Blog

Should You Build Your Own B2B Marketplace Podcast

should-you-build-your-own-b2b-marketplace-podcast-banner

Business buyers are shopping on Amazon more than ever before. Today a growing number of B2B businesses are building their own marketplaces - and expanding their market share. If you want to be a leader and grow faster, it may be time to launch a marketplace of your own. Join Shannon Hane, senior product marketing manager at Adobe, and Malcolm Allen, Kadro's CTO, for an enlightening podcast. 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter- August 2020

uno-alla-volta-banner-products-and-collectible-banner

Insights for August 2020

  • Uno Alla Volta showcases artisan-crafted products and collectibles via its upgraded and enhanced Magento 2 B2C website
  • Technology Partner of the Month - Gorgias, provider of Helpdesk Solutions for eCommerce
  • Meet Karen Abrams, Software Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Explore our latest blog posts

Upgraded and Enhanced Magento 2 B2C eCommerce Website Showcases Uno Alla Volta's marketplace of artisan-crafted products and collectibles

Uno Alla Volta products and collectible banner
Uno Alla Volta means "one at a time." It’s a meaningful way to describe the products and collectibles designed and handcrafted by artisans throughout the world that are available for purchase on the Uno Alla Volta eCommerce marketplace. The artisans making the products sold by Uno Alla Volta use techniques and technologies that are both old and new – some passed down through the generations, others more modern and newly developed.

The Uno Alla Volta vision is “to bring the human connection into every interaction with every customer, artisan, co-worker, and supplier – thereby enriching their lives. By so doing, we enrich each of our own lives as well.” This vision manifests itself in the Uno Alla Volta storefront, a place that provides handcrafted fashion and designer accessories, home decor, kitchen, decorative glass, and pottery sold to consumers across the globe.

The Uno Alla Volta story is one filled with the essence of craftsmanship and the joy of human spirit. Learn more about it at About Uno Alla Volta https://www.unoallavolta.com/about-us.

Back in early 2019, Uno Alla Volta was facing a number of business and technical challenges. The initial implementation of their Magento Commerce website by a previous partner did not meet the company’s expectations. The website had ongoing performance and reliability issues which negatively impacted their eCommerce business.

Uno Alla Volta hired Kadro to assess and improve their eCommerce solution on Magento Commerce. The project direction and goals became clear quite quickly. Reorient the site's implementation to a Magento-standard approach, stabilize the website’s implementation and in so doing return the company’s eCommerce business to a path of growth that supports their customer base.

So the team at Kadro got to work and within a few short months was ready to implement a revised and stabilized Uno Alla Volta website. Looking back from today, one can say that the project goals were achieved. The site is now more stable, updates for minor and major Magento upgrades are less costly, the site's content is easier to manage, and the site search experience is greatly improved. Uno Alla Volta website page image

Here is what Martina Honovich, Digital Marketing Manager at Uno Alla Volta, had to say about the experience.

Our partnership with Kadro started as a site rescue. After a failed migration and launch to Magento with a different vendor, the Kadro team worked endlessly to get our website stable, upgraded and back on track. We needed a partner to step up and support us through it all and Kadro has delivered. I look forward to the continued partnership as we enhance our website and drive growth to reach our eCommerce goals.”

“We extend our sincere appreciation to the management and marketing team at Uno Alla Volta for placing their trust in Kadro during a particularly precarious period for their online business,” stated Ariel Mordetsky, Vice President of Revenue at Kadro.

To learn more about this project, visit the Uno Alla Volta Portfolio page in the Portfolio area of the Kadro website.


Technology Partner of the Month 

Gorgias provides helpdesk solutions for eCommerce helping merchants transform their customer service from a cost center into a profit generator. With Gorgias, online merchants can provide enhanced, personalized, customer experiences based on data from their Magento eCommerce platform. The system provides the ability to create rules-based automated responses to repetitive customer questions which saves valuable support agent time. And the system uses advanced machine learning to detect the intents and sentiments of customer messages which helps merchants set priorities and categorize tickets based on what they're about. Learn more by visiting the Gorgias website. 


