Sana Commerce is an e-commerce platform with a focus on B2B wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers. Magento is the most well-known e-commerce platform, widely adopted by B2C retailers. Most people looking for an e-commerce solution will sooner or later run into Magento. Therefore, we often get the question how Sana Commerce compares to Magento. The following are three key differences:
1. ERP at the Foundation of Sana Commerce
When we started developing Sana Commerce, we had a very unique approach. We took the ERP solution (Microsoft Dynamics NAV at that time) as the foundation since our goal was not to develop any feature that was already covered by the ERP. You can imagine this was pretty unique as most e-commerce platforms have been built from the ground up to run stand-alone, without ERP integration. Sana is different: Sana cannot run without ERP. It is not even possible to create products in Sana, because our starting point has always remained that if such functionality is already covered by the ERP, we will not develop it again in the e-commerce platform. We are not a fan of redundancy. We find that duplicate content creates opportunity for error and thus decreases the efficiency and profitability of your business. The same goes for looking up placed orders, or managing customer accounts. Your ERP should always serve as your single source of truth.
How tightly integrated is Sana Commerce with your ERP? Everything you already have in your ERP, is in Sana. This goes for complex pricing structures, workflows, trade agreements, stock rules and so on.
Sana leverages all this ERP functionality, data and processes and turns your ERP system into the engine of your e-commerce platform.
This means less complexity for your organization and a lower investment with more value.
To put it simply, Sana Commerce is fundamentally built from the core up within your ERP system. The same cannot be said for tools such as Magento or other e-commerce solutions that have been built as stand-alone systems. How does this translate into benefits for our customers and the customers of our customers?
2. Less Complexity
If you use Sana Commerce, it means that your ERP system and e-commerce platform work as one. There is one main database: your ERP database*. That’s the single source of truth for your customer data, order data, pricing tables, product information, stock rules and so on. This saves you a lot of time on complex data synchronization. As you may know, data synchronization requires complex technical interfaces, which is a ‘single point of failure’ in your architecture. It is costly to maintain and is inefficient by default because you are doing the same thing in two places.
Sana makes B2B e-commerce easy
Sana makes B2B e-commerce easy. It is relatively simple to setup and run. We give you the tools and best practices to get your web shop running with an efficient phased approach. Maintenance will be minimal because of the simple architecture and user-friendly interface that allows you to manage your e-commerce data in just one place instead of two.
* Technically speaking Sana has its own, very small database for product enrichment, caching purposes and some other minor data storage. But this is just a fraction of the data used by the e-commerce platform.
3. Better Customer Experience
Not only does Sana internally benefit the distributor or manufacturer themselves, but even more importantly, their customers. Because Sana Commerce uses the ERP solution as the engine, the customer placing an order will get exactly the same information online as they would if they were to login to the ERP system as the supplier himself! This means that if you run Sana Commerce, you are natively omnichannnel, because there is just one source for all your channels: your ERP.
This means that if you run Sana Commerce, you are natively omni-channnel, because there is just one source for all your channels: your ERP.
An example to clarify: If you run Sana Commerce, or another truly ERP integrated e-commerce platform, a customer that logs in on your web store has access to all his order history. Not just the orders placed online, but all orders ever registered in the ERP system. If you would need to sync this data between your e-commerce platform and your ERP, you would have quite a complex project on your hands. But with Sana, this comes out of the box.
Having access to all this data stored in your ERP offers many ways to service your customer better and improve the online customer experience. Just think of how you can help your customer make a repeat purchase based on a previous order. Or you can even think of helping him by predicting his needs based on his extensive order history with you*. The possibilities are endless once you start to consider it.
When comparing Sana Commerce to Magento it is less relevant to compare on features, or design capabilities. Start by comparing the foundation to make it apples to apples. If you are handling business-to-business transactions, ask yourself what role your ERP will play in that. If that role is a quite substantial one, you should really consider an ERP integrated solution like Sana Commerce, because this will keep your business agile to respond to new challenges in your business or marketplace. An ERP-centric solution will create the best user experience for your customer, leading to higher adoption rates, more online revenue, an increase in customer satisfaction and more efficiency in your sales operation.
Interested to read more about the future of B2B e-commerce? Read my guest blog written for Internet Retailer here
Michiel Schipperus is CEO of Sana Commerce. Sana is a B2B specialist and delivers a fully integrated e-commerce solution for SAP B1/ECC and Microsoft Dynamics AX/NAV/GP.
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