Small businesses don't like to spend extra on multiple licenses. So when they were looking for website solutions, we could simply point to Zoho Commerce and they lapped it up. It's easy to use and everyone likes to have all their solutions in the same ecosystem if possible. Every time a client wanted to sell online, we would encourage them towards Zoho Commerce.
- Mark Scheffel, Technical Director, Cloudtech
Cloudtech was started 13 years ago in the UK. Back then, it was one of the biggest Salesforce partners in Ireland, having done over 500 Salesforce projects.
Cloudtech has been using Zoho since 2016, but in 2018, they decided to phase out SFDC and focus on Zoho implementation. "One factor that stood out for us was the way Zoho treated its partners," says Mark Scheffel, Technical Director, Cloudtech. "We began repositioning ourselves, and in the last three years, apart from an occasional project, we have not done any Salesforce work. We have been fully focusing on Zoho implementations."
The Zoho Factor
For Cloudtech, working on Zoho Commerce picked up pace when the product joined the Zoho One package. "As soon as Zoho One came out, it was an easy sell for us," says Mark. "Commerce worked well for small and medium-sized businesses that usually prefer to make a one-time investment in tech to get everything in place needed for running a business. This is exactly where Zoho helps."
Cloudtech got into Zoho implementations with Zoho CRM. They began using Zoho for their own business requirements and found this to be more financially viable. It helped them in another way—they were able to present themselves as a use case for Zoho. "We could tell our clients that this is something we do and you could do as well."
The Power of One
The fact that Zoho Commerce is part of a comprehensive business package made it all the more interesting for Cloudtech. "Small businesses don't like to spend extra on multiple licenses," says Mark. "So when they were looking for website solutions, we could simply point to Zoho Commerce and they lapped it up. It's easy to use, and everyone likes to have all their solutions in the same ecosystem. Every time a client wanted to sell online, we would encourage them towards Zoho Commerce."
When the Zoho Commerce and One offering came into being, it seemed quite unbelievable for Cloudtech. They wanted to scale the number of clients that were using the solution.
"Early on when it was being offered, we had a few chats with Zoho to know how long it was going to be there for," says Mark. "It was especially a good package since small organizations and we were eager to sell it."
Customer of Commerce
"I'd say a typical customer of Zoho Commerce is someone who has not started their web store yet," Mark says. "While Commerce supports bigger businesses as well, many small and medium-sized businesses get attracted to Commerce since they are looking for integrated solutions. This helps them curb the cost."
The pandemic slowed down work for Cloudtech, but things are looking up again. Mark believes that the market response to Zoho has been commendable. "What is great about Zoho Commerce is that the clients can do a substantial amount of the work by themselves, which makes it an attractive product. Ease of use is a USP of Zoho Commerce. Customers prefer products where there is less dependency on experts. Also, they don't face any issues with integrations and the general feedback has been great. Users need to be so much more technically adept with competitive products such as WooCommerce. Similarly, It is difficult to navigate Shopify if you don't have a good idea about tech. But people can help themselves when it comes to Commerce, and that makes it a good sell. Also, whenever needed, we help them build and add extra features."
Implementing Zoho Commerce
Talking about the implementation process at Cloudtech, Mark highlights the several implementation plans at Zoho Commerce. "You have to keep in mind your basic organization setting and the tax structure to be set up. From a design point of view, Zoho Commerce is straightforward. We can do a full Commerce implementation in a couple of hours. If you start in the morning, by the end of the day, you can get the site up and running from nothing. It is quite impressive for our clients. Zoho Commerce implementations are short, pain free, and, hence, fun to do." In particular, Mark strongly recommends Zoho Commerce for small and medium-sized businesses.
As a consultant, Cloudtech does a fair job of presenting alternatives to its clients and believes that the success of Zoho Commerce depends on how often it gets picked over the other products. "People have a choice between alternatives like Shopify and Woocommerce, and as consultants we would like them to go with Zoho Commerce, even as I make them aware of their options. Generally, when I show my clients Zoho Commerce, they do not want to see the other options and immediately opt for this."
The integrations that come with Zoho Commerce work to its advantage. "People don't want things to work in silos anymore," says Mark. "Around 10 years ago, people did not ask for integrations. But people now want all their business functions to work in cohesion. This trend will keep going and Zoho is well-equipped to handle it."