Karen-Abrams-image

Quality assurance, perhaps not the most glamorous sounding occupation, yet none is more essential to the success of software development and implementation projects. After all, it is quality assurance professionals that ensure a company meets their clients' expectations by making certain software builds, in this case Commerce websites, are thoroughly tested from top to bottom and are in-line with the company’s quality standards, customer’s requirements and overall project deliverables.

Enter Karen Abrams, Kadro’s Software Quality Assurance Engineer

Karen is both a company and industry veteran having worked at Kadro for over 12 years and before that for many years at other well-known technology companies. As such, Karen has worked on just about every project that has come through the door at Kadro - testing almost all of them. Aristotle reportedly once said, “Quality is not an act. It is a habit.” Karen is in the habit of ensuring quality in the websites Kadro engineers for its clients. That’s why she is in charge of QA for the entire company. Of her role she states “I never thought about a QA job, but it's perfect for me.”

What does it take to be a successful quality assurance engineer?

  • A mixture of technical and interpersonal knowledge, skills and experience. 
  • Absolute attention to detail. 
  • Strict adherence to processes, especially ones centered around software testing. 
  • A firm grasp of computer science and software engineering principles. 
  • The innate ability to communicate to individuals within a diverse project team that they are doing something wrong. This is something Karen points out as being “getting paid to do what comes naturally.” 

How does Karen match up against these success criteria?

Pretty well we’d say! After all, academically she was her high school’s valedictorian and she followed that up rather nicely with what we’ll call triple success at the collegiate level by earning a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Vanderbilt University. Why triple success? She did it with a triple major in electrical engineering, computer science and math. Now that’s impressive! Always one to keep the acquisition of knowledge at the forefront, Karen is also a Adobe Certified Expert - Magento Commerce Business Practitioner which obviously comes in handy given her involvement in all those Magento website projects for Kadro customers. May need a bigger business card though to fit that one in.

Change will do you good

Karen has seen her share of change over the years as Kadro matured from a company located in a small office off Old Wake Forest Drive in Raleigh, with barely 10 people, a handful of projects, and a ping pong table (a useful outlet for finding inspiration and channeling frustration) to what she describes as the present first-class office space on Corporate Center Drive where the company is headquartered now. It’s a company that has grown to a staff of over 60 people (all U.S. based) and more projects than she’d care to count.

When asked about what she likes about Kadro, Karen mentioned a few things. First on the list, the respectful environment. “Anytime I say something, it's taken seriously and acted on quickly (unlike with children or the ex)”. Ah, she has a sense of humor as well. Other things she particularly likes, “My smart, dedicated, hard-working coworkers and being able to work from home occasionally (pre-Covid era) and full-time now.”

Outside of the office, Karen pursues her long-time interest in Genealogy, a subject that continues to gain widespread attention, and she keeps up-to-date on the world of finance by listening to financial podcasts on a daily basis, plus she’s an avid reader - historical fiction about women is a favorite.


Blog image for Your Customers Want This

New Blog Post 

Your eCommerce Store Customers Want This!


Coming Soon!

More informative blog posts and an eBook!  Stay tuned for future announcements.


Ready To Move To Magento Commerce?

Having ongoing troubles with your existing Magento website implementation?

Need help analyzing and optimizing your current Magento website?

Looking to migrate your website from Magento 1 to Magento 2?

Your eCommerce store customers want this!

ecommerce payment options graphic

There are many keys to being a successful online merchant.  But in the end it’s really all about the customer experience, whether your customer is a business or an individual consumer.  As a person who has overseen the creation and operation of a number of B2B and B2C eCommerce websites over the years using Magento and other technologies, I can speak first-hand about the importance of customer experience and two essential factors that are sometimes taken for granted or simply overlooked – convenience and choice. Online shoppers value these two things greatly and typically make the decision about where to shop and buy weighing these heavily in their decision criteria. 

Fortunately Magento Commerce, in conjunction with its many technical partners, provides an environment that gives you, the online merchant, an optimal mix of convenience and choice. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the area of payment gateways. In case you are unfamiliar with the term “payment gateway”, it is a third-party service provider that automates payment transactions between an online store and its customers. 

