We're shopping for a new ecommerce solution. Help!
February 6, 2009 11:08 AM Subscribe
We need a new e-commerce provider (Volusion, Shopify etc.) and I'm looking for suggestions from current platform users or general opinons. We have a set of somewhat specific needs. More inside.
posted by GilloD to technology (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Right now we have an e-commerce provider and web host whose name shall be withheld and a back-end order fulfillment service called OrderMotion. ECom handles all of the web admin and passes orders to Order Motion to be processed and fulfilled by our warehouse.
OrderMotion changed their pricing this year and, for us, that meant a TEN-FOLD increase in price. So we made the decision to ditch them and pick up an ERP to better suit our growing business. At this point, it's likely to be Sage or SAP. Both of their CRM-ends are an afterthought at best. With this came the opportunity to ditch our current ECom Provider. They are TERRIBLE. Their design is horrible, we can't change it, no new style sheets, no php, no jQuery- We can only add text. That's it. Support is also horrible and their pricing just jumped. So! We're essentially rebuilding our web empire from scratch and I want to make sure that it goes well.
To give you an idea of our size, we did about 6 mil in total sales last year. 90% of that was in wholesale. 2% from a brick and mortar store and about 8% from web sales. I am totally sure we can bump that number, our current website is atrocious. Anyway- We're doing a few hundred thousand in web sales. Hence why the ERP/accounting takes precedence over the CRM end.
Here are our specific requests: Integration with the ERP: It needs to be able to pass order data to the ERP for fulfillment. This is the alpha and omega. I realize this really depends on the ERP we choose, but an API or some build-out is a must.
Does it allow for jQuery/PHP inside of it's templating? If not, Is it possible to sort of segment off part of the site so that the promo things are either handled "cold", via handwritten code or another CMS like Joomla? We have several features (Store Locator and ECards) that would need to come with us. This is a concern with Volusion.
It must have flexible templates. I was excited to hop into Volusion's templates, too, until I got a look at (GASP!) nested tables. Ugh.
Data Reporting: As far as customer data goes, our current e-commerce supplier provides us with 0 data about our customers. What we know comes in two parts: Web traffic data from Google Analytics and general order-metrics from OrderMotion. What this means is that I know that 7000 people looked at Product X yesterday and that 1000 of them ordered. But if Joe orders Product X, I have no idea what else he may have looked at. I have no idea what else people who ordered product X looked at. That data lives in two different places and never the twain shall meet. How much customer data does it hold onto? How does it report data?
CRM: With regards to customer problems, we have an 800 number and an e-mail address. Sometimes the Call Center needs to key in an order for a customer. Doing this via ERP can be expensive as we pay-by-user. Does it track enough customer order data to be able to alter or key-in orders outside on an ERP/back-end? Also, does it contain any kind of ticketing system for customer concerns? What's the good word on CRM?
E-mail marketing. Does it have it built-in? Is there an additional cost? What's the allotment per month? We have about 25k subscribers at the moment and use a 3rd party.
Also: Multiple-stores: Can we get a price break? Can it handle foreign currencies?
I realize this is an enormous amount of information, but if any MeFiites have an answer to even one of those questions based on their experience, it'd be a gigantic help. I've toyed with the free trials, poked at the APIs, but that's a far cry from actually resting our business on it. I'm nervous
Our top 2 contenders at the moment are Volusion (Nice API, bad templating, bad support, insane hosting plan (15gb a month for 150 bucks?!) and Shopify (I adore adore adore Shopify, but I'm afraid it might not have the muscle we need). We have no full-time IT dudes, I'm basically the only person who knows ASP from a snake (ha!) and Java from coffee (ha!), so I'll be dropping the rest of my duties and moving full time on the integration. Which is why I shied away from something like zNode that'd require functional, complete knowledge of C# or .net.
But! Opinons, suggestions. Casual users, hardcore dudes, devs and buyers, lend me your ears.