WebSphere Commerce product overview

E-commerce is no longer simply about presenting and selling products online. It is about delivering a smarter shopping experience that is seamless and integrated across all customer touch points. It is about providing a rich, relevant, personalized experience across multiple channels of your business. But ultimately it is about doing more to leverage the power of your brand and present its value consistently to your customers.

Important: On December 6, 2018, IBM and HCL Technologies announced a definitive agreement under which HCL acquired the IBM WebSphere Commerce line of software products. The transaction closed on June 30, 2019. The full list of products and part numbers included in this transaction can be found here.

This documentation is current as of the closing date set forth above but only the HCL Commerce Version 9 Knowledge Center, hosted by HCL, will be updated. For information on the latest fixes, part numbers and download information for WebSphere Commerce Versions 7 and 8, Digital Commerce, and Commerce on Cloud, see the HCL Support page.

IBM WebSphere Commerce provides a powerful customer interaction platform for cross-channel commerce. It can be used by companies of all sizes, from small businesses, to large enterprises, and for many different industries. It provides easy-to-use tools for business users to centrally manage a cross-channel strategy. Business users can create and manage precision marketing campaigns, promotions, catalog, and merchandising across all sales channels. WebSphere Commerce is a single, unified platform that offers the ability to do business directly with consumers (B2C), directly with businesses (B2B), and indirectly through channel partners (indirect business models). WebSphere Commerce is a customizable, scalable, and high availability solution that is built to leverage open standards.

Product portfolio

There are two editions of WebSphere Commerce.
  • WebSphere Commerce ProfessionalWebSphere Commerce Professional

    Provides a comprehensive business-to-consumer (B2C) cross-selling solution that midsized companies can use to deliver a personalized and consistent shopping experience. The capabilities of the Professional edition include precision marketing and merchandising, configurable business processes, A/B testing and multivariate testing, search engine optimization, and personalization. Businesses can use these capabilities to attract, motivate, transact, and understand their customers throughout the customer's journey. In Version 8.0, the Professional edition now enables limited use of the Extended Sites architecture, previously only available in WebSphere Commerce Enterprise.

  • WebSphere Commerce EnterpriseWebSphere Commerce Enterprise

    Is an omni-channel, e-commerce platform that enables business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales to customers across all channels, which include web, mobile, social, store, and call center. The Enterprise edition allows brands to engage shoppers in a personalized and consistent way with merchandising tools, precision marketing, site search, customer experience management, catalog and content management, and social commerce capabilities. Organizations can go to market quickly and easily with an advanced starter store for B2C and B2B that is responsive to optimize content for various device types and formats, which include web, mobile, and tablet.

WebSphere Commerce Enterprise and WebSphere Commerce Professional help:
  • Drive sales and revenue with personalized experiences, content, offers, and merchandising to more effectively sell products and services.
  • Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by strengthening relationships and delivering a rich and differentiated brand experience across all customer touch points.
  • Enlighten and empower marketers, merchandisers, and product managers with easy-to-use business user tooling and analytics to create, manage, and personalize marketing, promotions, and catalogs without relying on IT resources.
  • Create multiple branded sites and storefronts on a single platform in an efficient and cost effective manner by leveraging a common set of assets and infrastructure.
  • Maximize performance and minimize downtime with a flexible and extensible e-commerce foundation.

In addition to the capabilities included in WebSphere Commerce Professional, WebSphere Commerce Enterprise enables B2B business models with buyer administrator and approver administrative and operational functions. With WebSphere Commerce Enterprise, businesses can use multiple Extended Sites, compared to one Extended Site allowed in WebSphere Commerce Professional.

IBM WebSphere Commerce Developer

Get a quick start on developing your WebSphere Commerce store fronts with IBM WebSphere Commerce Developer Enterprise or IBM WebSphere Commerce Developer Professional. They include tools to:

  • Create, test, and deploy a WebSphere Commerce site under the test environment and workspaces provided by Rational Application Developer (RAD) for WebSphere.
  • Build and extend WebSphere Commerce functionality.
  • Customize IBM Management Center for WebSphere Commerce.

IBM WebSphere Commerce Developer provides an integrated development environment in which you can build and test your customizations to extend the business logic or change the appearance of your site. IBM WebSphere Commerce Developer Editions are available for WebSphere Commerce Enterprise, Professional, and Express. Since WebSphere Commerce is a highly customizable solution, IBM WebSphere Commerce Developer includes everything that you need to develop and test end-to-end e-commerce sites.

WebSphere Commerce Developer uses IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software as the foundation of the Java IDE. Rational Application Developer extends the Eclipse environment with visual development features.

IBM Customer Service for WebSphere Commerce

WebSphere Commerce V8.0 provides new customer service enhancements with Customer Service for WebSphere Commerce that enable a customer service representative (CSR) to resolve common issues and capture orders. These new capabilities are built into the WebSphere Commerce V8.0 storefront and enable a CSR to perform key tasks on behalf of a guest, registered customers, and for both B2B and B2C business models. Customer Service for WebSphere Commerce is offered for both Professional and Enterprise editions.

Because the customer service enhancements are built into the storefront, site owners benefit from:

  • A cost effective solution that uses a single and centrally maintained web application that delivers a common user interface for both customers and CSRs.
  • An intuitive customer service interface for the storefront that CSRs can quickly use with little training.
  • A common experience for customers and CSRs that helps CSRs solve customer issues faster.
  • Personalized content and promotions presented to CSRs to help drive increased sales.
  • Powerful WebSphere Commerce site search to quickly find the right products for customers.

