Gartner has released the most recent version of its magic quadrant for e-commerce. It’s not shocking that the market is growing; something has to be powering all of those black Friday sales, right?

The E-Commerce Market

How I love analyst reports -- an entire industry condensed to a little square where being a centimeter to the right or above your competitor is enough to spawn a press release. It’s almost like magic. Do you suppose that’s why Gartner named their reports the magic quadrant? I digress.

Gartner has released its latest guide to the expanding e-commerce platform market. Continued growth in Internet sales -- 18 percent according to the North American retailers -- has driven many non-traditional retailers to start selling things online. This has in turn propelled growth and a number of acquisitions in the e-commerce market. It’s kind of like the circle of life, but with money.

Gartner defines e-commerce software as a platform that enables

online sales for B2B and B2C commerce. An e-commerce platform not only facilitates a transaction over the Web, but also supports the creation and continuing development of an online relationship.”

The analyst firm identifies two levels of e-commerce capabilities to meet these requirements. The first level is focused on basic online store capabilities like shopping cart management and product visualization. The second level has a bit more wiggle room and includes a mix of features from personalization to warranty/returns management. The second category includes all of the product differentiators that make it difficult for organizations to pick the “best” solution. Gartner is careful to note, that despite the breadth of features, the quadrant does not include integrated marketing and sales or sales service solutions. Those things have their own magic quadrants.

Inclusion Criteria

Vendors included in the Gartner’s study had to conform to a specific set of criteria. Key market criteria included: