Retailing through a single channel to market whether eBay, Amazon or your own webstore creates tiresome administration which grows as your sales and order volumes increase. But the workload can be handled using the order processing features available on each of these outlets.
 
But as your business expands, so will your need to make your products available to your customers where they want to buy them – and that means multi-channel selling – and each and every sales channel brings with it another system to log into, another user interface to navigate around and another set of processes to manage when handling your product listings, orders, billing, shipping and messaging. And because your orders reside in different places, it can sometimes feel you’re running multiple businesses. Business reporting and analytics become incredibly difficult and getting a holistic view of your business can seem impossible.
 
Maximising sales across multiple sales channels requires you to expose your inventory through all of them. But unless you can adjust stock levels in real time, you risk overselling and disappointing customers. Split your stock up in virtual silos and you risk missing out on larger orders you could have fulfilled.
 
You have to view your inventory as one and make it available to all through every channel but to do this you must engage in real-time stock management. Every time you sell an item, the stock level has to change in every sales channel in real time. This is relatively easy to do if your sales volumes are low, sales are few and far between or if you have only a couple of sales channels to manage but as your business grows, your stock management challenges can become a real headache. Indeed our research clearly indicates that inventory management is the number one challenge keeping multi-channel retailers awake at night.
 
For this reason, a number of software developers have in recent years released solutions that provide a single multi-channel ecommerce platform which integrates with the various marketplaces, webstores, couriers and a host of other popular software solutions. What should retailers look for when comparing ecommerce platforms? Many solutions set out to solve the myriad of problems faced by retailers by providing a single, fully-integrated system with one user interface, and one location from which they can list their stock and manage it across all of their outlets, process orders, create invoices, process and dispatch shipments and even manage customer communications.
 
Some Multichannel eCommerce software products go further or specialise with deeper functionality either in back-office administration or in front-office sales and marketing. But there is a confusing array of such software on the market and its often difficult to distinguish marketing hyperbole from reality the text on their websites. Making sense of the myriad pricing models to differentiate value for money from daylight robbery can be tricky too.
 
Of course ChannelGrabber is one such company but we thought it might be useful for our potential customers if we tried to make sense of it all and present as objective an assessment as possible.
 
If you're interested in what you need to consider before assessing vendors, go here
 
Here are the leading software companies and their solutions in alphabetical order:
 
 

Brightpearl

 

Overview and Pro's

Brightpearl is billed as a "retail ERP solution" and combines inventory management with basic accounting and CRM functionality for smaller online retailers. For many such businesses, Brightpearl offers all you’ll need and as retailers tell us time and time again, inventory management comes high on the list of administrative complexities arising from multi-channel selling. Brightpearl do not publish their prices on their website, but according to a third party source, their prices start at $375 per month for 3 users. They offer customizable pricing plans depending on the needs of the business.
 
 

Con's

Lacking the sophistication of comprehensive order management, billing, shipping and messaging, Brighpearl is not an all-rounder - though it’s a system well optimised for inventory management. Brightpearl’s pricing policy is anything but transparent. Indeed getting an indication of what you’ll pay requires you to call or message them but their packages are riddled with restrictions on sales volumes, order volumes, connected sales channels, stock locations and users making it needlessly complex. Compared with other software here though, it's expensive especially if you already have a CRM or accounting system form another supplier. So if you’re looking for a true omni-channel ecommerce system with competitive and predictable operating costs and a good support infrastructure you may want to look elsewhere.
 
 

Customer Rating

Brightpearl's latest TrustPilot Trust Score is 7.7.

 
Curious how BrightPearl shapes up against the top multi channel ecommerce solution? View our competitive analysis here.
 
 
 

Channeladvisor

 

Overview and Pro's

ChannelAdvisor offers a powerful set of ecommerce and channel management solutions to predominantly medium and large-sized enterprises via their technology platform. It offers support for product content optimization, product intelligence, repricing and digital marketing for retailers as well as some of the listing, inventory and order management tools available elsewhere here. Unlike most of the other multi-channel ecommerce software offerings, ChannelAdvisor places greater emphasis of driving customers' sales performance rather than managing back office and administrative functions. We think that's a good thing and what customers want to hear.
 
