Are you looking for the perfect E-Commerce Software?
There are a lot of e-commerce vendors out there, and they all claim to be the best. There’s no doubt that each one is the best for someone, but the real question is: which e-commerce software is the best for you? It all depends on your industry, business size, goals and needs. We want to help you find the perfect solution for your business, even if it’s not ours.
What are the different types of E-Commerce Software?
Below, you’ll find an overview of the four main types of e-commerce software. Once you’ve learned more about each type, you can download the chart to see how they compare on ERP connectivity and integration, maintenance, customer view, online customer access to documentation, order fulfillment process, web store launch process, design and add-on possibilities.
ERP Integrated E-Commerce Software
Example: Sana Commerce
Integrated e-commerce solutions are built to turn the ERP into engine running an online store. Using the data from the ERP along with the e-commerce site, it becomes possible to create more relevant, engaging and personalized online experiences.
This software integrates front- and back-office systems to provide a unified business environment that much more easily scalable, customizable and extensible, in addition to providing time-saving automation functionality.
It gives customer service reps a single view of a customer across all channels. Orders from multiple channels and inventory are all managed from one system and can efficiently fulfilled from that same system. Even a customer’s order history can be leveraged to provide personalized and relevant offers.
Shopping Cart Software
Examples: Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce
This type of application is used to standup the front end web store, but has its own table structure. This means all the information used online has to be created in that system (e.g. product information, product attributes, pricing, inventory). Likewise, orders captured online from the front end web store write back to the shopping cart platform, which again, is separate from any back office system.
This type of software is heavily focused on B2C, which is less complex than B2B. So when it comes to B2B sales, these applications often lack functionality needed for complex ordering, for example, adequate roles, rights or authorizations for placing orders as a business.
Examples: i95Dev, Malibu Commerce, eBridge Connections
Connectors are the third party application used to sync a web store with an ERP system. While these applications create a bi-directional flow of information between two systems, this typically occurs at a pre-defined interval, meaning it’s not true real-time. Data is also replicated and synchronized rather than available in real-time directly from the ERP.
Interfaced E-Commerce Software
These applications include a tool to manage the customer-facing frontend web store, so CMS and other e-commerce functionality like capturing web orders or promotions. They also include a connector, built in-house, to sync information to and from the ERP system.
This type of application are that it does not offer a true real-time synchronization and data replication still has to occur. And in some instances, just like with shopping cart applications, certain data that already resides in the ERP, has to be recreated in the application due to limitations of the connector the competitor has architect.
E-Commerce Software Comparison: How do these E-Commerce Solutions compare?
|E-Commerce Solution||Sana Commerce||Shopping Cart Software||Connectors||Interfaced|
|ERP connectivity||Real time||Doesn't exist without a 3rd party connector||No e-commerce functionality without a shopping cart, i.e. Magento; used to CREATE the synchronization between shopping cart and ERP||Include a connector that synchronizes information bi-directionally from the e-commerce platform to the ERP|
|E-commerce powered by||ERP database||Shopping cart database||No e-commerce functionality without a shopping cart, i.e. Magento; used to CREATE the synchronization between shopping cart and ERP||Shopping cart database with connector that pulls data from ERP|
|ERP integration||E-commerce built directly in ERP||Requires 3rd party application||Requires shopping cart application||Includes ERP connector|
|Catalog Maintenance||Only ERP must be maintained||Maintained in shopping cart database||Maintained in shopping cart database (whatever solution is chosen to go with the connector)||Requires maintenance of at least 2 systems: ERP and frontend shopping cart database|
|Customer account management||Single view of customer with EPR as single source of truth, including all historical orders regardless of source||Maintained in shopping cart database||Maintained in ERP and shopping cart database||Maintained in ERP and shopping cart database|
|Online customer access to documentation||Full document history from all channels, dating as far back as your ERP's start date||Order history||Order history||Complete document history can be synchronized, but isn't available in real time|
|Order fulfillment process||Managed entirely in ERP with complete visibility||Captured in one system, processed in another||Captured in one system, synchronized and processed in another||Captured in one system, synchronized and processed in another|
|Web store launch process||Streamlined and ready out of the box; reuses data from ERP||Own system; must be completely configured and data must be replicated||After shopping cart and ERP are configured separately, a connector has its own implementation as well. (That's 3 steps!)||Some ERP data can be used, however some information will need to be recreated in e-commerce application|
|Design||Templates available, custom design possible||Many templates available; highly customizable||Depends on shopping cart; design and connector are not related||Some templates available, custom design possible|
|Add-on possibilities||Growing number of affiliated add-ons; closed source||Large marketplace for add-ons; open source options available||Depends on shopping cart; add-ons and connector are not related||Growing number of affiliated add-ons; closed source|
The undeniable fact is that, all in all, we’re in a better position than we were before having Sana Commerce.
Reyner Karnali, E-Commerce Lead at NHP