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Sana Commerce OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Sana Commerce is #8 ranked solution in top eCommerce Platforms. IT Central Station users give Sana Commerce an average rating of 8 out of 10. Sana Commerce is most commonly compared to Magento:Sana Commerce vs Magento. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 49% of all views.
What is Sana Commerce?

Sana Commerce is an e-commerce platform designed to help manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers succeed by fostering lasting relationships with customers who depend on them.

How? By making your SAP or Microsoft Dynamics ERP and e-commerce work as one. This eliminates the system silos, unnecessary complexities and compromises caused by mainstream e-commerce solutions. Instead, our approach unlocks 3 key benefits that enable you to build lasting relationships with your customers:

  • Total customer convenience: Empower your customers with personalized self-service and complete transparency.
  • Reliability without compromise: Eliminate errors and delays for an experience your customers can always rely on.
  • Constant evolution: Quickly and easily adapt your business to meet and exceed your customers’ evolving expectations.

Sana Commerce is a certified SAP and Microsoft Gold partner, backed by a strong global partner network and recognized by leading industry experts.

Want to know if we can meet your B2B needs? Contact us for a personalized demo.

Sana Commerce Buyer's Guide

Download the Sana Commerce Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Sana Commerce Customers

Akzo Nobel B.V., Atkins, Century Martial Arts, Forbo Flooring Systems, Michelin Group, Ravensburger AG

Learn more about our customers.

Sana Commerce Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Sana Commerce pricing:
  • "They have a policy of a price per legal entity. So, if you are a company that operates in one country, that is, if you're just an American company, or you're just a Spanish company or just a British company, then that probably makes sense. We are a global company, and we have operations in 20 to 30 different countries. So, we are interested in implementing Sana in potentially 20 to 30 countries. Right now, the pricing model of Sana has a limitation. They are almost asking for the same price for the new country when in many cases, a new country will just be a new small rollout. That's because it is the same solution that gets implemented everywhere. So, to me, it is not the same price if you are maintaining 10 Sanas that are looking exactly the same and are working exactly the same in 10 different countries. To me, these should not cost 10 times more than one. They don't yet have a good grasp of how to manage global companies like ours. That is something we are talking to them about, and we are in discussions with them about. So, hopefully, they will learn."
  • "Sana's pricing is fair. It could be more competitive. It's not so much the licensing cost, it's the additional development."
  • "Support costs are in addition to the standard licensing fees, and they vary per month, based on how much we use them. It is not very expensive."
  • "When we got version 9.2, it was a good price. Everything is moving to the subscription-based cloud model, and that's probably a little high when you look at the lifetime cost."

Sana Commerce Reviews

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MB
ERP Enterprise Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Reduced the customer care team's time, got us new customers, and required no third-party integrations

Pros and Cons

  • "I found it surprisingly easy from both the admin side and the customer side. The admin side has a limited set of features, but they are very well explained. They are very simple to understand. It is very easy to find out what every feature does. It is not really complicated. Sana provides an online university where you can learn everything that you need about it. When we needed to check a new feature or validate how something works, we found solid online information on their website. If there was anything that we couldn't find, or if we really couldn't understand how exactly something was working, their support was always very quick. So, it is quite easy."
  • "There could also be more support about everything that is related to website management, which is not strictly related to the B2B tool. These are the things like knowing about GDPR regulations, knowing about digital consents, and in general, all the laws that go with having a website. Sometimes, we would have liked more support in that area."

What is our primary use case?

We have a business where we deal with a lot of big distributors, but we also have a long tail of small customers. Due to different sizes of customers, we normally don't have enough resources and time to take care of small customers. We normally end up dedicating all of our sales force and all of our power to big distributors. Sometimes, there is no time and no resources to take care of the small ones. So, we decided to implement Sana Commerce as a way to reach out to all those small and medium customers and make sure that they are always taken care of 24/7 or at any time.

It is on the cloud. It is connected to our work cloud ERP. We're using Microsoft Dynamics, and that's our ERP. Our cloud provider is Microsoft Azure. The Sana solution is connected tightly to our ERP. We need an ISB to directly connect it to the ERP, so it is not an on-prem solution. It is a direct ISB, so it is directly embedded into the ERP and the connectivity within both of them is almost native.

How has it helped my organization?

For our main business case, this platform is allowing us is to have an open door so that all small and medium customers can see and access all of their product information, pricing, and stock availability and then directly place orders with us.

We've got inquiries for new customers just because we published the B2B platform. We are not using B2C; we're just using B2B. So, although it is only a B2B platform for us, we have got new customer inquiries. So, people and distributors who were not our customers have reached out to us to become our customers just because they've seen that we have a B2B platform. They wanted to get access to it just to see what do we have to offer, which is a clear benefit. So, we got new customers without doing any effort of publicizing our company.

Another really good thing for us is that with the implementation of the B2B platform, we have been forced to standardize our sales process. We are a Pan-European company, so we have sales offices in different countries in Europe, such as in Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, etc. Previously, what used to happen was that every region used to make things slightly different. So, the Spanish guys used to make things in one way, the French guys used to make things in a slightly different way, and the British guys used to make things in a slightly different way. The good thing is that the B2B platform has forced us to standardize and think that we have to stop doing different things everywhere. We had to start thinking about how do we want to do things globally as a company. This was something that the business knew that they had to tackle. Everyone knew that this had to be done at some point, but no one dared to start looking at this. For historical reasons, everyone was doing things in a different way, but the implementation of the B2B platform has 100% forced us to standardize our processes, standardize our pricing, and standardize our stock management procedures. It is now making us function more as a global organization, rather than what we used to be. Every time we want to launch Sana in a new European country, we revisit how they do pricing, how they manage the stock, and how they manage their customers. Everyone is slowly but steadily moving into working exactly in the same way. So, the standardization of processes is another big benefit that we got from this project, but we were not expecting it.

