E-Commerce Software: Making the right Choice

It's the thing: Software is needed for e-commerce, without it it would not be e-commerce. Central to e-commerce is the shop system – the software solution on which online shops run. In addition, other tools are often needed.

The more products are sold via an online shop, the more customers are sold to, who are to be bound and looked after, the more software solutions are needed for e-commerce. For a few products, a simple shopping solution is certainly still enough – perhaps with a Woo-Commerce PlugIn for WordPress or it is enough to upgrade a Typo3 installation accordingly. On the other hand, if there are many products to be sold – let's just say 500 or 1,000, then a PIM (Product Information Management) and a DAM (Digital Asset Management) are already extremely helpful to manage the product data. Because good product data is the prerequisite for good product detail pages. These, in turn, help to persuade the buyer to purchase. For many customers, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and newsletter solution are then required. The onboardanalytics solutions are also not sufficiently powerful for many customers, so more specialized tools must also be used for this. Manufacturers are often also forced to use CMS systems (Content Management Systems). Overall, one should assume that the number of systems required actually increases with the number of products, their complexity, the number of customers and also the number of countries to be served. Of course, the increasing anticipated turnover is also an important basis for this.

Small businesses with few products

Imagine a company with very few products, but with many orders – perhaps an olive oil that is available in three qualities and in ten container sizes each. With 100 orders a day, ordering by phone would already be time-consuming, handing over the business to dealers significantly reduces the profit. Therefore, a software that does not cost much would be useful. At this point you will inevitably come across the Woo-Commerce Plug-in for WordPress. It's free, and there's another PlugIn for logistics. The provider earns money through a payment module. The costs are kept within limits and there are a number of service providers who help to build such cost-effective solutions. However, one must be aware at this point that the possibilities for individualization are limited and – this is a bit more serious – WordPress is not a really secure solution. Due to many plugins that are (have to) be used, the system requires constant attention. In addition, compliance with the GDPR cannot be easily established due to various international data flows. We therefore advise our customers against this.

Companies with a little more products

Costs are often an argument that drives customers to cost-effective, but not really optimal solutions. Shopify is actually a quite cheap solution, which also runs as SaaS. So the operator does not have to worry about the operation of its own infrastructure. In addition, there are not the software risks and the uncertainty that WordPress brings with its many PlugIns. In addition, there is a payment module, which is easy to use, but not mandatory. This is helpful for a quick start. However, the solution is not as flexible as this is a freely configurable software. Simple configurators can already be integrated with the Shopify Builder apps. Then this often does not fit with the layout of the chosen theme (layout templates) and own adjustments have to be developed. If more complex configurations are necessary for your business, then more elaborate tools make more sense. Eikona Media then recommends OXID or SHOPWARE.

Own shop software, full configuration authority

Having your own installation of an e-Commere shop software gives you significantly more freedom than using the SaaS product from Canada. This is how you manage to strengthenindividualize and respond to the needs of your customers. Configurators can also be integrated more flexibly. Whether OXID or SHOPWARE is the more suitable solution depends on the individual case. At EIKONA Media, we have already carried out many projects on both systems and connected PIM and DAM systems. Of course, we will also make sure that your products land on the platforms that are important for your business . For example, we use Plentymarkets for this. For this purpose, we have developed an Akeneo Connector with which you can link your Akeneo PIM directly to over 50 marketplaces. So you are well positioned.

Headless in the future?

You may have heard of headless systems where the data is separated from functions and layouts. Such systems are useful if you want to operate a whole series of shops with the same database or, as a manufacturer, for example, want to make the functionalities of a configurator available to online retailers for their shops. So if you have a wide assortment and would like to run shops under your own domains for the target groups of special assortment areas, then the commercetools or Spryker could be the right solution for you. For example, if you have products for the garden, you could run a shop for furniture, garden sheds, plants, etc. with them and also one for all your products. However, such projects are associated with comparatively high costs. We will be happy to advise you on the right – efficient – software solution for you. After all, not only are the costs at the beginning of the project, there are also expenses during ongoing operation, which differ depending on the concept and application.