Some mistakes are fixable, but there are mistakes no matter how much budget and time it takes to make up. Here are some online grocery store mistakes that eGrocery business leaders need to know.
Building operating procedures for complex e-commerce systems
The grocery store business process in chain stores and e-commerce websites is entirely different. However, when implementing e-commerce, many businesses put the entire existing process on the website system without any customization or modification to conform to general operating procedures.
To shift business from offline to online, businesses must face difficulties such as synchronizing data from POS (Point of sale), e-commerce platforms, and e-commerce websites for other systems like CRM, ERP, BI, etc.
Grocery e-commerce is an extraordinary industry, with many complex features such as products with many units, selling methods, weight differences, constantly changing prices (day/week/month/year), expired products that need to be canceled, or imported new must have specific data, complicated payment processes, cumbersome warehousing operations, etc.
In particular, most products in the grocery store are fresh and fast food, so the damage rate is high, and the delivery time needs to be faster than in other fields. In addition, for these items, “housewives” also need to choose the correct delivery time.
Because of the complexity of the operation process, the requirements for the e-commerce system are also more unique compared to other industries, making it difficult for managers to grasp the business situation and not be able to manage the number of products in stock in each branch.
Enterprises should build their in-house team or look for experienced grocery e-commerce developers to design the system operation process for specific industry and business problems that SaaS platforms cannot provide.
Wrong choice of an e-commerce platform for egrocery
An e-commerce platform is software that businesses use to build an e-commerce website. Choosing a platform is always the first step in the e-commerce business process, so choosing the wrong one will lead to the entire online grocery store strategy going down.
After a period of using the unsuitable platform, businesses are required to “change blood” with another platform. This mistake wastes time and budget to build an e-commerce website for businesses without bringing about the expected results. It takes time to recruit and train employees to get used to the new platform.
To avoid this unnecessary mistake, businesses need to clearly define short-term and long-term goals for the brand, thereby building the criteria for choosing the most suitable e-commerce platform. To do that, businesses can do their research or seek professional advice before making a final decision. Of course, this takes time, but it will save time in the long run for the business.
Currently, businesses that want to implement e-commerce step by step often choose Saas (Software as a service) platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and Haravan in the early stages. This helps businesses save budget and time in the short term, market exploration, etc. Then, switch to open source platforms (Open Source) such as WooCommerce, OpenCart, and Magento to upgrade and expand the website system with convenient features for users and businesses.
Businesses with a long-term e-commerce business orientation often choose open source platforms right from the start to long-term companionship with businesses. Starting and developing continuously on an open source platform helps businesses save money and time to switch platforms, and own and fully control the system from source code to customer data, efficiently and proactively develop new features suitable for users and markets.
However, similar to building an operating process, choosing an e-commerce platform does not have a typical “recipe” for all businesses. Hence, each business needs to understand its business strategy, operating model carefully, and so on. in each stage of development.
Not investing in website interface design
The interface is essential in the grocery business, and it is necessary to meet UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience – User Experience) standards. These are two crucial factors in any e-commerce website. However, many businesses forget these two factors when designing websites, leading to consequences such as an unattractive interface, not showing the characteristics of the business and the grocery, poor website performance, and page loading—slow, poor navigation, and few specialized functions for e-commerce, etc.
The UI / UX standard design has not been emphasized. However, the user experience on the enterprise’s website becomes worse, unable to retain users, affecting the revenue and brand positioning of the business.
So when choosing an e-commerce platform, businesses should also choose platforms that can help businesses customize the interface and functionality of the source code.
Currently, there are 3 ways to design the interface for a website:
First, use existing themes (interfaces): Businesses can choose from themes available in the market, development community, or cooperation units. This will help businesses save costs, but brand awareness is low because it is easy to duplicate with other websites.
Customize the interface based on the existing theme: Similar to the above, businesses can customize their characteristics by affecting the code in the front end. From there, businesses both save costs and express their characteristics.
Design your interface: This is often more expensive than using a theme, but it meets the business’s most specific and specific needs.
Inappropriate feature build roadmap
At the right time, the functional system is not what “needs not to have” and “what has is not needed.” For example, in the early stages of entering the e-commerce market, businesses often do not have a certain number of users, so the functions of the Loyalty Program (loyalty program) are not necessary. Instead, businesses should focus on building functions that help exploit potential customers. Then, after having a stable number of users, businesses can gradually build more specialized functions, solving industry-specific problems.
Building a functional system that is not suitable for users’ needs at each time will waste time and cost to build a website without providing a satisfactory shopping experience, affecting revenue efficiency and can be left behind competitors in the industry.
In general, egrocery is the “golden opportunity” for businesses to implement e-commerce. However, to capture opportunities and market share, businesses need to pay attention to many factors, especially the mistakes to avoid mentioned in this article.
With experience in successfully implementing complex grocery e-commerce systems like An Nam Gourmet, SECOMM understands grocery businesses’ obstacles. Contact SECOMM now for a free consultation on detailed e-commerce system development solutions!
Businesses must swiftly develop an e-commerce system fit for industry and customers to capture changes in the market. However, to efficiently engage in the market, administrators must consider several concerns while implementing grocery e-commerce.
Choose the right e-commerce platform
Choosing the right e-commerce platform is essential for any business, not just the grocery industry. An e-commerce platform compatible with business strategies will help companies save time, accelerate the digital transformation process, and save money on deploying e-commerce websites in both the short and long term. In addition, businesses do not need to switch platforms many times, saving time and budget for recruiting and training personnel to familiarize themselves with the system.
