In recent years, investors have shown a significant interest in Headless Commerce platforms and associated solutions, recognizing their pivotal role in shaping the future of online commerce.
Forbes reports that between 2020 and 2021 alone, more than $1.65 billion in funding was directed toward Headless technologies. In response to this evolving landscape, Shopify unveiled the Hydrogen solution in June 2021, designed to facilitate the development of headless Commerce storefronts.
The following article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of Shopify Hydrogen, shedding light on both its pros and cons.
Shopify offers businesses the Hydrogen framework solution, originally based on React but now being developed with Remix, in conjunction with the global hosting solution known as Oxygen.
What is Shopify Hydrogen?
In the past, Shopify website developers utilized the platform’s templating language known as Liquid, which often faced performance limitations. Consequently, to ensure top-notch website performance for headless commerce, Shopify businesses require a specialized solution.
Typically, businesses implementing headless projects on Shopify Plus opt for the React framework over Liquid due to its superior technical aspects. Moreover, headless stores on Shopify Plus offer heightened flexibility, customization, and scalability compared to standard headless stores on Shopify.
Therefore, Shopify has introduced a solution that allows both Shopify Plus and standard Shopify businesses to build and advance the most optimized headless eCommerce websites possible. This led to the creation of the Hydrogen framework solution and Oxygen hosting.
Shopify Hydrogen is a React-based framework that empowers developers to craft distinctive and entirely customized frontend Shopify experiences. This framework encompasses all the essential structures, components, and pre-built tools necessary for developers to swiftly create headless stores and deliver personalized user experiences.
What is Shopify Oxygen?
Shopify Oxygen is a worldwide hosting solution designed to store custom content, like Hydrogen stores, directly within the Shopify platform. Previously, Shopify businesses seeking to develop Headless Commerce had to depend on third-party hosting providers (e.g., Netlify).
In contrast, Oxygen is supported by Shopify’s extensive global infrastructure, featuring over 100 server locations worldwide. Thanks to this, Hydrogen stores can seamlessly and directly integrate with Oxygen hosting through the Storefront API, eliminating the need for reliance on third-party providers.
Remix – The New Highlight of Shopify Hydrogen
In the first quarter of 2023, Shopify unveiled Hydrogen v2, highlighting the web development tool called Remix. This tool has earned recognition from developers as one of the top React frameworks, trailing only behind Next.js. Consequently, Shopify acquired Remix and designated it as the cornerstone of the Shopify Hydrogen solution.
The reason for this lies in the fact that Hydrogen v1 faced performance-related criticisms after some time in operation. The acquisition of Remix is a part of Shopify’s efforts to rectify these issues, leading to the emergence of Hydrogen v2.
While developers tend to favor Next.js over Remix due to its open structure, allowing for greater customization and offering a more favorable developer experience, it doesn’t guarantee output quality and website performance.
Conversely, Remix employs a closed structure that mandates developers to adhere to the framework’s template. This approach closely aligns with Shopify’s SaaS model, providing a web development framework and enforcing developers to follow specific principles during deployment.
This adherence ensures website performance and significantly enhances conversion rates. Therefore, Remix is the ideal solution chosen by Shopify to address the existing performance gaps in Hydrogen stores and enhance the eCommerce experience for customers.
Pros of Shopify Hydrogen
Developed based on React
Hydrogen represents Shopify’s investment in the development of Headless eCommerce. Therefore, it’s fair to classify any Shopify store using the Hydrogen framework and Oxygen hosting as a Headless Shopify store.
The launch of Shopify Hydrogen aims to assist businesses in building professional Headless eCommerce websites and providing customers with a seamless multi-channel experience.
Therefore, Shopify extends the capability to seamlessly integrate Hydrogen stores with various third-party applications and platforms like Klaviyo, Gorgias, and Rebuy (to enhance the customer experience), as well as Sanity, Contentful, and Builder.io (for Headless CMS implementation).
Numerous enterprises choose to implement Headless eCommerce because it grants them full control over the development of the frontend interface, free from the limitations of specific platforms. Shopify Hydrogen also empowers businesses to construct entirely personalized headless website interfaces and integrate essential features for expansion.
Cons of Shopify Hydrogen
Technical Skill Required
Hydrogen solution empowers businesses to leverage the potential of Headless eCommerce, but it’s predominantly a technically-driven endeavor without a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface for non-technical users to easily access and modify.
Hence, the development process necessitates the engagement of highly proficient developers with programming expertise and a specific comprehension of Hydrogen and Oxygen. In this scenario, businesses have two choices: establish an in-house team of developers or partner with an external specialized entity for swift deployment.
Limited CMS Integration.
Because it relies on the React framework, Hydrogen can assist developers in creating custom frontends, but the backend CMS functionality must be connected to enable the headless eCommerce website’s operation.
