Comparison between eComchain and other eCommerce platforms

OPTIONS eComchain Shopify
User Plans Plans are tailored to business requirements Offers only 3 plans
Ongoing 1-on-1 Support Onboarding Store Setup Consultation Not Applicable
Tax Calculation Global Taxation calculations available Only US Tax Calculations available
SEO(Search Engine Optimization) Each product can be setup with multiple SEO tags Only one tag per product is available
Transaction Fee One FIXED rate, with no hidden fees Additional fee applicable based on the package selected
Email Templates All email templates are pre-configured with HTML designs, editable via the dashboard Ordinary non-Graphical email templates
Product Details Plenty of options to describe a product that make up a SKU Limited options to describe the product
Shipping Many options available to setup Shipping methods USPS is the only default shipping method available ONLY if a printer is purchased. Merchant need to upgrade to a higher plan for another set of shipping methods
Dashboard The dashboard is very intuitive with highend User Experience The dashboard is designed with limited options and fewer controls
Social Media Integration Pre-integrated with popular social media platforms Integrated only with Facebook for an additional fee
Getting Started Steps to setup an online store is as easy as 1-2-3 using the Site Builder tool Setting up a site can get laborious with limited tools to customize the selected template
Analytics Pre-integrated with powerful Google Commerce analytics engine Simple analytics engine
SKU Robust SKU Management that can be tagged to similar product codes Not able to tag SKUs to similar product codes
Account Management The dashboard has features to search for registered user by their account names / numbers, be able to export the details Very basic functionality to manage accounts
Tutorials Video Tutorials with detailed screenshots and sound, easy to comprehend There are not demos or videos available online
Marketing Campaigns Marketing campaigns through email available in newer release Manual process to send out marketing campaigns
B2B / B2C Solutions Offers solutions for B2B, B2C and B2B2C business models Suitable for only small ecommerce sites with no B2B solutions
OPTIONS eComchain Wix
Template Selection Hundreds of starter template available, that can be customized multiple times using eComchain’s Site Builder tool Changes not possible once a template is picked.
Brand Advertisement No brand advertisements on any of the packages Advertises Wix brand on footer and header for basic packages
Support On call support available for all types of packages On call support available only for certain packages
Static (No E-Commerce) Sites Solutions available for sites with Static pages Minimal solutions available for sites with Static pages
Scalability Scalable solutions for SMBs and Enterprise organizations Ideal only for small businesses
Hosting Hosted on highly scalable secure Amazon server Hosted on Private server
Web Site Builder Launch sites in minutes using GUI-based Intuitive Site builder tool Minimal options to create sites using point and click options
Dash Board The unique dash board we have will provide on stop solution from orders to shipping. Dash board is confusing with app for every work
Help On Call Support, Online Support, Online Chat with a Personnel and Online videos available On call support only for high profile customers
B2B / B2C Solutions Offers solutions for B2B, B2C and B2B2C business models Suitable for only small ecommerce sites with no B2B solutions
Content Management System (CMS) Powerful CMS Drag-and-drop features via Site Builder & Catalog BuilderOffers minimal solution static web content and small ecommerce site