Some of the e-commerce platforms for grocery businesses include Ziel Commerce, Haravan, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. In particular, Ziel Commerce is a platform designed explicitly for eGrocery businesses. SaaS platforms like Haravan and Shopify are suitable for SMEs (small and medium enterprises), startups, or new entrants to e-commerce. WooCommerce is ideal for businesses that need to own the source code and customize the website at an affordable cost. The Magento platform is suitable for many different business models (B2C, B2B, B2B2C, etc) and many different business sizes (SME, startup, large corporation, etc). This platform meets the needs of building an in-depth e-commerce website under its characteristics, with full ownership of the source code and the ability to customize the website. However, due to the prolonged deployment time and high prices, many businesses are hesitant to use Magento, while many enterprises trust it.
Building a system of industry-specific features
A big problem that egrocery businesses need to pay attention to is that the grocery industry has a relatively complicated operation.
Grocery products have many units of measure, weight differences, and different ways of selling; prices are constantly fluctuating and updated continuously by day/week/month/year. The import and export of warehouses are complicated (general warehouse, store warehouse, warehouse for each area in the store), so when deploying an online grocery store, businesses need to synchronize the price and quantity of products so that when restocking, the data will not be lost. Weight and cost data on branches are changed under control, avoiding the lack of synchronization between frontend and backend, causing data processing to be interrupted.
At the same time, grocery products are mainly fresh foods such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, etc, so they need to be refrigerated, delivered quickly, or selected with the correct delivery time.
Handling all the problems in the complex operating process of the grocery industry requires a team of highly qualified IT and e-commerce personnel to design an e-commerce system that is suitable for the specific process and requirements of the business – something current SaaS platforms are not enough to meet.
Enhance customer experience
When running an online grocery store, the user experience requirements are very high; from navigating shopping behavior to the checkout process, order delivery needs to be optimized. Because user experience increases the likelihood of customers placing their first order, it also gives customers more reasons to buy again, contributing to a competitive advantage over competitors in the same industry. There are many ways for businesses to enhance the user experience, such as layering product categories to navigate customers more intuitively and building specialized functions such as quick add products to cart, fast checkout, search enhancements, and product recommendations based on collected data, etc.
At the same time, personalizing the user experience is an essential factor in the customer’s shopping journey. Businesses exploit, analyze, and leverage data to build the right customer journey, match consumer behavior, and increase the user experience level of personalization. Personalize from CMS content and display products to navigate the shopping journey for businesses to increase loyalty and customer lifetime value (CLV).
Implement attractive promotions
The secret of doing business in online grocery is to build incentive programs suitable for customer segments.
Some popular promotions that businesses can apply in the early stages include free shipping, buy one get one free, gifts/vouchers, or promotions with specific conditions (certain items reach a particular value).
After that, businesses can deploy loyalty programs such as accumulating points for purchases, VIP membership, converting reward points into discount codes, donating bonus points to charities associated with the brand, subscription plans, etc.
Omni-channel is one of the inevitable e-commerce trends in 2022; the application of Omni-channel will help businesses do online grocery business more conveniently.
Omni-channel will help customers’ shopping experience be seamless from the physical store to the website, helping businesses follow customers from e-commerce platforms, social networks, websites, etc.
In addition, by collecting and analyzing information from Omni-channel, businesses can efficiently study customer behavior, preferences, and psychology and know whether they are satisfied with the product, service quality, or not to take reasonable measures to change.
It can be said that the grocery e-commerce business has both opportunities and challenges, requiring business managers to think carefully about tactics to make the most effective steps. But, of course, that work is not easy, finding a companion is also tricky, building an in-house team is not easy, and businesses have to pay a lot of opportunity costs and time to reach the “finish line” themselves.
With experience in successfully implementing complex grocery e-commerce systems like An Nam Gourmet, SECOMM understands grocery businesses’ obstacles. Contact SECOMM now for a free consultation on detailed e-commerce system development solutions!
Ziel Commerce is a readymade grocery ecommerce platform with all the features designed to support an online grocery store business.
Ziel Commerce provides a repository of themes specifically for the grocery industry, allowing businesses to customize according to their needs, helping to both reflect the characteristics of the industry and position the brand image.
Remarkably, the interface for administrators is also invested by the founders to make it most accessible for businesses to use. But currently, Ziel Commerce is not popular in the Vietnamese market, so there is no Vietnamese version for businesses.
As a platform designed specifically for the eGrocery industry, Ziel Commerce can meet all the most specialized needs of businesses, including fundamental to advanced functionality systems and existing industry-specific solutions.
Ziel Commerce has a significant drawback in integrating the website system. In addition, this platform only supports add-ons available in its ecosystem, so businesses will not be able to link with the ERP, POS, CRM, BI, etc., systems in use. Therefore, when using Ziel Commerce, companies need to transfer all existing data to the server of this platform.
Ability of extension
Although it does not own the source code, Ziel Commerce is still a highly appreciated platform for its scalability compared to SaaS platforms. Ziel Commerce supports businesses to expand their ecommerce website system from one to many stores/websites, multi-language, multi-currency without many obstacles. However, in the long run, Ziel Commerce cannot support businesses to expand or develop new functions because firms cannot affect the source code; if it affects it, it will cause instability for the commercial website system.
→ Rating: 3/4
Ziel Commerce provides an almost comprehensive online grocery store website building solution for businesses, from website interface and functional system to scalability. However, the implementation cost is relatively high, about $50,000/project in 6 months. Therefore, Ziel Commerce is only popular with retail chains, has high functional demand, and operates mainly abroad. However, when using Ziel Commerce, businesses should consider adding the platform’s integration, limiting instability in the operation when 3rd party systems are not compatible with the platform.
Shopify is a SaaS ecommerce platform favored by the international ecommerce business community because of its fast implementation time and reasonable starting cost.
