Likelihood to Recommend
I believe CommerceV3 (CV3) is best suited for small to mid-level catalog companies. You would want to make sure to integrate CV3 with your back end system or you'll be doing a lot of manual entries or manipulating data for table uploads. You can easily manage the templates in CV3 with a basic knowledge of HTML and work up from there
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The eCommerce catalog side has a lot of benefits to it and has been much easier to work with and customize than the CMS side. It is this integration and using both for a branded marketing website that has the user journey from browsing and leading into the eCommerce side that has been the bigger challenge, outside of the overall stability of the releases with the bugs we have encountered. I think the solution is well suited if you are mainly a catalog site. We, however, sell machinery and solutions that are not sold via the eCommerce site and we need to showcase them on the website. However, we have a core industrial catalog of consumable products that support the machine and solutions purchases which are very well suited for the eCommerce catalog. It is the CMS/Catalog integration that has caused a need for more customizations to the platform and as a result increased costs to maintain, lowering our overall ROI from the solution. We are also a bit hamstrung by having to rely on our development partner to make changes that our digital agency is better suited to do for us in the CMS. It is requiring extra cost and resources as a result. If more functionality could be surfaced, it would be much better.
Read full review Pros CV3 provides us a plethora of marketing tools to customize offers and campaigns to our customers. I've used BigCommerce and Shopify and neither comes close to the capability of fine tuning sales, offers, and discounts by product, category, customer and more. The purpose of partnering with any e-commerce platform is to provide a secure site and stable checkout process for our customers. CV3 has been amazing at keeping our site up and running through peak traffic and attempted hacks. The checkout process has been rock solid and also integrates seamlessly with PayPal. I've used Amazon Payments in the past without incident, but decided to end that option due to Amazon's policies. CV3's architecture on the back-end is designed to be plain and simple which provides an easy-to-use interface to streamline our work. The template driven structure to manage the front-end will become a favorite for most programmers in no time at all. In fact, I'm not a programmer, but do customization and design changes almost on a daily basis with ease. Any changes made to a template may be viewed on a staging server before pushing live. Templates, as well as other data may be downloaded any time for backups. Exports and imports of product data is simple and powerful allowing me to change massive amounts of data easily. Customer support is always a contentious issue with most providers, however, CV3 has by far been the best I've encountered in over 30+ years of experience with software vendors. They are very responsive and escalate the issue to the proper person without having the redundancy you experience with so many other companies. They understand the issue the first time, and tell you the truth. Any e-commerce business is about shipping. CV3 has the most powerful tools to control shipping. It will challenge the most creative minds on how to best merchandise products based on weight, dollar amount, global geographical location, dimensions, category, exception rules, by carrier, all the way down to the sku level which can have it's own set of rules. It gets complicated, but it works great and ties in with the promotional features as well. Read full review Integration Jobs/Connections - Providing a good out-of-the-box solution to hook into ERPs and common endpoints. Design and Development Partner Network to work with - If you have customizations in mind, the Optimizely partner network will give you the chance to find a suitable partner to meet your needs. Good layout/flow/settings breakdown - There are a lot of "redundant" settings, but the more management access, the better. Read full review Cons An area I'd like to see enhanced is the sku level pricing calendar. You can set specials prices to start and stop at certain dates and times, but it's fixed to certain years. You can't have your chosen items go to seasonal pricing every year at the same time, you have to change the years each year. There are multiple product setups: basic, parent with children, and sub-products. Each type exports on the same datasheet all intermingled and this can be tedious isolating the different types for editing and re-import. Vendor and Brand are data points on each item, but they are not controlled by a table. We end up with the same vendor or brand misspelled multiple times. There is no FTP capability (PCI issue?) and no blog site with the parent domain. These have to be handled using a separate sub-domain. The shipping calculator for customers should be available anywhere there is a shipping option presented during checkout. Faster live times. Currently, it takes about 5 to 10 minutes to see template/product changes pushed to the live cdn. Read full review Need the ability to look at more of our user data Need the ability to refresh our sandbox environment with production data in quicker, more efficient ways Classic CMS is very limited in ways end users like myself can edit widget content Read full review Usability
Quite flexible and easy to use for daily marketing user tasks, like updating page listings, promotions, and copy. More in-depth tasks like managing product attributes, rearranging product taxonomy placement, and CMS editing are not user-friendly and require a careful and detailed process to follow.
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It's a mixed bag. The team has been very nice, but there has been an underlying feeling of condescension because we have complained or "caused trouble" over the inadequacy of the CMS component. Also, support for modifications or UI changes has been terribly slow. Understandably, COVID has made life hard for everyone, but there is an expectation that we complete our work immediately, but their team will "put it in queue" when we have a request or find a bug. Further, we certainly feel that we were sold a list of capabilities that we have not seen come to fruition. Finally, the change of ownership 3 times (Insite -> Epi -> Opti) over our implementation period has been both confusing and disruptive.
Read full review Alternatives Considered
In my view, CV3 meets our needs better by allowing us a much easier way to manage the front end the way the templates are structured.
recommended using an FTP tool to download, modify, then upload.
has some very sophisticated templates, which, in my mind, required a senior level programmer or lots of outsourcing for even minor changes. Neither of the other systems come close to CV3's marketing capabilities through their promotional tool without any add-ons.
, for example, is stripped down and if you want a certain feature you have to find one of their approved partners, sign-up, integrate the feature and hope it works. To purchase all the features we're currently using in CV3 you'd have quite a list (and expense) of partners. Examples would be enhanced shipping capabilities or the ability to customize a product purchase. CV3 has features specifically geared for a catalog company, like request forms and capturing key codes. Plus, built-in rewards program, wishlist, gift certificates, bulk email, and data feeds for Google Shopper, Channel Advisor and SingleFeed.
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I was not very involved with this process. It has been 3 years since we made a decision and I can't even remember the name of the other companies we were considering. I was in a different role then so I was less involved with the eCommerce department. I do remember really liking the people we were working with. That played a huge role in our selection since we would be working with them for years on the site.
Read full review Return on Investment One positive impact has been the use of product reviews. This feature has helped us weed out bad products and promote good ones while allowing customers to share their experience. It's a fixed fee user agreement which favors increasing sales. The stability of the checkout process has helped conversions and lowered support. Having integrated inventory with our back end has helped meet customer expectations. The promotional capabilities of CV3 has allowed us to provide new and different offers keeping customers engaged. Read full review Automation of updates and integration with ERP has saved time and provides reliable data for the website in sync with ERP Integration with external PIM has saved time and provides reliable sync with content data for the website. Changes and improvements have been slow and difficult. Read full review ScreenShots Optimizely Configured Commerce Screenshots