Sitecore Experience Commerce 9 isn't Sitecore's first foray into ecommerce. Previously called Sitecore Commerce (up to version 8), Sitecore Experience Commerce 9 is positioned by Sitecore as:
"an enterprise-grade commerce solution that delivers a personalised experience throughout the customer life-cycle."
So what exactly should you expect?
Sitecore Experience Commerce 9’s Business Tools are located in the Sitecore Launchpad.
Accessible through a separate tile, Business Tools harnesses Sitecore Experience Commerce’s eleven core features: Shops; Catalogue; Inventory; Shopping cart; Payment (allows custom / 3rd party payment and SDK integration); Checkout; Fulfilment; Orders; Pricing; Entitlements; and Promotions.
This rich feature set enables users to configure storefronts using seven dedicated ecommerce tools - that work in real-time:
- Relationship Definitions
This tool creates and manages Catalogues, Categories, and Sellable Items.
Users can create any number of catalogues and categories that group products (sellable items) into various sub-categories within a catalogue. This functionality makes sellable items easier to locate for customers and easier to manage for Sitecore users.
The Inventory tool organises sellable items and controls their availability for different channels. It also supports the allocation of sellable items between multiple inventory sets, allowing users to manage stock efficiently - for example, 50 sellable items can be allocated to Inventory A and 50 to Inventory B.
Dates and available quantities can also be set to sellable items, like pre-orders and back orders with limited buying quantities assigned to them - for example, only one pre-order per customer.
Price Books, Price Cards and Price Snapshots manage pricing. Price Books are associated to catalogues and can contain one or more Price Cards, which contain the pricing strategies:
- List Price (RRP)
- Sell Price
- Quantity Price (bulk)
- Was/Is Price
- Tier Price (applies discount on quantity bought)
- Data-Based pricing (encourages the sale of a product during a given period of time)
Each Price Card contains a Price Snapshot, which holds the pricing strategy details defined to a Price Card at a specified date and time. Price Snapshot fluctuations link to sellable items' currencies, or to the purchased quantities.
Promotions can be qualified using Date/time, Catalogue, Shop, or Customer order history. The flexibility of the Promotions Tool allows users to apply various elements to promotions, which include:
- Promotion books - a collection of promotions applied to sellable items in multiple catalogues;
- Promotions - one or more benefits applied to sellable items and orders;
- Qualifications - users can assign rules and apply them to a promotion. Multiple qualifications can be applied to a single promotion;
- Benefits - discounts such as free shipping and % off can be applied to products;
- Public coupons - generate public coupons for multi-use that anyone can use;
- Private coupons - unlike public coupons, private coupons are single use and allocated to a specific group of customers, or to individual customers.
Managing customer orders is essential to a successful shop. The Orders Tool (integrated with the Customer Tool) enables users to view Order Info, Order Summary, Payments, Fulfilments, Cart Sellable Items, and Return Merchandise Authorisation (RMA) details.
There are six statuses to orders: All; Completed; Problem; Pending; Waiting for Availability; and On-Hold. Only orders with the status 'Pending' or 'Problem' can be cancelled by a customer service agent.
Integrated with the Orders Tool, the Customer Tool stores all essential customer information, which includes:
- Customer details
- Every order the customer has placed
- The status of every order
- Any entitlements the customer has purchased
Only a customer service agent will have permissions to update and edit customer details, as well as track order status.
Cross selling (recommendations of related or complimentary items) and up selling (recommendations of comparable higher-end products than the one in question) are essential in every retail environment.
The Relationships Definitions Tool establishes relationships between sellable items using three pre-defined relationships for cross and up sells:
- Predefined relationships for catalogues - from a catalogue to another catalogue or category;
- Predefined relationships for categories - from a category to another category or sellable item;
- Predefined relationships for sellable items - from a sellable item to another sellable item.
Sitecore Experience Commerce 9 has everything to create a secure, seamless, and personalised online shopping experience.
Want to talk ecommerce?
As an experienced Sitecore Platinum Partner, we already have colleagues who have attained the Sitecore Experience Commerce 9 accreditation; and with expert in-house Sitecore developers, your Sitecore ecommerce storefront will be in safe hands with us.
If you’re considering Sitecore Commerce as your ecommerce platform, or you’re already using Sitecore Commerce and you’re stuck on how to get the best from it, we’d be happy to talk – just get in touch.