In today’s world of online commerce, customers expect both convenience and choice when it comes to paying for the items they buy online.  Choosing the right payment solutions provider is therefore something you should take seriously.  When selecting a payment solutions provider you don’t have to pick just one, although many of the major players in this space offer a wide array of payment choices so it certainly is possible to select just one. The goal is to provide your customers with both convenience and choice, so providing several payment solutions options would typically be preferable. 

The universe of choice in this area continues to expand. Today I’ll focus on a few options; some of which you mostly likely have heard of, others perhaps not. This is NOT an exhaustive list of available choices.  Remember that the payment solutions options you choose should align with your short and long term business goals and should also meet your needs in terms of price, security and functionality.

So let’s explore in brief a few of the major players - Amazon Pay, Braintree, APS, Authorize.net, and Cybersource.

Amazon Pay logo

One of the top payment solutions available for eCommerce businesses today is Amazon Pay.  Amazon Pay is a solution that hundreds of millions of Amazon customers know and trust.  Offering Amazon Pay as one of your payment options can provide a number of advantages to both you and your customers including optimizing and simplifying the checkout process in just a few clicks for those customers with Amazon accounts using their Amazon account information; enhancing the customer experience and improving customer satisfaction with Alexa by allowing delivery notifications via Alexa-enabled devices to reduce customer concerns about their order status and advanced fraud prevention which is a critical element in the online commerce world.

Braintree logo

Braintree offers payment solutions that cover a number of popular and emerging payment methods. The company points out that they are the only payments platform that delivers PayPal, Venmo (in the U.S.), credit and debit cards, and popular digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay in a single, seamless integration, so an online merchant gets a wide array of choices right from the start.    

With Braintree solutions you can drive greater conversions, increase operating efficiency, expand your business reach and help to mitigate risk related to fraudulent transactions while keeping payment data secure and maintaining PCI (payment card industry) compliance.

APS PAyments logo

APS has been in business for over 11 years providing reliable, omni-channel, B2C and B2B integrated payment solutions for businesses.  APS Payments seamlessly integrates with multiple leading ERP, eCommerce, CRM, POS, and Mobile applications.  APS Payments is a payment gateway and processor that is trusted by thousands of merchants daily to process payments. 

The company works diligently to offer the lowest credit card processing rates, provide strong processes to help reduce risk and to supply the best payment solutions for its customers.

Authorize.Net logo

Authorize.net has been working with merchants and small businesses since 1996. As a leading payment gateway, Authorize.Net is trusted by more than 430,000 merchants, handling more than 1 billion transactions and $149 billion in payments every year.

Authorize.net makes it easy for customers to pay by accepting the payment types they prefer to use including major credit cards, signature debit cards, e-checks and digital payment solutions.  Authorize.net supported payment types include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, PayPal, Visa SRC (Secure Remote Commerce), Apple Pay, Chase Pay and E-check. 

As with other payment solutions, Authorize.net offers retailers a wide array of convenient features designed to make it easier for you to focus on your business and customers.  Take the worry out of payments and payment processing with solutions from Authorize.net. 

cybersource logo

Started in 1994, Cybersource pioneered online payment and fraud management services for medium and large-sized merchants. Today, Cybersource’s modular platform lets you select the payment management solutions you need, when it’s right for your business - to help maximize growth. Aside from payment acceptance solutions, Cybersource also provides robust fraud & risk management solutions and top-notch customer service. Plus merchants can access additional services, including global tax calculation, recurring billing and more.

You can find a list of more of our technology partners by visiting the PARTNERS page of the Kadro website.  

IN CONCLUSION

So there you have it, a glimpse into the world of payment solutions for online retailers.  As you can see, there are many, many payment options and solutions providers for an online retailer to consider.  And most of the providers make the same general claims about their focus on data security, PCI compliance, fraud protection, range of payment options and flexible pricing, so it will take an investment of your time to learn about the option(s) that may be best for you and your online store. It’s time worth spending as the payoff in terms of more satisfied shoppers and customers can be significant.