OPTIONS eComchain Weebly
Template Selection Hundreds of templates available for various business verticals Has limited templates to pick from
Responsiveness Templates designed with responsive user interface Only handful templates responsive
Brand Advertisement No brand advertisements on any of the packages Advertises Wix brand on footer and header for basic packages
Scalability Scalable solutions for SMBs and Enterprise organizations Ideal only for small businesses
New Functionalities Monthly Periodic updates of Functionalities to meet various business requirements Less periodic updates
Transaction Fee One FIXED rate, with no hidden fees Additional fee applicable based on the package selected
# of Products Unlimited # of products for a catalog Price varies depending on the # of products for a catalog
Help On Call Support, Online Support, Online Chat with a Personnel and Online videos available On call support only for high profile customers
Scalability Scalable solutions for SMBs and Enterprise organizations Ideal only for small businesses
OPTIONS eComchain Bigcommerce
Credit Card Payments No additional Credit Card charges for any payment processor selected Additional Credit Card charges applied
Template Selection Hundreds of templates available for various business verticals Limited templates available at an additional cost
3rd Party applications 3rd party application plugins available out-of-the-box Additional 3rd party applications available at a cost
Revenue on Sale Unlimited number of products can be sold and there’s no requirement to share the revenue Revenue shared model based on the online order total
Support Response time as low as 1 hour on Severity 1 tickets raaised Response time longer than an hour
SEO(Search Engine Optimization) With SEO tags available at the product level, products show up on search engines organically much faster Does not have an efficient SEO functionality
Blogging Easy to create powerful Blogs using Site Builder tool Blogging is very basic
Email Marketing Out of the box functionality with excellent features Available as plugins for an additional fee
Scalability Scalable solutions for SMBs and Enterprise organizations Ideal only for small to miz-size organizations
Search and Sort Integrated with popular Opensource Solr engine includes facets, type ahead search and many more Search functionality is not robust and there’s no facet-based search bin
OPTIONS eComchain Shopify
Multi-Site Management Mapping sites to a registered domain can be done in 2 easy steps Requires skilled technical resources to manage site configurations
Indexing Indexes data automatically, admin monitoring not required Indexing required to be done manually by the administrator
Extensions All essential features provided out-of-the-box Extensions, that are required, developed by 3rd party vendors, can be expensive
Templates 100s of templates, for various business verticals, that can be customized using Site Builder tool, no coding required Not easy to deploy templates without technical assistance
Email Template Option to add/edit all available email templates for standard functionalities such as Order Creation, User registration, Order Shipped using html editor Each email template is created by a technical resource to be assigned to functionalities such as Order Creation, User Registration and others
Filters (Facets) Built in catalog filters based on SKU and attributes using awared-winning SOLR application Does not provide catalog filters out of the box
Multi-SKUs Provides multi-sku attributes for a single product Only single SKU product can be setup. Additional SKUs need to be added for a every new product id
Warehouses Option to setup multiple warehouses for each product including Aisle and Bin info There is no such feature available
Suppliers Supplier information can be mapped to each product and Includes Low stock alerts sent to the associated suppliers There is no such feature available
Staging and Production servers Multiple servers allows Merchants to test the functionalities on the Demo server before migrating the changes to the PROD server in a single click Changes need to be migrated to PROD server manually
Customization Cloud-based solutions include new features deployed on a monthly basis Customizations require full-time Magento developer(s)
Speed Hosted on highly scalable AWS platform, as per business requirements Magento Community edition under performs considerably. The enterprise edition is scalable at a min cost of US$25,000.00 annually.
Technical Skills No full time developer or technical knowledge required to manage the site Magento developers are required to develop and maintain the site, skilled developers are hard to find and expensive


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eCommerce platforms versus Oracle Commerce Cloud

With myriad of eCommerce platforms and solutions out there, it can be a challenging and arduous journey when its time to decide on an eCommerce platform that fits your business requirements. An evaluation can be not to be taken lightly, when the expectation is to get a quick ROI.

The comparison table below details key areas that merchants look at when evaluating eCommerce platforms, helping you understand which product makes most sense to bring in the revenue for your business and make your investment profitable in a very short time.

With myriad of eCommerce platforms and solutions out there, it can be a challenging and arduous journey when its time to decide on an eCommerce platform that fits your business requirements. An evaluation can be not to be taken lightly, when the expectation is to get a quick ROI.

The comparison table below details key areas that merchants look at when evaluating eCommerce platforms, helping you understand which product makes most sense to bring in the revenue for your business and make your investment profitable in a very short time.