However, as of now, Hydrogen is limited to integrating with specific CMS platforms like Sanity, Contentful, and Builder.io, leaving businesses responsible for connecting with others independently.
Limited 3rd-party Integration
Much like CMS platforms, Hydrogen supports businesses in integrating with third-party provider applications, but it has rather limited options. Currently, there are only 13 available applications that businesses can incorporate into their Hydrogen store.
In the many years of implementing Headless eCommerce for numerous clients across various countries, SECOMM has noticed an increasing demand for creating Headless websites using the Shopify platform. Now, businesses have a choice: they can either leverage Shopify’s tech stack (Hydrogen and Oxygen) or build a custom stack tailored to their unique requirements.
This further solidifies Shopify as one of the most flexible eCommerce platforms today, leading the way towards the next generation of eCommerce experiences.
Contact us or call SECOMM’s hotline (02871089908) for a free consultation.
This article will highlight 10 notable eCommerce websites from around the world, spanning various industries, that have adopted BigCommerce for their operations.
Skullcandy opened its first store in 2015 in Park City, Utah, and it remains the company’s exclusive physical retail location in the United States due to its primary online sales strategy. Skullcandy is a technology brand known for crafting headphones and speakers with a youthful and modern style. Their eCommerce website is developed using the BigCommerce platform.
Aside from seasonal promotions, Skullcandy provides customers with diverse payment choices, including PayPal, VISA, MasterCard, and even a Buy Now, Pay Later option through Klarna.
BURROW is an online furniture brand that specializes in offering seasonal furniture and sofas with a minimalist, modern, and vibrant style. The company’s approach revolves around three key principles to deliver unique value to customers. First and foremost, they have built their eCommerce website on the BigCommerce platform, encouraging online shopping through enticing promotions, illustrative product videos, and free shipping. Secondly, their products are known for their custom designs, high durability, multifunctionality, compactness, portability, and versatility to fit into various spaces. Lastly, BURROW places a strong emphasis on building a community that connects customers from all around and enhancing brand awareness.
LARQ is renowned for its stylish and compact reusable water bottles, designed with sustainability in mind. These bottles are manufactured using advanced technologies like PureVis and NanoZero to ensure high water quality. LARQ’s bottles possess self-cleaning capabilities, utilizing UV-C LED lights to eliminate up to 99.99% of bacteria.
These exceptional features led to a significant $1 million investment from Shark Tank. LARQ has developed its eCommerce website using BigCommerce, complete with a dedicated Basq Magazine section where they share valuable insights on hydration with their customers.
The premium beauty brand, Molton Brown, hailing from the UK, has also used the BigCommerce platform to build their eCommerce website. Their product range, spanning fragrances, hand washes, essential oils, scented candles, and bath & body products, is entirely manufactured in the UK and is cruelty-free. Their product packaging is crafted from high-quality reusable glass, adhering to eco-friendly standards.
At present, the company exclusively offers online shopping services to customers in the US, Japan, and the majority of European regions. Molton Brown consistently introduces seasonal collections, special occasion sets, gender-specific product lines, and personalized gift recommendations, simplifying the shopping experience for their customers.
Tommie Copper is a brand that specializes in offering comfortable, lightweight fashion products designed to reduce pain and aid in functional recovery for both men and women. With a strong emphasis on expanding online sales, the company has invested significantly in its eCommerce website using the BigCommerce platform. They have also implemented various customer engagement programs to encourage more shopping. One notable initiative is the Customer Loyalty Program, featuring three tiers: Score, Performance, and Pro-Grade, with detailed and precise instructions on point accrual and redemption.
Saddleback Leather is a company specializing in handcrafted leather goods, and they develop their eCommerce website with BigCommerce. Their product range is extensive, encompassing items such as bags, backpacks, belts, and even intricately designed mouse pads. Visitors to their website are greeted with a distinct “Texan” design aesthetic and captivating narratives. Notably, customers can also become part of the Saddleback Club, granting them access to exclusive and appealing member-only offers.
Barron Designs stands as a top-tier brand specializing in the design and provision of premium interior and exterior products crafted from high-quality materials like wood, tiles, and stone. Their diverse product range includes wooden doors, stone fireplaces and chimneys, mailbox posts, engineered wood panels, and more. Barron Designs has developed its eCommerce website using the BigCommerce platform, offering a multitude of features to ensure the best shopping experience for customers.
When customers browse and click on their favorite products to view details, they can choose colors and select options such as fire resistance and UV protection before placing an order. The production and delivery times typically range from 2 to 4 weeks. For those interested in sampling a product, they can simply click on the option, and a complimentary mini-size sample will be sent to their doorstep. Furthermore, a discount coupon will be emailed to encourage customers to make a full-size purchase.
