If you are a manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor or otherwise engage in B2B sales, you can’t help but notice the trend to more online sales. That’s because today’s buyers rely more and more on the internet to do their product research. According to Forrester research, 74% of B2B buyers research more than half of their purchases online. Statista predicts B2B eCommerce to reach $3 trillion by 2024. With all the interest in B2B eCommerce, we thought this would be a great time to take a look at software that supports B2B sales on and offline.
Who is Oro Inc.?
Oro Inc. is the company behind OroCRM, OroPlatform, and OroCommerce products. Their solutions are known for being open-source and a large and talented community has grown up around them. As a result, Oro code is supported by a large variety of third-party integrations and reporting tools.
Oro, Inc. is an LA-based B2B software company founded in 2012 by the ex-Magento leadership team of Yoav Kutner, Dima Soroka, and Jary Carter. Oro has offices in LA, Germany, France, Ukraine, and Poland and supports several languages including English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, and Russian.
Their customer base includes the likes of Petra, AnimalSupply, Aldo, France Air, and many others.
Oro supports B2B companies through their digital transformation with B2B eCommerce and CRM products that leverage technology to provide business tools that build relationships and increase sales. And the B2B market seems to love it.
To date, Oro products have:
- Over 400,000 active installs
- Over 40,000 new installs per quarter
- Been used in 100+ countries
Their eCommerce platform and CRM products have received awards such as:
- Futureproof B2B eCommerce Platform – IDC
- Most Innovative Product of the Year – Frost and Sullivan
- Top Five Most Popular CRM – Capterra.
The Oro Philosophy
Oro believes that the best software is always open source and can be deployed in any situation. That’s why all of their products can be deployed on-premise or in the Cloud. And, you can easily move from one deployment to the other to scale up and down with business needs. It’s part of their deploy anytime anywhere philosophy. That’s not something you see in other B2B focused products.
That same philosophy drives development of software that runs on Windows, iOS, and Mac devices. And websites built with Oro’s OroCommerce B2B eCommerce platform render perfectly on all devices, platforms, and browsers.
OroCommerce is an Enterprise level eCommerce solution that supports any B2B business model. Whether you are a pure B2B or a B2B2C or even have a B2C channel, OroCommerce comes out of the box with the tools you need to establish your webstore. It even supports multiple vendor marketplaces.
Mid-market and enterprise level users will like the flexibility of the platform to create eCommerce websites, marketplaces, or customer or wholesale portals.
Manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers will appreciate how OroCommerce makes it easy to manage corporate accounts, control complex pricing structures, create custom catalogs, and configure custom workflows.
Free Trial and Pricing
Unlike competing products, OroCommerce allows you to demo their products without talking to a sales rep first. That makes it easy to kick the tires.
Pricing is very competitive when you compare it to other enterprise-grade solutions like Oracle or SAP Hybris. Not only are the license costs usually less, you’ll have a faster time to ROI because the time to market is usually 6 to 7 months instead of 9 months to a year for other products.
A Community Edition is available for free. However, it doesn’t include some features such as multi-warehouse management, multi-organization support, or selling in multiple currencies.
Support and Training
Oro offers an incredibly rich support and training system that allows you to receive as much or as little support and training as you need. You can work through a partner or work with Oro directly. Either way you’ll tap into their incredibly knowledgeable community.
If you’re the DIY type and want to handle as much as you can in-house, you’ll appreciate the vast library of training videos and in-depth documentation. Because the product is open source and widely used, there’s probably already a solution to any problem you encounter.
If you like more structure in your training and support, Oro can oblige. In-person training is available as well as live online classroom style training, webinars, and podcasts.
Standard and Competitive Features
OroCommerce has all the standard features you’d expect to find in an eCommerce platform. You can easily set up landing pages to support marketing and build product catalogs. What sets OroCommerce apart are the unique, competitive features it offers. We were amazed at these features that we don’t see in other solutions.
Pricing engine – If you work with complex pricing structures with multiple tiers and price points you’ll appreciate the power of the pricing engine. Easily propagate pricing changes.
Workflows engine – No two companies process transactions the same way. The robust workflows engine adapts the software to how your company does business and not the other way around.
Personalization capabilities – From personalized product catalogs and pricing to personalized marketing, you’ll be as impressed as we were by the many ways this solution supports personalization.
Scalability – Don’t let hundreds of thousands of SKUs slow you down. OroCommerce efficiently handles millions of SKUs without compromising processing. In addition, the deploy anywhere philosophy means you can deploy on-site or as a SaaS to scale up and down with your business needs.
Product engine – Complex product structures and attributes are not a problem for OroCommerce’s product engine. Easily configure products globally or by customer no matter how complicated your product family.
RFQ support – It’s odd that most B2B eCommerce platforms don’t support the RFQ process, because that’s the way so many business transactions begin. OroCommerce shows it really understands how business does business with a built-in workflow for the RFQ process, which can be adjusted and configured further thanks to the workflows engine mentioned above.
Multiple user permissions – Because most B2B transactions involve multiple players, OroCommerce allows users (customers) to define their own permissions and authorities. This allows customers to easily obtain all approvals and reviews before submitting their PO. This is such a common business practice it’s a wonder why other solutions don’t include this feature.
Built-in CRM – There’s no need to worry about integrating your CRM because OroCommerce comes complete with OroCRM. Used in combination, you’ve got powerful tools to segment and market more effectively, gain insights into the sales funnel and better manage your sales pipeline.
Easy integrations – And speaking of integrations, this is a strong feature for Oro. Between the company and the community you’ll find a wide catalog of APIs to make OroCommerce work and play well with other solutions.
These are just a few of the competitive features that caught our eye. You can check out all the features on the OroCommerce website.
The Pros and Cons of Oro Products
We found quite a bit to love with OroCommerce and just a few things that turned us off. All in all, we recommend Oro products for companies that engage in B2B selling and are looking for a competitive edge.
Here are the pros and cons.
The Pros 👍
OroCommerce really was built from the ground up for how B2B does business. It is not a B2C platform repurposed for B2B. We find that refreshing. In addition we like:
- Comes out of the box with almost everything you need and if you need to customize, it's fairly easy to make changes.
- Easy access to excellent quality training
- More than ample support if you run into a problem
- It's easy to use the interface
- Good online reviews
The Cons 👎
Many of the things we disliked aren’t unique to Oro, but are common with most business solutions.
- Oro isn't very transparent about prices on the website
- You may need developer help if you don't have the technology know-how to implement
- Limited support for free plan users
Ready to Give OroCommerce a Try?
Overall, OroCommerce is easy to use, flexible, and straightforward to navigate. Not to mention, it boasts multiple capabilities and integrations. Given its numerous free features, it may be worth opting for the free plan until you’re sure you’re happy with the platform. You can always upgrade later down the line.
If you’re looking for a product to digitize your back-office operations, improve your B2B customers' buying experiences and give you a 360-degree view of your customers, then we think Oro might be perfect for your needs. It provides all the tools you need to track consumers, understand their behavior, and provide better customer service, marketing, and sales as a result.
What's not to love about that?
Have you ever used an Oro product or do you know someone that does? Would you recommend it to your fellow entrepreneurs? If so, let us know in the comments box below.