hybris, the provider of eCommerce and multichannel communication software, and Unic, the European eCommerce and Product Information Management Specialist, have announced the launch of eCommerce Benchmark (www.ecommercebenchmark.org), in cooperation with the eCommerce Foundation. The eCommerce Benchmark website is an interactive online evaluation tool, for B2B or B2C merchants and retailers, which enables businesses to compare their own e-commerce activities with those of competitors, anonymously and for free. It is the first global initiative of the eCommerce Foundation, a non-profit organisation created with the intent to help both companies and the industry as a whole to improve their e-commerce activities, by sponsoring research studies, facilitating knowledge sharing and supporting benchmarking efforts.
By providing direct feedback on 100+ eCommerce KPIs, the eCommerce Benchmark website is designed to help eCommerce merchants and retailers compare themselves against their competitors to better understand where their online channel is failing to match or surpassing those of other players. It gives participants instant access to detailed up-to-date information that is relevant to decision making at managerial level. These results can then be used to create a more accurate roadmap with targets that will enable them to transform their overall online performance to garner stronger results which in turn feed-back into the bottom line of the business.
Ian Jindal, one of the foundation's supporters and Founder and Editor in Chief of Internet Retailing in the UK, said, "eCommerce generates and thrives upon data, and talented commercial professionals have long sought and appreciated benchmark and comparative data in order to improve their business performance. Benchmarking data has to date been expensive collate and access, so we welcome the launch of this tool, especially the way it opens free participation to interested retailers and is from the outset pan-European in scope."
With a number of distinct industries, including retail, wholesale and the travel industry, the benchmark measures against four perspectives channel, financial, internal and innovation delivering an overall result making it possible to conduct a benchmark at any level. As participants are able to enter the required data via a a non-company address to ensure entire anonymity, each benchmark which enters the system is manually checked to detect any false data that might have been submitted and to ensure the benchmark remains true as possible.
Professor Cor Molenaar from Erasmus University and another of the foundation's leaders,, explained, "eCommerce organizations are understandably reticent about disclosing business critical data which has acted as a barrier to entry of any previous industry benchmarking tools. Security of data is paramount. The eCommerce Foundation was created expressly to address this issue and is committed to protecting any data and/or personal information submitted to the eCommerce Benchmark. It is able to guarantee the anonymity of all figures provided, and also that these will not in any case be disclosed to others."
"The purpose of this website is to improve e-commerce activities of organizations," says Kees de Vos, vice president of business consulting with hybris. "Once companies have overcome their reluctance to share their confidential information in this anonymous manner, they receive a comprehensive view of their online business with their score and the performance of competitors. In the future we are also looking to be able to enable multi-level comparisons - for example relating to country, industry, turnover and keep track of your company's history and developments."
The eCommerce Foundation is currently sponsored by Unic, Hybris and Buckaroo and led by representatives of both companies as well as other e-commerce experts like Professor Cor Molenaar (from the Erasmus University), Gijs Vroom (owner Emerce magazine) and Ian Jindal (owner of the publication Internet Retailing in the UK).
As part of the Foundation's drive to help improve the quality of the benchmark, it is looking for global and local strategic partners with a strong footprint on the e-commerce market. These partners will actively support the acquisition of participants, help promoting the eCommerce Benchmark and contribute financially.