Software for retailers that sell all over the web—and beyond
February 2, 2015 08:36 AM
Like a growing number of retailers, Richard Sanders does a lot of business on online marketplaces, in his case those operated by Amazon.com Inc., eBay Inc., Rakuten Inc. and Newegg Inc. Plus, his company, Melray Group, which specializes in high-end audio equipment, sells wholesale, exports, and is in the process of building its own e-commerce site and a physical retail store.
Sanders, chief operating officer of Melray Group, says he is managing all those sales channels through the SimOneEMS software he has been using for over a year.
No longer does he have to log in to eBay or Amazon to see his recent sales from those marketplaces or the current price he’s offering. He can see all that information through the SimOneEMS dashboard.
“Online things change every five minutes,” Sanders says. “You have to be very competitive.” The SimOneEMS lets him track sales on each marketplace, compare the prices he’s offering and adjust as needed.
“For any SKU, it shows you what the price is here and there, how many you’re selling here and there, and that lets you know where you need to be at.” If he decides he should change the price of a product on eBay, for example, he can do it from the SimOneEMS dashboard. “Everything I do is through SimOne,” he says. “I don’t go into eBay to change anything.”
Sanders says the software has helped him increase his online retail sales 30% in the past year to $18 million.
It also has improved his bottom line, he says, by helping him track commissions he pays salespeople in offline parts of the business. For example, he points to a recent return of an order for 15 TVs placed more than 45 days earlier; the software showed him how much of a commission he should recover from the salesman. “It shows a complete history of the transaction, the exact cost, the commission paid and how much needs to be recovered,” Sanders says.
The impetus to develop SimOne EMS came from an eBay “power seller” named Ikey Bahar, who sells electronics, and is CEO of SimOneEMS Inc. “He had a need for software like this, built it himself and saw how much improvement he got. He ended up deciding to invest in developing it into a software tool for e-commerce merchants,” says Demian Lessa, the software architect Bahar hired to commercialize the product and who is project manager at SimOneEMS. The company introduced the software in 2013 and about a half-dozen clients are now live on it.
One of the key features of the software, Lessa says, is that it provides a single place to view all transactions and inventory, and every order is displayed in a uniform way, regardless of whether the transaction occurs on the retailer’s web site, physical store or an online marketplace.
Lessa says the software has “temporal” capability, which means it can show changes over time. For example, a retailer may buy the same product three times in a month, each time at a different price. The software shows how that changes the profit margin for the product. “I can see how has the average cost of that Sony HD TV changed over the past month, see a graph of that, and see where my cost sweet spot is,” he says.
Another SimOneEMS customer is Michael Habert, chief operating officer of ProAV Dealers Inc., which sells on such marketplaces as Amazon, eBay and Rakuten, and is building its web site with SimOneEMS software. ProAV, which began selling online in March 2014 and sells about $500,000 per month online, has five employees, and Habert says SimOneEMS saves him valuable time.
“Having everything on one platform is ideal for us,” he says. “If I add an item, I don’t need to add it five times for each marketplace.” He adds it once, and the software populates it to the various web shopping sites.
He also says the software does a good job of calculating the best carrier to ship an order and of populating a shipping ticket with all the information a warehouse employee needs. “Instead of me having to pay $15-$20 per hour for an extra-smart shipper, I can pay $10 to a regular guy to do the job,” Habert says.
The monthly subscription price of SimOneEMS varies by the number of marketplaces a retailer is selling on and the number of other business it is running on the software, the company says. A subscription includes the software the company offers for retailers to run their own e-commerce site, which SimOneEMS calls Q-store. The average client pays about $1,250 per month, and SimOneEMS does not require a long-term contract, a spokesman says.
SimOneEMS, based in Hollywood, FL, hosts the software, and clients connect to it via the Internet, a setup known as software-as-a-service. Bahar’s Facebook page notes, “SimOneEMS is looking to hire.”