Comparing Platform Features

Intershop Hybris Oracle Commerce Demandware eComchain
Turnover to consider the solution > $ 5 million > $ 5 million > $ 10 million > $ 10 million > $ 2 million
Emphasis Comes with experience primarily in the B2B space. Focusses Product Information Management system than eCommerce User or Customer experience. Cross Commerce with limited footprint. Primarily on Content Management System. With B2B2C Functionalities ideally suits Manufacturers with an ecosystem of distributors and retailers
Highlights Dynamic managed service model for easy scalability with limited B2B user footprint With new cross-channel consumer support capabilities, deploy solutions more rapidly larger number of channels. Yet to prove scalability across a mature B2B market. Scalable due to cloud based model with a focus on Enterprise Retailers ONLY. A B2B2C model resulting out of immense experience with B2B and B2C implementations.
Domain / Area of Expertise Have proven growth in the European B2B market. Built around accelerators for the On-Prem and Cloud platform. In its early stages to determine a niche area in the B2B or B2C space. Primarily proven performance at scale for B2C Enterprise Retailers with massive catalogs. A multitenant SaaS platform with B2B, B2C & the most UNIQUE B2B2C functionalities
Platform ecosystem Uses Microservices, built using Java technology, that are self-contained, largely decoupled units integrating into their eCommerce systems. Have been able to keep up the momentum by having an On-Prem and Cloud-based platform Built on the proven architecture of ATG and Endeca technologies with widget management. In its early stages with limited in its B2B functionalities Partner ecosystem is limited resulting in delayed time to market. Platform with a vision for Manufacturers, Dealers and Retailers to coexist providing great amount of flexibility for specialized branded sites at each level of the supply chain.
Average cost of Implementation plus annual recurring expenses 225K USD 300K USD 450K USD 950K USD Between 175K-200K USD
Profile (B:Brand, R:Retailer, P:Pure player, D:Department store, Pv:Private sales, B2B) B,D,R,B2B,Pv B,D,R,B2B B,D,R,P,Pv B,D,R,P,Pv B,D,R,P,B2B
Approximate timeframe to Go-live 16-20 weeks 24-32 weeks 20-24 weeks 14-18 weeks 12-14 weeks

Comparing eComchain with Shopify

Its not easy to pick one eCommerce platform that covers all your B2B or B2C requirements. eComchain has all the ingredients for a B2B2C storefont with multiple levels of personalizations for suppliers, distributors and dearlers increasing the revenue for various levels of business.

Shopify has shown a strong presence for 10+ years, however its not safe to remain complacent in a highly competitive and saturated market. eComchain is showing its strengths in areas where other eCommerce platforms have fallen short. eComchain team brings in 16+ years of B2B and B2C eCommerce expertise having implemented complex enterprise level storefronts.

Having said that, here’s a plain and simple comparison between eComchain and Shopify.

OPTIONS  eComchain  Shopify
 

User Plans

Plans are tailored as per the business requirement Only three plans to choose from.

 

 

Ongoing one-on-one Support

Onboarding Store Setup Consultation and Merchant Site Store Setup Consultation Not Applicable
 

Tax Calculation

Our Partnership with Avalara makes the process of taxation easy Comes handy only in US
 

SEO

(Search Engine Optimization)

Each product can have multiple tags to make the product easily available for the internet to find Only one tag per product
 

Transaction Fee

We have no hidden fee for transactions made, One Flat price with no hidden charges Additional Charges are applicable depending up on the package selected
 

Email Templates

Email Template come Pre-configured (editable via the dashboard) and look professional with graphics embedded in the email Ordinary non-Graphical templates for the email’s and newsletters
 

Flexibility in adding Products

The flexibility to describe the products increase as there are many options to select from Limited field’s to describe the product
 

 

Shipping

A business can opt any means of shipping from the various options made available by eComChain USPS is default for which you have to buy a printer. To opt other shipping methods user has to upgrade the plan
 

Dashboard

The dashboard can be controlled such that it is user-friendly and need no assistance The dashboard is designed with limited options and fewer controls
 

Social Media Integration

With Social Media option on dashboard the business can get going on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Facebook Sales only

(Additional charges applicable)

 

Getting Started

Getting started is easy as you can mix and match any template Getting started may be tedious as you to stick to the template to customize
 

Analytics

State of art analytics facility powered by google gives you desired intelligence Simple analytics
 

SKU

SKU Management becomes handy as the SKU’s can be applicable across any product which are alike SKU’s are applicable to products and cannot be tagged to the products which are alike
 

User Tracking

The dashboard gives you flexibility to track the user by their accounts and go through the reviews with ease Basic functionality’s like add and manage customers
GUI Visualized graphics on Analytics gives you the deep understanding of the business Google analytics should be configured by the user which is time taking and technical
 

Tutorials

Video Tutorials make it easy to understand and deploy the end product by ease Only Documentation
Marketing Campaigns

 

Marketing campaigns through email and additional analytics part( To be launched in 2017) Manual operation needed
Solutions Offers B2B, B2C and B2B2C solutions too. Suitable for only small ecommerce sites.