Shopify provides a variety of interfaces, including grocery industry and UI/UX standards, but cannot be edited according to the characteristics of the business.
Shopify’s functional system is relatively complete, meeting the basic needs of businesses. But to use advanced functions, companies have to pay a certain amount of money every month, leading to an increased cost of using the functional system. In addition, even Shopify can barely provide eGrocery industry-specific resolution functions.
Because it is a SaaS platform, businesses cannot affect the source code, and it is not easy to integrate with many 3rd parties. Companies can only integrate utilities provided by Shopify or a platform partner.
Some utilities that companies can integrate with Shopify include:
Marketing: Google Tools, MailChimp, Facebook Pixel, etc
Ability of extension
Similar to the ability to integrate, the scalability on Shopify is not high because businesses cannot influence the source code to edit and upgrade the website. Therefore, online grocery businesses can only use Shopify for the first time.
→ Rating: 2/4
Shopify is only suitable for businesses new to the ecommerce market, startups, or SMEs (small and medium enterprises) because of the reasonable development cost and time to deploy an online grocery store business website.
Founded in 2014, Haravan is an ecommerce platform based on Shopify. Currently, Haravan is a popular platform in the Vietnamese market with more than 50,000 business people and trusted brands.
Haravan has many standard UI/UX interfaces suitable for the grocery industry, including free and paid. At the same time, the interface for administrators supports Vietnamese and is easy to use, so businesses do not face many difficulties when using it.
Haravan provides many utilities – functions for online grocery stores in Vietnam.
In addition, similar to Shopify, to use more advanced functions, businesses have to pay a monthly application fee of about 100,000 VND/month/app.
However, businesses can’t find parts that deal with the grocery’s specifics in Haravan’s app store and can’t develop in terms of specific functions. Enterprises can only use the functions included in the package and app store.
For integration capabilities, Haravan can integrate with Haravan’s partners such as transportation (Economic Delivery, Fast Delivery, Ahamove, GrabExpress, etc.), payment (Ngan Luong, VNPAY, Napas, PayPal, etc.), etc.).
It is difficult for businesses to integrate for 3rd party utilities outside Haravan’s ecosystem on their ecommerce website.
Ability of extension
As for the extension of the ecommerce website system, Haravan can only support the multi-language – currency but cannot expand from one to many websites/stores. It is challenging to manage all the data on a foundation.
As the business gradually grows and expands, Haravan will no longer be functional enough to maintain an online grocery store business. As a result, companies are forced to switch to more specialized platforms such as Magento, WooCommerce, and OpenCart. But, of course, switching platforms will create many other problems such as costs, time, personnel, etc.
→ Rating: 2/4
Similar to Shopify, Haravan is only suitable for businesses new to the ecommerce market, startups, and SMEs. But Shopify can support online grocery business globally, and Haravan only stops at the Vietnamese market.
WooCommerce is an open-source platform in the form of a WordPress plugin, allowing businesses to use it completely free.
WooCommerce and the community provide businesses with various themes designed for the grocery industry. At the same time, this platform also allows influencing the source code to customize according to needs, helping businesses quickly convey brand messages and images.
Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, the admin will continue to manage the website on the WordPress interface itself. This makes it easy for businesses using WordPress to adapt, use, and navigate on the WooCommerce dashboard.
WooCommerce supports a variety of features, from basic to advanced. However, this platform has some limitations on features specific to the grocery industry because interfering with developing these functions will easily cause instability for the website system.
Thanks to the advantages of the open source platform, WooCommerce has flexible customization capabilities and supports integration with many 3rd party utilities.
In payment, businesses can use amount plugins such as Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Square to their ecommerce website system with high security and safety. In addition, companies can integrate with many shipping providers such as Fedex, Ups, USPS, and DHL Express. The WooCommerce platform also allows businesses to integrate with management software such as Odoo, Square POS, WP ERP, and Marketing software such as Google Listings, Google Ads, and Facebook Pixel to support businesses in effective business management. More fruitful.
Ability of extension
Contrary to the integration capabilities, the extensibility of WooCommerce is not appreciated. Because the system is easily overloaded with plugin themes, and the number of products does not exceed 2000 SKUs (Stock Keeping Unit). Therefore, businesses wishing to expand their website system need to consider when using this platform in the long run.
→ Rating: 3/4
WooCommerce is the right platform for grocery businesses that use WordPress and are looking to develop an ecommerce system. But when using WooCommerce, companies should consider the limitations of integration, extensibility, and customizability of specific features.
Magento is a popular open source commerce platform in ecommerce, with nearly 200,000 websites in use. Currently, Magento has 2 versions: Magento Open Source (free) and Magento Commerce (paid).
Although Magento does not own a rich theme store like other ecommerce platforms, businesses can look to the developer community, market (Envato), or design their own. Having many options when designing the interface helps Magento websites to have their uniqueness, avoid overlapping the interface with many different websites and bring a higher shopping experience.
Previously, the admin interface on Magento 1 was often considered difficult to use and took a long time to adapt. As a result, Magento publishers developed Magento 2 with a more intuitive and easy-to-navigate dashboard to overcome this problem.
The Magento platform has a highly diverse system of features from basic and advanced to industry-specific to help grocery businesses quickly build and develop a sustainable system.
A basic functional system, including catalog management, product management, customer management, report analysis, etc., helps meet the basic needs of a convenient online grocery store business.
In particular, Magento also has many advanced functions for ecommerce, such as multi-language support, multi-currency, multi-store, PWA, MSI, ElasticSearch, etc. Shopping happens faster.
Magento does not have built-in features only for the grocery industry regarding specific features. Still, businesses can quickly build a system of particular features such as category classification, quick search, and delivery time selection thanks to flexible customization on open source code.