Industry: Interior and Exterior Interior Design & Construction
SugarBoo & Co is a well-known BigCommerce eCommerce website that offers a wide range of handmade products for personal and household use. It offers a diverse range of handmade products for both personal and household use, including items like notebooks, decorative pieces, ceramic dishes, baby toys, and more. To provide an excellent online shopping experience, the company offers multiple payment methods, including well-known options like ShopPay and AfterPay.
SugarBoo & Co’s blog section is filled with interesting content, regularly sharing tips on gift selection, the advantages of using ceramic products, home decorating ideas, and more. Plus, during special occasions and holidays, the website provides customers with a selection of discounted shopping suggestions.
Autograph Foliages is a prominent brand in the United States, specializing in landscaping solutions for both homes and commercial establishments. The company offers a diverse range of collections, including seasonal and holiday-themed foliage like Christmas decorations, catering to the needs of families and businesses. What sets Autograph Foliages apart is its enduring partnerships with major entities such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studio, Warner Bros, and Seaworld Parks & Entertainment, a testament to the superior quality of its foliage products.
Their website, developed on the BigCommerce platform, prominently displays new and seasonal products. To access the pricing details for specific items, customers must register an account on the website. They can also subscribe to receive weekly newsletters containing valuable tips on plant care, decoration, and more.
Established in 1999 and officially launched its products in 2000, Body Bliss specializes in a wide range of personal care items. With over two decades of development, the company has continually researched and refined its products to prioritize customer health, using gentle and environmentally friendly ingredients.
Body Bliss’s BigCommerce website follows a minimalist design, featuring well-organized product categories for easy customer navigation. The site also offers appealing incentives such as complimentary gifts and free shipping. Furthermore, the company uses Instagram to engage with customers and it is seamlessly integrated into the website to keep customers updated on the latest updates.
Established in 2009, BigCommerce is a user-friendly platform tailored for businesses of all sizes and technical expertise to start developing their own eCommerce websites. Over the years, BigCommerce has emerged as one of the most feature-rich platforms, encompassing all the essentials for website creation, search engine optimization, marketing, and more, all at a cost-effective implementation.
In addition, BigCommerce is known as a SaaS eCommerce solution, which means businesses subscribe on a monthly basis, and the platform takes care of hosting, maintenance, and system security matters.
BigCommerce Pricing Plans
BigCommerce provides three pricing plans tailored for small and medium-sized businesses (Standard, Plus, Pro), priced between $29 and $299 per month, each equipped with essential features. Moreover, the platform offers a customizable plan (Enterprise) for large businesses based on their deployment requirements.
The table below illustrates the cost variations among these four pricing plans and includes some relevant factors:
Despite several differences, all four packages share some common points:
No transaction fee
Unlimited bandwidth, products, file storage
Unlimited staff accounts
24/7 customer support
12 free themes
Included in all plans
Key features of BigCommerce, available in all four pricing plans, include:
Point of Sale (POS): Seamless integration of online and offline sales with POS systems like Vend, Square, Clover, and more.
Mobile-Responsive Design: Websites are designed to adapt and perform well on mobile devices.
BigCommerce Mobile App: Manage orders, track customer journeys, and monitor performance via the user-friendly BigCommerce mobile app, downloadable from the App Store or Google Play.
Single-Page Checkout: Simplify the payment process with a single-page checkout, reducing cart abandonment and boosting conversion rates.
Promotions and Discounts: Easily create and manage coupons, discounts, and gifts without the need for third-party integrations.
Built-In Blog: Improve SEO and engage customers with a built-in blog.
Product Ratings and Reviews: Gather customer feedback to enhance products and services.
Multi-Currency Support: Accept over 100 currencies and local payment methods.
Professional Reporting Tools: Access professional analytics and reporting tools for performance evaluation and adjustment.
Real-Time Shipping Quotes: Provide accurate shipping costs in real-time from various carriers.
Free Site-Wide HTTPS & SSL: Ensure website security with free HTTPS protocol, creating a safe shopping environment for customers.
The features available in the ‘Standard’ plan are consistent across all four pricing plans. However, there are some advanced features that are not included, and businesses may need to consider upgrading their plan to access these specific features. Here’s a breakdown:
In addition to the ‘Standard’ features, this plan offers:
Cart abandonment features.
Stored credit cards for future purchases.
Customer groups and segmentation for pricing, product recommendations, targeted promotions, and personalized experiences.
Top social & marketplace: Integration with top e-commerce platforms and social networks such as Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
The ‘Pro’ plan encompasses all ‘Standard’ and ‘Plus’ features, along with:
Google customer reviews for collecting and showcasing customer feedback on Google.
Advanced product filtering to enhance the shopping experience.
Custom SSL integration with third-party SSL services.
