VP, Sitecore Commerce and National Competency Lead
7 Reasons to Modernize your eCommerce Store with Sitecore OrderCloud
Sitecore OrderCloud is a B2B, B2C, B2X commerce and marketplace development platform, with a cloud-based, API-first, headless eCommerce architecture. Many organizations are migrating to a SaaS based eCommerce system that supports global eCommerce. Sitecore OrderCloud stands out in many ways. Wherever your business needs to go tomorrow, you’re ready to lead the way. In this blog post, I am going to write about key features of Sitecore OrderCloud that will facilitate decision making for those who are evaluating multiple eCommerce systems to modernize their legacy eCommerce platform.
Onboarding and Learning Curve for Developers
This is perhaps the most fearful aspect for any enterprise when migrating to a new system. Sitecore OrderCloud is a developer-friendly eCommerce platform that is language agnostic and API first, making it easier for developers to familiarize themselves with the entities in the platform. Additionally, developers can start using intuitively designed and named APIs to create their catalog, add an integration to 3rd party systems like Avalara, and control the visibility of products more easily.
Sitecore provides an online developer portal for OrderCloud, where you can create a sandbox marketplace and test APIs quickly. Having in-depth and easy-to-navigate documentation allows developers to quickly find what they are looking for, work on their PoCs, and get their hands dirty on a modern eCommerce SaaS-based system. Most importantly, developers don’t need a local version of the eCommerce engine, which reduces the onboarding time for new developers.
Ability to Import Data from Legacy eCommerce Systems
While you are evaluating a new eCommerce engine, you must be thinking about the ease of data import from an old system to a new one. Sitecore OrderCloud can handle large amounts of data import with easy-to-use APIs that help you transition from your old system to a new one more smoothly. Sitecore OrderCloud also supports Single sign-on via OpenId Connect which allows your users to authenticate themselves to the OrderCloud API by logging into any identity provider you trust. If you don’t want to sync products into OrderCloud, check out Ad Hoc products
Features and Extensibility
Sitecore OrderCloud has many OOTB features like Variants, Child Products, Product Collections, Ad Hoc Products, Product Specs, and Price Schedules to support complex business requirements. If it is required to extend any data model, Sitecore OrderCloud has designed a property on all entities called Extended Properties (xp). xp is a very powerful feature that helps extend the capabilities of your application. It provides developers the needed flexibility to meet challenging requirements and gives you the ability to provide a highly customized solution.
If you want to extend the platform and add custom implementation of certain integrations/events, Sitecore OrderCloud has enabled you to use WebHooks and Integration Events. OrderCloud also provides a base middleware for .Net projects.
There is a lot more to talk about here, but I will save that for a future blog post, including Advanced Querying, Premium Search, Promotions, Multi Location Inventory, and Localization.
You have the flexibility to go headless and separate the front-end complexity from your back-end, or you can build a traditional eCommerce system (ex: MVC). It really depends on your use case. As your business grows, you can easily extend your ordering capabilities to new devices, channels, or applications. You also have the option to keep your products outside of the Sitecore OrderCloud platform and use Ad Hoc Products. OrderCloud's Ad-Hoc Products feature provides product data on demand, allowing you to skip the catalog synchronization effort entirely.
Maintenance of Data (Backfilling into lower environments)
Sitecore OrderCloud automatically syncs your data from the Production environment to lower environments on a schedule. You can also add pre-sync and post-sync webhooks to mask any data, disable notifications, and more. Now that's one less thing to worry about! I am 100% sure that a developer will appreciate the automatic sync feature from higher environments to lower ones.
OrderCloud is annually audited for SOC 2 Type 2 with HIPAA controls, compliant with GDPR and CCPA, and supports your PCI compliance initiatives. Some of the key security features include:
OAuth 2.0 - OrderCloud API authentication is based on the OAuth 2 specification and supports multiple workflows, including Single Sign-On (SSO).
SSL - API access is only allowed via HTTPS; connections on port 80 are refused entirely.
Environments - In addition to the production environment OrderCloud also exposes two test environments Sandbox (never restored) and Staging (restored weekly from production) to enable developers to make deploys to production with confidence.
Open API 3.0 - Our Open API specification is generated straight from our source code and used to generate the portal, documentation, and SDKs. It takes advantage of the latest Open API features, ensuring an accurate and programmatically useful description of every endpoint, model, and property.
Did I say modern eCommerce Platform? Yes, and that means it is Cloud Native, so it scales automatically where software development and delivery are both cloud-based. You can start small and scale up as you grow. It is an API first platform as mentioned in the developers onboarding section. OrderCloud plays nicely with other similarly architected microservices and the front-end complexity is decoupled from the back-end (headless).
Sitecore OrderCloud runs on Microsoft Azure, giving you the ability to scale up, diversify, and back up data to multiple data facilities with high reliability and protection. Note that Azure’s core compute services have run at a 99.995% average across its global infrastructure. Sitecore OrderCloud provides rich features out of the box, and it is one of the best SaaS-based eCommerce platforms out there. Subscription is the latest addition to the Sitecore OrderCloud enterprise readiness. It also provides Tracking Events that can be used to send events to a subscriber to capture an event used for analytics. As of now, you send events to Sitecore Send and Sitecore Discover from OrderCloud natively.
If you are interested in learning more about Sitecore OrderCloud and how you can transform your legacy commerce into a modern enterprise-ready SaaS based eCommerce system, please reach out to me at Kautilya.firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Linked In