Erply has been one of my favorite companies in the Nordic and Baltic region lately. We’ve covered them before on their Seedcamp tour, first when they were nominated and second when they were announced one of the winners. Erply is an Estonian company that has created a Saas-based offering which enable retail shop keepers run their business. Erply enables companies to sell online, keep track of their inventory as well as billing, manage your sales pipeline, a Point-of-sales application and a lot more. I received access to their software and decided to take it out for a little test ride and see how well it performs.

Once you receive the invite, you’re taken to a three step sign-up process. They ask the basic stuff in the sign-up process, although I didn’t think all of it was needed to be asked that up front.

In the first step, all the company details are asked. One thing that did puzzle me slightly was the fact that the country choice did not have any effect on the presentation of data. After all, this is perhaps the clearest way to distinguish and localise the service for different users in different nationalities and in the process make it a lot more useful for everyone.

The second step is for the traditional user registration information – who’s the main user and so on. This is very important in corporate services where the first user is usually given administrative rights to others’ accounts.

The third step is the one that puzzles me. It sounds a bit awkward to ask the user to enter details about your invoice printouts, including your logo and signature files. This is perhaps something that users could enter once they have signed up to the service. In my opinion, it would make the most sense for users to simply enter the service as fast as possible and begin using it.

Once you’re setup with the account, you enter the main dashboard view. The dashboard view gives you an overall view into your account. There’s a ton of information in this and I’m beginning to wonder if Erply is trying to accomplish perhaps a bit too much for the average user. One way to go about this is give the user options to cut down on the amount of information shown in this view.

For the first time user, Erply has put together a 10-step guide to get started and take the most out of the service. While the service is manyfold and offers a lot of possibility for different companies, it would be interesting to hear comments from different kind of entrepreneurs; retail and those in other lines of business. This is because my experience has taught me that to create a successful product in a certain niche it has to work extremely well in that niche and that usually results in not working so well in other niches. This is my thinking behind trying to cram too much possibilities for everyone.

Nevertheless, it does look interesting and I still, despite slight constructive criticism, think there’s a lot of potential in the service. After all, they’re still in beta. Much of the success of the service depends on the capability of commercialising the service meaning what is the price users would have to pay for the service.

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