Designed for large-scale enterprises, this top-tier package includes all features from the previous packages and introduces several advanced capabilities:
Unlimited API calls, facilitating seamless data sharing between eCommerce websites and third-party applications without any limitations.
Priority support with personalized assistance, including dedicated API support.
Pros of BigCommerce
Ease of Use
BigCommerce, designed as a SaaS platform, boasts user-friendliness catering to both tech-savvy and non-technical users. It offers a wide range of themes to facilitate swift website development and provides an array of tools for executing promotional campaigns.
When compared to other SaaS platforms, BigCommerce stands out for its capacity to offer a comprehensive set of built-in features and tools across its pricing plans. This results in cost savings for businesses, reducing their reliance on third-party applications and plugins, which can often incur extra expenses. Moreover, these features have been fine-tuned to boost performance and streamline the eCommerce management process.
BigCommerce also provides its users with the BigCommerce mobile app, enhancing the convenience of managing, monitoring, and updating their eCommerce websites.
Reporting & Analytics
Unlike Shopify, which offers a range of reports and analytics based on the pricing plan chosen, BigCommerce provides professional-level reporting and analytics across all its solution packages. These encompass customer reports, sales reports, financial reports, marketing reports, and more. Moreover, for businesses in need of more extensive data capabilities, BigCommerce offers a wide app library for easy integration with third-party software
BigCommerce distinguishes itself from competitors by providing multi-store support across all of its pricing plans. This feature is especially advantageous for businesses that operate multiple stores or are active in various segments, such as B2B and B2C. With the Standard plan, a business can create up to 3 stores, while the Plus and Pro plans allow for 5 and 8 stores, respectively. In contrast, Shopify, a leading SaaS platform, offers multiple store capabilities exclusively through its Shopify Plus solution, which starts at a monthly cost of $2,000.
Using BigCommerce helps businesses save costs in various aspects such as hosting, maintenance, updates, and security. BigCommerce handles these tasks, eliminating the need for additional expenses. Regardless of the chosen pricing plan, BigCommerce doesn’t impose transaction fees, provides unlimited bandwidth and file storage without extra charges, and permits the creation of an unlimited number of staff accounts.
In addition, compared to Shopify, where businesses may incur significant costs to integrate third-party apps and utilities for enhanced functionality, BigCommerce includes essential features tailored to each plan. This integrated approach results in significantly more cost-efficient operations.
Cons of BigCommerce
High Platform Costs
When compared to other SaaS platforms like Shopify or Squarespace, the cost of using the BigCommerce platform seems relatively higher.
Plus, businesses must continue to pay this ongoing fee along with any charges for third-party services (if applicable) on a monthly basis, without ownership or control over the source code and system data.
On the other hand, open-source platforms such as Magento or OpenCart require businesses to make a one-time payment for both usage and service integration fees, granting them long-term ownership of the source code and system data.
Just like other SaaS eCommerce platforms in the market, BigCommerce retains ownership and control over the source code and data of the entire eCommerce website system.
In practical terms, this means that all of a business’s eCommerce data becomes closely tied to BigCommerce’s database. Therefore, if a business wishes to migrate to another platform in the future, it can only access CSV files containing a portion of its data.
Additionally, while it’s exceptionally rare, in the unlikely event that BigCommerce were to suddenly cease all operations, all data related to a business’s activities on this platform could potentially be lost.
Lack of theme
At the time of writing, BigCommerce provides users with a selection of 12 free themes and approximately 180 paid themes. This count is somewhat limited in comparison to other SaaS platforms like Wix or Squarespace.
The free themes come with modern and professional interfaces, suitable for businesses to start their eCommerce website journey. However, these themes are quite similar to each other, differing mainly in color schemes.
In reality, despite the claim of having 12 themes, users often discover only around 5-6 truly distinctive options.
The paid themes, on the other hand, come with a price tag ranging from $195 to $395, and some of them may have similar designs.
However, BigCommerce offers a significant advantage: all the free and paid themes are visually appealing and highly responsive. This means that these themes can automatically adapt their layouts to suit various screen sizes, including smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, and more.
Clover is a POS software developed by Clover Network Inc, aimed at offering an integrated solution for handling sales and payments for both small and medium-sized businesses. Clover provides POS solutions across various industries, including restaurants, services, retail, and more. Specifically, the costs associated with implementing Clover’s POS for retail SMEs are categorized into three primary packages:
Starter: $799 + $14.95 per month (One-time payment option available) or $60 per month (Monthly payment option) – This package includes an 8″ merchant-facing POS.
Standard: $1,799 + $49.95 per month (One-time payment option available) or $135 per month (Monthly payment option) – This package includes a 14″ merchant-facing POS
Advanced: $2,398 + $64.90 per month (One-time payment option available) or $185 per month (Monthly payment option) – This package includes a 14″ merchant-facing and a handheld POS.
