Who did Office Depot go to set up an online storefront?
May 13, 2008 8:40 AM   Subscribe

I've been tasked with finding an e-commerce consulting company to help guide us (we are a wing of a fortune 500 company) through the entire e-commerce process. Not so much creating it necessarily, but more guidance/consulting. My google-fu is yielding all fluff. Ideally, looking for "Company X helped Barnes & Noble switch to an online storefront" type of info, so I can back up any suggestions I might be able to make.
posted by cha4 to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(Worded differently, who are some of the top e-commerce consulting groups out there?)
posted by cha4 at 8:40 AM on May 13, 2008

Your top groups in no particular order are:

IBM (AT&T), Verizon (Totality/MCI/UUnet), EDS (Purchased by HP...err today), IPSoft.

There are other smaller niche players out there, it's actually a decently large field. Usually companies leverage existing relationships with service providers for this kind of deal. You can find consultants without too much trouble, I can point you at some high quality, vendor independent folks if needed.

Please feel free to contact me via mefi mail, I'm a principal on the technical side for a large organization (above) who does precisely this. I'm happy answering questions off line (or in thread) or putting you in contact with someone else who has more sales/product/experience.

Good luck!
posted by iamabot at 9:15 AM on May 13, 2008

Back in the day I worked for Fluid. They've since build ecommerce sites for the NorthFace, Jansport, Timberland, Reebok, and Design Within Reach (among others). More of a niche player, but they have worked with some big clients and do amazing work.
posted by gregchttm at 9:18 AM on May 13, 2008

I think iamabot's assessment is off for a number of reasons:
* bucketing IBM with AT&T
* the absence of IPSoft in many B2B & B2C sales-cycle
* EDS is not a "top" B2C player

I'd suggest a more authoritative source if you're looking for an industry survey, Gartner perhaps. Turning-on a store is a multi-million dollar investment for a F500 company. While investing in the guidance available from a firm like Gartner is entirely at your discretion, I'd certainly pursue companies with solid track-records. So I think that your strategy of pursuing B2C go-live's is solid.

Finally, I can't comment on Office Depot, but I can comment on Best Buy Business: Sterling Commerce
posted by meifool at 9:39 AM on May 13, 2008

meifool is correct, you can go to Gartner for some recommendations and guidance, I wouldn't rely on them to do much other than finding out the names out there. Gartner is hit or miss, they aren't the bible, they are high level.

Further on meifools feedback, wouldn't call my comments an assessment, they are names of organizations who participate directly in the field the asker addressed who I have direct experience working with in the e-commerce space, I am intimate with the providers listed and their client base, as I work for one of them and it's generally a competitive space.

There should be a separation in this discussion from the designers of a presence and the implementers and operators. My experience is on the implementing and operating, so I can't comment on the designing side of things.

What you'll probably find is one organization works with you to develop the e-commerce presence, the look and feel, some high level technology guidelines and another implements and operates. Sometimes organizations do all of this in house, sometimes they split out various pieces of this but for organizations with a large e-commerce presence they tend to split things up.

Finally, there is a reference to Best Buy's business side, the organization I work for does the consumer side.
posted by iamabot at 10:14 AM on May 13, 2008

I think Venda does this.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:19 AM on May 13, 2008

Oh so to answer part of your question, it looks like with a bit of research that GSI Commerce is Office Depot's e-commerce partner on the B2C side, the B2B side appears to be Purchase Pro.
posted by iamabot at 10:49 AM on May 13, 2008

Novator has done this for a lot of big brands, including FTD (14 years running) and Lucasfilm.
posted by mendel at 12:24 PM on May 13, 2008

Thank you all - this has been very helpful!
posted by cha4 at 10:02 AM on May 14, 2008

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