 

Con's

Powerful as ChannelAdvisor Enterprise is, it is aimed in the main at larger businesses who can take advantage of its “front end” sophistication. But customers tell us that its capabilities in multi-channel ecommerce business process automation are limited, certainly no better than other, cheaper systems and may in fact force you to combine it with one of the other systems reviewed here. Probably because of its intended market, ChannelAdvisor Enterprise is very complex, time consuming and expensive to setup and certainly not user-configurable. Its pricing structure is orders of magnitude more expensive than any other system reviewed here - starting at $1,500 per month (though pricing is also not publicly available). If you’re a small or medium-sized retailer seeking an all-in-one, easy-to-use and cost-effective multichannel ecommerce system, ChannelAdvisor Enterprise is unlikely to be for you.
 
 

Customer Rating

ChannelAdvisor's latest TrustPilot Trust Score is 7.2.
 
Curious how ChannelAdvisor shapes up against the top multi channel ecommerce solution? View our competitive analysis here.
 
 
 

ChannelGrabber

 

Overview and Pro's

ChannelGrabber is one of the pioneers in this space and is the highest rated solution in this list. It has been offering a multi-channel ecommerce solution to retailers since 2012. They offer two products; ChannelGrabber Classic and their latest offering simply called ChannelGrabber. These solutions offer product content optimization, one-click automated listings, inventory and order management, billing, shipping and uniquely messaging in one easy-to use integrated solution. The company is commited to adding a host of new features to increase their value for retailers looking to grow their online sales. For such a breadth of capabilities, ChannelGrabber’s offering is extremely cost effective with packages ranging from $150 a month. ChannelGrabber is the "people's favourite" with consistently the highest customer ratings with TrustPilot and others.
 
 

Con's

The new ChannelGrabber is rapidly gaining features and until recently lacked automated listings capabilities. That has been addressed recently but it still lacks a few of the native integrations for marketplaces, webstores and couriers offered by competitors but the most popular are there.
 
 

Customer Rating

ChannelGrabber's latest TrustPilot Trust Score is 9.6.
 
 
 
 

Contalog

 
Overview and Pro's
 
Contalog is marketed as an omni-channel ecommerce platform. It features a customizable webstore and handles product catalog, inventory and order management. It has in-store (POS) support and does integrate with Amazon (and can therefore claim an omni-channel capability). The webstore features mobile commerce support and there is a companion mobile app to help manage sales order administration. Finally, there is a reporting and analytical capability to track, report and analyze sales. Pricing ranges between $99-$299 per month based on users, orders and add-ons.
 
 

Con's

Contalog is a fairly accomplished webstore platform though the features supported are limited to catalog, order and inventory management. Though there is support for Amazon, this is limited and there is no listing capability to this or other sales channels. The ecommerce workflow ends with order management so shipping, invoicing and customer communication are absent and there are no integrations supported into third parties like marketplaces, couriers or accounting software. The pricetag is not cheap at $99-$299 per month so it's difficult to find reasons to buy Contalog versus more established and feature-rich platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce or Magento. And to engage in online multi-channel retail, you would still have to buy one of the other solutions here to integrate Contalog with multiple marketplaces. With apparently no API to integrate with, this could be a costly exercise.
 
 

Customer Rating

Contalog's latest TrustPilot Trust Score is 7.5 though they have only 3 reviews.
 
 
 
 

Emerge

 

Overview and Pro's

Emerge is an accomplished multi-channel retail back-office application. It handles raw materials, product catalog, warehouse, inventory and order management. For smaller business, there's basic accounting and quoting too. There are a range of integrations including the leading webstore platforms, Amazon and eBay for multi-channel ecommerce, leading accounting software and Shipstation providing support for multiple shipping couriers and label printing. With one user free forever and less than $30 a month for each subsequent user, pricing is attractive too.
 