We use Sana Commerce with Microsoft Dynamics. Sana's native ERP integration is very good. Everything that the customers are seeing today on their B2B platform comes from the ERP. The only thing that is not lying in the ERP is just the look and feel of the website, but all information about the product, pricing, stock availability, additional specifications, or additional documentation comes from the ERP. As soon as the customer hits the basket, they get an order in the ERP. So, it is really good. This is probably the top reason why we went for it and what is making us happier about it.

No third-party integrations are needed with Sana Commerce to connect our Microsoft Dynamics ERP to our web store. This feature was critical for us. It was a critical reason behind our decision to choose Sana instead of another platform. We do believe that it was the right approach. For us, it is a critical thing to know that all the information is managed within ERP. There is no third-party solution. There are no interfaces. When you have a problem, or if something is missing, you always know that you have to look in your ERP, and then the solution will not only benefit the B2B platform but will also benefit the whole customer experience. This is because then you know your pricing is 100% correct. You know your public information is 100% correct. You know your stock is 100% correct. If you have interfaces in the middle, then it is not the same thing. Sometimes, you don't know exactly what's going on. So for us, it was a critical reason to choose this platform, and it is, in our opinion, a critical reason for the existing success.

Sana Commerce has helped us in streamlining our processes for bridging ERP and eCommerce systems. We have implemented the Sana platform in a region where the ERP was not deployed. It is a long story, but we now have people who are really fond of the new ERP, even though they are still not using it as their existing ERP. So, it does provide a huge bridge between the salespeople, the customer care people, and the ERP.

Sana Commerce has helped in increasing customer engagement online because we had none before. I'm not a marketing person or salesperson, and I don't have the numbers in front of me, but we indeed had no online customer engagement before. It was all physical or by phone or mail. Now, we do have a presence online, and it is growing. This online customer engagement is important for us. As a company, we have a few main pillars that we're tackling, and customer engagement is one of the top five. The reasons behind them are very clear. Of course, the pandemic has shifted everyone's thoughts towards digital, but it came even before that where we knew that if you're not online or digital, you're missing out on the new times. We cannot just keep doing things the way we always used to do it. We have to shift towards digital. We have to look at what's there, and how can technology help us. That was one of our key pillars as a company. Sana is probably the main project or the main part of that digital engagement pillar. We also have other projects that are a part of the digital engagement pillar, but Sana is definitely one of the key ones. So, it is critical.

Sana Commerce has helped to reduce the risk of order errors. It has also reduced the time our customer care team has to spend reviewing orders before they become actual orders. If there is still some work to be done by customer care, it is mostly because we've done something wrong. In the past, we had sections of our organization, and almost 80% of our orders needed some manual amendment before they became actual orders. Now, we don't have that. If there are any manual tasks to be done, it is because we've done something wrong in our setup. So, it is our fault anyway. Sana has indeed helped and very much reduced the time that our customer care team has to spend managing orders. Instead of us, it has put pressure on the customer, which indeed reduces the number of errors. If there is an error, it is the customer who made it, which is easier to manage.

What is most valuable?

I found it surprisingly easy from both the admin side and the customer side. The admin side has a limited set of features, but they are very well explained. They are very simple to understand. It is very easy to find out what every feature does. It is not really complicated.

Sana provides an online university where you can learn everything that you need about it. When we needed to check a new feature or validate how something works, we found solid online information on their website. If there was anything that we couldn't find, or if we really couldn't understand how exactly something was working, their support was always very quick. So, it is quite easy. 

What needs improvement?

Their support should have more in-depth knowledge about different ERP solutions that they connect to. 

There could also be more support about everything that is related to website management, which is not strictly related to the B2B tool. These are the things like knowing about GDPR regulations, knowing about digital consents, and in general, all the laws that go with having a website. Sometimes, we would have liked more support in that area. 

There could also be more features coming out on the platform, but I know they are already working on that. I know they're changing the way they manage that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more or less a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is very good. I don't think we've had any instability problems. The only instability problem was due to expired certificates. It is mostly due to our own technical things rather than the platform not being stable or anything like that. So, it is very stable. There are no problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have implemented it for around 300 accounts. So far, we've had no problems. We've had no need to do anything with it. Mostly, the limitation is the connectivity with the ERP, but that's only in our particular case because we are not using a proper production version of the ERP. So, in our experience, we have had no scalability problems, but we only are using it with 300 customers. We don't really know if we expand it to 10,000, how is it going to behave, but so far, so good.

How are customer service and support?

Their technical support has always been very good. We have been able to reach out to them when we needed support, and we've had some very good, interesting conversations. Thanks to our feedback, we actually have some new features coming into the tool. So, as a customer, I always appreciate that a company takes its customers' feedback and makes it into the product. That's a smart way. Instead of IT people trying to decide what's important on the tool, they listen to customers and then decide whether what the customers think is important for the tool. That to me is a really good point.

Our collaboration has been very good. When you give feedback to a software provider, and a few months later, they come back to you, and they say, "Hey, remember that conversation we had? So, there's a new feature now that will help you." That's the best thing you can expect from a software provider, and that's what they have demonstrated so far.

