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Infographic: Decoding the Technical Alphabet of E-Commerce Systems

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From CDN to PLM, the technical ecosystem of e-commerce is filled with daunting abbreviations that can make it difficult to discern the systems your company needs most. This infographic decodes the systems that centralize your resources and streamline your processes to bring the best online shopping experience for your consumers - no prior knowledge of abbreviations required.

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Infographic: Decoding the Technical Alphabet of E-Commerce Systems

  1. 1. DECODING THE TECHNICAL ALPHABET OF E-COMMERCE SYSTEMS An infographic about the software solutions that take your products from conception to distribution, decoding everything from PLM to CDN along the way. (For the best experience, read the infographic from bottom to top.) THE CONSUMER Think about the numerous teams, tools and other resources that transform a product from a blueprint to a product ready for purchase on a consumer’s screen. Now imagine if you could implement systems to centralize these resources and streamline these processes at every stage of the game - if only you could decipher all those pesky abbreviations. CDN: CONTENT DELIVERY NETWORK A BETTER ONLINE EXPERIENCE A CDN takes the static content from your website - including images and CSS stylesheets and hosts it in servers all over the world. Why is this so awesome? Now, visitors who are geographically far away from your website’s back-end server can pull your content from a server much closer to their location - substantially cutting down load times. MAJOR PLAYERS: Akamai, EdgeCast, Cloudflare WCMS: E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS WEB CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM CREATION & PUBLICATION OF DIGITAL CONTENT EASY ONLINE SHOPPING FOR CONSUMERS WCMS makes it easy for your non-technical users to author and collaborate on web content. Users simply add text, images, and videos to designated fields, and the content is presented to visitors in a templated display. (Think of Wordpress as an example.) Though these sites increasingly offer shopping cart plugins, running a digital store through a WCMS is clunky without an e-commerce platform integration. The line between today’s e-commerce platforms and WCM services is blurry. In general, e-commerce platforms differ from WCM by adding in the fundamental elements of a store including a shopping cart and checkout process, more catalog-focused search and navigation, and an essential catalog view of products. TEAMS WHO USE THIS: E-commerce, marketing MAJOR PLAYERS: Shopify, Magento, IBM, Oracle, Hybris TEAMS WHO USE THIS: E-commerce, marketing MAJOR PLAYERS: Wordpress, Drupal, Adobe, STL, Sitecore, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle PIM: PRODUCT INFORMATION MANAGEMENT DAM: DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT Whereas ERP systems store product content in a “non-marketable” format (explained below), PIM systems store the complementary product data that is eventually pushed out to the consumer. These include technical specs - color, size, weight, ingredients, etc. - marketing copy, sell sheets, and any assets pulled from the DAM. Not only do PIM systems provide a centralized place for multiple teams to create and store this data, but many also publish this data to your WCM or your e-commerce platform. DAM systems are usually utilized by one internal team - like creative - to manage digital assets for the length of a particular marketing campaign. This is especially useful for companies who publish these assets to multiple downstream channels - all of whom require different sizes of images and have different copyright requirements, for example - to keep track of each version and modification to an asset.The assets are eventually pushed out for storage in the PIM system. TEAMS WHO USE THIS: E-commerce, marketing, merchandising, creative, R&D, sales MAJOR PLAYERS: Stibo, SAP, Hybris, Oracle TEAMS WHO USE THIS: Marketing, creative MAJOR PLAYERS: Adobe, MediaBeacon, Canto CREATION, CENTRALIZATION & PUBLICATION OF PRODUCT INFORMATION CREATION, CENTRALIZATION & PUBLICATION OF DIGITAL ASSETS PLANNING ERP: ENTERPRISE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT OF LOGISTICS ERP systems provide a broad overview of the company’s finances and scheduling as they relate to your products. Different modules can monitor activity from pricing to inventory management and projection. Unlike PIM, ERP systems catalog products by “non-marketable” information like SKU, UPC code and price - attributes that mean little to consumers but are vital to back-end processes. ERP systems hook up directly to e-commerce platforms and adjust financial and scheduling projections as products are sold. TEAMS WHO USE THIS: R&D, manufacturing, logistics, inventory, purchasing MAJOR PLAYERS: Oracle, SAP, NetSuite MANAGEMENT PLM: PRODUCT LIFECYCLE A COMPREHENSIVE VIEW OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Every piece of information that relates to the development and manufacture of a product - from early mockups to cost estimates of materials - is centralized through PLM. This makes it easy to manage the whole product development process, efficiently manufacture products and quickly pinpoint areas for improvement. TEAMS WHO USE THIS: R&D, manufacturing MAJOR PLAYERS: Siemens, Oracle, SAP, PTC By: SALSIFY