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Chapter 7: Ecommerce

Other Alternatives

Merchant storefronts can be a option if you do not need to have a separate web presence. With these accounts you essentially are selling your wares through the vendor’s application. The purchase occurs with the vendor and you are paid by them. The fulfillment of the merchandise becomes your responsibility and you are typically rated by buyers and build up a reputation within the system. Good examples of these sorts of options include Amazon and Ebay. With Ebay, you of course are working within an auction sales model, but now they offer many of the features of a standard storefront. The basic difference is that you are a merchant within the vendor’s program and you are not marketing yourself independently.

Full Custom Ecommerce is a necessary option for larger or very customized products and services. For example, if your company aggregates certain inventory from other places and needs to be able to provide a wide variety of payment options including purchase orders or COD, then you may want to consider a custom solution. The drawback with this sort of solution is of course cost as it can become incredibly expensive to build this type of application. This is a good choice for companies whose needs cannot be met with the more standard options and one of the other great benefits is that it can typically integrate with other CMS and Blog software. This category of Ecommerce is very complex and we would recommend developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) and submitting it to various vendors so that you can compare and contrast your options carefully. If necessary, you can also have an independent vendor help you with the development of the RFP.


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