What’s the Right Ecommerce Solution for your Enterprise?
Building an ecommerce website is among the most lucrative business ideas of our times. Previously, managing an online store was not easy. The high cost of maintenance, high cost of developing a website, limited technology, limited infrastructure were some issues making things difficult for online store owners. Poor security, logistics accuracy, fraudulent orders were some additional concerns that would discourage entrepreneurs from choosing ecommerce as an option.
But with developing technology, you can now handle the same readily. All you need is the right solution at your disposal.
You can either :
a) develop your own website to sell your products but it’s going to be a huge responsibility and it’s gonna cost you a lot, or
b) Look for turnkey solutions that can give your business what you need. You don’t even have to worry about any of the strenuous and tedious backend operations.
Option B is a no brainer, isn’t it?
Off-the-shelf software solutions for high-volume businesses have gained quite some popularity these days. And why shouldn’t it? Its benefits speaks for itself.
- It provides an ultimate solution that includes hosting and technical support.
- Very simple to manage.
- Users don’t have to worry about software updates and installations.
- No installation means less cost of starting an ecommerce operation.
So if you are looking to give your business an edge over your competitors, following are some solutions you can look up.
StoreHippo is another ecommerce platform that provides extensive turnkey solutions for B2B looking to enhance their business. With a truly mobile architecture powering this platform, it is one of the most advanced solutions. They are capable of delivering highly scalable and mission-critical demands for their clients.
StoreHippo comes pre-integrated with premium features needed by an enterprise to manage their business. Some of these features are product management, shipping/logistics, promotional provisions and many more. StoreHippo takes away the technical burden from its users and allows them to focus on their primary business activities. The ‘Do It Yourself’ platform provides integrations with multiple payment gateways and logistics providers. StoreHippo makes it easier to focus on their activities by giving automated shipping solutions. As an added advantage, they also get incredible discounts on shipping charges from top logistics providers.
The company is built on the mobile-first principle promising advanced m-commerce technology. They offer progressive web applications for online stores, making those stores fast, portable, engaging and flexible. With their multi-seller and multi-store features, you can run any kind of marketplace and monetize the platform for profits even without worrying about various operations such as inventory, shipping, etc. If you are looking for a comprehensive solution, that does not stretch your budget due to hidden costs, it can be one of the best enterprise ecommerce solution alternatives.
- For a platform offering enterprise solutions, it is quite cheap with a lot of native functionalities without relying on external plugins.
- With their native ‘Multi-Seller’ feature you can run both the ‘Marketplace’ and ‘Inventory-led’ store simultaneously.
- Because of the integrated logistics partner ShipKaro, users get to customize their logistics operations within the country. They can also integrate their custom or international logistics solutions.
- They have an efficient native Multi-Store feature helping store-owners to manage their inventory, pricing, promotions etc based on locations or products.
- A wide range of B2B features such as price management, audit logs for a trail to tackle any issue, customized forms and tax rules, user management etc helps backend operations to be more streamlined.
- Incorporation of technology like PWAs, MEAN helps in building a dynamic online store which can also be customized as Device and Platform-specific.
- Ease of use and DIY platform which is flexible and scalable and can be used by anyone who knows how to operate a computer.
- Their voice support only provides 24/6 customer support. It’s is only for selected plans.
- They could improve their collection of themes as they only have 30 themes for storefront layout. They can add more designs, even charge them at a premium price.
- They don’t provide POS services yet. They are currently focussed on online channels.
2. Shopify Plus
Shopify Plus was launched in 2014. It has proved itself as a real contender to other players in the market as many businesses have been moving over to Plus from the likes of Magento to try a lighter, fully-SaaS-based solution.
The Plus is practically an enterprise ecommerce software which is suited to vendors for whom the original Shopify setup isn’t enough. Their business demands more advanced features and customization options. Focal features and functionalities may be a little trimmed down in places when compared with other platforms. But it makes up for them in terms of maintenance costs, and robust and reliable third-party apps can make up for this.
Shopify Plus still doesn’t fully cater to sophisticated retailers, but it’s been a bit of a significant change for pure lifestyle retailers and consumer brands. Its pricing depends on a lot of different factors. These factors may include order volume, the technology used, designing storefronts, backend customization, many more. It can be more expensive than a lot of other options, but Plus can be an excellent choice for scaling enterprise-level businesses.
- It’s very smooth in case of setups; you can launch your store very quickly.
- It’s an externally hosted solution, so there is no need for in-house hardware or technical personnel.
- Shopify Flow is a significant addition to the platform. It allows the automation of many tasks and saves money around customisations etc.
- Shopify has an extensive network of independent app developers, helping your store gain more features making it quite agile.
- Shopify Flow also allows for integrations with external technology associates, which again, helps to reduce the need for improvement and keeps expenses down.
- They’ve also recently introduced a practical and easy to manage the wholesale channel.
- They provide several omnichannel specialities, with the POS being the most prominent one.
- Shopify provides a lot of ecommerce requirements right from the start but it does lag behind in some areas such as native multi-store, complex product setups, bundling, filtering, etc.
- Shopify has some constraints because of its dependence on external developers. Some of these constraints include lack of native capabilities for managing multi-store setups, limited variants for products (100 for each).
- Native features to easily manage international payments, returns, refunds, data, etc.
- No native support for multiple shipments.
- Shopify Plus is a closed system and hence has a lot of customization limitations. There are limits to using API.
- After the initial setup, customer support gets weak. Sometimes the product can get too complex. It has an extensive learning curve.
