The Major Types of Ecommerce Platforms
Once a business owner decides to expand his or her business online, one question always looms: What is the best ecommerce system to use? The answer is simple: The one that is a perfect fit for your business. With the many ecommerce platforms available in the market, it is best to talk to an ecommerce expert to see which type fits your business best. Listed below are the different types of ecommerce platforms, segregated into four categories. All ecommerce platforms utilize the power of Cloud Computing and offer Software as a Service (SaaS), except the third category.
I. Small Business Ecommerce Solutions: Yahoo Stores / Magento / Volusion
- Entry-level ecommerce platform
- Best for small and startup companies
- Basic interface
- Appearance and functions have limited customization
- Low cost and quick to setup
II. Complete Customization Ecommerce Solution: Aspdotnetstorefront
- Suitable for businesses that need a customizable ecommerce store to complement its existing business
- Best for mid to large-size companies
- Appearance, functions, and features are customizable
- Perfect for 3rd party application integration and data mining
III. All-In-One Ecommerce Solution: NetSuite
- Best for companies who want to manage the entire Internet business in one system
- Full-featured system including: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Accounting, Inventory Control, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), etc.
- Provides real time visibility across entire Internet business operation
- Perfect for data mining and data analysis, with scalable and customizable reporting capability
Payment Fraud Detection, Prevention, and Management
Issue: As eCommerce sales grow, so does the number of online frauds. The dollar losses due to online fraud have risen to a number exceeding 3.6 Billion, but the percentage of fraud to revenue has stabilized at about 1.4% (See Chart from MarketingSherpa) from 2006 – 2008 because of the improvement in technology, as well as better online fraud preparedness by merchants.
1. Detection - Credit Card: AVS (Address Verification Service), CVV (Card Verification Value) Code. All ecommerce systems nowadays should have mechanisms to reflect real-time AVS and CVV results after an order is submitted. Tools such as Maxmind are available to provide a fraud score that can help merchants determine the riskiness of an order. The scores are determined by factors such as:
Locating the buyer’s computer IP (Internet Protocol) address and matching with the credit card’s billing address/city Enhanced proxy detection to make sure buyers are not trying to hide their own computer from detection Identifying the issuing Bank BIN (Bank Identification Number) Check Frequency of chargebacks issued with a particular credit card history
Third Party Payments though mediums such as Paypal can also minimize risk by verifying and linking up accounts with both buyers and sellers’ checking/saving accounts. New Guidelines & Technology from Visa/Mastercard are created to further ensure authentic transactions:
PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliance – A set of guidelines for online merchants to follow in order to ensure the hosting environment, ecommerce system, operation procedures, and logistics are all compliant in order to minimize the chance of being hacked-in or leaking of sensitive information. Mastercard SecureCode/ Verified by Visa – New technology that allows a customer to input a secret code before submitting a transaction. It also protects the merchants who offer this technology on their websites from liability if there is a fraud.
2. Prevention: To prevent frauds, a merchant must develop a fraud prevention policy and process using all the detection tools available. These tools have to be combined with existing experience learned in combating online fraud to maximize the policy’s effectiveness. Polices and processes that are too strict or too lenient will either yield a loss of good orders or high fraudulent charges.
3. Management: As chargebacks occur, in addition to fighting them with supporting policy and documents, merchants also needs to learn from it (whether the case is won or lost) in order to adjust the prevention policy/process for the future.
Opportunity: International Sales account for 10-20% of revenue. The number one reason that merchants are reluctant to accept these orders is because of the “Fear of Fraud”. Therefore, if the anti-fraud policies and processes are setup correctly, there will be more potential to expand this channel for sales growth.
We frequently receive questions about e-commerce from business owners who want to expand online but don’t really know where to start. Here are some of their most frequently asked questions.
Q: What are some of the differences between the platforms Cybertegic specialize in? A: Cybertegic currently offers four major e-commerce platforms.
1. Volusion is an entry level e- commerce system. Volusion is a great platform for startups or small businesses that would like to have a basic web store. This platform is popular due to its easy-to-use dashboard control, low costs, and four to eight-week development time.
2. Microsoft Aspdotnetstorefront is the most advanced Microsoft ASP.net based e-commerce shopping cart platform in available. This platform is suitable for any business owners who needs a fully customizable e-commerce store to complement an existing business. This platform is popular because of its hundreds of customizable features, such as Gift Registry, Wish List, Multi-Lingual, and more.
3. Last but not least, Netsuite is a completely integrated system, perfect for managing a business owner’s entire Internet business. Netsuite is a great e-commerce platform suitable for mid-size to large-size businesses. Its features include a web store, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), accounting, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions, and much more. It’s perfect for those looking for a scalable and customizable enterprise reporting and data mining capability.
Q: If we are not doing a new website, is it possible to make modifications based on our current website? A: It is always more difficult to modify an existing website than to create a new one. It is important for the client to know that the cost of modifying an existing website may be more than the cost of creating a new one. Each website should be evaluated case-by-case to determine the best course of action. Factors that contribute to this decision include the scope of the website (what exactly needs to be accomplished), the underlying technology (what kind of platform is currently in use), the level of access, and the level of support we will receive from the client.
Q: Should I manually import my products one-by-one? A: This is a matter of manual vs. database import. The more products there are, the more time-consuming it is to input a product one by one manually. If a client has more than 100 products, a database import is the most efficiently way to create product pages.
Q: Which e-commerce platform offers product data feed that can be used for shopping comparison site feeds, and which one does not? A: Both Volusion and Channel Advisor offer pre-integrated feeds to different shopping sites. Converselt, the feeds will need to be customized in Aspdotnetstorefront and Netsuite.
Q: Which e- commerce platform is the most SEO friendly? A: All the e-commerce platforms we specialize in are SEO friendly.
Q: What is Cloud Computing? A: In this case, the word “cloud” is synonymous to “Internet.” Cloud computing is an Internet-based development and use of computer technology. Examples of Cloud Computing companies are Amazon, Salesforce, Netsuite, Volusion, Google, and Microsoft.
Cloud computing is divided into:
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): evolution of web hosting and virtual private server offerings.
- Platform as a service (PaaS): provides all the facilities and tools required to support the complete lifecycle of building and delivering web application and services over the internet.
- Software as a service (SaaS): a software provider licenses an application to customers to use as a service on demand.