Thanks to the advantages of the open source platform, the Magento website can be easily integrated with any 3rd party utilities, from payment, shipping, and business administration.
Regarding payment, Magento easily connects with today’s popular payment methods such as card payments (domestic cards, VISA, Mastercard), e-wallets (MOMO, Zalopay), and payment gateways (OnePay, VNPay, etc.) PayPal) or COD, which helps to diversify payment methods.
Magento can integrate with shipping providers such as Fast Delivery, Economy Delivery, Viettel Post, and order tracking applications.
Magento can be integrated into back-office management software (ERP, CRM, POS) such as SAP, Salesforce, and Oracle to help operate all resources and processes seamlessly in the enterprise.
In addition, Magento also supports integration with business analysis tools such as Power BI, Tableau, and Looker and analysis and reporting utilities such as Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Facebook Pixels to exploit all data from the system. As a result, Magento plans to improve its business strategy.
Ability of extension
Magento allows businesses to expand from one website to many different websites on the same system to meet the needs of business development. In addition, with the available support for language and currency conversion from Magento, businesses can build a grocery ecommerce system with content suitable for a diverse audience of customers around the globe.
In addition, open source customization enables Magento developers to build functional solutions specific to the grocery industry. This advantage makes Magento expand the system of capabilities according to each business size, from small businesses to large-scale corporations.
→ Rating: 4/4
Because Magento possesses many outstanding advantages, from website interface and functional system to the ability to integrate and expand, Magento is suitable for a variety of grocery business models from B2B, B2C to B2B2C, a multiform of enterprise-scale such as startup, SME, enterprise (large corporation). However, the time to deploy ecommerce on Magento is usually long – from 6 months to 1 year, with high construction costs of about 50,000 – 100,000 USD/project. At the same time, businesses also need to have a professional team or cooperate with experienced units to develop an effective grocery ecommerce system. Therefore, Magento is popularly used in the community of large-scale businesses that need many functions to increase user experience.
Choosing the right platform is the first and most significant step when building a grocery ecommerce website. Selecting the right ecommerce platform will help businesses save budget and time in building a website while increasing competitive advantage and sustainable growth. On the contrary, choosing the wrong forum will cost businesses a lot of time and budget to deploy and switch platforms. Therefore, companies need to consider the goals and problems in the current model to choose the most suitable platform.
With experience in successfully implementing complex grocery ecommerce systems like An Nam Gourmet, SECOMM understands grocery businesses’ obstacles.
Contact SECOMM now for a free consultation on detailed ecommerce system development solutions!
A SaaS eCommerce Platform is a service delivery paradigm for developing a software-based website system. Data is kept on the provider’s server system under this approach, and that platform is in charge of dealing with technical concerns for the business.
Advantages of SaaS eCommerce Platform
Available eCommerce system
The provider pre-designs the SaaS platform for the full system, from hosting, interface, and features to technological infrastructure maintenance. As a result, organizations can quickly create and manage a website system without worrying about technological concerns.
Furthermore, the platform developer offers firms 24/7 assistance through live chat, desk help, or a hotline while the platform is in operation.
Various interfaces and functionalities
The SaaS eCommerce Platform includes a multitude of functionality and appealing UX/UI interfaces, making it suitable for a variety of businesses.
Furthermore, these platforms include a wide range of essential eCommerce functions, including product administration, order management, customer management, marketing, business analysis, and reporting to let firms quickly develop an e-commerce website. Moreover, extensions such as Omni-channel, Affiliate Marketing, E-Payment, E-Logistic, and so on are constantly added to these platforms to strengthen the e-commerce system.
The time it takes to establish a website on a SaaS eCommerce Platform is quite fast, ranging from 1 to 7 days on average, depending on the website’s setup.
Affordable investment budget
The initial building cost is pretty cheap because firms would pay monthly or yearly use fees (subscription-based) to establish a website using SaaS eCommerce Platforms, such as:
Standard (200,000 VND/month): Appropriate for independent sellers
Pro (600,000 VND/month): For organizations who wish to implement Omnichannel
Grow (1,500,000 VND/month): For firms need automating processes to take care of and resell current customers
Scale (3,000,000 VND/month): Help establish loyal customers
Basic Shopify ($29/month): Suitable for new businesses with small sales.
Shopify ($79/month): Appropriate for growing online enterprises
Advanced Shopify ($299/month): Ideal for firms that need to expand and want advanced reporting capabilities.
Standard: $29.95/month for businesses with more than $50,000 in revenue
Plus: $79.95/month for enterprises with more than $180,000 in revenue
Pro: $299.95/month for companies with more than $400.000 in revenue
Enterprise: For firms with high sales volumes, costs will be calculated depending on the brand’s online sales
Aside from the monthly/yearly licensing charge, businesses must pay extra expenditures such as interface fees, new features, expanding the number of backend users, and POS (Point of Sale) to grow the eCommerce system.
Disadvantages of SaaS eCommerce Platform
Having no control over the source code and data
Because the enterprise’s whole website system is housed on the provider’s server, ownership and control of the website source code will belong to that platform, not the firm. Businesses who transfer platforms can no longer utilize the previous site source code and must rebuild from scratch on the new platform. Moreover, data loss or misalignment is usually unavoidable.
The enterprise’s data, like the source code, is likewise kept on the provider’s server, thus ownership and control over the data remains constrained. There are many difficulties for not owning and controlling data, such as linking data between departments, customizing users, and so on.
Poor scalability and flexibility
Because the website system depends on the SaaS platform, customization and expansion are currently limited. When it comes to upgrading existing features, developing new functions for the company’s development, in line with the particular requirements of the product and industry, and optimizing the user experience, SaaS platforms are frequently unable to adapt. As a result, switching platforms after a period of usage is unavoidable, and of course, this change will take significant time and money for the company.