With the new customer service enhancements, CSRs can:

  • Work with customer accounts for both B2B and B2C business models.
  • Find products through catalog navigation or through powerful faceted search that provides detailed product information.
  • Work with customer orders so they can create new orders, view order history, and cancel orders.

Customer Service for WebSphere Commerce is a separately purchased solution for WebSphere Commerce V8.0.

Starter stores for the B2C business models include Web 2.0, mobile, and social commerce features

Reduce costs in site development and deployment Aurora starter store.

Starter stores for B2B direct and indirect business models

Reduce costs in site development and deployment.

Globalization and localization support

The WebSphere Commerce architecture is designed to support globalization. Globalization is the proper design and execution of systems, software, services, and procedures so that one instance of software, running on a single server or end-user machine, can process multilingual data and present culturally correct data in a multicultural environment such as the Internet.

Marketing

Marketing Managers can use Web activities and Dialog activities to deliver brand or promotional messages to customers through various methods. Methods include: displaying the message on store pages, or sending a message with email or mobile text messaging.

Precision marketing capabilities allow marketers and merchandisers to create, manage, and deploy personalized marketing campaigns across direct and extended brand touch points according to customer behavior: Target customers with relevant marketing information based on their personal browsing and shopping habits. Other approaches include marketing experiments, targeted marketing, campaigns, and e-Marketing Spots.

automatically generates personalized product recommendations for each visitor. Recommendations are based on current session and historical browsing, shopping, and purchasing data through a powerful set of proven and configurable algorithms. Marketers can create marketing campaigns to control when, where, and to which customers to display these relevant product recommendations.

New informationMarketing

WebSphere Commerce Search

WebSphere Commerce search provides enhanced search functionality in starter stores. The functionality provides enriched search engine capabilities such as automatic search term suggestions and spelling correction, while influencing store search results with search term associations, and search-based merchandising rules.

New informationWebSphere Commerce search

Promotions

Using promotions, you can offer customers incentives to purchase. WebSphere Commerce supports numerous types of promotions. Examples of price promotions include simple discounts; merchandise specials such as gifts with purchase and buy-one-get-one; and service promotions that include reduced shipping costs.

New informationPromotions

Order Management System integration

This integration provides comprehensive coverage of the order lifecycle across channels, from capture to fulfillment.

Sterling Order Management integration offers further integration of IBM WebSphere Commerce and IBM Sterling Order Management Release 9.4. This order management-enabled commerce integration strengthens both products, providing a complete end-to-end solution.

Business user tools for managing catalogs, promotions, campaigns, prices, page layouts, and stores

The IBM Management Center for WebSphere Commerce, or Management Center, is a suite of tools to support store management, merchandising, and marketing tasks for business users (Sellers, Marketing Managers, Product Managers, Catalog Managers, and others).

New informationIBM Management Center for WebSphere Commerce

Administration tools

The Data Load utility provides an efficient data load solution for catalog, inventory, and pricing information into your WebSphere Commerce database.

The Web feed utility provides a new way to connect to Web feeds, such as a Content Management System, and harvest static, unstructured content.

New informationAdministration tools

WebSphere Commerce Accelerator

Web-based framework tools that are called WebSphere Commerce Accelerator to manage business operations such as managing stores, inventory, fulfillment, orders, returns, and payments.WebSphere Commerce Accelerator

With the WebSphere Commerce Accelerator, you can maintain online stores, hubs, and catalogs by completing various store operations. Managing business operations includes maintaining the presentation of your store to creating and maintaining orders, to tracking store activities.

Analytics

WebSphere Commerce provides a framework and tools to simplify the process of setting up your site to use IBM Digital Analytics, formerly known as Coremetrics Analytics. IBM Digital Analytics is an industry leading hosted web analytics solution. The framework is implemented as a tag library designed to act as an intermediary layer between WebSphere Commerce and IBM Digital Analytics. The tools include an auto tagging utility to place analytics tags in your store pages. The tools also include a utility to generate a file that contains your catalog hierarchy for IBM Digital Analytics. This solution can significantly reduce the time that is required to deploy web analytics

New informationAnalytics and business intelligence using additional software

Payments using a payments plug-in architecture

The Payments subsystem contains three main parts: Payment rules engine, Payment plug-in controller, and payment plug-ins.

New informationPayments using a payments plug-in architecture

Open standards support

Built on accepted, industry standards like Java technology, JavaServer Pages, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), and XML, WebSphere Commerce can be easily integrated to your existing middleware and systems.

Developer tools

Standards-based, rapid application development environment that uses and extends IBM Rational Application Developer based development environment. Key development areas include:

New informationDeveloper tools

Workspaces

A workspace is an access-controlled work area where you can make and preview changes to managed assets, without affecting what is currently running on your site. Working in the context of a workspace is similar to having your own private copy of the managed assets. You can make and preview changes without affecting managed assets outside the workspace. You can commit the changes that you make in a workspace to the production database, and see the effects of your changes on your site.

New informationWorkspaces

Contracts and entitlement

By using this system, you can entitle customers to various aspects of a store such as what products they can purchase, the price they pay, and what payment methods a store accepts.

Customer entitlement is controlled by business accounts, contracts, and business policies.

The Catalog Filter and Pricing tool in Management Center can be used to filter by product, category, or product attribute. Filters can be assigned to contracts to support B2B, or to stores to support Extended Sites.

New informationContracts and entitlement