A look at the leaders in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce 2023: Salesforce, commercetools, SAP, Adobe, and Shopify

A look at the leaders in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce 2023: Salesforce, commercetools, SAP, Adobe, and Shopify

Gartner's recently published Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce 2023 has identified the top players in the eCommerce industry. As businesses continue to embrace the digital revolution, these companies are at the forefront of providing exceptional customer buying experiences. In this blog post, we will delve into each vendor's key strengths and cautions and explore their potential impact in the eCommerce landscape.


Adobe Commerce, offered by Adobe, has been recognized as a Leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant. The platform boasts rich core commerce functionality, particularly in role management, catalog management, marketing content management, search, and personalization. Additionally, Adobe Commerce offers headless commerce frameworks, which provide flexibility for creating customized storefronts. While Adobe serves various industries, its emphasis has traditionally been on companies with less than $50 million in online sales. Recently, Adobe has expanded its reach to cater to larger enterprises, positioning itself as a strong contender.


- Core commerce functionality: Adobe Commerce offers comprehensive features enabling businesses to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

- Headless commerce frameworks: The platform provides multiple options for implementing headless commerce, allowing businesses to customize their storefronts.

- Adobe product suite synergy: Adobe's suite of products, including Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Analytics, work cohesively to enhance the customer experience and personalize interactions.


- Missing B2B functionality: While Adobe Commerce has made strides in product functionality, it still needs some essential B2B-specific features.

- Potential hidden cost of managed services: Customers need to consider the additional costs associated with ongoing solution management, as "cloud solutions" often require additional services that might not be immediately apparent.

- Upgrade challenges: Some customers have reported challenges with upgrading their Adobe Commerce applications. Prospective customers should carefully evaluate Adobe's best-practice advice for minimizing upgrade challenges.


commercetools, a Leader in the Magic Quadrant, stands out for its modular architecture and focus on large global organizations. The platform offers a multitenant software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution on Google Cloud Platform and AWS. commercetools excels in providing a flexible data model that allows customers to build their own functionality easily. With a global footprint and a strong emphasis on the composable approach, commercetools is well-suited for large enterprises seeking scalability and customization.


- Composability: commercetools offers a modular architecture and extensive APIs, enabling customers to build their own functionality and achieve customization and scalability simultaneously.

- Large-enterprise focus: commercetools primarily caters to large enterprises that operate multiple product lines across multiple regions.

- Global footprint: With clients across major regions and global hosting infrastructure, including a presence in the Chinese mainland, commercetools offers its services worldwide.


- Lack of innovation: While commercetools excels in modular architecture, it still needs to address emerging customer demands for new business models and features such as AI-driven insights and low-code/no-code integration tools.

- Lower out-of-the-box functionality: While commercetools has improved its core platform's functionality, it still falls short compared to some of its competitors.

- Implementation complexity: commercetools relies on ecosystem partners for extended functionality, resulting in more complex implementation processes and potential configuration challenges.


Salesforce, a Leader in the Magic Quadrant, offers a range of digital commerce solutions tailored to different business models. Salesforce's B2C Commerce Cloud, B2B Commerce, and D2C (formerly B2B2C) products cater to varying customer needs. The company has invested significantly in product development, expanding its feature set with new releases. Salesforce's strong personalization capabilities and headless enablement have positioned it as a leader in the market.


- Product development velocity: Salesforce has released numerous new platform features, enhancing integration, personalization, and headless capabilities.

- Personalization capabilities: Both the B2B and B2C platforms offer robust personalization functionalities, leveraging customer, product, and order data from other Salesforce applications.

- Headless enablement for B2C: Salesforce provides phased headless rollout capabilities, allowing businesses to transition incrementally from native storefronts to progressive web apps (PWAs).


- B2C architectural evolution: Salesforce's B2C Commerce Cloud customers continue to use a commerce technology stack that needs to be built on the Salesforce platform, which may lead to separate projects for integration and migration.

- Additional licenses: Some essential commerce functions, such as in-store product picking for buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) orders, may require additional licenses to other Salesforce products.

- B2B pricing model: Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud adopts a pricing model that differs from other B2B-focused vendors, potentially confusing customers.


SAP, a Leader in the Magic Quadrant, offers SAP Commerce Cloud, a hybrid single-tenant Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) platform hosted on Microsoft Azure. SAP stands out for its modern user interface, comprehensive catalog management capabilities, and support for complex use cases. The platform targets larger B2B and B2C organizations, providing a wide range of features within a unified solution.


- Modern UI: SAP Commerce Cloud offers a sleek admin dashboard with guided wizards to facilitate seamless navigation and data enrichment.

- Catalog management: SAP's native product content management system (PCM) provides a robust set of tools for managing product catalogs effectively.

- Complex use cases: SAP caters to organizations with complex catalogs, business processes, and multiple business models, enabling centralized management across various functions.


- Monolithic core: SAP's core commerce platform remains a monolith, although the vendor has introduced decoupled modules designed to enhance specific functionalities, such as search and merchandising.

- Limited decoupled storefront capabilities: SAP's Composable Storefront is primarily based on the Angular framework, requiring additional effort for businesses utilizing React-based storefronts.

- Greater integration efforts required: SAP has fewer pre-integrated third-party applications than some competitors, necessitating additional integration efforts for businesses seeking best-of-breed solutions.


Shopify, a Leader in the Magic Quadrant, offers a comprehensive suite of e-commerce solutions, including payment services, point-of-sale integration, social and marketplace integration, and financing options. Shopify Plus, the offering reviewed in this Magic Quadrant, targets midsize and large retail and brand clients. The platform focuses on delivering consolidated and upmarket solutions, augmenting its feature set, and catering to the needs of enterprise customers.


- Consolidated offering: Shopify provides an all-in-one package that integrates a broad range of B2C-specific tools, offering seamless integration and ease of use.

- Upmarket focus: Shopify has expanded its functionality to cater to the enterprise space, introducing tailored features such as B2B-specific functionality and ERP integrations.

- Speed of innovation: Shopify has demonstrated rapid innovation, regularly releasing new features and enhancements to meet evolving market demands.


- Lack of core B2B functionality: While Shopify offers some B2B-specific functionality, it needs to provide comprehensive features required by many B2B companies.

- Lack of robust multisite functionality: Shopify's support for multisite functionality is relatively limited compared to some competitors.

- GTM realignment: Shopify recently adjusted its go-to-market strategy, divesting its logistics business and refocusing on the core business. This shift introduces uncertainties as businesses monitor the company's future investments.

Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce 2023 leaders, including Salesforce, commercetools, SAP, Adobe, and Shopify, have demonstrated their excellence in providing comprehensive e-commerce solutions. Each vendor brings a unique set of strengths and cautions to the table, catering to different customer needs and requirements. As businesses continue to navigate the digital commerce landscape, understanding the capabilities and limitations of these leaders will be essential in making informed decisions for future success.

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