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Insights / 01 Jan 2023

Guide: Choosing the right e-commerce platform

In the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce, choosing the right platform is crucial for a business's online success. This article compares four prominent platforms – Norce, Bizzkit, Shopify, Centra, and Litium – each offering unique features tailored to different business needs. From composable and headless designs to scalability and globalization capabilities, we explore the key aspects that make these platforms stand out in the competitive e-commerce arena.

NORCE

Norce is a Nordic leader in providing software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for digital commerce. It is designed to meet the needs of retailers, brands, and B2B customers, offering powerful tools for growth and digital commerce transformation. The platform is known for its composable architecture, open API-first approach, and cloud-based offerings, which are integral components of its "True SaaS" nature.

Key features of Norce include:

1. Composable and Headless Design: Norce Commerce is a cutting-edge commerce engine with impressive functionality and modern APIs. Its headless design allows for full integration with existing systems like ERP, CRM, WMS, POS, and various suppliers' systems. 

2. Powerful B2B Functionality: Norce Commerce provides features suitable for various B2B operations, including customer-unique pricing and assortments, volume-based pricing, and company discounts. It also supports complex business models for online operations.

3. Advanced Pricing and Campaign Logic: Norce Commerce and Norce Pricing offer advanced capabilities for price optimization, handling large and complex campaigns, and managing customer-unique prices and assortments for both B2B and B2C customers.

4. Integrated Product Information Management (PIM): Norce PIM is designed to handle large and complex assortments with a high degree of automation, supporting advanced product structures like variants, bundles, and relations. 

5. Scalability and Cloud Hosting: As a True SaaS platform, Norce Commerce ensures scalability, high accessibility, regular upgrades, and a license fee structure based on usage rates.

6. Omnichannel and Multi-Market Capabilities: The platform supports omnichannel strategies, allowing seamless integration of online and offline sales channels. It also offers a multi-market and multi-brand structure, enabling expansion to new markets with unique settings for each. 

7. Partner Network: Norce's business model includes a strong partner network of digital agencies, contributing to the creation of sales and effective e-commerce solutions for customers.

Norce's approach to digital commerce is tailored to empower companies with advanced needs, leveraging industry-leading technology and strategic partnerships for continuous innovation. This makes it a robust choice for businesses looking to enhance their digital commerce strategies.

 

BIZZKIT

Bizzkit is an e-commerce platform developed by Hesehus, offering a range of services designed for creating advanced and flexible e-commerce solutions. It has been in development for over 16 years, establishing itself as one of the top three most widely used e-commerce platforms in Denmark. 

Key Features of Bizzkit:

1. Composable Commerce: Bizzkit’s architecture is built to be adaptable and flexible, allowing for the integration of new unique features and other systems. This approach is essential in today's rapidly changing technology environment, enabling businesses to adjust their e-commerce solutions to evolving market demands. 

2. Product Information Management (PIM): Bizzkit’s PIM system is designed for ease of use and scalability, helping businesses manage and launch new product categories, campaigns, and sites efficiently. It offers full flexibility and a complete overview of product ranges.

3. Digital Asset Management (DAM): Bizzkit DAM centralizes the storage and management of digital materials, such as product pictures, logos, and campaign materials, streamlining the process of finding and distributing visual content across various channels.

4. Content Management System (CMS): The CMS component of Bizzkit is tailored for e-commerce, allowing for the creation of engaging content and unique shopping experiences. It includes features for campaign management and customer targeting.

5. E-commerce Search: This feature enhances the on-site search experience, making it faster and more relevant, thus improving customer interaction with the e-commerce platform.

6. Headless Commerce: Bizzkit has been focused on headless commerce since its inception in 2003. This approach separates the front-end presentation layer from the back-end e-commerce functionality, allowing for greater flexibility and customization.

7. Cloud Technology: The platform is built on robust cloud technology, ensuring operational and data security. This cloud-based approach means that Bizzkit is always up-to-date with the latest e-commerce features and improvements.

8. Flexible Pricing Models: Bizzkit offers different versions of its platform – Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited – catering to the varied needs and budgets of businesses. As a company grows, it can upgrade its Bizzkit package to better suit its evolving requirements.

Bizzkit's continuous expansion and updates, along with its strong foundation in cloud technology and headless commerce, make it a compelling choice for businesses looking to create or improve their e-commerce presence. The platform's ability to integrate with a variety of e-commerce technologies and services further enhances its appeal.


SHOPIFY

Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform that allows businesses of various sizes to set up online stores and sell their products. It is designed to be user-friendly, making it accessible for entrepreneurs with little technical expertise. Shopify operates as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, providing tools and features for creating and managing an online store. 

Key Features of Shopify:

1. Ease of Setup and Use: Shopify is known for its simplicity and ease of use, allowing users to quickly set up their online store without requiring extensive technical knowledge.

2. Reliability: The platform is known for its reliable uptime and fast loading speeds, ensuring that online stores are consistently accessible to customers.

3. Multi-Channel Selling: Shopify excels in allowing users to sell across various channels, including social media platforms, online marketplaces, and through physical point-of-sale systems.

4. Customizable Themes and Apps: Shopify offers a range of free and paid themes to customize the appearance of online stores. Additionally, its app store provides numerous apps to extend the functionality of the store.

