TrustRadius
Episerver, a legacy enterprise CMS/Commerce solution that needs to improve their technology and recommend more reliable and professional vendors
https://www.trustradius.com/ecommerceEpiserver Digital CommerceUnspecified8.138101
Tim Hardy profile photo
December 18, 2018

Episerver, a legacy enterprise CMS/Commerce solution that needs to improve their technology and recommend more reliable and professional vendors

Score 2 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Episerver Digital Commerce

We are a Direct Sales company that employs Sellers to sell our products to others. We use Episerver Digital Commerce to provide an e-commerce portal to each of our Sellers. Each Seller gets a website that they can give to their customers to allow them to buy products online. We also give them an admin portal to manage their business. Within our company, we use Episerver to manage content, products, pricing, etc. It is used by many different departments within our company. We use the content management features of Episerver, epiCMS, as well as the e-commerce features, epiCommerce.
  • Episerver has a robust discount engine. This engine, combined with "visitor groups" allow our marketing department to categorize customers and offer a variety of discounts to targeted customers at specific times.
  • Episerver has a full-featured, storefront experience that can handle everything you might want for an e-commerce website.
  • Episerver offers A/B testing that can be helpful for trying out new content ideas and tracking the results.
  • Custom development with Episerver is painful. At some point, you will need to customize something Epi does or integrate with it in some way. This will be a painful experience. The codebase is poor. The entire EpiCommerce solution is untestable. It's not just difficult to create unit tests for, it's near impossible to create tests for any of your code that involves any of their code.
  • The database schema is obtuse. Dealing with epiCommerce database schema is very difficult and will be very costly the moment you need to integrate with it in some way. In addition, the epiCommerce database has very little referential integrity.
  • It takes a lot of work in order to get basic cms features working. Adding a page type, defining new content, adding a custom field - all of these things require code changes and server deployments. E.g. you have to create a new asp.net controller to handle a new content type. The admin interface will not present it otherwise.
  • The entire Epi system is designed for vendor lock-in. The old, obtuse codebase pretty much requires you to use a vendor to help with implementation. There is no concept of intuitive custom development and integration.
If our needs would have been completely met by both products, having their single integrated platform would have been a great experience. Since we've needed tight integration with a lot of custom code, the difficulty in integrating epiCommerce and epiCMS from an api, combined with a complete lack of apis for certain features, has proved to be very costly to our organization.
Luminos Labs was the vendor that was recommended to us that we employed for our installation, integration, and custom development. That relationship is basically a burned bridge. They left us without a working product that we had to finish under extreme time pressure.
The impact of working with this partner has cost our company hundreds of thousands of dollars. We would have been far better off doing just about anything other than taking the path we took with Luminos Labs and Episerver.
Episerver did not have a headless CMS offering when we implemented. They may offer one now, but they are very late to the game in offering an API-based CMS experience. If you use an Angular or React front end, and you want to communicate with this incredibly expensive product you've purchased and are paying a hefty yearly fee for, you are going to have a difficult time.

All of the CMS/commerce solutions I have used were easier to integrate and customize than Episerver has been. Prismic and Contentful are light-years ahead with their apis.
Episerver Digital Commerce may be a good fit for you if you do not have your own development team, do not need any custom development, and the out-of-the-box experience takes care of all your business needs.

If you need significant custom development and value testable, discoverable software, then Episerver Digital Commerce will not be a good fit for your organization.

Episerver Digital Commerce Feature Ratings

Product catalog & listings
7
Product management
6
Bulk product upload
6
Branding
6
Mobile storefront
5
Product variations
8
Website integration
4
Visual customization
2
CMS
1
Abandoned cart recovery
6
Checkout user experience
6
eCommerce security
7
Promotions & discounts
9
Personalized recommendations
6
Multi-site management
6
Order processing
6
Inventory management
6
Shipping
2
Custom functionality
1

Using Episerver Digital Commerce

12 - Development, Marketing, Support, QA
12 - Developers, Testers, Content Managers, Marketing
  • Public-facing E-Commerce website
  • Content Management
  • Order Management
  • We use Episerver for Direct Sales - our Sellers sell to their customers
  • We would like to reduce our usage, not expand it.
We are locked in for a significant period of time.
  • Our rocky implementation was very costly to our organization
  • The untestable nature of epiCommerce has cost us a lot in development time and fragile integrations
  • The difficult database schema has cost us a great deal of development time for maintenance and new feature development

Evaluating Episerver Digital Commerce and Competitors

Yes - Episerver replaced a very old custom legacy system.
  • Vendor Reputation
The decision to use Episerver was made against the wishes of the developers on the project. We recommended an open-source solution or a headless CMS solution due to the extensive custom development needed for our use-case.

The most important factor in the decision was our timeline. We had to bring a fully-functional system online in less than a year. Executives felt going with an established "Enterprise" product, using a recommended vendor, was our best chance of success. This plan was a sound decision from an executive standpoint, but the combination of the technology behind the product (the lack of good integration points and an aging, untestable codebase) and the lack of professionalism of the chosen vendor resulted in it being a bad decision for us.
I would go with either an open-source solution or a headless cms. Our need for extensive custom development made using a highly proprietary, legacy, "enterprise" system a very bad idea. Episerver does not bend well or integrate with any modern front-end technologies, like Angular or React.