Sana Commerce vs Magento: What's the difference?

About Sana Commerce, B2B e-commerce, E-commerce software comparison, ERP-integrated e-commerce

Michiel Schipperus March 28, 2019

Sana Commerce and Magento are both e-commerce platform providers. Sana Commerce is an ERP-integrated e-commerce platform that focuses on B2B wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers. Magento is an e-commerce platform, widely adopted by B2C retailers. Most people looking for an e-commerce solution will sooner or later run into Magento. Here’s how Sana and Magento differ.

ERP integration: The foundation of Sana Commerce

We build our e-commerce platform with your ERP system as its foundation. Our goal isn’t to rebuild the functions that the ERP already has, but to create a platform on top of the ERP: a platform which uses the ERP as its main source of information. This approach allows our customers to get the best out of their ERP investment. In short, Sana customers benefit from a web store that’s powered by their ERP.

This approach is very uncommon in the e-commerce world. Most e-commerce platforms are built from the ground up, focusing on the web store as the starting point. E-commerce platforms are traditionally a stand-alone site, that do not directly integrate with the ERP. They require a third-party connector to connect the ERP with the e-commerce platform.

Sana Commerce is different: our e-commerce platform cannot run without an ERP integration. It isn’t even possible to create products solely within the platform. This is because our starting point has always been: if the functionality is covered by the ERP, we won’t replicate it in the e-commerce platform. We dislike redundancy. Duplicate content creates the opportunity for error and thus decreases the efficiency and profitability of your business. We believe that your ERP should serve as your single source of truth.

Your Single Source of Truth - ERP

How is Sana integrated with your ERP?

Sana and your ERP work as one. The database and every complex interaction you’ve created in your ERP system are automatically reflected in your Sana web store. This goes for customer data, order data, pricing tables, and product information, as well as complex pricing structures, workflows, trade agreements, stock rules and so on.

How do you benefit from ERP integration?

Not only does this direct integration make it easy to set up Sana in the first place, it also minimizes ongoing maintenance costs and resources in the long run. With Sana, you only need to maintain one database: your ERP database. This simple architecture saves you time and effort on complex data synchronization. This means less complexity for your organization and a lower investment with more long-term value. Find out more about all the benefits of direct ERP integration.

Integrated, ERP-Powered Microsoft Dynamics E-Commerce

Sana Commerce leverages the functionality, data, and processes of your ERP.
We turn your ERP system into the engine of your e-commerce platform.

Magento: A non-integrated e-commerce solution

Magento doesn’t offer a direct ERP integration. Similarly to most other providers, Magento was built as a stand-alone system. It requires a connector to pull the information from your ERP into the web store. Many vendors claim their solution is fully integrated, but this is often not the case, discover more about vendors and solutions that claim to be truly integrated.

What’s a connector?

What is a connector

A connector is used to pull data from your ERP and forward it to the e-commerce platform. Connectors are a separate system from your web store or shopping cart solution, and e-commerce providers like Magento don’t build connectors themselves. You’ll need to use a third-party connector, like Dynamics NAV Connect, to hook up your web store to your ERP.

Connectors lead to extra costs, an impact on your web store security, and, if any updates are required, they can have a negative effect on the other systems. This is all due to the fact that e-commerce providers such as Magento don’t control the connectors themselves.

Database synchronization challenges with Magento

Another problem with non-integrated solutions like Magento is that the changes made in the ERP are not directly reflected in the web store. Changes take time to reach the connector, and so, for a certain period of time, the data in the ERP and web store will not be the same. This can result in problems, when customers order an item that is still shown as available online, but that is sold out in the ERP database.

Having a connector also means maintaining two databases: your ERP and the connector. And maintaining two systems with the same information is not efficient.

“With Magento, we were having to build our business logic twice, once in the ERP and again in the web store. Whereas with Sana’s ERP integration, there was no need to replicate our data. That was a huge time saver — not only in terms of getting the project live but also in terms of the day-to-day management of the website.”

— Sean Hefferin, Supply Chain Manager at Moto Direct

B2B specialization: How else do Sana and Magento differ?

From the start, Magento hasn’t focused or offered solutions for the B2B market. It only launched its first B2B product in late 2017. To this day, it still doesn’t offer many B2B features, and most of the features that are available for B2B customers were developed by its technical partners. Magento has over 150 certified technical partners around the world. These are the partners who offer e-commerce software and services which integrate with the Magento solution to meet your business needs.

The Magento solution itself lacks a native personalization functionality, relying heavily on functionalities that are built by Magento partners. This means that if you, as a client, would like to change to another Magento partner, you risk losing all the customizations that were built by your former partner. This can, of course, be very costly in time and resources.

At Sana, we specialize in e-commerce for the B2B market. B2B products tend to be more complex than B2C, and they’re usually ordered in larger quantities. B2B buyers are used to having customer-specific agreements with suppliers. Because of the complexity involved in B2B transactions, we created an e-commerce platform that integrates with your ERP, so you are able to effortlessly meet all your customers’ requirements with your web store.

Web store security: Sana vs. Magento

At Sana, we strategically think of ways to ensure and maintain a secure site for your ERP-integrated web store. Here are some of the measures we’ve put in place to ensure your security and keep your e-commerce web store safe from external threats:

Our e-commerce software is evaluated, tested and certified by Lionbridge, SAP and Microsoft. We conduct security audits on a monthly basis. During these audits, the system is ethically hacked in search of security cracks, which are then immediately fixed. We apply best practices defined by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). Sana also proudly offers Microsoft Azure hosting, one of the most secure and reliable hosting systems in the world. Offering you the same 99.9% security guarantee provided by Microsoft Azure. As mentioned above, Magento has many partners. This means that the overall security of your platform depends heavily on the quality of the partner you hire.

Sana Security Elements

Case study: Why Moto Direct switched from Magento to Sana Commerce


“I would 100% recommend Sana Commerce to other companies considering Magento, so they can avoid repeating our mistakes.”

— Sean Hefferin, Supply Chain Manager at Moto Direct

Don’t just take our word for it. Discover how Moto Direct — a B2B manufacturer and distributor — slashed its implementation timeline by more than 3/4, lowered its implementation cost by 50% and total cost of ownership (TCO) by 27%, and increased efficiency by switching e-commerce solution providers from Magento to Sana Commerce.


The benefits of integration

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