NaN-tic May 28, 2020
There are many e-commerce platforms on the market. But before deciding which is the most optimal for your business project, we recommend enlarging the zoom a little. Perhaps you are facing an excellent opportunity to manage your company and your store in a unified way and totally adapted to your needs. In this article we detail the advantages and disadvantages of having your online sales integrated in a single environment.
The growth of online sales in recent years has been spectacular. In Spain alone, in 20 years e-commerce has gone from generating 127 million euros per year to more than 50,000 million in 2019. And the forecast before the COVID-19 pandemic was that in 2030 30% of all world trade would be done over the Internet. Forecasts that have now fallen short.
Logically, this impressive growth has brought to the market numerous solutions and technological platforms to facilitate online sales. They are very powerful, and open source, as we like. WooCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop or OpenCart are the most popular examples. And in addition to being programmed in open source, they all have another point in common: they are independent platforms, which must be added to your ERP.
For many companies, online sales are currently their core business. Your billing depends directly and exclusively on sales made online. Does it make sense to use a platform outside the ERP? Let's analyze.
These mentioned platforms offer a basically quick solution to start selling online. They have a lot of standard features and in many cases, they have enough adaptation flexibility to meet the most common needs. But they also generate inconveniences that you will never find detailed on the respective web pages. Some examples:
Synchronization: The integration of an e-commerce platform in the management of a company is not easy, especially if this company sells both online and offline. You have to invest money in internal connectors so that all the parameters that affect sales are synchronized: stock, warehouse, prices, discounts, invoicing, delivery notes ... If this is not done, you run the risk of having to enable a double system, one for the physical environment and the other for digital sales, with the lack of control that this implies.
Evolution: Another drawback is marked by the different rate of evolution of the two platforms. There are frequent cases in which the ERP lags behind the electronic commerce platform or vice versa. What if, for example, we want to start operating in a new market? Or if the taxation of transactions changes? Do all the technological tools we have provide for these scenarios? Again we will need an adaptation effort that may even be out of our control if we depend on the software manufacturers.
Control: The same happens with those control tools, both for the pre-sale phase (CRM) and for the analysis phase (Business Intelligence). CRM and BI solutions also tend to go it alone, so that, in the long run, controlling your business may look more like a small Frankenstein than a powerful and efficient platform for managing resources.
Customization: The last major drawback is the customization of the solutions. Undoubtedly, there will be many companies that will see most of their needs met with any of the most popular solutions. But what about the rest? Does everyone really organize your company the same way? Why do business operations have to be adapted to the design of a software known where?
Advantages of the unique solution
Faced with this scenario, NaN-tic recommends a broader approach to companies that want to sell online or are already doing so. In our opinion, the option of betting on an open source ERP and with the necessary tools for integrated online sales should always be incorporated into the final possibilities. The advantages are multiple:
A good example of all this is the project that we have developed for Cimbis Orthodontic. Here you can see the real case of a company that wanted to sell its products online without giving up its own management model.
And the cons?
Surely not all of the time it pays to unify the management of your business around a solution like Tryton. Companies that have recently invested significant resources in their ERP and external e-commerce platforms will not see right now the advantages of such a different bet.
And it is also possible that there are small and start-up companies that still do not have a singularity in the management of their resources and that have neither the vocation nor the capacity to adapt the tools.
But the question is not this. It is about knowing that there is an alternative and that from NaN-tic we can help you value it.