Kadro is here to help. Should you want to learn which solution(s) is best for you, contact your Kadro Account Manager. Don't have one yet? Give us a call at (877) 435-3453.

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter-July 2020

Boss PetEdge

Insights for July 2020 - In this issue

  • Boss Pet Products, Inc. (dba Boss PetEdge) successfully re-platforms two B2B eCommerce websites to Magento 2
  • Miss the July 9th webinar on building a Multi-Vendor Marketplace? Watch the replay.
  • Technology Partner of the Month - dotdigital
  • Meet Cameron Rogers, Director of Engineering at Kadro
  • Explore our latest blog post

New B2B Magento Websites Launch: PetEdge and Boss PetEdge Dealer Services

PetEdge B2B ecommerce website home page

PetEdge website shown above...

We love our pets. And all that love requires a very large industry to provide the goods and services pet owners demand for their animals. 67% of U.S. households own a pet which equates to 84.9 million homes*. Most popular pet in these households? Dogs. Yes, the pet industry is big business. It estimated that $99.0 billion will be spent on our pets in the U.S. in 2020. According to the 2019-2020 APPA National Pet Owners Survey

According to data from IBIS World, there are some 133,669 grooming and boarding businesses alone in the U.S. Then there are the various pet specialty, hardware, farm and general merchandise stores, veterinarians and humane societies all of which support the health and well-being of our pets.

Companies that exist to support this diverse array of pet industry businesses supply a plethora of products and often rely on advanced technologies to get the right products to the right business efficiently. Such an enterprise is Boss Pet Products, Inc.

Boss Pet Products, Inc. is the largest supplier to pet-care professionals and independent retailers offering over 12,000 national brand and exclusive PetEdge branded products. They operate two eCommerce websites which are vital elements in their ongoing business success.

KADRO was selected by Boss Pet Products, Inc. (dba Boss PetEdge) to engineer the re-platforming of their two B2B eCommerce websites and CRM system from a legacy SAP Web Channel Experience Management (WCEM) implementation to the Magento Commerce platform, while maintaining their real-time connectivity to their SAP ECC ERP system.

The new Magento-powered websites, which were launched in May 2020, deliver an enhanced user experience for pet professionals and wholesale buyers, an improved mobile shopping experience, enhanced tools for content and product catalog management, enhanced integration with back-end systems and a custom CRM system integrated with the websites order management functionality.

“Evolving our eCommerce business onto Magento’s state of the art platform is paramount to delivering on the needs and expectations of our customers. Completing this major project without incurring any downtime was a tremendous success and Kadro lead us expertly every step of the way.”

Chris Miller, President Boss Pet Products

Miss the July 9th webinar Building an Online Community Marketplace?

Building a Community Marketplace Kadro webinar banner

Technology Partner of the Month

dotdigital

Founded in 1999, the company’s mission is simple: powering customer engagement across all touchpoints. This award-winning, global enterprise has offices in 9 countries and over 350 employees who help fulfill the mission for thousands of brands. Engagement Cloud empowers marketers to acquire, convert, and retain customers at scale. Users can connect with CRM and ecommerce systems, surface powerful data, and automate intelligent cross-channel messages that resonate with audiences. You’ll find dotDigital and all our technology partners on the Partners page of our website.

Meet Cameron Rogers, Director of Engineering at Kadro

Cam Rogers

North Carolina native Cameron Rogers began his career at Kadro as a software engineer some eight years ago by way of the Cooperative Education Program at NC State University which Kadro has been an active corporate participant in for many years. University-sponsored Cooperative Education programs allow students to work multiple work-terms in a relevant field to their major to gain firsthand experience in the workforce. Cam graduated from NC State with a degree in computer science.

Over the years he has worked on major projects for a number of Kadro customers like REEDS.com, BoatOutfitters.com and MasonJars.com and has supported numerous other company projects as well.

Moving up the ranks over the years, today Cam is Director of Engineering and is mostly responsible for establishing Kadro’s software development methodologies and providing technical guidance to the engineering teams. He is a Magento 2 Certified Professional Front End Developer and is skilled in a wide array of software tools and technologies like HTML5, CSS, Javascript and more.