5. Payment Processing: Shopify has its own payment provider, enabling users to accept a variety of payment methods including credit card payments.

6. SEO and Marketing Tools: Despite some criticisms of its SEO performance, Shopify offers tools and apps to help improve search engine ranking and marketing efforts.

7. Security and Backups: Shopify manages the security aspects of the e-commerce platform, including updates and technical protocols. However, for data backup, users may need to rely on third-party apps. 

In summary, Shopify is a versatile and user-friendly platform suitable for businesses of various sizes, offering a comprehensive set of tools and features for e-commerce. However, potential users should consider the additional costs and technical requirements for advanced customizations.

 

CENTRA

Centra is a headless, API-first SaaS e-commerce platform specifically designed for global fashion and lifestyle brands. It focuses on both Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) and digital wholesale business models, catering to the global market. Here are some key aspects of the Centra platform:

1. Fashion-Focused Commerce: Centra is particularly tailored for fashion and lifestyle products, offering features and functionalities that align well with the needs of these industries.

2. Multi-Channel Capability: The platform supports both D2C and digital wholesale, providing tools for managing online flagship stores and B2B showrooms. This multi-channel approach allows for a comprehensive digital commerce strategy.

3. Global Operations: Centra is equipped to handle global e-commerce operations efficiently. Brands using Centra have experienced significant growth in their international markets, with features that support multiple markets, languages, currencies, price lists, warehouses, and users.

4. Headless and Versionless SaaS: As a fully headless and versionless platform, Centra is always up-to-date in terms of performance, security, and features. It releases new functionalities fortnightly without any extra costs for the brand.

5. SEO and Performance: Leveraging Jamstack architecture, Centra offers fast load times and effective SEO, ensuring that customers accessing e-commerce stores experience low latency and high performance. 

6. Scalability: The platform is scalable by design, capable of handling large inventories and accommodating the growth of a brand. This scalability is achieved through efficient, distributed NoSQL database architecture.

7. Ease of Use and Support: Users have praised Centra for its ease of use, value for money, and customer support. However, some users have mentioned that certain features, such as voucher/discount code management, could be improved.

8. Integrations and Flexibility: Centra allows for a wide range of integrations with various systems, including marketing, payment, PoS, shipping, accounting, ERP, and 3PL systems. Its API-first approach enables seamless integration with third-party applications and services. 

9. Cloud-Based Technology: Being a true SaaS platform, Centra handles updates, upgrades, and hosting, offering a hassle-free experience to its users.

Centra is recognized for its ability to empower fashion and lifestyle brands to grow their online presence globally while managing complex product data and digital assets efficiently. Its focus on scalability, performance, and global market reach makes it a strong contender in the e-commerce platform market for fashion and lifestyle brands

 

LITIUM

Litium is a scalable digital e-commerce platform designed to meet the needs of both B2B and B2C companies aiming for online excellence. It's particularly noted for its flexibility and growth-oriented features. Here are some key aspects of Litium: 

1. Fast and Flexible E-commerce: Litium offers a cloud platform that enables businesses to build engaging customer experiences and scale performance globally. It boasts faster time-to-market with ready-made integrations to essential systems, native Product Information Management (PIM), and Content Management System (CMS) capabilities.

 2. Globalization and Campaign Management: The platform supports businesses in expanding to new markets rapidly, managing sales and marketing across multiple channels, countries, and markets. It includes an advanced framework for globalization and campaign management.

3. Headless Approach: Litium employs a headless approach, meaning all content is distributed via APIs. This flexibility allows adjustments to the interface without needing content changes and vice versa, facilitating multi- or omni-channel strategies.

4. Comprehensive Business Model: Litium offers a growth-based business model, scaling automatically with usage and sales generated through the platform. This model aims to support businesses in their growth and development. 

5. Customer Success and Support: Litium focuses on customer success, providing support and training to maximize growth by optimizing the use of its platform. It includes 24/7 support to assist companies throughout their journey.

6. B2B, B2C, and B2B2C Capabilities: The platform is designed to cater to a range of business models, including B2B, B2C, and B2B2C, offering features like management of price lists, complex ordering, product configurations, and customer-specific assortments.

7. Litium CMS and PIM: Litium's CMS is geared towards creating ideal customer experiences and brand storytelling digitally. Its integrated PIM feature helps manage and optimize product visibility online. 

8. Scalable for Growth: Designed for scalability, Litium can handle large volumes and sales peaks, making it suitable for growing businesses. It offers flexibility to adapt the platform to business needs while maintaining speed to keep up with competition.

Litium is based in Scandinavia but serves customers worldwide, emphasizing speed, flexibility, and capability for growth in the digital commerce landscape.

 As businesses navigate the complexities of digital commerce, selecting the right e-commerce platform becomes pivotal for their online success. Whether it's Norce's advanced features, Bizzkit's adaptability, Shopify's user-friendliness, Centra's fashion-focused approach, or Litium's scalability, each platform brings its own set of advantages to the table. Understanding these nuances is vital for businesses aiming to establish a robust and competitive online presence.

For personalized guidance tailored to your business needs, contact us and our experts will be happy to guide you through the intricacies of choosing the ideal e-commerce platform.

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