In Field Test, Practical eCommerce has gathered twelve seasoned ecommerce merchants and asked each of them the same questions around a given topic. This month’s topic is order management software.
The participating ecommerce merchants are: Dave Norris, House of Antique Hardware; Justin Hertz, MuttMart; Chris Stump, Only Hammocks; Mike Feiman, PoolDawg; Dan Stewart, Xtreme Diesel Performance; Cindy Barrileaux, Write Your Best; Claudette Cyr, Gear-Source; Kristen Taylor, Juvie; Jeff Muchnik, RedBox Tools; Kara English, Candles & Such.
PeC: Do you use any form of order management software?
Field Tester 1: No.
Field Tester 2: Yes.
Field Tester 3: Yes.
PeC: What brand do you use?
Field Tester 1: N/A.
Field Tester 2: NetSuite.
Field Tester 3: Zoovy Order Manager.
PeC:What shopping cart and accounting software do you use?
Field Tester 1: I use CKGold for my shopping cart and QuickBooks for Mac for accounting.
Field Tester 2: We’re using NetSuite for accounting. Our shopping cart is currently a custom one.
Field Tester 3: Zoovy Shopping Cart and QuickBooks Pro.
PeC:Roughly how many orders do you process each day?
Field Tester 1: Four.
Field Tester 2: 12 to 15.
Field Tester 3: Up to 20.
PeC: What particular order management features do you use? (inventory tracking, labels, tracking shipments, accounting, etc.)
Field Tester 1: Inventory tracking.
Field Tester 2:Inventory tracking, sales orders, purchase orders and invoicing.
Field Tester 3: Inventory tracking, customer email updates, packing slips, order pulling, USPS / Edicia postage and labels, tracking shipments and exporting to accounting software.
PeC: Are you pleased with it?
Field Tester 1: Yes, though it would be nice if it communicated with our in-store inventory. As it is, we need to update both by hand once a day.
Field Tester 2: Jury is still out. It’s OK at this point.
Field Tester 3: Yes.
PeC: What changes would you make, if any?
Field Tester 1: N/A.
Field Tester 2: It is too slow, and we have to compromise a lot of things in order to fit into the “packaged” system.
Field Tester 3: It has limited reports capabilities.
Our Field Testers represent a cross-section of ecommerce merchants. Some are large and some are small. We keep the same group of Field Testers throughout the year, and ask each of them the same questions each month. This first installment of the order management field test happened to be smaller merchants.
The purpose of Field Test is not to rate or critique a product or service. It is simply to ask live ecommerce merchants how they operate their businesses. We've asked them, in the past, about fraud prevention tools, shopping carts, live chat and so forth.
For this month, we asked about order management software. We were curious if the merchants used order management software and how it interacted with their cart and their accounting software.
Perhaps we've asked the wrong questions, and we welcome feedback as to what sort of order management questions we should have asked, recognizing that our group of Field Testers includes large, sophisticated merchants as well as smaller ones.
Thank you Joe, Todd and Jim for the posts and for your opinions.
-- Kerry Murdock
to those making comments that the readership is only folks processing 1000 orders per day, then it's a bad assumption. There are also small companies such as ourselves to process a smaller number of orders but at much higher value and each order has much more complexity with maybe 20 different components to each order that are all highly customized. Additionally we are a manufacturer, developer, wholesaler, and retailer. Selling 100 or 1000 off-the-shelf items such as a book or a boxed piece of software is essentially a much easier problem to solve.
Of course I'm just as interested to find out which order management tools that are nicely integrated from the e-commerce sale through accounting, shipment, and customer service work well for others. The number of orders doesn't dictate the problem. Essentially the problems are very similar from a large company to a smaller one. For a larger company the numbers are just bigger.
My main point is the number of orders is not the only measure. There is ticket size, complexity of each order, etc.
I also agree with the comments by some folks that this was not overly helpful but could be much more so. I would love to see comments from other e-commerce sellers with the basic statistics of their company so I can compare how closely they match ourselves and then what they like and what they dislike about the tools they utilize and how they have integrated different systems from the shopping cart to order management to CRM to accounting and even better a tool that does all of these integrated nicely.
NetSuite I wasn't crazy about, NetBooks appears to lack sufficient e-commerce shopping cart integration, Infusionsoft, Everest is one I am closely considering, anyone using BizAutomation.com?, and any others?
If anyone would like to you sent me their comments directly, we send them to them Mfelling [at] yahoo.com. Using that e-mail I just to avoid spam on the main one
-- Mark Felling, President, Broadened Horizons
Pretty bad article in my book - only briefly discussed 2 cart systems with very few orders for what appears new ecommerce sites. - not 'seasoned.'
Besides that comment, I wanted to post what my company recently switched to and why.
We were using www.mals-e.com for order processing until we hit about 80 orders a day. It integrates with quickbooks, has custom invoicing, reports, etc - and very inexpensive.
We are in our 4th year online.
Once we began selling on Amazon.com and our website orders picked up, we needed one program which could integrate both incoming order pathways.
We chose StoneEdge.com and have been extremely happy. There are no insane fees like with NetSuite or OrderMotion. It is very customizable and the tech support is unreal.
We are processing anywhere from 100 orders to 350 orders a day easily. We are still learning all the bells and whistles with StoneEdge and that will take time - but having implemented it for over 3 months now has really changed our business for the better.
To improve your article, I suggest that you consider three types of online merchants - starting out, 4 yrs old and seasoned being 8 yrs plus online. This will help those in each bracket rather than only 1.
To me it seems the audience for Practical Ecommerce is more the 4yr old sites and above who are looking for newer and more effective solutions than the startup ones out of the box - like Yahoo - which is also very full of little fees and charges. I would feel 'used' by Yahoo giving them a percentage of each one of my sales - not for me.
With StoneEdge, we can grow up to 5,000 orders/day and I think it will handle that quite well.
-- Ben Lynch