Their support has always been very quick. They responded to any of our questions almost always in less than 24 hours. I would rate them an eight out of 10. More visibility into and more knowledge about our ERP would take it to 10. Sometimes, when it goes out of their platform and it is an ERP sort of problem, they have no knowledge of it. That's why I don't give them a 10, but in terms of everything about Sana, I would rate them a 10 out of 10.

In terms of out-of-the-box thinking, they haven't really demonstrated anything special. The solution that they provided was what we told them that they should be doing.

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

We did not have anything previously.

How was the initial setup?

It wasn't too complicated. It was quite straightforward. We basically had a small project team from Sana's side. It basically had two people: a project manager and a consultant. The consultant helped us understand the basic setup and guided us through the initial steps. 

After that, we had to test Sana. For that, we just went to the online Sana university, which was for free. We just learned and activated all the modules and listened to everything we were interested in. After that, we went almost alone just by setting it up and testing it. We worked with the main people from the business to know exactly how do they want the website or the platform to behave. We had few questions, and our consultant was able to help us, but it was really simple. It took a lot more time for us as an organization, as a company to know exactly what we wanted, rather than knowing how the platform behaves.

One key thing that was a part of our strategy and our philosophy was that we had decided to go with a completely vanilla platform as a company-wide policy, so there were no customizations. We decided that we were going to look at what was available on the platform and try to get the best out of it. Unless we find a true legal requirement that wasn't met by the platform, we wouldn't do any customization. This decision was crucial to the implementation success that we had, and it was also the reason why it was so easy for us to set it up. So, this is the philosophy that we apply in the ERP and in almost every software that we use as a company. It is a part of our success because then it becomes very simple. We just look at the options available on the platform. The platform really had a lot of options. So, it was possible to do it using Sana. It had a lot of different ways to do things already out of the box. We basically learned what was possible. We looked at it, and we worked together with the business, and it worked. It went really well. We had no issues because we were just using the standard platform. It was very simple. So, that was a part of our success, and this would be a big recommendation that I would have for any company that is trying to use almost any platform. This approach worked really well in Sana.

So, the implementation strategy was no customization. We wanted to tackle only small and medium customers—the ones that cannot be reached by salespeople directly. We decided to do it using what we call a proof of concept approach. We basically chose one market, which was Spain, and we basically chose one distributor of that market. We chose almost a single customer to start with. In this case, it was a single distributor. So, there were around 100 customers, and we developed a proof of concept. We learned how the platform worked. We decided how we wanted it to work. We set it all up. We put all the data available. We made all the project work, and then we just deployed it to that customer for around one month. We then tested it and evaluated whether it works and what was the feedback that we were getting out of the customers. Were the customers navigating through it nicely? Were the customers finding it easy to navigate? Were they able to find everything that they were expecting? 

We collected the feedback, and the feedback was actually pretty good, so we didn't really have to change too much. After that, we first deployed it to the rest of Spain, and then we deployed it to the UK, France, Germany, etc. So, the implementation strategy was to start small with a proof of concept, and once the concept is proven, then roll it out to the rest of the countries.

It took around three months to four months, but most of this time was us internally working out how do we want to manage the platform, how do we want to use it, and how do we want to tackle the customers, rather than anything else.

To manage or administer Sana Commerce, there are five people, but you can get away with four. One person is managing the product content in terms of when a customer opens a product, what do they see? Which emails do they see? Which information do they see? Another person is managing all the pricing and customer relationships in terms of making sure the price is correct, setting up the new accounts, etc. Another person is managing the website's look and feel. So, when the customers open the website, what do they see in terms of the UI. Then we have IT support, which is really one person. None of those are full-time jobs. All of them are a quarter or an eighth of their daily jobs. For example, IT support is mostly needed because we're rolling it out to new countries. Sometimes, a new setup is needed in the ERP to make sure we can sell to those countries. Once it is rolled out in a new country, IT does nothing. We really do nothing with it because we don't have any needs in it. It is just stable. When there's an issue, which normally is that the price is not correct, the pricing manager takes care of it. If the content is missing something, then the content manager is managing it. So really, no real IT is needed to manage it.

What was our ROI?

I do think that we have seen a return on our investment. We have seen reduced customer care time. So, our customer care team now can focus on other tasks, rather than creating orders and keying orders. We have seen that our sales force is able to focus on more important accounts, and Sana takes care of the not-so-big and not-so-impactful accounts. This allows us to focus our sales force a lot better in getting more out of the big guys, instead of just having to deal with a lot of small customers that may not really be needing anything from us at any time. It also allows us to have this huge presence or this solid presence online. It is even getting us new customers without us going out to them. That is also a big benefit. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but those are the direct benefits that will give us a good ROI.

It probably has helped in lowering our company's overall total cost of ownership, but I don't have the numbers in front of me, so I can't be sure.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

They have a policy of a price per legal entity. So, if you are a company that operates in one country, that is, if you're just an American company, or you're just a Spanish company or just a British company, then that probably makes sense. We are a global company, and we have operations in 20 to 30 different countries. So, we are interested in implementing Sana in potentially 20 to 30 countries. Right now, the pricing model of Sana has a limitation. They are almost asking for the same price for the new country when in many cases, a new country will just be a new small rollout. That's because it is the same solution that gets implemented everywhere. So, to me, it is not the same price if you are maintaining 10 Sanas that are looking exactly the same and are working exactly the same in 10 different countries. To me, these should not cost 10 times more than one. They don't yet have a good grasp of how to manage global companies like ours. That is something we are talking to them about, and we are in discussions with them about. So, hopefully, they will learn.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I wasn't part of that process. I wasn't part of the company then. So, I cannot really speak with knowledge, but I can tell that the key difference that made Sana the chosen one was its native integration with our Dynamics ERP. So, the fact that this solution was an ISB, natively integrated into our ERP, was a key driver for our decision.

