbent on every commerce platform to be the best at what they do, and to engage & enable the merchants who will be best served by their offering. (*It’s not always Magento – but most of the time it is. What can I say, I’m a little biased ).

3 thoughts on “On The Commerce Ecosystem”

  1. Well said.

    I’ve always loved how Magento’s flexible nature, and how I can build anything I want with it. I also readily admit that it’s not the right platform for all merchants, and advise merchants against it when that’s the case.

    FYI, the Emoji after “biased” at the end of your post shows as a square on my iPhone, running iOS 13.2.2.

  2. What a positive and balanced approach Ben! Nothing short of this is expected from you, someone who is so well suited to write in this topic. Your post is forcing me to go back to the white board and see how we are playing our role as a tiny (not yet significant) part of these ecosystems and thrilling industry.

    Please keep on writring and enlightening us!

  3. Definitely! Marketplaces’ ability to overcome the arousing challenges in the ecosystem shall be the unit of proper measure of their worth and growth. And yes, consistency is the key!

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