Ease of Use: The Clover interface is intuitive and user-friendly, making it easy to navigate on the touchscreen and access system functions.
Customization: Users have the flexibility to tailor the interface and configure the system to meet their individual needs. This includes modifying screen layouts, customizing function buttons, and setting options to align with specific business operations.
Offline Support: Clover is equipped to function offline, a valuable feature in the event of an internet connection disruption. Transaction data is securely stored and automatically synchronized once connectivity is restored, ensuring uninterrupted business operations.
High Initial Costs: Clover carries a higher initial price tag compared to alternative POS solutions, particularly for businesses choosing the comprehensive payment package. This may pose a barrier for smaller businesses operating with limited financial resources.
Invoice Formatting Limitations: Clover has some limitations regarding invoice formatting and customization, which can pose challenges for businesses with specific requirements for invoice formats and content. For example, adding special liquor consumption taxes, collecting stamps on invoices for grocery stores, and so on.
Rely on the Clover Ecosystem: Clover POS functions optimally within the Clover ecosystem and may not seamlessly integrate with diverse management systems such as CRM, ERP, etc., offered by different brands.
KORONA POS is a retail system developed by KORONA, intended to assist in sales management, payments, and inventory control for small and medium-sized businesses.
Currently, KORONA POS offers a range of solution packages for businesses to select from:
Core: $59 per month – Suitable for small businesses or individuals managing a single store.
Advanced: $69 per month – Geared towards small and medium-sized businesses handling a single store and inventory tracking.
Plus: $89 per month – Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses managing multiple stores and keeping track of inventory.
Enterprise: Custom Quote – Tailored for medium-sized businesses with specific customization requirements.
User-Friendly Interface: KORONA POS boasts a straightforward and user-friendly interface, ensuring ease of use even for employees lacking prior experience with POS systems.
Regular Updates and Upgrades: KORONA POS offers frequent updates and improvements to enhance its features and resolve issues, all while ensuring uninterrupted daily business operations.
Cross-Platform Compatibility: KORONA POS is compatible with multiple platforms, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This flexibility enables sales staff to process transactions and manage sales from virtually any location.
Internet Required: KORONA POS relies on a continuous internet connection to operate. Disruptions in the network connection can lead to interruptions or even render transactions and management tasks impossible.
Vendor Risk: When businesses adopt KORONA POS, they become reliant on the vendor for system maintenance and upgrades. Any issues or service deviations from the vendor can have an impact on the business’s operations.
POS System Migration Challenges: If a business has been using a different POS system and intends to switch to KORONA POS, the transition process can be intricate and may require a significant investment of time, effort, and resources to migrate all data effectively.
KiotViet is a business management and retail point-of-sale system catering to retail stores and restaurants. KiotViet provides an array of sales management features and tools, encompassing payment processing, inventory control, customer management, order handling, delivery, reporting, and business analysis.
KiotViet offers three options for implementing their POS system:
Support: 200,000 VND per store per month – Ideal for small businesses, startups, or online retailers.
Professional: 270,000 VND per store per month – Tailored for professional business models.
Premium: 370,000 VND per store per month – Suited for businesses with multiple sales channels or a larger staff.
Ease of Use: KiotViet has a user-friendly interface with tailored support for Vietnamese users, eliminating the need for extensive technical expertise during setup and operation.
Seamless Integration: KiotViet offers flexible integration with various peripherals like printers, barcode scanners, payment devices, and other applications such as inventory management, HR management, and financial systems. This results in a comprehensive POS system for effective business management.
Efficient Inventory Management: KiotViet facilitates efficient inventory management, simplifying the process of updating product information and merchandise categories. Therefore, businesses can maintain control over inventory levels, monitor stock movements, and ensure on-time product availability.
License fee: KiotViet necessitates monthly or yearly license fee, which may pose challenges for small or recently formed businesses operating with limited funds.
Limited customization: While KiotViet provides some customization options, the capacity for complex customization to cater to individual business requirements may be limited.
Limitations in Niches Industries: KiotViet primarily targets retail and restaurant businesses, which implies that certain features or management procedures may not be well-suited or could be restricted for niche industries such as electronics, pets, agriculture, and others.
VNPAY-POS, an ‘All-in-one’ solution developed by VNPAY, consolidates numerous features into a single device to comprehensively fulfill a business’s sales and payment management requirements.
VNPAY currently extends two primary options to businesses and organization using VNPAY-POS:
Free service usage for businesses/organizations with payment fees exceeding 275,000 VND/month. For payments lower than this threshold, a flat fee of 275,000 VND/month/machine is applicable.
Device rental is available at an affordable rate of just 165,000 VND/month. Businesses/organization achieving payment volumes surpassing 30,000,000 VND/month/machine qualify for free device rental.
