Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
My name is Petr Datsko, and I’m the founder and current CEO of SOFTLOFT. We’re a leading Magento development company based in Ukraine in the top 2 from GoodFirms.
We’ve focused our skills in a full range of Magento development services such as Magento Consulting and Audit, Development, Magento integration with 3d part systems (ERP, CRM), Migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2.
We provide a full range of Magento development services Magento Consulting and Audit, Development, Magento integration with 3d part systems (ERP, CRM), Migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2.
We have a great and talented team of certified developers located in three offices over Ukraine.
Have representative offices in the UK and Denmark. For 2020 going to open offices in the USA and Australia.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing an ecommerce app.
I think the requirements define it. First of all, the team should exactly understand what should be done, what the store is about, what are the partner's goals and achievements, etc.
Based on this, we can define the level of project complexity and time frames. But once again, in the correct time frame, results are very focused and the result of careful and painstaking work of the team in close cooperation with a partner.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of an ecommerce app?
It depends on the project. Sometimes it is enough to use Magento default features; then, it could be 75/25 (frontend/backend). In many cases, there could be a high level of customization and integration. Then this rate could be changed to 80/20 (backend/frontend). But we have projects where backend work is 99 percent of our efforts.
What is your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/outsourcing?
We focus on developing only in-house teams. We invest a lot of time, effort, and finances into the skills and motivation of our team and certification.
We would like to keep full control under the delivery process and the client’s relationships, so at this moment, we consider only in-house teams.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
First of all, we don’t have clients; we have partners. And each project we work with we consider like our own. It is our baby, where we are responsible for his life.
We build long term relationships. Usually, partners continue with us for the long term. We prefer to deliver instead of a promise. And be very transparent and honest with our partners (whatever this costs for us). We never put profit before quality and relationships.
What industries do you cater to? Are your clients repetitive?
We are taking care of many different industries, fashion, customer goods, luxury, perfumes, automotive, machinery, and equipment. We are taking care of such clients like HM, Victoria Secret, MotherCare, Foot Locker, SweetDeal, Essential. And we are proud to be part of this success story.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for an ecommerce application?
We mostly focus on Magento, and here some of my recommendations on how to choose the platform:
- Things to consider when choosing a technology stack:
- The first consideration is what talent do you have. If you have an existing technology team, and you’re not looking to completely replace them, your options have to be limited in your path that you choose. There are adequate e-commerce platforms for most technology stacks. We are advocates for protecting your team and culture to support the scale, so start with your available skillset.
- Have a simple sales model with a basic ecommerce funnel? You probably should look at Shopify or BigCommerce as your focus will likely be building your brand and marketing activities to drive sales. Have a complex sales funnel, possibly subscriptions, maybe direct to consumer and wholesale sales? Now you’re talking about Magento's sweet spot; any type of complex sales funnel or sales process is not best supported by a SaaS platform.
- If you need control over fields, statuses, and workflow in your e-commerce platform instead of being in a shipping platform or ERP, Magento offers open-source technology with full customization capabilities.
- Budget is a factor of cost of building, maintenance, and ongoing cost of operations. If you’re not used to making an investment in ongoing support and feature development within an e-commerce platform, Magento may take a second to get used to.
Which Content Management System do you prefer to use (Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal etc)?
We use native Magento management system. Additionally, you can use Magento PageBuilder or Magesuite. For some projects, upon customer architecture requests, we use Drupal.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of an ecommerce application?
We execute a deep audit and consulting of the partner’s business in areas such as:
How big is their business, and what are their ambitions for ecommerce?
Do they already have something, or should it be built from scratch?
How complicated should the functionality be?
If there any additional integrations, restrictions, and customization?
How fast should the project go into production?
It is very individual, and there are no standard patterns because each business and client’s needs could be very different.
We deeply investigate how business works, what partners expect to have, their ideas, and wishes. Then after detailed research and analytics, we come back with a report and different options on how it can be done. Partners may choose what fits their requirements the best. After this, we create very detailed and transparent quotations and project plans.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? Is it Pay-per-feature, fixed-cost, pay-per-milestone (could be in phases, months, versions, etc.).
It could be different for different clients. Usually, there are the following models:
- Fixed price-per-project: upfront and then pay-per-milestone (defined in the project plan)
- Time and Material: especially if this existing projects which could come to us full of bugs
- Fixed price-per-month: in this case partner hires developers for full-time (outstaffing model)
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement? If yes, what is the minimum requirement? If no, on what minimum budget you have worked for?
There is no minimum budget because we consider each partner individually. But, though Magento is very powerful, an advanced and complicated system requires a high-quality development team. From my experience, I can say that the minimum budget for Magento usually starts at 15000 USD.
What do you think is the future of the ecommerce industry?
It has a great future. I believe that in the next 10 years, we will have most of the transactions in the world done online. In Ukraine, a few years ago, people were scared to buy online, but now it is so common that most of my friends cannot say exactly when they last visited an offline store.
Kindly share your feedback on how GoodFirms has been doing so far in increasing your visibility among potential clients.
Everything is fine. They provide a clear and transparent review and rating system. And if you work hard and build relationships with your partners, you can get top positions.