Usage costs increase over time
Because you must pay monthly or yearly license fees, the longer you use the higher the overall cost of use. Furthermore, the SaaS eCommerce Platform charges on the revenue online sales.
For example, various Shopify apps, such as DCart (Create Discount Codes on Cart), OctaneAI (Similar Product Suggestions), Ali Reviews (Product Reviews), and others, would charge a monthly fee, average $10 /month/features. The more applications that are installed, the more the monthly or yearly expenses will be.
Businesses can use the SaaS platform if they wish to enter the e-commerce industry rapidly, have minimal need for customization, and do not need to enhance the system. As a result, SaaS systems are frequently selected by startups, SMEs (small and medium enterprises), and businesses just getting started in the e-commerce industry.
Open Source eCommerce Platform
Open Source is software whose source code is publicly available and freely used by anyone.
Because the data and source code will be housed on a separate server system, Open Source eCommerce Platforms have the opposite aspects of SaaS platforms. Businesses that use open source platforms must collaborate with professional website developers or build a highly specialized in-house team for the website system to achieve maximum efficiency.
Advantages of Open Source eCommerce Platform
Control the data and own the source code.
Businesses have complete ownership and control over the source code and data on the system due to the characteristic of being housed on a separate server system. As a consequence, while deploying an eCommerce website, companies only need to pay development expenses in order to utilize the source code, rather than monthly/yearly license fees just like SaaS platforms. At this point, you could reuse the previous source code if you change developers or platforms. Furthermore, security is improved, reducing hacker attacks, server failures, and technical faults from staff and consumers.
Customize the interface to meet your requirements.
Businesses have more choices in developing their website’s interface to boost brand image and maximize revenue since they use Open Source eCommerce Platforms.
Currently, there are three methods for designing interfaces:
Use pre-existing themes: Like SaaS platforms, organizations can select and use pre-existing themes from the market, development community, or cooperation unit. This method will help businesses save the most money since a standard UX/UI theme costs between $50 and $200 on average.
Customize the interface based on an existing theme: Similar to the preceding method, but instead of purchasing and using the same theme, firms may design their own traits by rewriting the website’s code at the front-end. Since then, organizations have cut expenses while also expressing their own distinct characteristics.
Create your own user interface: To effectively position the brand on the website, the interface should be created individually. This is typically more expensive than utilizing a theme, but it addresses the most particular and specific requirements of the company.
Full of features and add-ons
In terms of website system features, Open Source eCommerce Platforms are quite superior to SaaS platforms. Not only have basic functions, but Open Source eCommerce Platforms also have many advanced features such as quick search, similar product suggestions, abandoned cart notifications, real-time products, and so on.
In addition, the Open Source eCommerce Platforms also has many add-ons that are improved, provided, and shared by the developer community.
Because organizations control their own source code, they can simply update the functional system, build new features, or expand the system to suit business demands and meet consumer needs. At the same time, the open-source code’s flexibility allows businesses to easily link with third-party utilities in order to run the system.
Disadvantages of Open Source eCommerce Platform
Require a professional team or experienced developer
It is hard to build “tailor-made” systems for each firm with a system of various e-commerce features ranging from basic to complex, therefore systems developed on open source e-commerce platforms frequently have high accuracy. As a result, in order to build and function efficiently, a specialized team or development organization must have strong knowledge and several years of experience.
Prolonged setup time
Deployment times for open source e-commerce platforms are frequently lengthier than those for SaaS platforms. Depending on the complexity of the functional system, the average amount of time for the IT team to build a website varies from 3 months to 1 year.
Using an open-source platform is basically free, but having a full e-commerce system from website to mobile app needs a significant commitment of your own labor. The in-house IT team will design interfaces and functions. As a result, the initial cost of developing an e-commerce website using an open-source platform is pretty expensive, an average of $10,000 per project.
The Open Source eCommerce Platform is suited for all sorts of enterprises due to its numerous features. However, budget and implementation time restrictions have kept many small and medium-sized businesses from utilizing it. Large firms frequently engage in these platforms to construct specialized and specialized eCommerce systems.
In general, the decision of which eCommerce platform to select will be determined by each firm’s business plan, budget, and time of eCommerce development.
In the early stages, firms who are new to eCommerce or have a restricted budget would often use a SaaS platform to develop a simple eCommerce website. Following that, companies will switch to an Open Source eCommerce Platform to develop a comprehensive eCommerce website. However, due to budget constraints and the prolonged time required to move platforms, firms must exercise caution while selecting these platforms. Nowadays, some organizations have decided to begin an eCommerce business with an Open Source eCommerce Platform and then progressively enhance their websites over time in order to gain the lead in the market and avoid switching platforms.
SECOMM has spent over 7 years implementing complicated e-commerce systems in a variety of nations, we know the challenges that businesses face.
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Nevertheless, at the same time, it also raises the requirement to improve the capacity and digital skills of all existing human resources. Information technology skills have gradually become an essential condition for each individual to fully meet the labour market’s basic needs, especially when ecommerce becomes a trend worldwide. However, the ecommerce market also needs to improve data security issues, logistics, and payment security to gain the highest trust from customers and further development in the future.
The interactions between market and business are often subject to significant impacts from common development tendencies, technological advancements, and other digital transformation issues that make sense to be continuously updated and changed procedures to suffice customer needs and experience. Within those interactions, businesses will perform digital transformation responsibilities from the market requirements and vice versa; the market is the environment showing the exact business outcomes. When having reached the capacity and position, businesses can create a different market themselves with a stable and sustainable customer source.