 

Five Lessons Retail Can Offer B2B for Commerce

Survey reports predict that B2B ecommerce industry is going to be worth $12 Trillion by 2020. If you want a share of that pie then you need act fast and get your b2B platform on the right track. Just getting your business online is not enough, everyone’s out there and doing everything they can to beat the competition. So unless you have the right ecommerce partner, you cannot expect phenomenal results. Increased buyer expectations and improved technology is complementing the rising need for business automation.

Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba have changed the SMEs do business. B2C procurement managers are ever on the lookout for integrated solutions to B2B procurement that will make their jobs and lives easier, source goods at much cheaper prices than retail. In order to offer them with a stellar shopping experience, all you need to do is look at how the top retailers are crushing it at B2B and B2C ecommerce.

#1 – User friendly sites across multiple channels – One of the most important features of a successful ecommerce enterprise is to offer an attractive and engaging website which will attract and entertain customers. Along with being engaging and beautiful, they need to mobile friendly as well so that the customer can experience the same easygoing and friction less feel through every platform they can engage in. The quality of the web and mobile presence says a lot about the brand – about the quality of the product and the customer service that a user encounters. The powerful interface and user-friendliness will make it a pleasure for your customers to visit and interact with.

#2 – Driving engagement through enhanced personalized experience – Ask anyone is retail and they will tell how enhanced personalized experience delivers the biggest profits. B2B websites can learn a lot from retail here by replicating the easy online shopping experience. A personalized B2B interface will allow them to choose, modify and update their purchases across categories. With the user-friendly platform mentioned above and innovative design experiences, the efficacy of the B2B site will be boosted manifold. When customers can find what they are looking for quickly with unique and personalized suggestions to match their search, the likely of their returning and spreading the word is higher.

#3 – Unique content-assisted purchasing – Unique and descriptive content is very important and this does not mean just well-written product descriptions, which is of course of extreme importance in ecommerce. But there needs to be a proper content strategy that is unique to every ecommerce site, giving customers a clear idea of each product and then linking the product pages with other related products, leading to larger (combination) sales. Specialized content paired with multiple visuals of the product, stories behind the products and then connecting with a social cause, could also lead to higher customer engagement.

#4 – Working on your reviews and making them available at multiple platforms – More than 61% of customers today read online reviews before making any purchase decision. This shows that more than anything it is social proof that drives credibility. The first place to start with could be the “Testimonials” section of your own ecommerce site but then you need to ensure that these are available across all the multiple channels that your business is present in. This is not all, for businesses need to have favorable reviews on every social media and industry websites as well. A great way to showcase these is to integrate these reviews and the social media buttons right into the product descriptions, again enhancing customer engagement. With an intelligent ecommerce platform this is easy to develop as well.

#5 – A clear call to action button – If there is anything that retail has always done well, it is their call to action strategy. Traditionally, the B2B industry is not known for this but in the age of digital selling this is an important skill to learn. So while framing that all important and well-written product description, make sure that you have a unique call to action strategy. This can highlight different things at different time like a discount, some additional offers or incentives, newer items, colors or models. They should ideally convey a sense of urgency which will drive the customer to take action, thereby resulting in quicker sales. Make sure that the navigation throughout the site happens through of least resistance and friction.

When you make it easy for your customers, when you deliver an absolutely irresistible customer experience, you will be driving up your customer loyalty numbers.

Can you improve Commerce with eCommerce ?

