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Digital Commerce in Gartner's Magic Quadrant

2020 is driving online retail sales higher. At the same time, the sector is facing new requirements, which Gartner maps in its Magic Quadrant. With Big Commerce, Shopify and Shopware, Blackbit supports three of the currently most important players.

Gartner regularly analyses the latest developments in various IT markets and publishes its market research findings in an annual report. Gartner's view of the Digital Commerce sector is focused on adaptable and new, technological approaches for efficient customer solutions. A digital commerce platform is defined as the core technology with the specific purpose of making goods and services accessible to customers through an interactive and individually controlled shopping experience.

The Magic Quadrant from Gartner

In its Magic Quadrant evaluation matrix (see chart), Gartner uses the criteria of completeness of vision and ability to act to place companies in a matrix of four types: niche players, visionaries, challengers and leaders.

Gartner Magic Quadrant 2020

Source: Gartner (August 2020)

Niche Players

Niche companies are mostly specialised in a certain part of the competition and therefore often only interesting for a small group of customers. Because of their narrow focus, they are less able to adapt to changes.


Visionaries score with forward-looking concepts and ideas for products with great customer benefits. They see and understand the wishes and needs of buyers and can translate these into products and services. However, they often lack the necessary resources and infrastructure to develop larger market shares.


Companies classified as challengers have everything they need to achieve success in the market. They only lack strategic orientation. They have the potential to become market leaders in a short time if they act wisely as suppliers in their segment.


Market leaders are in the front position in the three previous categories. As providers of broadly positioned products, they have sufficient resources for a functioning distribution and show correspondingly great responsiveness. They know the business, their customers and are therefore rated as a leading company in their business field.

The Year 2020

The year 2020, internationally marked by Covid-19 and the many associated shop closures, catapulted growth in digital commerce to unprecedented heights. But in this year's analysis, Gartner predicts that the global market for enterprise applications will also shrink due to the economic losses caused by the pandemic. Only the online commerce sector would be far less affected, as demand for internet purchases continues to grow in all sectors.

A necessary consequence of the pandemic was therefore for many companies to develop new visions for digital commerce. These solutions envisage an improved customer experience in online shopping, coupled with stable and uninterrupted supply chains and sales processes. In implementation, this is partly linked to completely new technologies that better meet the corresponding requirements.

New requirements in e-commerce

According to the Gartner document, trading platforms that are fit for the future must be ready for use immediately and offer various features: An accurate product search and an easy-to-use shopping cart that displays complete prices for an order, including discounts and promotions. The platform must also integrate all customer, product, content and ordering functions via a suitable interface. Vendors of software solutions that bring all this, and thus prove their suitability for solid data management, get the highest ratings and are named in Gartner's Magic Quadrant.

In its 2020 report, Gartner lists a total of fifteen digital commerce platforms that meet these modern criteria. With Big Commerce, Shopify and Shopware, Blackbit supports three of them. A niche company and two up-and-coming challengers from the Magic Quadrant can thus be found in Blackbit's tableau alongside Pimcore and xt:Commerce. It will be exciting to see the further development of all three platforms.