Demandware XChange’16 in Berlin: A great community experience!

Demandware XChange’16 in Berlin: A great community experience!

I returned to Berlin for another technology summit but this time for the annual Demandware XChange Europe conference. This is an opportunity for customers and partners to hear about Demandware’s plans and strategy for the future of digital commerce and to network with those who have delivered creative and innovative solutions on the platform.

Here are some key takeaways that have remained with me since leaving the event.

Unified Commerce is the only way forward

This is not a unique thing conceptually however doing this within the enterprise cloud environment is very interesting. Demandware are one of the very few that will offer a single unified platform rather than a suite of integrated solutions. Good to hear the message and they are going to invest in the engineering to deliver this as the foundation for everything they do over the coming years.

Demandware POS has the potential to be a game changer

What is different is that Demandware will be the first to have a point-of-sale (POS) solution within their commerce platform offering. Demandware Store, which is the outcome of their Tomax acquisition last year, will offer retailers the ability to evolve their in-store operations to align more with the agility of digital trading but also offer the customer the shopping and purchase experiences they now expect crossing all channels seamlessly.

Customer love their solution…and like to talk about it

There were lots of customers singing the praises of Demandware and their partners alike. Those who took to the stage and workshops to speak, and there were many, beamed about their websites and how fast they could get up and running. They spoke about how easy it was to deliver and how fast they could deploy new brands and countries. While I know nothing is ever that easy, Greenlight Commerce have worked with the platform well enough to understand the general message in that a lot of pain is taken away from the solution being in the cloud and that main efforts can be spent on adding unique brand experiences, creating innovate channel engagement and developing advanced merchandising enablement which all adds to growing revenue.

The Partner Community is still small enough to be known…just

While the list of partners has grown in the years we have been a partner, the amount of partners accepted in the programme has not been totally flooded by Demandware. They still have groups of partners who can provide low-cost “bodies”, partners who specialise in digital and revenue growth and all those in-between. I hope this doesn’t change over time with lots of Salesforce partners wanting a piece of the commerce build action! 

Be different, otherwise your customer will expect to pay the lowest cost

I think this goes for customers as well as partners. You need to be able to offer something that is personalised and contextual otherwise you are just a commodity and hence nobody will pay over the odds for just ordinary. We need to think about who our customer is, what experience we want them to have, and to then try and disrupt in areas that make can make a difference for our product and service.

The acquisition by Salesforce can only be a good thing

There wasn’t that much talk regarding this big news on the main stage presentations but that is not surprising as the deal is still going through. All the messages are positive and genuine and generally everyone thinks it is a good thing. See my thoughts on this in my earlier blog

This year we had one of our customers, Furniture Village, with us and it was interesting to get their perspective and witness their excitement about that they will be able to do on the platform. It was another interesting and enjoyable technology event and I look forward to next years.  

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