My Startup: Woosage, Brighouse
Woosage is a new eCommerce platform founded by brothers Scott and Ryan Brant from Brighouse in West Yorkshire.
It’s designed to integrate the widely-used WooCommerce platform with the well-known Sage accounting package used by online retailers and traders worldwide.
The product synchronises orders and stock between WooCommerce and Sage, saving the end user both time and money by negating the need to re-key orders in both systems. It also automates stock level updates to reduce the likelihood of transcription errors.
Founders: Scott Brant and Ryan Brant
We spoke to the Brant brothers to find out more about their company...
Why did you start Woosage?
We’d been providing a custom WooCommerce-Sage integration capability to eCommerce clients and others through our digital marketing and web design agency, Vizulate Digital, for quite some time.
Being a mainly custom-built solution meant that it was complex to install, operate and support; as well as being expensive – meaning it was a difficult product to scale. We’d received lots of enquiries from developers, business owners and end users wanting an off-the-shelf solution that we just couldn’t accommodate.
But, innovation is at the heart of what we do, and we knew there was a good chance of commercial success if we put our minds to bringing an off-the-shelf solution to life – so we decided to get to work.
Tell us more about the software?
Woosage is a WooCommerce-Sage 50 integration solution that’s designed to save time and money by integrating WooCommerce shops with Sage 50 Accounts Software (UK versions only at present) used by online retailers and traders worldwide.
It’s simple to operate and, as was made clear as a requirement throughout our research, capable of being downloaded and installed by the end user, or their web agency.
It essentially has two variants; Woosage, which automatically imports orders from WooCommerce to Sage, and Woosage Pro, which adds the benefit of stock level synchronisation between the two, meaning that the likelihood of transcription errors is significantly reduced.
Where’s the business at right now?
We now have five clients live on Woosage with more coming online shortly and are just about to put our first beta clients on Woosage Pro.
What are your aims for the next year?
With the challenges we've faced, we're cautious about our plans for the next 12 months, but if we can make Woosage the leading solution for UK customers then we can look to update the software to work with various international versions of Sage 50.
What’s been the hardest thing about getting Woosage off the ground?
The sheer amount of time (and resource!) it’s taken has been astounding. We’ve spent the best part of two years developing it while delivering projects for Vizulate Digital clients and pitching and securing new business.
The BETA testing phases have also been, well – testing! We initially designed and built a prototype of Woosage 1.0 using a cloud-based mechanism to buffer the transactions. However, after expending a considerable amount of effort we abandoned this approach, mainly due to the escalating costs of the cloud facility, brought about by making it too complex!
The phrase “keep it simple, stupid” sprang to mind, so we then developed Woosage 2.0 which had to be tested by clients using Sage v24 and v25, followed by clients using other Sage versions for Beta two. We’re glad to report that both versions are now generally available!
Why should more people be using or investing in Woosage?
If you’re a web design or eCommerce agency building sites using Woocommerce and you need an off-the-shelf integration tool that satisfies the requirements of the client but is also packaged up and ready to go as part of your site build, you’d be daft not to consider Woosage.
The amount of time (and headache) it can save agencies and clients makes it a no-brainer really.
How much will it cost customers compared to other similar tools? and why is it worth it?
Woosage costs £500 per year and Woosage Pro will be £999 per year. When you consider that some businesses may otherwise have had to spend considerable additional time and resource re-keying orders into Sage, it's worth it.
There are other solutions out there but they have the same challenges that our original software had in that they are cumbersome and can be costly to install.