Diverse Payment Methods: VNPAY-POS allows businesses and individuals to accept payments from customers using a range of electronic payment methods, including e-wallets, bank cards, QR codes, and bank transfers.
Appealing Incentives and Comprehensive Support: In addition to its core features, the solution offers advanced functionalities like support for 0% installment plans, cross-selling services, quick and professional 24/7 registration assistance.
Optimized Sales and Business Management: A VNPAY SmartPOS device goes beyond payment processing, performing various tasks such as digital menu display, item selection, order placement, invoice printing, sales management, data extraction, and more. This streamlines operational costs for businesses.
Ongoing Costs: VNPAY POS may entail increasing monthly ongoing costs or transaction charges for payment processing, potentially straining businesses with limited financial resources.
Feature Limitations: In comparison to certain other POS systems, VNPAY-POS has limitations in its feature set, particularly in tailoring solutions to meet the specific needs of individual businesses.
Hardware Compatibility: VNPAY-POS mandates specific hardware prerequisites for operation, such as tablets or mobile devices supported by VNPAY. This could necessitate an initial investment for adopting VNPAY-POS.
POS365 is a cloud-based POS system developed by 365 Technology Corporation. POS365 provides a comprehensive solution for retail businesses, restaurants, cafes, and related industries.
Currently, POS365 offers three packages for businesses:
Basic: 1,650,000 VND for 12 months – Designed for businesses looking to experience the product.
Popular: 3,300,000 VND for 2 years with an additional 1-year free – Tailored for SMEs.
Lifetime: 6,600,000 VND for a lifetime – Intended for businesses already familiar with POS365.
Vietnamese business-friendly: POS365 has a modern interface that’s easy to navigate, with features thoughtfully tailored to Vietnamese business practices.
Diverse Features: POS365 offers a comprehensive set of sales and business management tools, encompassing inventory control, order processing, warehouse management, customer relations, staff oversight, and business reporting.
Multi-Branch Management: POS365 facilitates the management of multiple branches and sales points through a unified system, simplifying business expansion and operation oversight.
Limited customization: POS365 comes with certain limitations regarding customization and specific business requirements adjustments. This can pose challenges for businesses with unique needs or customization preferences.
Internet required: POS365 relies on a stable internet connection to function. If there’s an internet disruption, payment processing and business management may experience interruptions.
Limited security: Because POS365 is an online system, there’s a higher risk of cyberattacks or data breaches. Businesses need to implement appropriate security measures to safeguard customer information and business data.
In this article, SECOMM will delve into the top five widely favored POS software solutions by large corporations today, including Square, Lightspeed Retail, LS Retail, Heartland Retail, and Shopify POS.
Square Point of Sale
Square POS, developed by Square, is a highly favored POS system among many international large-scale enterprises due to its cost-free setup. However, Square applies fees for each transaction executed on the POS, amounting to 2.6% and 10 cents for every tap, dip, or swipe. For the ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ payment scheme, the fees are 6% and 30 cents. Furthermore, Square provides a tailored POS package for businesses generating revenue exceeding $250,000.
Types of POS system: Tablet-based POS system, Mobile POS system, Cloud-based POS system.
It’s free: Square software is completely free to use, without any charges for setup or monthly licenses.
It’s User-Friendly: Square offers a straightforward and intuitive user interface, making it easy for users to quickly adapt to and utilize the system effectively.
It’s flexible: Square empowers businesses to execute sales transactions from virtually anywhere using mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. This flexibility enables businesses to reach and serve customers at any time and place.
Costs Increase with Each Transaction: Square applies transaction fees (2.6% + 10 cents) to every payment processed. While its fee structure is relatively competitive, businesses with substantial sales volumes may find these fees impacting their overall profitability.
Limited Hardware Compatibility: Typically, POS systems are designed to work seamlessly with hardware provided by Square. This means that businesses might encounter challenges when attempting to utilize hardware from alternative suppliers or integrate with existing brand-specific POS systems.
Feature Constraints: Square does have some feature limitations compared to other POS systems. For instance, functionalities like multi-store management, membership card integration, or compatibility with various other business management software may be limited.
Lightspeed Retail is a tailored POS solution crafted for businesses operating across diverse industries. It earns praise for its wide-ranging features, high level of customization, and its seamless integration capabilities with various applications and services.
Types of POS system: Tablet-based POS system, Mobile POS system, and Cloud-based POS system.
Multi-Industry: Lightspeed Retail is specifically crafted to cater to a wide array of industries, including retail, restaurants, coffee shops, spas, salons, and more. This versatility positions Lightspeed as a multifunctional solution across various sectors.
Integration and Scalability: Lightspeed seamlessly integrates with numerous other applications and services, encompassing inventory management systems, online ordering platforms, integration with online sales channels, and much more. This flexibility enables businesses to scale and tailor the system to meet their unique requirements.