What other advice do I have?

My first advice would be to try to stick to the out-of-the-box solution as much as you can. It's good, and it works. It works for our customers, which is the most important thing. The out-of-the-box solution works. It is simple, and the customers love it. So, don't spend time and money on making fancy stuff that will just make your life complicated. My second piece of advice would be that leverage your ERP as much as possible. Try to find places in the ERP to manage all the information that you're going to show on your platform, rather than finding very fancy and creative ways to manage all the information.

As an organization, we decided to not embrace a lot of flexibility. We decided to embrace stability by not doing any development. We had quite a lot of options in terms of what can we do with the tool, how can we set it up, and how can we use it. We looked at them and then we chose which one made more sense for us. If you're a company that doesn't have this strict policy of no customizations and having as vanilla software as possible, I know you can customize the platform quite easily. That's what everyone used to do before, but we haven't really gone through that path. I do think it is very easy to customize it if you want to, but we really haven't done it.

I would rate Sana Commerce a nine out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
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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AV
Project leader at a wholesaler/distributor with 5,001-10,000 employees
Consultant
Customizable, user-friendly, good balance between cost and value, and integrates well with SAP ERP

Pros and Cons

  • "This product is highly customizable. We use the standard system but we have extended it quite a bit."
  • "One problem that we encounter is that it's difficult to upgrade as a result of making a large number of customer-specific adaptations."

What is our primary use case?

We use the general B2B functionality, such as presenting things. For example, we create a link to our product database from our other system that contains images, which means that we do not have to manually load pictures into the shop. It is done automatically.

How has it helped my organization?

Using Sana means that we can support customer-specific prices. One of the things that are special about the company is that we use a lot of natural ingredients, which means that the colors differ a little bit from batch to batch. Consequently, the way we do the stock check is very specific.

We do not tell the customer, "We have so many square meters available." We actually turn it around and ask the customer how many square meters or square yards they need. Then, we ask when they need to have it delivered to their premises. Based on the answers, we can tell them if it's possible. In cases where it is not possible to meet the deadline, we tell them when it can be completed by. This is a slightly different principle but a big functional change.

Another one of the things that we do is provide materials to our customers for construction, including floor coverings, adhesive, and these kinds of things, especially for large projects. We have everything linked to our ERP system but also, the interface can be used to access quotations.

We have a closed shop, so we know all of our customers. When one of them is entering an order, and they input material, the system will recognize whether there are open quotations for this combination of materials. A popup is raised to the customer to notify them that the order matches one of their current quotations, and a list of the relevant ones will be shown. At that point, the customer can click on the quotation and the order will be referenced to it. All of the terms and conditions, prices, et cetera, from the quotation will be taken and not the standard pricing.

We have further customized the product to include information for the customer, like track and trace. When we receive information from our full orders, we update it in the system so that customers can see their track and trace information on the webshop, when they go into the "My order" section.

Sana Commerce has been very good when it comes to harmonizing our processes. When it became clear to us that in order to roll this shop out in several countries, we had to think seriously about the first store. We needed to develop a blueprint that started with basics, and then we had to determine where changes to our internal processes were required. We wanted our efforts to affect not only the one shop but everything. As a result of this effort, the sales process is much more fluent and consistent among the different organizations. This has been a big benefit.

From our customers' perspective, the system is very user-friendly. We have a lot of customers that are smaller building companies, and when they're on the construction site, they can use the shop on the phone and they can check dynamically to see if they've missed something. For example, they can check to see if a product is available because it is needed quickly. They can use the stock check and if it is available, we can tell them how fast they can get it. From a customer perspective, it's a big win. This is to our benefit as well, because it secures and strengthens the relationship with the customer.

Using Sana Commerce has helped to increase customer engagement online. Our previous solution had been rolled out in five countries. But actually, it was outdated and only used in the Netherlands by a larger group of customers. We introduced the Sana shop and it not only looks much better, but it also functions much better. The search functionality and the workings of the sales flow, as well as the ease of navigation, are all things that are improved. We have had very positive feedback and we do see an increase in usage in all of the countries.

I don't have exact numbers for the increase in customer engagement online but we do see an increase in the number of digital orders that are coming in every month. That is something that we do measure, and the percentage of digital orders is increasing constantly. Our goal is to reach 50% of orders entered digitally and in some countries, they already have that, more or less.

We also provide samples for flooring material so that a customer can decide whether they would like to install it. This is a service that we offer for free. With these samples, we reach even higher levels of digitalization, as we call it. However, we see a big difference depending on the country. Some countries are far more traditional and they just want to contact the customer service department by phone. We see a constant increase but we also see that in some countries, no matter what the marketing department does, it doesn't grow. That is not something that depends on the Sana system.

It is very difficult to say whether Sana has helped to increase our sales. With the Corona situation this year, everything changed dramatically. We have increased the introduction of the shops and we do see that it's used quite a bit. It's very handy, of course, to have your digital channels up and running in times like this. What I can say at this point is that we are very healthy and our customers are using it more because the last two years were so strange. Whether our sales increased because of the shop is difficult to say but certainly, it is helpful that we had a working storefront in countries where people were working from home.

Using this solution has definitely reduced the risk of order errors. The customers now have better visibility of the order and relevant quotations, and they are able to link them. If we have a special price agreement then that pops up and in the past, this is something that often went wrong. The customer would order something that they had a quotation for, and somebody in the customer service department missed it. Rather than the quoted price, they were charged the normal price, resulting in the customer having to call. We have a lot of quotations so in that area, in particular, the number of errors has decreased considerably.