Today’s technological marvels can make a huge difference in improving Commerce, specially when there’s fully-loaded eCommerce solution. A fully-loaded eCommerce would have the cutting-edge user experience and customer experience.

A Retail eCommerce site without a Chat functionality or a Store Locator is unheard of. Add to it, a Digital Dressing room (or Try it On feature), would enhance the user experience on an apparel site, where the user can upload their own pictures, digitally try on the apparels on their digital pictures.

I have evaluated multiple eCommerce solutions, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion and many others but haven’t come across any solution that comes anywhere close, in features and functionalities, to what I mentioned above.

Coming back to my discussion on how eCommerce can help improve Commerce for any business. At any given point of time in a year, businesses are always to increase the revenue and eCommerce (along with Mobile Commerce) plays an important role in improves sales through an Omni-Channel platform.

With eCommerce, I have a choice to shop around virtually, without having to move out of my seat, compare products and its prices, return the items if I am dissatisfied, cancel the order before it gets shipped, track my orders, chat online without having to wait for someone to pick my call. There are myriads of such features and functionalities.

Not implementing eCommerce in a digital world would be harakiri in an ultra-competitive world.

Apache SOLR – Blazing fast open source enterprise search platform

Apache SOLR and Elastic Search are both  search server platforms based on Apache Lucene  – which is a Java based code library and API which can provide search capabilities for applications. Both SOLR and ElasticSearch have extended the capabilities of Lucene API by adding some features on top of it. Although SOLR and ElasticSearch both offer similar features Apache SOLR is more trusted and proven search platform with a brand-name of Apache which powers some of most heavily-trafficked websites like  ebay, Magento, Netflix, Disney, Instagram, Ticketmaster, etc…

Apache SOLR is blazing fast open source enterprise search platform which offers powerful full -text search ,hit highlighting ,faceted search, NOSQL features ,dynamic clustering , database integration, rich document(Word,PDF,etc..) handling ,geospatial search. SOLR is highly reliable, scalable and fault-tolerant providing distributed indexing, replication, centralized configuration, load balanced querying, automated failover and more …

SOLR is standalone enterprise search server within the servlet container – Jetty and has REST-like HTTP/XML/JSON APIs which eases the data exchange with external data sources like databases, XML, JSON, CSV. It outputs data in XML,JSON,CSV,PHP, Python, Ruby, Velocity, XSLT, native Java. Elastic Search on the other hand provides data exchange in the limited options JSON/HTML/XML. Shards are the partitioning unit for the Lucene index, both SOLR and ElasticSearch have them. You can distribute your index by placing shards on different machines in a cluster. So if you decided you wanted to split your index into 10 shards on day one, and two years later you want to add another 5 shards SOLR supports shard splitting, which allows you to create more shards by splitting existing shards. SOLR supports distributed group by (including grouped sorting, filtering, faceting, etc), ElasticSearch does not.SOLR provides features like anayzers, tokenizers, filters in order to break down the textual data and manipulate it as per the need.

SOLR provides mechanism to import data from relational databases. The Data Import Handler (DIH) provides a mechanism for importing content from a data store and indexing it. In addition to relational databases and NOSQL databases, DIH can index content from HTTP based data sources such as RSS and ATOM feeds, e-mail repositories, and structured XML where an XPath processor is used to generate fields. DIH supports complete import of data through full-import and partial or incremental import of data through delta-import.In SOLR, Index Handlers are Request Handlers designed to add, delete and update documents to the index. It also provides features of custom transformers for various transformations to be done on the indexed data.

Solr has a bigger, more mature user, dev, and contributor community compared to ElasticSearch.Solr is developed by contributors to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) through an open, meritocratic process that goes well beyond simply sharing the source code. Visit the ASF website to learn more.

There are some of the good informative webpages for reading and learning more on SOLR :

http://wiki.apache.org/solr/

https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/solr/

http://lucene.apache.org/solr

https://sematext.com/blog/2015/01/30/solr-elasticsearch-comparison/

http://solr-vs-elasticsearch.com/

https://thinkbiganalytics.com/solr-vs-elastic-search/

http://www.datanami.com/2015/01/22/solr-elasticsearch-question/

Amazing combination of features make eComchain best suited for any vertical

With the introduction of a powerful browser-based web editor, eComchain has all the ingredients to become the best in the eCommerce platform in the industry.

