TradeGecko has been put out to pasture.
Launched in 2012, then sold off and renamed QuickBooks Commerce in September 2020, TradeGecko is being retired as a standalone product by its new owners, Intuit.
But why? And what can you do?
Let’s ask – and answer – some of the awkward questions raised by this $80 million buy-out and prune-off.
Alright, explain the TradeGecko sunset announcement please
Here’s the TradeGecko sunset announcement in short:
- TradeGecko – AKA QuickBooks Commerce – will be switched off on June 10, 2022
- As of June this year QuickBooks is no longer accepting new TradeGecko customers
- QuickBooks is trying to convince its US-based TradeGecko users to move over to a new version of the product which has been embedded in the QuickBooks Online accounting product
- US TradeGecko users won’t be able keep their old accounting setup – it’s QBO or nothing
- Everyone outside the US who uses TradeGecko / QuickBooks Commerce is being cut off
The last point in particular is causing quite a stir among inventory management software users. To be clear:
- If you’re outside the US and currently use TradeGecko, even if you want to stay with them, you can’t
- That applies not just to TradeGecko users integrated with accounting packages like Xero, but even to TG users that integrate with QuickBooks Online.
How frustrated are TradeGecko customers?
Yeah, us too. Complete bullshit. Invalidates two years worth of work for my team, and now we need to scramble to find an alternative.
— PWA Menear (@PWAMenear) June 9, 2021
Especially frustrated are the cohort of customers from outside the US that came onboard just prior to TradeGecko’s purchase last year. With these users now forced to go through a second, needless, software purchase and integration process, the comments made by QuickBooks top brass last year have taken on a darkly ironic twist:
“Small businesses around the world are struggling to survive in this rapidly changing environment,” said Alex Chriss, EVP and GM of QuickBooks… Integrating TradeGecko’s capabilities into QuickBooks Online will give our small business customers new paths to growth.”
Source: Intuit blog
Why is QuickBooks throwing away customers?
Officially, QuickBooks has answered this by saying:
“Following our acquisition by Intuit last year, we have focused on integrating QuickBooks Commerce and QuickBooks Online in the US. As we continue to build a more durable product integrated with QuickBooks’ robust platform to help our customers grow their businesses, we are retiring the legacy commerce product (formerly known as TradeGecko) that you are using.”
Which alert readers will notice doesn’t answer the question at all…
So why are they really throwing away customers?
The primary strategy for QuickBooks in buying TradeGecko was clearly not to sell accounting software to its newly acquired customer base. At $80 million for a few thousand inventory management users, that would never make sense.
Instead, the primary strategy (we can presume) was to gain an inventory management module it could upsell to its more than 3.2 million US QuickBooks Online user base.
Indeed as far back as Intuit’s 2019 Annual Shareholder Meeting the company was projecting that 80% of revenue was expected to come from existing customers, suggesting that upsell and cross-sell plays a big part in its recent strategy.
And looking after software customers takes effort
Remember too, that recruiting and serving customers in different regions generally requires skilled local support staff – in the very least, staff working in the same time zone. It’s part of why it’s so important, when assessing inventory management software, to look closely at who will support you and where those support staff are based.
So with this in mind, we can now make an educated guess about why QuickBooks has told so many customers that they don’t want them any more – and that they should start looking at moving to a competitor’s platform.
In short: the effort of looking after its existing TradeGecko / QuickBooks Commerce customers was outweighed by the more pressing goal, for Intuit, of boosting US revenue.
What can TradeGecko customers do?
There are two parts to this question, based on whether your business is inside or outside the United States.
What can TradeGecko users inside the US do?
US-based TradeGecko / QuickBooks Commerce users have the option of swallowing their pride and migrating to the new QuickBooks Online + QuickBooks Commerce bundle.
Certainly the company is making the shift appealing: For the first 12 months users will pay (in addition to their regular QuickBooks Online subscription) just $20 more per month to use the order and inventory management bolt-on.
Be aware, though, that after the first year costs are likely to jump dramatically. A struck-through figure on their US page suggests the $20 rate is down from $150 per month – but realistically, users will simply have to wait and see to find out what their monthly software bills will look like one they’re on the system.
What can TradeGecko customers outside the US do?
As discussed above, QuickBooks have made it clear that TradeGecko / QuickBooks Commerce users outside the US will not be allowed on the platform, and have gone as far as pointing their customers to popular software comparison sites Capterra and GetApp to look for alternatives.
Users will need to export their data and migrate their system to their new software platform before they’re switched off on June 10, 2022.
It will naturally be very important for those shifting to discuss, with any potential new software vendor, exactly how their data migration will be managed.
What are the best TradeGecko alternatives?
Users looking to shift to a new system have a huge amount of choice. However the most suitable options, in terms of delivering a largely equivalent alternative to TradeGecko, can be narrowed down to:
- Dear Systems
- And of course, Unleashed
For anyone interested in comparing Unleashed vs TradeGecko, there is a comparison page here:
- Read more: How does Unleashed compare to TradeGecko?
Meanwhile you can compare all three options side by side against QuickBooks Commerce here on Capterra:
Finally, can you get a refund for TradeGecko / QuickBooks Commerce?
The issue of whether you can get refunded was covered in detail in the TradeGecko sunset announcement documentation. The short answer is ‘yes’ – customers will be refunded for any unused time after they cancel. However there is no compensation for the time spent or costs incurred by TradeGecko users from being forced to shift.
Article by Greg Roughan in collaboration with our team of inventory management and business specialists. Greg has been writing, publishing and working with content for more than 20 years. His writing motto is ‘don’t be boring’. His outdoors motto is ”I wish I hadn’t brought my headtorch’, said nobody, ever’. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand, with his family.