Sana has helped to decrease the amount of manual work that we do. Trivially, the more order data that is entered by the customer, the less we have to do on our end. There is an increase in the work required in order to maintain your master data because the demand for it increases. However, there is a net decrease in the amount of work overall.

What is most valuable?

This product is highly customizable. We use the standard system but we have extended it quite a bit. For example, we have built automatic cross-selling algorithms that provide as much reliable and relevant cross-selling information as possible to the customer.

We have a customer-specific assortment, which relies on what we call the visibility rule. In this scenario, the customer can see only what they should see. For example, we produce several types of products and some of our dealers can only deal with one type, whereas others may deal with all types or another subset. We had to come up with a solution that controls visibility such that if a particular customer enters the shop, he or she will only see what he or she is allowed to purchase.

The interface for e-commerce administration is very user-friendly, in general. You have a lot of flexibility in Sana Admin, which is very good.

The integration between Sana and SAP ERP is very good, and the cost is excellent. There are competing solutions available from SAP so that you have SAP with SAP but again, the cost-quality ratio when using Sana is very good.

With respect to the integration, we have our own competence center, so we did the integration on our side. We have our own programmers and SAP functional consultants and in this context, it was very handy that we can speak directly to the Sana implementation teams. That has worked really well.

Sana Commerce has helped us to streamline our processes for bridging ERP and eCommerce systems, and it is something that our SAP competency center worked on. Our internal SAP knowledge is quite high and Sana was a very serious partner that was able to assist us. SAP was also an equal partner but I'm very satisfied with the level of knowledge that the Sana consultants have.

What needs improvement?

One problem that we encounter is that it's difficult to upgrade as a result of making a large number of customer-specific adaptations. This is a problem that would affect other solutions, as well, and is not specific to Sana.

In our version, the graphics flexibility that you see as an admin is something that can be improved. The feature allows you to modify what the shop looks like, such as being able to choose whether you want to show three or four images on the row. In the newer version, they have improved it quite a bit, but in our version, it needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using Sana Commerce at the beginning of 2018.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a very stable solution. We have monitors to measure it, and even as our usage has increased, our measurements show that it has remained stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good. Until now, scalability was one of our concerns. We were afraid that over time, as the usage and the volume of data increases, that the stability or performance would decrease. This is why we built the monitors. However, all that we have seen so far is that it's remained stable as usage increased.

We now have one shop, per country, in 15 countries other than our initial deployment in the Netherlands. In total, we are now live with 16 countries in the world for B2B.

Our plan is to continue to increase usage. We have an internal rollout plan that includes continuing to roll out new deployments. Also, we would like to increase usage in countries that are already using the new shop. For some reason, certain shops are behind in their scores.

When we started in 2018, we built the shop as well as we could at the time. This year, we launched a shop improvement project. The reason is that it was good when we built it but now, we want to improve it a little bit. Part of the improvement has been from the technical side, which allows us to serve our customers even better.

How are customer service and support?

We have our own contact person for service requests or errors, as well as our own project manager for the bigger projects such as a rollout or the shop improvement that we do. All of them relate to the technical departments at Sana and both teams work really well. If there is a small issue then it's picked up very quickly. So, both technically and the way that things are processed are very clear and straightforward. In terms of the projects, there are different teams, but the same level of satisfaction.

The support staff is very experienced. For example, we have fixed contact people. It's not only that their technical knowledge of the product itself is sufficient, but you also always get people on the line who know your situation. I don't have to explain that there are some tailor-made components as part of our solution because they already know. It's very handy.

In terms of responsiveness, I'm really satisfied. We use the ticket system that they have in place, and it allows us to indicate a priority. We did have a few showstoppers where something went wrong, and if you raise a showstopper then you get served immediately. If the priority is a little lower then the response times are slower. It is all very quick and in balance.

Technical support also assisted us when it came to out-of-the-box thinking. They have their functional concept designer, who we used for the setup of the pilot phase. Also, now that we are doing the improvement project, we speak with the team and they have very good people on board to talk with and puzzle out what can be done. The vendor has special people for this and they are very good.

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

Prior to Sana Commerce, we used an old version of an SAP commerce solution. It is not the same as the new SAP Commerce Cloud, but an old one. We phased this product out because the version was outdated.

The graphical design of that product was really bad and the fundamentals were not good. For example, the basic setup of how we display things to the customer had issues. The problems were not entirely because of that system but also, it was implemented with the version we had at the time.

When it was time to upgrade, we wanted something totally new, and that's why we decided to open up for different products. We did not want to automatically return to the same vendor, which is why we just started the whole vendor selection process.

In the pilot phase, we did a very intensive requirement study. This included what is available by default in the Sana solution, and what is not. The goal was to customize Sana to best fit our needs.

At the same time, we had a recommended landscape in relation to processes. Each country did things their own way, so we said, "Okay, we should harmonize the SAP process."

We looked at the formal processes that the company was using on the sales side, and that was a huge document. We then started the development phase, where we built the changes to both Sana and SAP in sprints.

We have customer figures internally, and these are included in our reports, but I do not have the information readily available. What I can say for sure is that our customers are far more satisfied with Sana Commerce than they were with our previous solution. We often ask our customers whether they like it, along with other questions, and the feedback has been positive. The usage is increasing.

How was the initial setup?

The standard setup and implementation are very much straightforward. We had a number of tailor-made changes, which added to our implementation time. But, when you want to change something, the procedures for doing so are also straightforward.