Magento has been conceivably one of the most flexible enterprise-level platforms on the market. It has an extensive range of modules and integrations for commercial use and significant developers. These modules help in decreasing the cost of enhancing your site and your customization requirements. Magento also still has the Open Source / Community version, which is free to use and offers the majority of similar core features.
Magento has a widespread developer community, and there are lots of large systems integration partners all over the world too. Magento’s community has a lot more developers, and there are many methods that a retailer could build a development team.
In terms of built-in features, Magento offers robust abilities when it comes to marketing and enhancing customer loyalty/experience and productivity. Magento’s market is majorly associated with B2B market, where it’s growing as a leader for B2B retailers looking agile ecommerce solutions for their businesses.
- Magento has lots of robust built-in specialities and is also highly versatile with integrations, as well as the cloud.
- Due to Magento’s vast developer society, getting support is quite easy.
- Magento’s has prominent multi-store features.
- Magento is ideally suited to large scale B2C retailers and B2B retailers looking for agile business solutions.
- Magento open source is an open, flexible and scalable ecommerce platform, from a development perspective.
- It provides additional BI support with vast native features & functionality.
- Magento is highly customizable but complex. If you and your development partner are not in tune, the very customized Magento can become more laborious to maintain and scale.
- The other weaknesses, come from the maintenance overhead — with businesses needing to allow for platform upgrades, security patches etc. It leads to a very high cost of ownership.
- Magento is an open system so it can cause a multitude of development issues due to heavy enterprise customization.
- Magento due to its open-source nature is prone to a lot of security issues such as remote access, SQL injection, misconfiguration, etc.
- It can be very expensive as it costs a minimum of $22,000 for the business generating annual revenue $1 million or less. Third-party apps cost extra money too.
4. Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware)
Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware) is a true enterprise platform-as-a-service offering. Demandware was rebranded as Salesforce Commerce Cloud after Salesforce acquired it in 2016. It is a SaaS-based platform and is hosted in the cloud.
The Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform is designed to facilitate its users to function across multiple channels seamlessly. They don’t have to worry about technicalities such as maintenance, servers, security etc. Several other platforms move towards this offering later, but Salesforce Commerce Cloud remains the leader and the pioneer.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers a combined enterprise-level platform which has the ability to consolidate online commerce, order management, POS and offline store operations in one hosted solution. As part of the order management and omnichannel offering, users can easily offer services such as click-and-collect and ship from store. Salesforce Commerce Cloud also provides tools that in-store associates can use to give an endless aisle experience, via the POS.
- They provide strong omnichannel solutions, especially for retailers who are looking for a seamless, online solution.
- It’s a highly scalable platform and can suit any level of business.
- With superior technical expertise, Demandware was built specifically for enterprise-level retail.
- This platform has continued to develop as they introduced machine learning and deep personalisations in their platform.
- Their platform and technical upgrades are quite reliable.
- The platform integrates well with Salesforce’s other cloud-based CRM and marketing services.
- Salesforce might have a huge technical community but it lacks an adequate expert community, so getting support or development work done quickly can be a challenge.
- Integration and consultancy for SCC are also generally very expensive compared to some of the other platforms.
- Since SCC is a SaaS solution, it may limit your freedom and speed when it comes to site customisation and development.
- Since the technology is controlled by Salesforce, there are some limitations on the enterprise features you can implement and there’s an approval layer, which can add a time overhead to site changes and releases.
- The high cost of ownership due to integration and maintenance.
- Agility is an issue as Salesforce doesn’t allow certain types of integrations.
SAP’s ecommerce platform comes with multi-site, multi-language, and multi-currency features integrated. These features make it an ideal solution for retailers with a robust international presence or are looking to expand globally. Not only this, but their platform is also devised to allow for complex data management between multiple sites and catalogues for B2B usage.
SAP’s platform is designed for large scale businesses. Their ‘Hybris’ has often been referred to as a commerce framework, as most implementations are heavily customised to support business logic. Available for both B2C and B2B settings, SAP Hybris is a complete omni-channel platform that has strong customization features and robust architecture for scalability and performance.
The ecommerce platform comes with a bundle of powerful features as part of the core and optional modules for running stores across multiple channels.
- SAP’s built-in multi-site capacities make it an exceptional solution for retailers with multiple brands and locations.
- It’s the right solution for B2B businesses due to native support for requirements such as customer-specific catalogues and pricing, quotations, customer roles etc.
- Very flexible, with substantial customisation options.
- It has a centralised content and product management features which helps in unifying merchant’s digital and physical retail operations.
- SAP can handle processes during critical peaks. Its ability for high-level scalability makes it suitable for enterprise-level use.
- Maintenance cost can get quite high with the SAP platforms. It can include charges like on-going development, platform upgrades and the higher licensing fees than most of its competitors.
- The integration partners also generally charge high rates. Remaining agile on this ecommerce platform can be tough.
- Integration or customisation becomes difficult with the expenses required to do so is a lot higher than other platforms.
- It’s adoption process may take some time as the learning curve with Hybris is quite high.
At an enterprise level, choosing the right solution for your business can be a massive undertaking. Overall, there’s not a single solution that would suit any business. Not every online store can be catered by one solution. Evaluate your business’s needs, sales volume, and potential future growth when picking an ecommerce platform. The observations above will just help you make the best decision for your business.
See for yourself, visit their websites and check out their trial/demo versions. This will help you get an idea of what you need and what can help you.