Sitecore Experience Commerce 9 (XC 9) — the latest version of the experience management provider’s commerce solution — is a cloud-enabled platform that natively integrates content and commerce. Released in January, it introduces a new commerce engine built using Microsoft’s ASP .NET Core 2 technology.
Version 9 aims to make implementations faster and easier. Sitecore boasts it blends “content, commerce, and contextual intelligence” and introduces “easier-to-use, faster business tools unified in one view.”
Experience Commerce 9 Features
It is a milestone in the history of the product for several reasons. For one, XC 9 it is now entirely native within Sitecore. It severs all ties to the legacy commerceserver.net it acquired in 2013.
Moreover, XC 9 is an entirely microservices-based platform. All commerce features are readily available to connect all facets of a visitor’s interactions. Coupled with Sitecore Experience Database‘s (xDB’s) service-oriented architecture, it’s now possible to interact, track and automate across touchpoints, including web, email, mobile apps, kiosks, and the Internet of Things devices … anywhere electrons flow.
“Practically speaking, Sitecore with XC 9 allows enterprises to reimagine what a cross-functional and cross-channel visitor experience can truly be. The idea of a separate ‘website’ and ‘commerce site’ becomes obsolete,” said Andy Uzick, vice president of MarTech Innovation at Arke and a Sitecore MVP.
“Commerce can now be intricately woven into the experience fabric, enhancing customers’ journeys, lowering their frustration, and shortening their path to purchase.”
Why Experience Commerce 9 Is Different
Uzick described XC 9 as an innovative platform notable for its scalability, interoperability, and extensibility.
Scalability: XC9 intelligently divides the various server roles into independently scalable units. This allows installations to scale where resources are stressed, without scaling unstrained resources.
Interoperability: Cohesively manage experiences across a broad range of channels, with unified automation, personalization and analytics.
Because XC 9 offers a microservices architecture, the technical design can be approached in different ways:
- Modular, framework- bounded Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA)
- Conventional back-end custom design
- “Headless,” front-end-driven custom design
For clarification, the headless approach decouples the front end and the back end of content delivery.
Why Embrace Experience Commerce 9
XC 9 promises to “tear down the wall that has historically isolated online commerce into a detached silo,” Uzick said. “Commerce now blends cleanly with content and context, speaking to the customer with a single voice.”
Customers upgrading from older versions of Sitecore Commerce to XC 9 will likely face some challenges. There are breaking changes, notably around improvements to the product catalog, which may require some rework. It may be worth considering a refresh to maximize the potential of the platform’s power.
Uzick said a wide range of clients could benefit from XC 9, including enterprises that:
- Sell direct, at scale
- Wish to open direct channels, to supplement or transition from classic channels
- Have a need to marry content and commerce, either for content marketing or to expose technical, support, or complex product information
For More Information …
- Sitecore Recognized 8 Arke Pros as MVPs
- How Arke Uses Sitecore to Help Clients Deliver the Best Experiences
- Here’s Just What You Need to Ease Your Sitecore Struggles
Atlanta-based Arke, a Sitecore Platinum implementation partner, develops strategies and implements digital technologies for better brand experience for your customers.