In 2016, we started to investigate replacing our B2B workshop. We selected six countries to join in the pilot phase, and they would determine what the standards should be in place for the new solution. We selected the Netherlands as the first pilot shop, which is where we went live in January 2018. In the period after that, we introduced new shops.

The length of time for our first deployment was approximately one year. Overall, the process is not easy, but it's acceptable for what you get. Once we completed the pilot, it was easier for the remaining countries.

In each new deployment, we have a team of four people who participate. This is not a full-time task but I think that they need to be available two days per week for between three and four months. That's the average. Once it's up and running, we need one marketing and one salesperson to stay involved and do regular maintenance. Again, these are not full-time jobs. It's approximately half a day per week for each country.

What about the implementation team?

We did not use external consultants to assist us with the deployment. Our in-house team of consultants completed it with help from Sana.

What was our ROI?

We have not measured our ROI. Of course, we know how much the store costs, as well as the development. It's easy to measure how much you spend but it's not so easy to measure what you save. My feeling, however, is that it's a very healthy ratio.

Our total cost of ownership is approximately the same. The idea was not to use this tool as a way of reducing costs but rather, to improve service for our customers.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The balance between cost and quality is extremely good.

There are no costs in addition to the setup and licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had a list of several candidates. We considered a Swiss company that is hosting our web page, but they were too small. We considered a German company, and of course, we considered SAP because the rest of the company runs on their products. In the end, we were most happy with Sana.

One of the reasons that we selected Sana was the price. Both the initial cost and the cost of the licenses were better. It needed to have standard integration with SAP because we didn't want to have a company that is very good on the front end but where we had to develop the connection with SAP.

One of the prerequisites was that we wanted it to have an out-of-the-box shop. We did the proof of concept and before we signed the contract with Sana, we ordered them to build a shop that just contains all of the standard options. Nothing special; we just wanted to see it working. They were successful and proved that it works, which was very important.

It not only proved the technical capabilities but showed us that if there was something happening or that something needed to be changed, that they have good internal processes in place to handle projects and changes.

We had a whole matrix of different technical topics where we judge them, but these are the general, or main reasons.

SAP was also very good but they were three times as expensive.

We had limited the list of vendors to five and then looked at them in really great detail. There were two on the list after this, SAP and Sana, which scored more or less the same, but one was three times more expensive, so it was easy to choose.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
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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Learn what your peers think about Sana Commerce. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
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MD
Head of Global IT at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Helped us create a new revenue stream, but the cost and time of customization are disadvantages

Pros and Cons

  • "The big benefit with Sana is our ability to interface with Microsoft Dynamics."
  • "We also didn't realize this going into it, but there is an RQS (requirements gathering) phase, which takes about a month. After that, there is a development phase that takes another month. There are also testing and go-live. If you want to introduce any new features or functionality, it's at least a three to four-month process, possibly more, because of the way their structure works. Everything has to be customized. They are resource-challenged as well."

What is our primary use case?

We're using it for e-commerce for a B2B business portal so that our customers can buy parts and consumables. We're also using it for online commerce of a new product we introduced in June. It's our first consumer product. So we use it for both B2B and B2C.

We're leveraging their e-commerce platform, but it's hosted in Azure and it's interconnected with our ERP.

How has it helped my organization?

Eventually, when we got it up and running, the solution helped to streamline our processes for bridging our ERP and eCommerce systems.

In addition to integrating with our ERP platform, it has allowed us to create another revenue stream for customers so that they can order products online. We've driven about half a million dollars off the site so far. I can't say that's all incremental revenue, but it's revenue we've derived since we went live.

Using Sana, we've been able to streamline our order processing flow because we used to have to do financial checks of customers when taking credit cards. Overall, it's not quite the "Amazon experience" yet. We're still going to need to refine it, but we've been able to achieve some benefit on the order processing flow with our customers.

It's difficult to quantify exactly how much it has increased customer engagement online, but that was important to us when we were looking at implementing it.

What is most valuable?

The big benefit with Sana is our ability to interface with Microsoft Dynamics (formerly Navision). That is one of the reasons we picked them, their ability to interface with our Microsoft ERP platform.

The eCommerce administration through the Sana Admin is okay.

What needs improvement?

We had to do a lot of customization, so I wouldn't say the integration worked out-of-the-box. Also, if you want to have anything done, you have to go back to their development team, which is offshore. You can't customize it yourself. And that customization took a long time.

Sana is a decent company, although they have had their challenges. When we originally signed up with Sana, they lost a lot of their leadership team. Part of the problem with them is that their entire support team is offshore in Sri Lanka. When you want to interface with the development team, you have to wait a day or two for each response. 

We also didn't realize this going into it, but there is an RQS (requirements gathering) phase, which takes about a month. After that, there is a development phase that takes another month. There are also testing and go-live. If you want to introduce any new features or functionality, it's at least a three to four-month process, possibly more, because of the way their structure works. Everything has to be customized. They are resource-challenged as well. Sana is a very small company. That means that when you want to start up a development enhancement, there's a wait time of at least a month. So in addition to requirements, development, and testing, you have to add a month of waiting for a resource to be assigned to even look at the requirements. 

They have some growing pains. We've told them this a few times and it seems to be getting better, but they definitely have challenges. 

Another challenge is that their global capabilities are quite limited. We're a global company. We operate in 23 countries. We've asked them, "What can we do in China? What can we do in Europe?" I don't think they have any customers in China. We'd be their first. Europe is more solidified than Asia, but still growing for them and not as established.

We've had to restructure some of our backend processes to accommodate order errors that come through the site. We've had to address and do some enhancements for that.