Customer Support: Lightspeed earns accolades for its top-notch customer support, offering assistance through phone, email, and online channels. The friendly and professionally trained support team is adept at resolving a multitude of issues.
High Costs: Lightspeed is associated with a higher price point in comparison to several other available POS solutions in the market.
Complex Initial Setup: The initial setup and configuration of Lightspeed can prove intricate for users lacking prior tech experience. Accurate installation, coupled with appropriate configuration, is essential to guarantee stable operation.
Internet Required: As an online POS system, Lightspeed relies on a consistent internet connection for optimal performance. Any disruptions or instability in the internet connection can lead to transaction processing issues and hinder system access.
LS Retail stands as a top-tier provider of POS and ERP software grounded in the Microsoft Dynamics platform. It is meticulously tailored to oversee the entirety of business operations across diverse sectors, including retail, restaurants, hotels, pharmacies, and gas stations.
LS Retail extends three solution packages for businesses to select from:
LS Express: Priced at $99 per month, this solution caters to small-scale businesses.
LS Central: Offering a comprehensive POS and ERP solution for businesses (Development costs vary based on project complexity).
LS First: Strategically designed for large corporations, with a particular emphasis on the restaurant industry (Development costs vary based on project complexity).
Types of POS system: Tablet-based POS system, Mobile POS system, and Cloud-based POS system.
Holistic Management: LS Retail offers an integrated POS and ERP solution, facilitating the synchronization of business data and more efficient management across both systems.
Multi-Channel Sales: LS Retail supports a diverse array of sales channels, encompassing traditional brick-and-mortar stores, eCommerce websites, and mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) kiosks. This broadens business horizons, reaching a larger pool of potential customers.
Efficient Inventory Management: LS Retail delivers real-time inventory management algorithms, empowering businesses to govern stock levels, item locations, and optimize procurement processes. This results in reduced shortages and excess inventory, ultimately enhancing operational efficiency.
High Costs: As LS Retail is a comprehensive POS and ERP solution, both ownership and maintenance costs may be considerably high for businesses.
Technical Expertise Required: Implementing LS Retail mandates that your business’s workforce possesses specialized technical skills and undergoes dedicated training
Dependency on Microsoft Dynamics: LS Retail is built on the Microsoft Dynamics platform, meaning the implementation and enhancement of the LS Retail system hinge on the evolution of Microsoft Dynamics, influencing bug fixes and the incorporation of the latest updates to some degree.
Heartland Retail is a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) platform tailor-made for retail businesses.
As of now, Heartland levies a fee of $89 per month per point of sale for their POS software. Furthermore, this platform provides payroll services starting at $89 per month for 1-5 employees and payment processing services with a cost of 2.6% per successful transaction, alongside 10 cents for each tap, dip, or swipe.
Type of POS system: Cloud-based POS system
User-Friendly Interface: Heartland Retail boasts a user-friendly and intuitive interface. Sales staff can easily navigate between functions, process payments, and engage with customers effortlessly.
Smart Reporting and Analysis: Heartland Retail offers sophisticated analytical tools and reporting capabilities, empowering businesses to gain a deeper insight into their performance and consumer trends.
Integration with Auxiliary Systems: Heartland Retail is equipped to seamlessly integrate with various auxiliary systems, including accounting, human resources management, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This integration facilitates the creation of a comprehensive information system, enhancing the efficiency of different departments within the organization.
Inefficient Customer Support: Numerous customer feedback reports cite limitations in customer support, with varying response times from Heartland Retail’s support team and inconsistent answers or solutions. This can pose difficulties for businesses requiring swift assistance or specific solutions.
Multi-Store Management Constraints: Heartland Retail lacks robust and flexible multi-store management features for companies operating beyond the U.S., as the company’s primary headquarters is exclusively located in the U.S.
Limited New Features and Updates: Heartland Retail doesn’t frequently introduce new features and updates, unlike some other POS systems. This limitation may hinder the adoption of the latest technologies and trends in the industry.
Shopify POS is a POS solution designed by Shopify, catering to businesses utilizing their platform and seeking sales management software to effectively manage their business affairs. The usage cost for Shopify POS amounts to $89 per month per location, with a reduced rate of $79 per month per location for businesses opting for an annual subscription.
Ease of Use: Shopify POS boasts a straightforward and friendly admin interface, designed for quick staff adaptation, reducing training time, and minimizing data entry errors.
Seamless Integration with the Shopify Platform: It smoothly integrates with eCommerce websites built on the Shopify platform, enabling businesses to efficiently manage both physical and online stores from one centralized platform, resulting in time and resource savings.
Customization: Shopify POS enables businesses to customize the interface, product labels, invoices, and create brand introduction pages for brick-and-mortar stores, among other features.
