Within the marketing technology space, there was massive growth with Software as a Service and the affordability of buying what you needed out of the box. Over time, SaaS overcame the cost of building and many SaaS companies took off as they won the build versus buy budget argument. Years later, and marketers are finding themselves at another crossroad. The fact is that build continues to drop in pricing.
There are several reasons why the cost of building is dropping:
- Utility computing that only requires companies to pay per usage has dropped the entry point from tens of thousands to literally pennies.
- APIs and SDKs – virtually every service offers an application programming interface, and many of the products you use in SaaS applications are utilizing those same APIs. By going beyond the platform and directly to the source, you can save a ton of money. And you don't even have to write the initial code since many of them offer Software Developer Kits to get started.
- Open Source – people vastly underestimated the appeal of open source. Many rejected it, wanting the safety, security, and dedicated service teams of proprietary software platforms. But businesses have been built upon open source that not only have all of those advantages, they have hundreds or thousands of companies that are also ensuring safety, security, and providing service.
- Frameworks – development frameworks offer the scalable architectural structure that provides developers with a huge head start in building out platforms. Frameworks are also supported and continue to be improved over time as developers either provide feedback or provide their own solutions.
Add all of these together, and a company need not make sacrifices in features and functionality with an out-of-the-box solution. And they don't go broke paying for a solution that continues to raise prices as they continue to expand. In between are companies like Broadleaf Commerce.
An enterprise solution feature set ideal for Fortune 500 needs, Broadleaf provides the most sought after functionality for supporting B2C, B2B, and B2B2C eCommerce at the best value in the market. Every solution can be customized to ensure your eCommerce site is tailored to your specific requirements. Robust functionality within a lightweight framework lend to some of the characteristics that cause Broadleaf to stand out from the rest. Never feel restricted by a features list again.
At the IRCE, I got to sit down with Brian Polster of Broadleaf Commerce and discussed how this is changing the landscape of e-commerce and making enterprise frameworks like Broadleaf much more attractive to retailers and online commerce companies that require flexibility and customizable solutions for selling online.
Enterprise features of Broadleaf Commerce includes:
- Shopping Cart – including the ability to manage a cart and checkout process as well as the ability to tie Marketing and Merchandising promotions to what's in the cart.
- Search and Browse – Smart search faceting, straightforward categorization, user generated URL structures, and SEO-friendly practices all around make for not only a great user experience, but a discoverable site.
- Order Management – Basic Order Management review, status and details are all available to Customer Service Representatives (CSRs), while customers can be made aware of order status through email notification. For more robust needs, Broadleaf can handle split orders, fulfillment categories, RMA processes, and business rules surrounding eCommerce needs.
- Customer Management – Registered or unregistered, with or without contact information, Broadleaf allows customer attributes across a multitude of marketing and management features… from special pricing to custom generated customer content.
- Offers and Promotions – provide targeted offers across customers, orders, items and pricing contexts. From buy one, get one (BOGO) to up-sell to personalized offers.
- Product Management – all aspects of Marketing and Merchandising needs. Keep it as simple as entering a product name, description, price, and URL under a Category, or as complicated as defining product options, marketing information, related media, shipping options and product attributes.
- Multi-Everything – Multi-tenant, multi-site, multi-currency, and multi-channel.
- Content Management System – a WYSIWYG editor to manage items such as blogs and other pre-defined content pages.
And of course, the framework allows companies to extend any entity, add their own custom entities, and replace or extend any service, DAO, or create custom controllers. The enterprise edition license includes professional support with service level agreements (SLAs).