It's quite expensive. We have probably spent a couple hundred thousand dollars in development expenses to get up and running. That's not what we expected, but we've gone through it. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We went live with Sana Commerce in May of 2021 and we've been working with them for about a year and a half in total.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Once it's up and running, it's pretty stable. We haven't had any outages.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As I mentioned, its global scalability is quite limited. I'm a little disappointed in that aspect.

How are customer service and support?

The issue with their technical support is that everything has to go to an offshore team. The support is not instantaneous. It's a little bit slow, even for critical issues. They don't have a support center that you can call 24/7. You have to raise a ticket through their online portal and just wait. That wait time could be anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. Their support capabilities are lacking. If we had a critical issue, it's questionable how that would even be addressed. It's not the best.

They're professional. It's just that the response time has been lagging. They're decent when it comes to outside-the-box thinking.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

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

This is our first e-commerce solution.

How was the initial setup?

We did all the Microsoft Dynamics development ourselves.

In terms of maintenance, it has required less than one FTE. We haven't added any new staff to support it because we're still in the early phases.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Sana's pricing is fair. It could be more competitive. It's not so much the licensing cost, it's the additional development. 

As I said, if you want any new enhancement, you have to wait four to six months. And then you have to pay resources on the Sana side to do the RQS, which could end up being $10,000 to $20,000 just for that. On top of that is the development time, which is another $20,000 to $40,000. So it's not just the licensing cost. It's all the other costs for the work that you have to pay to Sana to get the product the way you want it to work. And if you want to change it, there's another charge. It's somewhat inflexible if you want to scale it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at a couple of other solution providers, such as k-ecommerce and Interactive Spares.

Some of the other platforms have better capabilities when it comes to enabling the customer to extend the platform, without having to rely on the provider to do all customization. If a customer wants to expand their platform or customize it a little bit, these others, like Shopify, allow that to happen. It's a downfall of Sana that everything has got to go back to their team for development. It's a closed standard, whereas Shopify and the others allow the customer to buy into a platform and then customize it. They give you the platform and the framework to do that. Sana seems to have a closed architecture and doesn't allow you to do so, which is a disadvantage. It's a very big problem, especially if we're going to move forward with them.

What other advice do I have?

Anybody who is newly looking into Sana should really have an open eye. Don't get me wrong. It's not that Sana is a terrible platform. But for a customer who wants to implement it, there is the one-time effort to do that plus the recurring costs. That one-time effort is pretty high, unless you just want out-of-the-box capabilities, which is pretty rare. 

For example, their e-commerce platform only supports a single warehouse. What company has only one warehouse globally, or even just one in each country? If you want multiple warehouses, you have to have customization. That adds $10,000 to $30,000 in costs. All these things have to be included. The out-of-the-box capabilities are quite limited.

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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MM
Product Owner of Sales Platforms at a recreational facilities/services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Supports direct ERP integration, saves time and reduces errors in orders, but upgrading is difficult after adding customizations

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the direct ERP integration, as it allows us to provide product availability and specific pricing in real-time. Customers can also order themselves in real-time."
  • "The performance can be improved. Sometimes, the system is really slow because of the ERP integration. I'm not sure whether this is a problem with Sana Commerce or the ERP system but overall, it could be faster. When it comes to usability, if it takes too much time to load, then it's not the best."

What is our primary use case?

We use the Sana platform as a retailer portal. It is kind of a self-service tool for B2B customers.

We have a lot of marketing material on the platform. We have catalogs, prices, additional product information, product use information, and the most important point, and also why we decided to use Sana, is that we can display real-time product availability and pricing. This is possible because of the ERP integration.

How has it helped my organization?

As already described, it is a self-service tool for our B2B customers. This enabled us to reduce internal efforts.

For example, usually, we have to enter orders manually. With the B2B shop, the customers can do it themselves.

Same for the marketing material, product information, catalogs, product availability, and prices. All these things were asked by the customers, which caused internal effort. 

As the whole SANA framework is real-time integrated into ERP, the data is always up-to-date. Also, orders are directly available in the ERP system, which speeds up the customers' order process.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the direct ERP integration, as it allows us to provide product availability and specific pricing in real-time. Customers can also order themselves in real-time.

What needs improvement?

The performance can be improved. Sometimes, the system is really slow because of the ERP integration. I'm not sure whether this is a problem with Sana Commerce or the ERP system but overall, it could be faster. When it comes to usability, if it takes too much time to load, then it's not the best.

For how long have I used the solution?

We implemented Sana Commerce in January of 2020. I was in a different role at the time, so I did not begin using it right away. Personally, I have been using it for exactly one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The platform is used every day by a lot of customers and we add new customers each week.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is quite good. At the moment, we are trying to roll out the retailer portal to other countries and it is working quite well. We add more customers day by day.

Currently, we have between 2,500 and 3,000 customers using this solution. Internally, we have approximately five people that are responsible for maintaining it. We also have local administrators and most of them are sales representatives.

How are customer service and support?

If we have questions, we raise them using the ticket system and the support is quite good.

We have quite a few calls with technical support, although it is mostly regarding new projects. We do speak with them sometimes about setbacks. Technical support is quite good in terms of flexibility, and I would rate them an eight out of ten in that regard.

With respect to being professional, I would rate them a six out of ten because sometimes, there are organizational or structural problems in the development.

In terms of responsiveness, I would rate them an eight out of ten because we have not had a bad experience with them.

We work together really well, so I would rate them an eight out of ten for collaboration.
Finally, they have come up with good ideas at times, so I would rate them a seven out of ten for out-of-the-box thinking.

