Softline eCommerce Solution Review

Provides us with the ability to customize the customer experience

What is our primary use case?

We have operations worldwide. For every location where Avast is in the world, we try to create a customized solution for our clients. For example, Russian users have a client, and they prefer to buy our products in a specific way, e.g., using their local cards or payment methods. When taking care of Brazil, it is the same. We have specific types of payments. So, we have a specific type of user experience when clients are buying products. Softline eCommerce provides us with the ability to customize the customer experience, and that is very valuable for us.

How has it helped my organization?

Brazil is a very specific region in the world in terms of payment methods for eCommerce. About two or three years ago, we started speaking with Softline to see how we make our shopping carts easier for the user to complete the payment. For example, all our partners were always pushing us to have, e.g., one of the screens of our cards be filled up by the user with up to 10 fields. Therefore, the user had to write their physical personal address and a lot of details, which was kind of blocking the user for finishing the transaction. We went to Softline with this problem, and they came up with a solution for us to decrease the number of fields from 10 to five, which helped to increase our conversion by roughly 10 percent.

What is most valuable?

The ability to have their solution connect to our internal IPM. This is very good and helps us, considering that most of our sales are done via our internal IPM. Having a platform that can use the interface of our IPM, and make transactions on it, is really good.

It provides local payment methods.

What needs improvement?

They could improve their portals and customer service. I would like them to provide training to our customer support team and make information more widely available. Sometimes, we need to get very specific links and that inhibits success. There are a few things that could be done better. However, generally speaking, when we get in touch with them for a problem, they will reply back to me in less than 24 hours, sometimes even less than 12 hours. That is very good, and I see that they really care about their clients. 

They should provide more training once the client comes onboard, or have something more scripted. With most companies, once you are onboard, then you know the process and what happens next. Currently, Softline's process is customized. While I know what they are going to deliver, I don't know how it will be done. It's just about getting it more streamlined on their side with their customer service.

For how long have I used the solution?

My company, Avast, has been using Softline eCommerce for at least six years. I take care of the Brazilian market, and my division has been using it for roughly a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution itself is very stable. We don't see many problems. In terms of stability, it's working well. 

We had a few bumps here and there, maybe some reports were missing or unclear, but Softline jumped in and quickly came up with a solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We just need to see their long-term strategy because we are a global company and have other solutions. So, it's more about business strategy now to see how we want to deal with Softline. Generally speaking, we are happy.

At least 50 people work with Softline eCommerce at my company. There are many different roles. We have the operations team, which is responsible for doing all the API integrations and system integrations. We have the business side, which is fully responsible for the operations of campaigns and delivering them throughout the system. Then, we have our top executive team.

How are customer service and technical support?

Softline's customer support is quite good. Everyone inside Softline is very active, and they try their best. They see a problem and work as fast as they can to solve it.

They do have their portal where a lot of things are translated. For our case specifically, Softline's customer service is provided by their team in Russia.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In the past, we have used Nexway, cleverbridge, and other solutions. 

The main reason that we went with Softline eCommerce for Brazil was that it was doing such a great job in Eastern Europe and Russia by delivering what we want them to deliver.

How was the initial setup?

I am the coaching manager for the Brazilian market. For the Brazilian market specifically, I was the one who convinced the company to adopt Softline for the Brazilian market, which is the third biggest market for the company in the world. Before that, Softline was more for Russia and Eastern European countries. Brazil was a breakthrough for them because it's a massive market. 

I was there from the very beginning on the Brazilian implementation, but the company has been working with Softline for a longer time. I wasn't there four or five years ago for the original initial setup. 

The implementation of any eCommerce solution for us is very complex. It's not like something that you send to Google or some cloud solution, then you're done and ready to go. There are a lot of API integrations. Taking into consideration the whole process that we had and considering how complex it is, I think that it went quite smoothly. We had a few bumps on the road here and there, but overall, it was quite good.

The Brazilian market took a year to deploy.

In our case, because we had already experience of working with Softline eCommerce in other regions, it was a bit simpler for us to implement in Brazil. It was more about localizing and adding payment methods, which is much simpler. It can be more complex if you start from scratch with a new provider. I think Softline did very well in understanding exactly what we needed and followed those needs. That sped up the process quite a lot. If we were working with a different company and building up from scratch, it would have taken us longer. Perhaps Softline could have been faster, but I'm very glad that we did it at the right pace. The steps were very clear throughout. 

What about the implementation team?

We worked with Softline directly for the deployment.

What was our ROI?

The solution will give me back the investment that I put into it.

We are still doing more tests to see if we can use Softline eCommerce across the whole business. We are adopting Softline solutions in more countries now, i.e., Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the Balkans. All these regions are now using Softline eCommerce. So, it has really helped us to increase our sales.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated and tested Nexway and cleverbridge. While Softline has a lot of competitors in the market, there are only three or four of them who can connect their eCommerce platform to our platform. Even now, not all our businesses in Brazil are on Softline eCommerce. We have part of the business also running through Digital River, who is a competitor company of Softline.

What other advice do I have?

For those who want it, Softline eCommerce should be focused on customization. Other solutions in the market can't deliver the same level of customization. Make sure what you want is clearly explained in the very beginning of any conversations. Don't wait to be halfway through the project to comment on something.

As far as I know, we are doing very well with the email market in Russia. It seems like my company is happy with Softline's solution. For Brazil specifically (my area), we are not yet doing the email campaigns. That is something that we are planning to do next year, but I don't see any problems. Though, sales will be done in the cloud at that time. If Softline is able to provide us a solution for IPM on our own platform, then I don't think that it will be a problem for them to provide a service in the cloud.

I would rate this solution as an eight out of 10.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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