In speaking about his tenure at Kadro Cam stated “I really enjoy the atmosphere and culture we have at Kadro. Kadro is a very open, friendly and collaborative environment. Over the years I've really been able to build strong relationships with my co-workers and can honestly say some of my best friends work alongside me every day.”

Outside of the office Cameron is active in sports and outdoor activities like basketball, football, ultimate frisbee along with traveling, hiking and exploring.

Not surprisingly, he’s also a big NC State fan, but moves a bit further down the coast when it comes to his favorite football team which is the Atlanta Falcons. Well we guess the Panthers have some work to do.

You can learn more about Kadro’s participation in the Cooperative Education Program at NC State University by visiting our co-op page.

New Blog Post

Marketplace versus Dropship banner image

Marketplace vs Dropship - Which one’s right for your eCommerce website?

Marketplace vs Dropship - Which one’s right for your eCommerce website?

Dropshipping versus online marketplace image

The realm of B2B eCommerce continues to evolve driven by the ongoing impact of COVID-19 which has accelerated growth in the sphere and spawned new business opportunities that reach beyond the predominant channels and methodologies in place today.

An eCommerce area where an evolution can clearly be seen taking place is in online marketplaces. We are all very familiar with the major 3rd party players in this space like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Rakuten and Alibaba. These giants have transformed the retail landscape capturing greater and greater percentages of consumer shopping and purchase behavior. In line with that, one must not ignore the foray that Amazon for one has made on the B2B side of things with Amazon Business. In spite of the dominance exerted by these large organizations, we have seen movement over the past three years in a different direction. That direction points to more businesses of all sizes considering the formation of their own marketplaces with the subsequent desertion from major 3rd party marketplaces. https://bloom.bg/3eYlLL8

Perhaps these businesses have identified an opportunity to serve a regional or local community focusing on local sellers/retailers. Such new marketplaces are setup to provide a diversity of product offerings through their local sellers and they tend to attract local buyers to their online environment. It’s a find it and buy it local approach. This new breed of marketplace may also be founded on a desire to focus on a specific niche of products, like for example hand-crafted goods. In any case, the goal is to provide quality local sellers and goods in support of local communities.

A germane question that logically comes up is should an eCommerce business grow by building its own multi-seller marketplace or instead go the drop-shipping route? There can be pros and cons to each direction that one should consider en route to answering this question.

This helpful diagram illustrates who assumes responsibility for key elements of the online selling process.

Dropship versus marketplace matrix

One significant difference in being a seller on a marketplace versus setting your online business up around the drop-ship solution is how inventory is controlled. As a marketplace seller, the matter of inventory is left in your hands. If you choose to expand your business via drop shipping, your eCommerce store’s inventory rests in the hands of the drop-shipper(s) you use. You take on all other aspects of the business operation as shown in the left hand column under DROP-SHIPPER SOLUTIONS.

How can starting a marketplace benefit B2B businesses?

B2B businesses can benefit in a number of ways.

  1. If you already have customers coming and buying from you when you establish a marketplace, you can help increase their spend, because they can find more products that they want to buy. This is of course similar to what one finds in the consumer marketplace environment and it has the ability to influence both customer satisfaction and retention.
  2. A key difference in marketplace versus drop-shipping and warehousing is that you can increase your revenue without all of the operational expense associated with product management. And you can get rid of warehousing and inventory concerns that often show up with drop-shipping.

While these benefits are certainly positive, owning a marketplace does come with its share of possible issues, issues that you as the marketplace owner get to deal with. Remember that you have to deal with multiple sellers. And sometimes sellers have problems like they don't deliver on time. They may not be putting the product that you want on your marketplace or they may not do so as professionally as you would want. As marketplace owner you take on the responsibility of managing seller issues like this and more. It’s your marketplace brand after all. Think of it this way, when people order something from a marketplace and the product doesn't show up on time, who are they mad at? Probably not the seller. They're mad at the marketplace. Whereas, if the seller runs their own online store as a stand-alone business, any problems are theirs alone to address.