Try their new Site Builder http://ecomchain.com/gallery.php

Their site builder has been carefully crafted to ensure walk-in users gets complete creative freedom with enhanced user experience where in components can be added or changed or removed from the landing page. Additionally, any time the user saves their preferred template, it can further be edited after they are provided with more features to create an eCommerce site.

Users can now focus on their landing page or their home page and think through the design that would attract their customers to the site, using widgets and truly open source solution. Creating a site is as easy as 1-2-3.

An eCommerce platform that gives visibility to Multiple levels of Supply Chain

Time has come when manufacturers understand the importance of getting visibility to multiple levels of supply chain. Refer to article on http://www.mepsupplychain.org/supply-chain-visibility/, where Jeff Dobbs, Global Sector Chair, Diversified Industrials and a partner with KPMG says, “obtaining real-time visibility across all tiers in the supply chain can significantly increase speed to market, reduce capital expenditures and manage risk.”

Based on this finding, I looked around for an eCommerce product, that would provide manufacturers an online platform, where their distributors can buy the finished products online, who in turn can setup their own personalized site for their retailers. Retailers in turn should be able to create their personalize sites for their end consumers.

Wouldn’t this help manufacturers with the following key factors for an efficient supply chain ?

Improve lead times and performance, with just-in-time inventory to distributors and their retailers
Identify shortage and quality problems along the supply chain, specially when the manufacturers have direct access to the end consumers’ online feedback.

Eureka ! I came across eComchain.com who has a Cloud-based eCommerce platform.

With multi-tenant features, manufacturers and distributors, are able to reach out to their end consumers easily and faster.

Check them out !

Pros & Cons : Which eCommerce Platform suits your business the best ?

With tons of eCommerce platforms to pick from, as a small to mid-size business you have no idea which eCommerce platform would server your critical needs and help you increase your online revenue.

I came across articles written by analysts and / or experts from this fields and wanted to share a few of them here. Click on these URLs to go over the pros & cons of eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and Volusion

Shopify Review: Pros & Cons of Using Shopify For eCommerce

Volusion Review: Pros & Cons of Using Volusion for Ecommerce

I came across eComchain, relatively new entrant in the cloud-based eCommerce space. I would not consider eComchain as a traditional eCommerce application, as I can see remarkable new features they have provided compared to other traditional platforms.

After registering and going over the navigations and user interface, I am pretty impressed with the way their team have thought through a robust, scalable eCommerce solution.

Interested to know more ?

Here are some of the URLs I would go over to understand their multi-tenant features or their proprietary ‘Try-it-On’ feature useful for retail businesses.

Take a tour by clicking here, http://ecomchain.com/take-a-tour-ecomchain.php

Take a sneak peak of some of their unique features http://ecomchain.com/ecomchaindemo.php

Or take a look at the step-by-step instructions http://ecomchain.com/how-to.php

In a nut shell every eCommerce platform has its pros and cons. What platform to pick is determined by your business needs and the economics that go with the choice.

Site Builders – which one to pick ?

Are you wondering what are the good tools out there which lets you create a cool, effective eCommerce site in a jiffy ? There are few site builders out there, that let’s you drag and drop images or change the texts or create the menu, header and footer for your eCommerce investment.

PageCloud.com definitely has good intuitive site builder that lets the user create a landing or even a catalog page. However it does not extend its features to be a complete eCommerce solution, which requires multiple integration points to payment gateway, shipping, tax engine etc.

I got a sneak peek into an innovative new solution that will be launched by eComchain.com very soon. It lets the user pick a gallery of templates from various vertical industry, modify the images, text and also be able to complete the entire eCommerce related setups with myriad of integration points to multiple shipping, payment gateways and tax engines. Built using Angular JS, eComchain team has taken good care to provide a seamless integration to its backend eCommerce engine.

I will definitely come back with more updates on any other site builder that I stumble upon.