 

Con's

Emerge seems to offer everything a small business needs to run a multichannel retail business at a bargain price. But there's a great deal missing here and the gaps will frustrate. Although the software manages your product catalog and inventory, the ability to push and manage listings to your sales channels is rudimentary at best. Though all of the leading webstore platforms are available, with only Amazon and eBay supported and then only for order and stock management, multichannel sales capability is limited. The pricing is deceptive too. The free package is for one user and up to 10 orders a month - which is of little value to most retailers and once you're on a premium plan, each user is between $24-$30 per month and only one integration is included. Each additional integration is another $10 per month so with your webstore Amazon, eBay, Shipstation and your accounting system you're adding another $50 to your monthly bill.
 
 

Customer Rating

Emerge do not have a TrustPilot Trust Score.
 
 
 
 

Linnworks

 

Overview and Pro's

Linn Systems’ Linnworks is marketed as an order management system and has been around for many years now. The system has built up an impressive range of native and third party integrations so users will find there are few marketplaces, webstores, couriers or other systems that they can't connect to in one way or another. Unlike most others, the system also benefits from the ability to automate listings to amazon and eBay although in practice this functionality is far more limited in its capabilities than it might at first appear.
 
 

Con's

Most software in this space is entirely web based so you can access it from anywhere and any computer provided you have a browser yet Linnworks betrays its rather ageing design by using a hybrid of online software combined with a desktop application you have to install on your local machine limiting how, where, when and how many users can use it. The user interface is quite dated and less user friendly than most of the competition. Though a single user restricted free version is available, Linnworks is again quite expensive with monthly fees starting at £150 (no US pricing is available) and ramping up substantially. Linnworks use a user-based pricing model that increases with user numbers and adding multiple sales channel accounts incurs yet more fees. They charge for setup which takes time and can be complex and in some cases problematic.
 
 

Customer Rating

Linnworks' latest TrustPilot Trust Score is 8.4.
 
Curious how Linnworks shapes up against the top multi channel ecommerce solution? View our competitive analysis here.
 
 
 

Orderhive

 

Overview and Pro's

Orderhive offers a multi channel warehouse and inventory management system that also supports order management, invoicing and shipping with pricing starting at just $50 per month. It integrates with the usual sales channels, accounting packages and mainly US-based couriers. Orderhive offers a good solid "back-office" multi-channel retail solution for the US market.
 
 

Con's

Orderhive’s low-start pricing comes with restrictions on order volumes, shipping, tracking, sales channel integrations, warehouses and users across all packages. API access isn’t available until the $150 a month package. Reporting, invoicing and shipping labelling are add-on extra-cost modules with pricing on application. Support is provided from the USA or if out of business hours, via an offshore call centre in Asia so in practice, UK and European customers may struggle to get help if things go wrong. There's no listing capability and since the application is optimized for the US market, it also lacks support for non-US couriers and multi-currencies which may be an issue for UK and European customers.
 
 

Customer Rating

Orderhive do not have a TrustPilot Trust Score.
 
 
 
 

Overview and Pro's

Ordoro is a comprehensive order, inventory and shipping management solution for mid- to large-sized multichannel retailers. The software supports supplier management, barcode scanning, inventory management, kitting and dropshipping. There's reporting and analytics as well. Ordoro has an API with good support for developers and a very broad range of integrations with webstores, marketplaces, shipping carriers, fulfilment services, POS, accounting software and more.
 
 

Con's

It's hard to fault Ordoro for its robust retail back-office capabilities. The key features lacking are, not surprisingly those with front-office emphasis. There's no multi-channel listings capability, no product catalog or product content optimization, no billing and no means of managing customer communication. Of course all of these things can be achieved through third party solutions which could be integrated but that kind of defeats the objective. Ordoro is competitively priced but certainly not cheap with monthly subscriptions starting at $299 for a subset of the features. 
 
 

Customer Rating

Ordoro do not have a TrustPilot Trust Score.
 
 
 

Retailops

 

Overview and Pro's

Like Emerge, Retailops is an accomplished multi-channel retail back-office application supporting supplier, product catalog, warehouse, inventory and order management. There are a range of integrations including the leading webstore platforms and Amazon for multi-channel ecommerce and there are a range of supported shipping couriers and label printing. Pricing is available on application only but we believe that it is in the range of $100-150 per month.