Digital transformation is an essential process of multiple scales, in which digitization is only a small layer. However, this layer is a critical core value of the whole digital transformation process.
Data digitization gives businesses many significant advantages to meet the digital transformation process’s basic requirements, converting the format of data platforms. Forms of storing and managing data are also quite diverse, and businesses can choose the right way to manage their digital data sources. However, technology is not the main factor for success, so is multiple platforms usage. Considering the correct strategies, data systems based on appropriate technology platforms will lead businesses closer to expected results.
Data digitization is transforming from paper-works to digital formats and then storing the digital database in computerized data management systems. Those systems are made up of the technology-implementation to store data intelligently, making data retrieval more manageable and faster. Therefore, data becomes more proactive and brings substantial value-in-use to the business.
Data digitization will create a more seamless working process while ensuring strictly systematic and complete data sources, building a comprehensive digital infrastructure for businesses. It simultaneously is the digital transformation process’s kernel, forming the foundation for all the remaining layers. Up to now, data digitization is an optimal solution ensuring the integrity and security of data systems in the long run, which significantly reduces operating costs.
Additionally, database management systems are the most critical archives that can maximize data access and exploitation efficiency. MySQL is an excellent example among the most popular DMS today, owning multiple useful features based on open source code while ensuring data speed and safety, even large-capacity data systems in the ecommerce field. Accompanying other DMS such as SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL can meet most of the data-usage requirements of storage performance, security, and data-safety standards.
These outstanding advantages help MySQL get more appreciation from technological experts by implementing them in many highly-complex technology industries.
Process and business model digitalization (PMD)
Based on the digital data’s core, the process and business model digitalization form a more widespread layer covering the core inside. This classification is highly complex and embraces various forms depending on the operations’ ways and objectives. PMD refers to the transformation relying on technology infrastructures and digital data frameworks to form a digital platform.
To complete the digitalization is to analyze issues in operating processes and business models. From an in-depth analysis, they can provide the right direction and strategy for transformation decisions. This transformation layer has supported businesses to meet the DT requirements, which fully are:
Customer connection in the business process;
Maintenance, development of the appropriate technological initiatives;
And over-the-time human resources optimization.
At the same time, a business needs to combine digital solutions to create customer values and build operating models.
Currently, businesses have successfully applied CRM platforms or ERP systems to optimize operational processes in terms of time and resources. It is well-known management platforms such as Zoho CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or Salesforce CRM that almost all businesses implement for stable development. Those names are tremendous supporting tools to create the business departments’ continuity of processes and operational processes.
Both CRM or ERP systems effectively help businesses achieve targeted sales and effectively disentangle complex manual processes or issues related to data controllability and preservation.
Digital transformation (DT) is the largest category, the complete model to bring businesses closer to the 4.0 digital economy. DT represents the whole process of digitizing data and digitalizing operating processes, business models. DT’s ultimate goal is people-orientation, and at the same time, combining the corporate culture with the customer-centric foundation. DT sets macro-objectives of people’s direction in building strategies, corporate culture, digital technologies, and adapting to these digital transformations.
Generally, most companies carrying out DT encounter significant barriers. They frequently ignore a complete data digitization plan while only focusing on refining more macro-plans in the process and model digitalization layer, which does not bring the high-volume transformation effect due to the initial preparing step not been done thoroughly.
Also, preliminary estimates of time and the limited budget will present a significant challenge for DT tasks in specific periods. Multiples of businesses are unable to catch the expected results. However, despite the existing challenges that they have confronted recently (the COVID-19 crisis), digital transformation will provide comprehensive support on data systems and digital platforms, exclude all social distances, and connect the world easily anytime.
2. The finishing-point of digital transformation – ecommerce?
The digital transformation process has made both efficiency and sales for numerous B2C and B2B businesses. In detail, ecommerce is the most typical manifestation, having recorded impressive growth since 2017. B2C companies have also strengthened the development of a more powerful ecommerce channel than ever.
Meanwhile, B2B models pay much more attention to transforming chains/systems/processes such as production or goods distribution processes by gradually turning into online methods to adapt to the flexibility and rapidity of the 4.0 supply chain.
Up to now, ecommerce can be considered as the complete performance of the digital transformation process. Ecommerce channels can update information quickly and continuously while also ensuring UI/UX optimization to provide perfect user experience, excellent customer experience, and as a result, increase sales. These are also the requirements to digitalize the markets and perfect the business’ operating system. Depending on the DT objectives, the company will stop at the stage that best suits its business model. Some of the businesses only need to digitize data for more effortless operation.
However, from a much more general perspective, almost all companies convert to an ecommerce system to control their business independently and connect directly with customers, partners and come closer to the DT outcomes. Those objectives are also the straightforward development orientation of most retailers today. They focus abundant resources on developing the ecommerce channel to expand the business scale.
For instance, The Coffee House is a case study of the F&B industry’s impressive DT outcomes in Vietnam. The brand has achieved their ordering application for more intensive data resource management and operation. This application was initially built on a requirement to increase the loyalty program’s ease and improve customer care service quality.
However, until now, this sales channel has grown more than that and has become a mainstream business channel that seamlessly integrates with the brand’s existing offline stores.
The TCH app aims to connect and interact directly with customers based on the D2C model, allowing app-users to create membership accounts to earn points and order quickly. These features allow brands to access customer data and shopping habits easily. In-depth data analysis will contribute to new product strategies or menu amendments to better suit the customer’s taste.
