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Sana Commerce

E-Commerce Software Solutions 101: Choosing the Right Fit


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With customer standards for e-commerce in B2B and B2C on the rise, the conversation around how to improve today’s web store experiences is abundant. These discussions often revolve around design, online selling capabilities, personalization, user generated content (UGC), streamlined checkout, and more. But the organizations with their sights set on e-commerce remain worried about all these moving pieces in their strategy, meaning they often lose sight of the major considerations on the path toward e-commerce success: notably, choosing the right e-commerce software solution.

Understanding Your Options: An Overview of E-Commerce Software Solutions

We at Sana frequently come across prospective customers who are not even aware that an ERP integrated e-commerce software solution is an option for them. Thankfully, we’re here to clear things up and offer some visibility into today’s e-commerce software solutions. In this blog, we’ll help you understand what your options are if you’re looking for an e-commerce vendor — and how these options compare to each other.

Based on needs, goals, and the nuances of your particular business, certain solutions will be a fit for you, while others will fail to meet even your primary needs. To make this decision-making process a bit more digestible, we’ve put your e-commerce software solution options into 4 categories:

  • ERP-integrated e-commerce solutions
  • Shopping cart software
  • Connectors
  • Interfaced e-commerce solutions

Next, we’ll dive into each choice and help you assess the use case for each one.

What’s the Difference Between My Primary E-Commerce Solution Options?

Anyone looking has probably heard of Magento or Shopify, but how do those solutions work? What alternatives are there? What are the potential caveats to look out for? How does an ERP- integrated solution like Sana’s stack up?

The graphic below can help give you a quick overview, but let’s expand on these snippets.

 

ERP-Integrated Solutions:

  • Leverage real-time business logic and product and customer data from your Dynamics ERP system
  • Do not require data synchronization or replication
  • Handle the complexity of the B2B buying process well, thanks to the functionality that can be powered by clear and constant access to ERP data
  • Includes solutions like Sana Commerce

Shopping Cart Software:

  • Is built independent of your ERP system, requiring you to replicate that data in order to power the solution
  • Requires middleware to connect separate aspects of your e-commerce solution (ERP, shopping cart, CMS, etc.)
  • Synchronizes data from the ERP (which means data is not pulled in real-time, and more calls are made to the ERP, which may impact performance)
  • Has a stronger use case in B2C, as handling the complexity of B2B buying with an equally complex solution can be a challenge
  • Includes solutions like Magento and Shopify

Connectors:

  • A good option for businesses who need software that they can retrofit into an existing e-commerce strategy
  • Connects the ERP system with a web store to allow a feedback loop for critical data, but can be just as costly as executing a full e-commerce project
  • Are a common choice for businesses who invested in a shopping cart solution that didn’t adequately meet their data management and order processing needs and who need a quick fix

Interfaced E-Commerce Solutions:

  • Often confused with integrated solutions, as both depend heavily on ERP data
  • Synchronizes data to the front-end web store from the ERP system, rather than integrating with the ERP (and its data) in real-time
  • Requires maintenance of replicated data across two systems: the ERP and the vendor’s database

Still need help choosing? We now have a handy decision-making tool made up of eight quick questions that can help make this choice a bit easier — and all you have to do is answer “Yes” or “No” and then follow along toward our recommended fit for your business.

Preview the guide below, or jump straight to the Decision-Making Guide to E-Commerce Software Solutions here.

More Insights: Understanding Sana as an E-Commerce Solution Option

We understand that the decision you make about your e-commerce partner isn’t just about your needs and your budget. You also need some credibility that drives home the potential partner’s value proposition. You must understand, tangibly, what success looks like for this software vendor, how they have helped other organizations like yours, and what success might look like for you if the vendor were to be selected.

To help you understand the revenue- and operational-focused benefits of working with Sana, check out our factsheet on The Business Benefits of Integrated E-Commerce. You’ll learn how Sana has impacted our customers’ businesses, processes, revenue, and more.

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