Overall we are satisfied with the support.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

Prior to Sana, we did not use another product for our online platform. We had a really old solution but nothing that I could compare to Sana Commerce.

It has definitely helped to increase our customer engagement online, which is good.

How was the initial setup?

I was not part of the initial setup.

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was done in-house. We did not require a third-party consultant.

One person is responsible for the projects that involve roll-outs to other countries. We also make enhancements to the platform itself, so this position is required.

The maintenance is primarily done by Sana.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We pay a fixed fee on an annual basis for licensing.

Support costs are in addition to the standard licensing fees, and they vary per month, based on how much we use them. It is not very expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

My organization looked at all of the big players when they were evaluating solutions. The main reason they chose Sana was because of the ERP connection in real-time. It gives us the ability to display product availability and specific prices for each customer, per article, in real-time. The price was another deciding factor.

What other advice do I have?

Our processes have not changed significantly because of Sana Commerce. As we are a big company, this is just a minor tool in the larger IT infrastructure.

We are not running the latest version of the product because we have a lot of customizations. This was custom development done for our special requirements. It's pretty hard for us to transition to a new version because we have to rethink all of these customizations. We have to do an update at some point in the future, although I do not expect that it will be next year. Perhaps, we will upgrade in two or three years. However, by that point, we will transition directly to the Sana Commerce Cloud, and not on the actual framework.

My advice for anybody who is implementing Sana Commerce is to think about your ERP and country specialties. The biggest lesson that I have learned from using this product is the pros and cons of direct ERP integration.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
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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PP
Director of Operations / Project Manager at Symbex
Real User
Provides seamless integration with Microsoft Dynamics as well as ease of administration

Pros and Cons

  • "We use Sana Commerce with Microsoft Dynamics on the back end and the native ERP integration works well. The fact that no third-party integrations are needed between our Sana Commerce web store and Microsoft Dynamics is important. It's one less thing to worry about when it comes to troubleshooting."
  • "I'd rate their customer service a nine out of 10. I think they're in demand and a little overloaded on work. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time for them to get to our work."

What is our primary use case?

The instance that has been live for two and a half years is a B2B e-commerce system. Our customers can view the product online. They can place orders online, and then we'll process them on the backend. They can view their order history as well as invoices.

It's on-prem, but we are in the middle of a project to move that instance to the cloud and add a new one to the cloud. Sana will host them.

How has it helped my organization?

The site saves us the time we used to spend on emails and phone calls with customers. It has helped reduce manual work because we're not entering in phone orders or email orders. Once the orders are in, everything else flows the way it normally did, so that part hasn't been reduced.

We've also seen a slight increase in customer engagement online. New customers are up about 10 to 15 percent, and we have a lot of our existing customers using it, which is nice. Increasing online customer engagement is pretty important because it brings new customers so that our salespeople can give them a call and get a relationship going.

What is most valuable?

Among the best features are the ease of updating the site and the ease of maintaining it. The admin is also pretty easy to use.

We use Sana Commerce with Microsoft Dynamics on the back end and the native ERP integration works well. The fact that no third-party integrations are needed between our Sana Commerce web store and Microsoft Dynamics is important. It's one less thing to worry about when it comes to troubleshooting.

What needs improvement?

Our business is unique in the sense that we don't authorize or charge the credit card upfront. We only authorize the card when the order has been packed and is ready to ship. And we charge the credit card when an order is actually shipped out and we've invoiced it. Also, not all our customers are credit card customers; some are on terms. We had to do some customization so that the system would understand that if a customer is on terms, we don't need to worry about the credit card. And if someone is a credit card customer, we don't authorize the charge until later, after we've invoiced.

It would help if there were a way to configure the solution to change whether or not the system processes credit card information immediately, based on the customer's terms. It would also help if we could configure at what stage the credit card is authorized and charged.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Sana Commerce for two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's easily scalable. For example, if we were to buy a complementary new product line, adding those items to the website, as well as creating additional pages for the new product line, would be pretty easy. It's pretty scalable in that regard.

We do see ourselves increasing our use of Sana because we have a total of four sister companies and only one of them is using it currently. Now that we're switching to the cloud, a second company will also be using it. And once both of those companies are on the cloud, we have a third company teed up to be using it.

How are customer service and support?

Fortunately, we haven't had to reach out to technical support much because the solution is stable. Overall, they're very professional, responsive, and collaborative.

I'd rate their customer service a nine out of 10. I think they're in demand and a little overloaded on work. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time for them to get to our work.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We didn't have a previous solution. We chose Sana because of the seamless integration with Microsoft Dynamics, as well as the ease of the admin.

How was the initial setup?

Setting things up was pretty straightforward. Regarding the amount of time it took, we were being very meticulous about it, as it was our first time going into e-commerce. It took about three or four months.

As far as the setup and getting everything looking the way it needed to, that was all on us. Every now and then we'd have some questions for Sana. And we needed Sana people to take it to go-live.

As for maintenance of the solution at our end, it's just me.

What was our ROI?

Our Sana site has probably only helped increase sales a little bit, but it has reduced the cost of selling for us. It has also helped reduce the risk of order errors. And we have seen cost savings with respect to head count, for sure. 

Overall, Sana Commerce has helped lower our TCO.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

When we got version 9.2, it was a good price. Everything is moving to the subscription-based cloud model, and that's probably a little high when you look at the lifetime cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Magento and Pebblestone but they were too complex, a little bit harder to maintain, and more expensive.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to understand what you want to get out of it, and that only one person should maintain it. Weigh the cost against the benefits of having it.

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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