Zoho steps into e-commerce with business-operations platform Commerce Plus

Zoho steps into e-commerce with business-operations platform Commerce Plus
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Pixabay
9 Apr, 2019

Marking its foray into e-commerce, global provider of cloud-based business apps, Zoho Corporation, has launched Commerce Plus, a business-operations platform with a focus on small and medium enterprises looking to tap the Internet for growth.

Besides helping businesses with GST (Goods and Services Tax) compliance, invoicing and others, Commerce Plus will offer a drag-and-drop feature to help merchants create their own website. The platform will also provide inventory and order management using Zoho Inventory.

Moreover, the software will offer product recommendations using artificial-intelligence assistant Zia, and enable partnerships with payment gateways. Commerce Plus will also allow integration with SalesIQ, PageSense, Zoho CRM and Zoho Campaigns for automated solutions related to marketing.

Hyther Nizam, vice-president of product management at Zoho, said, “Today, many small and medium businesses sell on e-commerce marketplaces and pay up to 15-20% as commissions for using their products and tools. For them to create a brand identity beyond the marketplace, Commerce Plus provides an end-to-end solution.”

Zoho does not charge merchants a fee that is a percentage of transactions conducted on the platform. Instead, it has set a flat fee of Rs 1,000 for transactions up to Rs 25 lakh per month.

The launch of Commerce Plus comes on the heels of Shopmatic tweaking its pricing plan for its e-commerce enabler platform to lure more small and medium enterprises.

Businesses can sign up with Shopmatic on its app or website, create an e-commerce store, unlock the features and pay three per cent as transaction fee on every sale and Rs 50 as hosting fee at the end of 12 months. The new pricing plan is part of the company’s decision to move away from a subscription-based pricing model to a transaction-based pricing model. According to the earlier model, businesses could subscribe to the platform’s services in three variants: 12 months' subscription for Rs 1,000 per month; six months for Rs 1,200 per month; and three months for Rs 1,500 per month. 

Singapore-based Shopmatic’s tweak to the pricing plan follows the company’s merger with retail management platform Octopus, also based in the island-nation, to create a single entity that will provide omnichannel offerings for small and medium enterprises.

With the launch of Commerce Plus, Zoho enters a sector which has US-based Magento and Canada-headquartered e-commerce platform Shopify.

Nizam adds that while there are others in the market, integrated solutions provided by Zoho will differentiate its product. “Both marketplace and websites will co-exist. India continues to be our primary market. However, mature markets like the US, the UK and Australia provide a big opportunity for the product. We will introduce this wherever our accounting software is ready, including geographies like the Middle East where Zoho’s accounting software is VAT-compliant (value-added tax),” he added.

The company has also configured a team in-house to provide merchant support and on-boarding. The SaaS (Software as a Service) platform has partnered photography companies for cataloguing services for merchants.