Episerver - A good platform
April 12, 2017
Episerver - A good platform
Score 7 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Episerver Digital Commerce
Episerver is used as our e-commerce platform. The platform is managed by an e-commerce department that sits in between sales, IT, and marketing. We service multiple product types. Books, e-books, journal subscriptions, live events, online training, and membership. Episerver also serves as a central my account area for members to access and manage all of these purchased products. It has centralized the selling and management of multiple product types on one platform.
- Content Management - Since Episerver was previously a content management platform, the tools to manage content are easy to learn and use.
- 3rd Party Tool Integration - many opportunities to integrate 3rd party tools and plugins that cover many areas including email marketing, analytics, and site personalization.
- Adequate ability to integrate with our backend CMS and accounting software.
- Lack of a phone center customer service module. There is not a front end where customer service can enter and manage orders and member accounts. This necessitates a separate custom platform with the same capabilities as Episerver to service members who call in to the customer service center. So any upgrades to Episerver have to matched in the separate CS platform. This is not just a shortcoming of Episerver. It is a blind spot for all ecommerce platforms and industry. Often we are limited in our ability to upgrade Episerver because of this missing component.
- Slow. It works fine. But you always want it to be faster and more responsive. On both sides of the equation. Within Episerver itself and the use of the platform by the end user. This is also a problem with all ecommerce platforms and in the industry. Most integrations are just happy to make it to the first step. Our ecommerce platform is up and working! Yahoo! Much less time and energy is given to the next step - optimization. That is because this is a very complicated step. It involves Episerver, your IT department, your software vendor partner, your hosting company, and your PIM/database. Reasons for a slow site are hard to diagnose and hard to fix. Throw in the fact that slowness can also be for reasons on the side of the end user. Best effort may only be getting the platform to work in your environment. Getting a platform to work WELL in your environment is a whole other beast that very few companies have the capability to do. To add to the complexity of this there is almost no way to judge a coding vendor's capability to do this. Something you have to figure out over time. And it also depends on a lot on your internal IT departments capabilities and culture. So a difficult problem all around.
Our e-commerce experience and account management was spread across multiple sites and logins. We now have single sign on, one user account, and all products types can be purchased on one site. Episerver has greatly simplified the e-commerce experience for our members.
Episerver is particularly suited to selling simple straightforward products online. It is a well-functioning e-commerce platform that is easy to update and maintain. It is also mobile optimized which is huge. But complications come in with more complicated products. And if you have a robust telephone customer service center. Products that need a lot of customization and/or many different product types. If you are experienced in the e-commerce/IT world you know that the further away you get from a base installation (more specific code customizations), the harder it is to upgrade and take advantage of plugins provided by Episerver and third parties. You know. Scope creep. No platform in the world is immune to this problem and neither is Episerver.