Types of POS system: Tablet-based POS system, Mobile POS system, Cloud-based POS system
Exclusive to the Shopify System: Since this software is built by Shopify, it can only be integrated with this platform.
Complexity with Multiple Stores: While Shopify POS offers multi-store management capabilities, handling and configuring various stores can become intricate as the number of stores grows. Businesses must invest sufficient time in meticulous management, maintenance, and information updates for each individual store.
High Transaction Fees: When using Shopify POS, businesses are required to pay transaction fees (ranging from 2.4% to 2.6%) for each transaction. These fees can add up, especially for businesses with a large volume of transactions.
Above is a brief comparison of five POS software systems widely used by many large businesses to enhance the efficiency of their operations. Businesses need to consider various factors to select the most suitable POS system.
Hai Trieu, which was founded in 1991, has over 30 years of expertise in the watch industry. To adapt to the changing industry and consumers, Hai Trieu has incorporated an eCommerce strategy into its business model with the objective of becoming a dominant watch retailer in Vietnam. Hai Trieu’s eCommerce website has received over 1 million monthly visits and is ranked among the top sites in the fashion eCommerce industry in Vietnam. (according to iPrice).
The official name of PNJ is Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company, which was founded in 1988. PNJ has spent a long time developing a fashion eCommerce website to apply the omnichannel sales strategy. Because of the early adoption of eCommerce, PNJ has surmounted the tumultuous year of 2021 with net sales of over VND 19,547 billion, an increase of 12% over 2020.
Founded in 2005, Juno is a brand known for its line of women’s fashion shoes and bags. Juno saw the enormous potential of the e-commerce sector and invested early in technologies to make the online company more efficient. As a result, the eCommerce website of Juno is currently the highest-visited website in the fashion line of shoes and bags in Vietnam.
Juno has usually cultivated the clothes and accessories area to suit its clients’ increasingly broad consumer demands.
Canifa is a family fashion brand established in 1997, under Hoang Duong Service and Trading Joint Stock Company – a large fashion retailer in Vietnam. Canifa has built an eCommerce business with a reputation achieved in traditional fashion since 2012. Because of its long-term and sustainable eCommerce business strategy, this company opted to invest in establishing its own eCommerce website on the open-source platform – Magento and regularly upgrading this system to provide clients with the better eCommerce experience possible.
Hoang Phuc International (Hoang Phuc) was established in 1989 as a luxury fashion retailer of Kappa, Ecko Unltd, Superga, Replay, and Staple. This brand has decided to enter the eCommerce industry after three decades of using traditional strategy. Hoang Phuc has utilised and changed numerous platforms to create the successful eCommerce website that it is now. This business is currently employing the Magento platform – an open-source platform specialised in eCommerce.
This firm utilizes KOL and Livestream strategies to boost market penetration, besides constantly improving its own eCommerce website for selling apparel online.
Bitis began as a small factory in 1982 and has grown to become the market’s top shoe and footwear brand. However, when user behaviour changes and new “players” enter the market, this business appears to fall behind. After a long period of lagging, Biti’s new CEO, Vuu Le Quyen – the eldest daughter of Mr. Vu Khai Thanh – chose to change strategy, focusing on investing in eCommerce business model to accelerate and catching up with the market.
Bitis’s has made a dramatic recovery due to this new strategy, vying directly with worldwide brands such as Nike, and Adidas in the Vietnamese market after a number of years of losing market share.
Orchard, which was founded in 2004, is a supplier of more than 200 luxury perfume brands from across the world. Orchard has implemented eCommerce promptly to tap the “gold mine” of this industry and become the No. 1 perfume retail brand in Vietnam. Orchard’s eCommerce website is now the favorite destination for customers who want to buy perfume online.
ONOFF was established in 2005 with the goal of providing daily comfort to everyone. ONOFF has advocated for adopting an eCommerce strategy by investing in building Magento websites like Canifa in 2016. As a result, the brand is gradually synchronizing on online and offline channels, with a customer loyalty rate of 80% maintained at all times, allowing ONOFF to more firmly believe in its goal of becoming the leading lingerie brand in Vietnam and a chance to conquering the ASEAN market in the next three years.
Rabity is a children’s fashion brand that was launched in 2000. Currently, Rabity is the sole Disney and Marvel partner with image rights for children’s fashion lines ranging from 0 to 14 years old. Rabity is pleased to have been the pioneer in deploying the first eCommerce for children’s fashion in Vietnam. Rabity is now present on all eCommerce channels and has its own eCommerce website.
Overall, fashion businesses are achieving several successes after developing their own eCommerce websites. However, the fashion eCommerce industry needs careful consideration of tactics to take the most successful actions in the short term and in the long run. Of course, to do that challenging task, fashion companies must find a well-known or build skilled IT team.