By Dan Shim

Demandware commissioned Forrester Consulting to generate a Total Economic Impact™ case study, which included in depth interviews with five customers across various verticals and geographies, to identify the primary business benefits of Demandware’s digital commerce platform.

In the case study, customers unanimously responded that the speed of Demandware’s platform was an indispensable benefit and key differentiator.  Specifically, the speed of launching new sites, executing product strategies and integrating new applications were all noted to be significantly faster compared to other platforms­­–on average 30% faster according to the case study.

The value of speed in commerce is already well known.  Retailers that are more agile in responding to trends and market dynamics are better suited to stay ahead of the competition.  But how much impact would a 30% improvement in time to market really have?

More than you might think.

The Power of Compounding

To use an analogy, we can look at the finance industry, where the concept of compounding is a well-established principle. In a nutshell, re-investing your periodic earnings back into your initial investment will accelerate the growth of your assets substantially- and the earlier you start compounding, the higher the impact.

Many Demandware customers launch multiple new sites and product lines due to the flexible infrastructure of the platform. In fact, the implementation timeframe becomes shorter with each incremental launch, and similar to the compounding principle, the faster time to market starts to have a snowballing effect as each new site generates revenue earlier, which can then be re-invested into the company for other growth initiatives. Inherently, a 30% improvement in the speed of your platform starts to reverberate and have a much more magnified impact to your business.

The Opportunity Cost

Economists often refer to the mistake of overlooking the opportunity cost of decisions. Rather than considering just the tangible costs, the cost of foregoing an alternative option also needs to be factored into the evaluation of a strategic decision.

A commerce platform that can provide 30% improvement in time to market also implies that retailers and their respective employees can dedicate more hours to innovative projects and initiatives, an advantage that is unavailable in inflexible and less agile platforms (e.g. on-premise).

While the opportunity cost of time may be difficult to quantify into hard numbers, few would refute that time is valuable, and having more is preferred over having less.