 

Con's

With a firm emphasis on back-office features, there's naturally a great deal missing here if you're looking for a comprehensive multichannel ecommerce solution. Once again, the software manages your product catalog and inventory but it won't optimize product content or push and manage listings to your sales channels. It seems that Retailops relies on its integration with Channeladviser to do these thinsg but as we've seen, Channeladviser is a costly solution and would add another $1,500 per month to Retailops pricetag. When it comes to multichannel retail, Retailops also falls short. There is very limited websotre integration support and though you cn connect yoru Amazon account, that's it. No eBay and no other marketplaces are supported. Other integrations are also thin on the ground so if you sell on anything but Magento, Shopify and/or Amazon and you ship through USPS for example. You'll need to look elsewhere. Which is where you'll also have to look for Retailops' pricing since you wont find it on their website.
 
 

Customer Rating

Retailops do not have a TrustPilot Trust Score.
 
Curious how Storefeeder shapes up against the top multi channel ecommerce solution? View our competitive analysis here.
 
 
 
 

Overview and Pro's

SellerDynamics offers a good breadth of the usual features along with automated repricing for all of the main marketplaces. Headline pricing is competitive with packages starting at $120 per month for all you can eat  based upon your sales. Users can link an unlimited number of marketplaces on all packages and SellerDynamics offer a range of convenient support offerings for their customers. There's no denying it - SellerDynamics is really cheap!
 
 

Con's

It’s not all good news with SellerDynamics however. Their listings capability is very limited and does not support listing to Amazon at all. Their revenue-based pricing is so completely inconsistent with any of their competitors and their total lack of customer reviews online is a concern. Setup isn’t straightforward, user experience can be a little clunky and once again, there’s no messaging integration for Amazon and eBay and a lack of real-time stock updates can make them slow to take effect. But if you want the cheapest there is, this appears to be it.
 
 

Customer Rating

SellerDynamics do not have a TrustPilot Trust Score.
 
Curious how SellerDynamics shapes up against the top multi channel ecommerce solution? View our competitive analysis here.
 
 
 
 

Overview and Pro's

Sellware are a US based provider of multi-channel listing, inventory and order management software. All the usual sales channel and other integrations are supported and are adequate for the US market. Analytical tools are useful and work well. Pricing starts at $99 per month for up to 2 channels and 250 orders. The software is well designed, easy to use and setup appears to be relatively quick and easy.
 
 

Con's

Sellware’s product lacks a number of the key functionalities found in its competitors specifically in billing, shipping and messaging features and its inventory management falls short of having real-time integration so delays can be experienced. Sellware’s competitive low-start pricing comes with restrictions through the range of packages linked to usage and impacting service and support levels at the lower end. Practically, few would get by with the limitations of the $99 a month package meaning that $195 is more likely to be the entry level. Crucially Sellware is seldom seen outside the US and this is likely due to a lack of support for UK and European sales channels and couriers.
 
 

Customer Rating

Sellware do not have a TrustPilot Trust Score.
 
 
 

 

Overview and Pro's

Shippingchimp is, as the name suggests a multichannel retail ecommerce shipping solution. By integrating with your webstore, eBay and Amazon plus all of the leading shipping carriers, Shippingchimp manages all of your inventory and shipping across all of your sales channels in one place. The system can be had for free and there's a premium package for just $19 per month. If you want to manage multichannel shipping , everything you need is here at a low cost.
 
 

Con's

Shippingchimp does not masquerade as anything else but shipping software so if you're looking for a multichannel retail ecommerce solution that handles warehouse, (more complex) inventory management, product content optimization, order management billing and customer communications, look elsewhere. $19 a month is a reasonable cost and most customers will be paying for Shippingchimp because the free package is limited to 500 orders per month and two connected sales channels.
 

 

Customer Rating

Shippingchimp do not have a TrustPilot Trust Score.
 
Curious how Storefeeder shapes up against the top multi channel ecommerce solution? View our competitive analysis here.
 
 
 

Stitchlabs

 

Overview and Pro's

Stitchlabs offers a feature-rich multichannel ecommerce inventory and order management system. It covers all the basics  including stock and order syncing with the leading webstore platforms plus Amazon, eBay and Etsy. Supplier management is supported with the ability to generate purchase orders and shipping / fulfilment is managed courtesy of integration with all of the leading shipping carriers. Pricing starts at $499 per month for the Basic package.
 