The bottom line is that there are important things to think about and plan for when considering starting your own marketplace.

A great place to learn a bit more about this subject is by listening to the podcast “Should You Build Your Own B2B Marketplace.” It’s part of the Adobe Commerce Talk series and features a discussion with Malcolm Allen, CTO of Kadro. It is available on the Kadro website here. https://lp.kadro.com/commerce-talk-podcast-with-kadro

Given KADRO’s distinctive position as a software engineering company that:

  • supports the engineering, integration and implementation of individual eCommerce websites on the Magento Commerce platform
  • helps businesses efficiently participate in 3rd party marketplaces
  • builds marketplaces for clients wishing to start their own.

we occupy a pivotal vantage point in supporting all these paths to eCommerce.

Whichever path to eCommerce success you may choose, we are here to help.

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter: June 2020

Kadro Offices

Insights

New Site Launch: Houser Shoes

Houser Shoes

Kadro deployed Houser Shoes' new Magento 2 site in May! We have worked with Houser Shoes since 2014 and were ecstatic to help them migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2. Read more about this project below.

"Kadro’s team has been a true asset to our online business with Magento Enterprise and has responded to deliver for our plans around site performance, mobility and strategic eCommerce planning." - Gary Houser, President & Founder of Houser Shoes Inc.

Project highlights include:

  • Full data migration for products, orders and customer accounts
  • Website redesign and setup of all content into PageBuilder
  • Migration of all EDI integration with show vendors
  • Using ShipStation for fulfillment.

Learn more about Houser Shoes' new Magento 2 site, and the migration from Magento 1.

Visit HouserShoes.com & use code KADRO25 to get 25% off any normally priced merchandise.

Webinar: Building an Online Community Marketplace

Building an Online Community Marketplace webinar on July 9th conducted by eTail with our client/partner MakerPlace, Adobe, and Kadro

Please attend the Building an Online Community Marketplace webinar on July 9th conducted by eTail with our client/partner MakerPlace, Adobe, and Kadro are presenting.

I’m on Magento. What Extensions or Tech Partner do I work with?

Kadro takes the mystery out of choosing a tech parnter

There are over 250,000 merchants on Magento for eCommerce. The vast ecosystem of Magento developers and technology partners is often a driving force for merchants to choose Magento as their platform for growth. One of the greatest benefits of Magento can also be one of the most daunting problems. At some point every merchant struggles with deciding on the right technology partner or extension to meet their need. With so many choices, how do you decide the right choice for your business?

How businesses are adapting during COVID-19

Kadro is partnering with Signifyd to bring you ongoing coverage of eCommerce trends data - by category - across their network of 10K+ merchants globally. We hope this info is helpful peripheral vision as our industry navigates this dynamic environment, and the team at Signifyd is happy to host deeper data reviews if helpful for merchandising, advertising or other decisions.

Turbo Boost your Magento site with Kadro's Site Analysis & Optimization Services

Cure your slow Magento speed headaches

Does your Magento site run slowly, inefficiently, out of sync or worst case not at all? The Kadro Team can help. Learn about our Magento Site Analysis & Optimization Service.

Building an Online Community Marketplace webcast

Building an Online Community Marketplace webcast banner image

Learn how to quickly launch an online marketplace of your own.

The pandemic is transforming business as we know it causing a shift as thousands of businesses move to become predominantly online. At the regional and local levels, communities across the country are looking for an online solution to support buying local as a means of stimulating the local economy. During this webinar, we explore what a managed marketplace looks like and what you need to start your own multi-seller marketplace.

Learn how MakerPlace Inc, in partnership with Kadro and Magento, has set out to bring local businesses into the digital era. MakerPlace Inc, has built a full-featured marketplace platform enabling sellers to connect with buyers, while establishing an easy-to-use online experience.

Join Ariel Mordetsky, VP of Revenue at Kadro and Karen Rzepecki, CEO of Makerplace as they discuss this hot topic.


WATCH A REPLAY OF THE WEBINAR