Digital transformation is a long-term journey that needs to be done with a detailed and complete strategy while meeting the time and budget, matching the current business’s capabilities. Digitization/digitalization layers also need to fully play their role in digital platforms, transforming entirely and efficiently. A complete ecommerce system considerations are also required for supply chains currently in the marketplace. Ecommerce will be the most agile driver of digital transformation; however, make sure that you can implement a strategy with the right priority in the current situation to give the best effect.
In the future, as many expert predictions, AI can be a modern and popular trend to optimize the ecommerce experience correctly. However, businesses also need to consider the needs of target customers to have appropriate applications and increase the number of potential customers and loyal customers in the long run.
The digital age has witnessed a transformation of the brand-value system and concepts of a brand when almost all the customers are much more interested in sensory factors like emotional experience when using products. That experience requires brands to keep up with customers’ insight, creating compelling content to obtain customers’ trust.
3. Brand voice – the strength out of all the concepts of a brand
Why is brand voice important? Because it can speak up almost all the values of a brand and directly affect its audience. Voice can help personalize the brand, let itself create personality, and speak up as a human. As one of the key concepts of a brand, that is the most basic visualization of brand voice. However, brand voice is the element synchronizing and positioning brands at a higher level, shaping the brand identity and awareness. As a result, brands know what and how to reach the right audience target or market, developing both content styles and operation models consistently.
We remember Pepsi as a symbol of dynamism, youthfulness, and positive energy. On the other side, Coca-Cola is reminiscent of family reunions, cozy and fun spaces. While Apple emphasizes the simplicity and quality of the product system, Samsung focuses much more on diversity and stunning design. These differences show that every single brand shapes the growing direction with unique concepts, then they will record in the user’s mindset of distinct characteristics and styles.
Whether branding is minimalist or sophisticated, businesses need to fully meet the most fundamental concepts of a brand to increase communication and interaction with their customers. Simultaneously, it is necessary to follow appropriate values integrating with development orientation to avoid overuse, and confusion, which then losing the discriminations brands want to convey.
To temporarily deal with the issue of inferior quality goods, it is necessary to focus on developing return and exchange policies and accompanying preferential policies. Businesses should quickly recall counterfeit or error products if the customer has received the product, give back customers an authentic one, and may come with a discount voucher for the next purchase. This reaction shows the attitude of the proactive settlement of businesses, as well as keeps customers calm.
On the other hand, to maintain the product and brand values in the long term, there should be a permanent policy in product quality assurance, product censorship policy before officially selling products online—for example, the ecommerce website TIKI.VN has done well when ready to commit a 111% refund if found counterfeit, simultaneously also completed the product quality assurance process before officially opening for sale on the website.
Additionally, other ecommerce businesses also make commitments to supply genuine products much more firmly. However, this is just an effort from one side; ecommerce businesses can only fulfill their role and work to ease the issues, not the most radical solution because counterfeit or inferior quality goods had originated from when traditional trading existed. In terms of a holistic approach, significant efforts from every consumer are essential, in other words, personal consciousness. This effort is quite complicated and needs to come first from the family and society’s educational process to form consciousness in human growth and personal development.
A high sense of quality will be the most comprehensive solution, whether from consumers, sellers, or businesses, which can then create more weighty policies that maximally protect consumers’ interests not only in ecommerce but also in all other economic sectors. Comprehensive policies will significantly eliminate inferior quality goods step by step to breakthrough ecommerce barriers.
Customers, cash flow, and product quality are the keys to determining the success of an ecommerce system, also affecting many other aspects. Therefore, to do breakthrough ecommerce barriers is to come first from the leading foundations and create synergy for removing existing barriers.
In general, customer-centric is a long-term transformation requiring businesses to have a proper awareness of their target customers. This awareness should also form in every staff of the company to make brands transform. Besides, this customer-in-center philosophy acts as a value connecting businesses with their customers; but not a task to be completed and to get rid of.
3. Challenge-utilizing to turn into opportunities
The digital age witnessed rapid and unpredictable changes requiring businesses to have timely adaptive solutions. Products are not only produced for quality but for customer convenience. Other customer needs are also considerable except for products themselves, namely membership programs, accompanying promotional gifts. Customers also tend to shop more on ecommerce websites, which leads to a requirement to manage information, data, and technology platforms. Epidemics also become dangerous, increasing unforeseen risks for businesses.
Utilizing the challenges will be sure leverage when brands transform into the digital age. Besides, people are still the critical factor, no matter how advanced technology is. Therefore, businesses first need to focus on the internal structure: human resources, processes, products, and customer services to complete the transformation.
The COVID-19 crisis has globally worsened since the Government issued a social-distancing-order as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to increase. However, recently, the ecommerce industry has had a speedy growth, as people now prefer to shop online while staying home. This time is much higher challenging for every business in Vietnam and an opportunity to make brands transform themselves.
At SECOMM, we will accompany clients on every ecommerce step to ensure comprehensive solution-providing for their ecommerce transformation. The brands transform successfully in a digital age when they are operated with a sustainable website platform. We will be the starting point for this revolution. Contact Us for more detail.
Magento has excellent functions, which highly create flexibility and adaptability, accommodating all sizes of ecommerce businesses in Vietnam. However, Magento is not very friendly for beginners. Instead, the platform has a massive range of features that are adaptive for almost the user-community.
Optimize search engines and security
Include a variety of features supporting the sale and management of products
Support multiple currencies, languages
Integrate most of the payment gateways
Only suitable for users having a basic understanding of code and web systems
Require payments for extensions
WooCommerce is not an autonomous platform to build an ecommerce website. It is a type of plugin running on WordPress. In other words, WooCommerce will optimize ecommerce functions for the website community based on the WordPress foundation. Thus, enterprises can start an online development plan in a more accessible and faster way.Utterly different from Magento, WooCommerce is more comfortable to use, especially suitable for beginners. Plus, it also possesses enough extensions handling almost basic tasks from product management to payment methods that can bring a website to the top ecommerce business in Vietnam.
