If you have ever shopped online with Nike, Olympus, or The North Face, you have come into contact with Magento during your checkout. In addition to big-name brands, smaller retailers also use Magento, but run into issues because it operates independently from their point of sale system.
Kevin Kogler and Tim Robidoux decided to provide a solution to that inherent flaw in the system with MicroBiz. The point of sale and inventory management software fully integrates with Magento and allows retailers to continually sync products, customers, inventory, and promotions.
We were fortunate to sit down with Kogler and learn why it is so important for retailers to be fully integrated with Magento across multiple stores and e-commerce platforms, and what this does for small businesses.
Tech Cocktail: What’s the big deal with Magento? Why focus on them?
Kevin Kogler: Magento is utilized on over 170,000 major sites, has over 4 million downloads, is growing at a rate of 30 percent a year, and is free to try for retailers. The bottom line is that it is huge.
I was at an eBay conference one year where they were highlighting Magento’s e-commerce shopping cart technology, and they brought a local soccer store on stage. It just so happens that the store is located right by my house and I found myself there a few weeks after the conference.
I could not help but notice that behind the counter was an old legacy point of sale system. I asked the owner how it worked with Magento and his response floored me: it doesn’t. eBay owns Magento, and while they doled out millions to showcase its technology, they seemed to overlook the major issue of point of sale integration.
Tech Cocktail: Why is it important for retailers to be fully integrated with Magento?
Kogler: Because if retailers are not integrated with Magento, they get issues. Take the soccer store; the owner has to create separate records in both his point of sale system and Magento every time he adds inventory or makes a sale. When something sells out in the store, the website still reads that it is in stock because nothing is synchronized.
A lot of retailers think and say they are integrated with an e-commerce system. They might be connected, passing information back and forth, but they are not integrated because they have to create a new product on both Magento and the point of sale system.
Tech Cocktail: So how doess MicroBiz fit into the whole picture?
Kogler: At a base level, when you create a new product on your side, we create it for you on Magento.
Going beyond that though, MicroBiz allows small retailers that have between one and 25 stores to run their site from a cloud-based application: multi-store and channel inventory management and all the backend ERP features to allow smooth operation across multiple stores.
We are completely cloud-based in HTML 5, and we can run it on any device and operating system. Additionally, if your Internet goes dark, we have cached backups that allow retailers to continue conducting transactions. We take care of it all so retailers can focus on their customers.
MicroBiz was featured at Tech Cocktail’s Downtown Vegas Mixer & Startup Showcase on September 12th.