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[Podcast] Chris Raven discusses rapid growth in eCommerce on Replatform: eCommerce CX and Technology Podcast

This week, Oro had the pleasure of being featured in Replatform: eCommerce CX and Technology Podcast hosted by Paul Rogers & James Gurd, who are experienced digital consultants in eCommerce and technology platforms. They feature interviews with industry thought leaders and practical advice on improving end-to-end customer experience and understanding how to make better technology decisions.

On their latest episode, they speak with Chris Raven, Channel Manager for the UK at Oro Inc., about the rapid growth of B2B commerce, what this means for eCommerce vendors and how merchants are using and customizing OroCommerce.

Below is a snippet from the podcast:

James: Could you give our listeners an introduction to both yourself and what you do for Oro? And what is Oro?

Chris: Absolutely. For Oro, I work as a UK channel manager so I support prospective clients to the platform in getting them scoped and helping them understand what they need from a platform. I also support our partner network. So obviously we work a lot with agencies- people who are involved in web development and digital marketing- to help people deploy OroCommerce and OroCRM.

Oro Inc. as a company positions their product, OroCommerce, as an enterprise-grade eCommerce platform tailored to B2B. So what that means is that it’s a platform that’s built from the ground up purely for those B2B features. So it’s quite different from a direct-to-consumer solution. 

James: So Oro was started by Yoav and some of those ex-Magento people. So what was the initial goal with the platform and how are you looking to create a diff proposition to Magento from B2B and what are the key selling points from your perspective?

Chris: So the story that is told is that Yoav, dima, and the rest of the team, they went through that journey with Magento, built great products, sold it to eBay, and they re-aligned themselves and said, well, the world is going to need this for B2B. And this was more than 10 years ago, so the landscape was quite different so it was quite forward thinking. So how was B2B eCommerce going to replace field sales or support field sales models? How is that going to change the relationships between retailers and wholesalers and everything in between? How can companies better serve the range of their clients from the one man band that are just starting to the global internationals? 

So I think they sat down and thought “what do we need from the architecture? What do we need to make it robust, give it longevity, make sure it’s completely supported and supported for a long time?” And PHP was the route with Symfony. They looked at what the requirements were from a business to business perspective and built Oro from the ground up to support that. So whereas a lot of other platforms in the marketplace have recognized the need for B2B functionality and have bolted on modules to their existing D2C proposition, Oro is built for B2B from the ground up. 

Paul: What does an average Oro customer look like? Like why would that customer be looking at Oro as opposed to other solutions in the market?

Chris: So they are generally a manufacturer or a wholesaler. They’re either making something that isn’t necessarily applicable to sell directly to the consumer or they are making something that they have a network of sales channels in a physical offline space and they want to translate that into online. Or they’re already trading online on a legacy platform or something that’s blocking them from scaling. 

For example, if you have a food and drink manufacturer and they want to sell to an enormous chain of pubs. They’re going to want to place orders and they’re going to have an infrastructure where they want to place the orders through an integration that has features like bulk adding, which are features that are not on a lot of legacy platforms or B2C platforms. 

James: So you’ve touched earlier on the Enterprise edition and I know OroCommerce is similar to Magento with having an Enterprise edition and Community edition. The question on many people’s minds is “why would I go to the paid version when there’s a cheaper version or a free version?” And I know the Community edition in Oro has a lot of features included. So from your experience in working with a lot of businesses, why would people upgrade to Enterprise and what would be the typical driver for people to choose Enterprise vs Community? Is it a simple case like if you’re a single country, single currency business you go Community and if you’re a complex, international business you go Enterprise?

Chris: Yea it sort of boils down to that but it’s not quite cut and dry. So if you’re a single geography with a single warehouse and don’t need organizational support, then the Community is worth looking at. I think it depends on your scale as well though. If you’re selling a lot, then the reality is that you need Enterprise features that would boost your performance. Without looking at key features yet, the Enterprise edition supports much improved database management- so speed and processing power. The Enterprise edition comes with elastic search built in. From a technical standpoint, it’s much faster and radically improved than the Community edition. 

If you are a true Enterprise business and your output is high, arguably you’re going to need performance benefits. If you are trading at that level from a business point perspective, then are you looking outside of the UK? Because you need to make sure that your currency is supported in a Community edition. 

If we look at features, if you want to grow wider than the UK, then it’s critical you go Enterprise. If you have multi-brands or multi-geographical scenario, then you do need Enterprise. If you are in a marketplace area of business, then you need the Enterprise edition, Fundamentally, the Enterprise is built for a greater scale support. To listen to the full episode, click here. If you are looking for additional information or would like a personalized consultation, contact us.

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