Provide free editions
Quickly access to extend features and customize the store
Have strong support from a large user community
Advanced features often require extensions
Extensions may need the other sub-extensions to support
Pick up enormous scores from users; Shopify possesses the functions to integrate SEO, supporting the website system work, and customize fluidly. It also provides services based on the SaaS model with the main control center.
Convey a considerable range of themes that can be selected depending on each category
Support users 24/7
Integrate ads and payment gateways via Visa, Mastercard, and other payments
Require payment when using
Request to use the available URLs
Not support domestic payment gateways yet
Not support Vietnamese yet (High-consideration if businesses plan to develop ecommerce businesses in Vietnam)
Haravan is an open platform allowing easy website creation with similar characteristics to Shopify and WordPress. The platform possesses various features providing more conveniently supportive sales-management tools, especially the multi-channel sale on ecommerce websites, namely Lazada, Shopee, and Tiki.
Allow users to develop a variety of functions
Have an inexpensive cost
Support the Vietnamese language
Require payments when using some of the extensions
Run as a local platform that is highly suitable for SMEs in Vietnam
3. Web design is the key to kick-off ecommerce businesses in Vietnam
The website system is a prerequisite to be maintained, updated regularly and continuously because it is the only interface connecting businesses and customers. For ecommerce businesses in Vietnam, designing a web system plays a crucial role in contributing to the success of an online business or its failure. This design phase is usually performed by the UI/UX team responsible for both visual and user experiences on the websites.
With the experience of developing ecommerce websites, SECOMM developers can apply most of the current platforms to meet our partners’ needs, especially ecommerce businesses in Vietnam. We always value the quality of our work and provide the most appropriate solutions to the occurring issues. Promptness, timeliness, and quality are the consistent goals that we always aim at in the process of operation.
On the other hand, the origin and quality of goods need to be guaranteed. Regarding the current ecommerce market in Vietnam, fake or counterfeit products have not been solved thoroughly up to now. As a result, selling on Amazon will face restrictions if businesses can not control their goods’ quality. Simultaneously, it requires policies from the government to promote ethical businesses within the Vietnamese economy.
In general, Amazon has created a new breeze for e-business in Vietnam. It plays a vital role in stimulating market competitiveness, improving product quality, and user experience for great customer-oriented support. However, to do that, businesses need to have the right strategies in addressing challenges and difficulties to shorten the cooperation process with both partners and international customers.
Ivy Phan (Project Manager at SECOMM) is the speaker of that general talk. Beginning with a brief introduction, Magento truly drew the whole team to a lively discussion. This Q&A time lasted throughout the host performance for over 3 hours of Saturday morning then became eventually interesting, with questions from both dev and non-dev members.
About TECH TALK 2020 – Magento Understanding
The first workshop of TECH TALK 2020, in other words, had a great sharing time making the team connect closely. Thus, Secommers not only have time together but also got new Magento knowledge. Thanks to the framework of Ms. Ivy, the team had the opportunity to share those foundation topics:
Magento platform in brief
Store hierarchy and configuration scope allow users to install multiple websites with multiple stores and store views.
Introduce basic configurations in practice with the content menu and email setting.
Artificial Intelligence – AI: It helps businesses perform intelligent automation functions that could substitute for humans in the future. Currently, AI is delivering positive results when businesses apply it to many different fields indeed, typically:
Marketing: search-engine optimization, sales system, building a customer-based personalization, and more,
Manufacturing: improving supply chain momentum using coordination robot systems instead of human resources, fully automated product quality control and monitoring systems, inventory-forecast software, and so much more.
Internet of Things – IoT: The connection between hardware and software in a system, scalable and integrating customized-functions to suffice end-consumer requirements while ensuring data confidentiality and security.
Organizational culture re-creation
Human and cultural solutions will effectively address corporate sustainability, change, and develop a digital transformation mindset for all employees in strategies and initiatives products/services to increase advantages over competitors.
Leadership thinking: plays a crucial role in building a specific vision and plan for the business process. This term is an unavoidable revolution for the lead-generation to proactively embrace innovations, be ready to perform new experiments, and make quick decisions to move businesses consistent with the market’s growth effectively.
Empowering culture: forming rights and obligations in each of the tasks employees undertake. At the same time, businesses can build an open culture where every staff becomes an archetypal representative in all connections with customers and the market. Deriving from core value “employee-centricity”, the digital transformation culture will develop into a complete model including the following components:
Customer-centric orientation: to optimize the customer experience in the digital age,
Innovations: to continually examine new transmutations and eliminate unsuitable factors inside the business model.
Flexibility, understanding when making decisions based on digital data: to thoroughly and accurately exploit customer needs from a huge source of big data.
The spirit of cooperation based on a modern-and-open culture are two factors creating the spirit of proactiveness and agility in all plans and actions also.
Digital-first mindset: the ability to use and apply accurate technologies to produce appropriate and reliable digital solutions.
Businesses can complete the process and model transformation with technology and cultural solution-orientations. Therefore, technological solutions will maximize their business operation efficiency. They also contribute to stimulating businesses to be always requirement-active in the digital age. And these positive results are based on a sustainable digital culture possessing robust and responsive leader-generations combining with high-quality human resources.
With 8-year-experience in Magento, our SECOMM team has used Magento effectively to create solutions for partners/businesses. Magento timeline includes a huge amount of needs for the user community: beautiful and diverse themes, UI/UX design, security, effective cost, and so on. Especially in Vietnam, Magento is exactly the perfect tool to help ecommerce businesses control most of the features for online stores.