 

Con's

As with many of the solutions here, Sticthlabs is squarely focused on the automation of inventory and order management. But needless the say, this leaves customers needing product cataloging and content optimization, listing, billing and customer communications wanting. Stitchlabs' support for integrations with marketplaces and other important software systems like accounting and POS are limited or absent which once again limits the system's appeal for many. What is perhaps most surprising and hard to justify is the pricing. Stitchlabs' cheapest package is practically $500 a month and it rises quickly to $900 a month based on order volumes up to 10,000. But in all cases, the more feature rich packages are strictly "price on request". With so much functionality missing and with so few integrations, we have to ask "why?".
 
 

Customer Rating

Stitchlabs' latest TrustPilot Trust Score is 7.1 though they have only 1 review.
 
 
 
 

Tradegecko

 

Overview and Pro's

Tradegecko  is a multichannel ecommerce solution  for small to midsize retailers, wholesalers and distributors. The system combines inventory and order management, retail operations shipping. The software features a B2B e-commerce portal that allows users to sell wholesale directly to retailers through customized storefronts. It also offers basic demand forecasting, customer relationship management (CRM), order fulfilment, accounting and sales reporting capabilities. TradeGecko supports multichannel sales and integrates with webstores and marketplaces including Amazon, Shopify, Bigcommerce, Magento and WooCommerce. It also integrates with Xero and QuickBooks accounting solutions and supports multiple currencies and tax types.
 
 

Con's

Among this company, Tradegecko is well suited to wholesalers and distributors whith many of its features focussed squarely on this segment of the market. For retailers, it offers a good range of features but these exclude product catalog and content optimization, automated listing to sales channels and billing. But that said, Tradegecko is an impressive system which it should be given its pricing. The Small Business package starts at $249 per month but is limited in terms of users, orders and sales channels. More than two of those for example and you'll have to upgrade to the Business package at $500 a month and the pricing escalates from there. Expensive given the feature deficits when compared to others here.
 
 

Customer Rating

Tradegecko do not have a TrustPilot Trust Score.
 
 
 
 

Veeqo

 

Overview and Pro's

Veeqo markets its product as an inventory and order management solution. As such it comes with a comprehensive range of back-office features for retailers to integrate with most of the leading marketplaces and webstore platforms. Inventory management includes warehouse management and a barcode scanner is included for this purpose. Order management extends to shipping with support for US and UK postal and courier services. Veeqo is a good all-rounder and covers most of the critical features for retailers.
 
 

Con's

Listings capability or "product management" as Veeqo discribe it falls shaort of best in class and there’s also no capability to manage your Amazon or eBay messages so you’re forced to log in to your marketplace accounts come what may if you want to manage customer communications. Indeed Veeqo is exactly as advertised, a back office system lacking customer-centricity  overall. Veeqo is also relatively expensive with monthly fees starting at $200 and ramping up substantially as you add users and connected sales channels. They charge for setup and customer feedback suggests that this can be complex and time consuming. TrustPilot scores are worst in class with damning reviews.
 
 

Customer Rating

Veeqo's latest TrustPilot Trust Score is 5.4 based on only two 1 star reviews.
 
Curious how Veeqo shapes up against the top multi channel ecommerce solution? View our competitive analysis here.
 
 
 

Summary and ratings

Perhaps the most objective and independent way to rate all of these software providers and their solutions from both in terms of functionality and quality of service is to read genuine customer reviews. But we’ll save you the time and direct you to Trustpilot where you can search for each vendor by name to get an objective assessment from genuine customers.
 

Disclaimer

Our analysis is based upon research carried out drawing information from vendor websites, Capterra and actual customer feedback posted on Trustpilot. It is valid as of 26th September 2018. If you feel that our analysis is inaccurate or misleading, please let us know via info@channelgrabber.com.
 
And don't forget, ChannelGrabber's multi-channel ecommerce software helps you to automate the management of product, listings, stock, orders, billing, shipping and messaging so frees up your time to focus on keeping inventory off the shelves and into the hands of your customers.
 
 
If you want to see ChannelGrabber in action, book in to get a guided tour:
 
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