When I think of e-commerce, there are essentially two parts to it. The first is the lovely and beautiful UX of product pages and shopping carts that buyers use to purchase items from online retailers. The second is the tremendous amount of systems behind this UX that ensure the buyers actually receive the products they order.
And it is this backend infrastructure that is the major pain point for e-commerce sellers today. Just think of all that sellers can (and usually must) do to fulfill orders and run their business.
- Channel Integration – most e-commerce retailers sell on multiple sales channels (Amazon, eBay, Magento, Shopify, etc.), which means they need tools to communicate with those channels.
- Order Processing – whether shipping orders from their own warehouse, outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL center, or drop shipping products directly from their vendors, sellers must rely on a myriad of software platforms to deliver their products to customers.
- Inventory Management – as orders come in, products leave the warehouse, and the challenge of synchronizing inventory across all channels becomes a huge headache because none of the channels communicate with each other.
- Purchasing – as soon as sellers start running low on inventory, they rely on purchase orders to their vendors to replenish stock.
- Accounting and Analytics – e-commerce is a tremendously competitive space, and unless a seller can keep track of their expenses and analyze sales data, they will likely get outperformed by the competition.
If the list above sounds complicated, it’s because it is. There are 5 million (and growing) small and medium e-commerce sellers in the U.S. alone that currently struggle to process their orders and manage inventory because they have to piece together a hodgepodge of software solutions to run their business. These are serious pain points that cause sellers to lose thousands of dollars each year due to overselling and being under-stocked.
One of those sellers is Chad Rubin, a very successful owner of the e-commerce company CrucialVacuum. While I was in the U.S. in October I caught up with Chad, and to my surprise found out that he might have the answer to the woes that plague e-commerce sellers today. The name is Skubana, and it is Chad’s latest and without a doubt greatest endeavor: the world’s first and only all-in-one cloud e-commerce backend platform.
To create such a revolutionary product, Chad knew he had to team up with the right technical resources.
Enter D.J. Kunovac, an enterprise architect and engineer who previously developed software for hospital networks while working for McKesson, the largest healthcare company in the world. The two have teamed up to create something no one has dared to try so far in the e-commerce world: an e-commerce unification platform.
And after seeing the platform in action, I believe that this is a potential game changer.
Skubana is based in New York and a stone’s throw away from where Quidsi was operating from. Currently Skubana is only focused on the U.S. market and is at the moment doing a private beta with select merchants.
You can sign up here: http://www.skubana.com/signup
Skubana has, in my opinion, the ability to democratize a part of the commerce industry that is not big enough for enterprise software, but is too complex for out-of-the-box solutions. They launch in the Spring of 2015, and the world of e-commerce may never be the same again. Stay tuned.
Disclosure: I received no payment for this post nor have any business interest in Skubana. Chad is someone whom I respect and his business is a part of ecommerce that no platform is looking at. This post is my opinion about a platform that I think can change a lot of things for business owners.