eFashionSolutions.com – way beyond hosted e-commerce

Retail Solutions Online recently posted an interesting PDF download called 12 Lessons Learned In Driving E-Commerce Success from eFashionSolutions.com.

eFashionSolutions.com is not just another hosted e-commerce provider – they do offer a robust hosted eCommerce platform specifically focused on the fashion and entertainment industries, but they differentiate by providing marketing and online branding services. According to their Media Strategist, Carrol Van Stone,

The eFS management team collectively has over 170 years of fashion and retail industry experience, offering its clients a wealth of market knowledge to assist them in developing effective and successful online eCommerce initiatives. eFS understands its clients’ business and, thus, is able to add value to a client’s brand both on- and off-line by providing marketing creativity and intellectual resources which a client can leverage to enhance brand awareness and market penetration. With leading brands and retailers such as DKNY, Judith Leiber, Oscar de la Renta, JLo by Jennifer Lopez, XOXO, Apple Bottoms, Baby Phat, Phat Farm, Rocawear, Dereon by Beyonce, Orange County Choppers, among many others, as well as partnerships with leading pure players such as Amazon, Billboard, and Google, eFS delivers a proven global eCommerce platform tailored especially for the needs of our industry.

Although their hosted service is optional, over 95% of their clients operate that way.

Their site gives you a portal into their ideas on presentation. I was impressed by the high degree of finish in their work.

If you’re in the fashion or entertainment business, eFashionSolutions is a player you should check out!

The latest from Amazon

Web King Amazon.com has just announced the Amazon All Business Center, which includes WebStore by Amazon, an interesting looking hosted e-commerce application. The pricing on WebStore is $59.99/month, and you can list your own items which you will fulfill along side Amazon.com items that they fulfill. This is an extension of the existing aStore offering, where affiliate marketers (called “associates”) can list Amazon items and get referral fees.

Each of the two store options has a different look and feel, with some different configuration options. You can check out a demo aStore at http://astore.amazon.com/demostore-20 and a demo Webstore at http://atthetrailhead.com/.

Here’s the press release on the All Business Center from Amazon.

KonaKart updates

KonaKart – one of a small number of Java based carts, just announced a release; InfoQ discusses it here. I spoke to John Hornsby of KonaKart about the advantages of using Java (versus PHP) for cart development. My thinking was that the biggest win was the elimination of bugs up front because of Java’s type-safety, but John’s take was much more expansive:

“Different people will have different reasons for choosing Java over PHP but generally it gives you a far richer, more-elegant, multi-tiered development environment than PHP and offers much greater scope for scalability, security and performance.”

The abundance of formally trained, professional Java software developers can’t hurt either. It will be interesting to follow this work as it develops. Good luck to the KonaKart team!

StoreSuite – Looks sweet!

The guys over at Interspire are building their own shopping cart, called StoreSuite. They’re hoping to release this year, and they’re blogging about it on a daily basis. So what’s the differentiator? From what I can tell, they’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what everyone else did wrong, and trying to do it right.

Here’s the Product Comparison page:

StoreSuite Product Comparison Page

Product removals from this page are done by Ajax, so there’s no waiting for page refresh.

Page design is done using Drag and Drop, which is a big departure from normal template design.

And of course, you’ve got to have a tag cloud to have Web 2.0 credibility. 🙂

You can browse more of StoreSuite’s features here. I’m waiting with anticipation!

Internet Retailer’s Guide to E-Commerce Technology

Guide to E-Commerce TechnologyInternet Retailer’s Guide to E-Commerce Technology is a who’s who of firms working in the e-commerce space, from affiliate marketing to web monitoring. The format is quite interesting – it’s laid out as a directory, but each page is bisected and each firm gets only half a page (so the entry for IBM is the same size as the entry for Zoovy). Many firms provide pricing numbers, and SMBs need not be intimidated since a variety of price points are represented.

Busy signal at Volusion

Volusion just came out with a new release of their shopping cart software. I wanted to blog about it – but I also wanted to ask them about whether bandwidth-based pricing in hosted e-commerce (which they use) is inherently misleading. Some people have reported significant surcharges for “exceeding their bandwidth allocation” – are they just anomalies? What percentage of Volusion’s clients pay an additional bandwidth charge every month? Do any users at the lowest tiers not pay surcharges? When I didn’t receive a response for five days, I thought I’d check the ticket, but found that it had been closed with no acknowledgement! When I pressed them on the issue, they deleted the ticket. It’s almost as though they’re dodging the issue. Hmm…..

Why is technorati so easy to game?

Look through technorati seems like a reasonable way to generate new ideas for your site, blog or cart, right? I mean, let’s just do a quick search for shopping carts and see what people are talking about. Wow – Ashop sure is popular. In fact, according to many bloggers,

Ashop Commerce is a leading US provider of hosted shopping cart software that offers a complete solution for merchants to sell online.

Has anyone in human history other than a paid pitchman used the phrases “leading provider” and “complete solution” in a single sentence? And why can’t technorati filter out obvious splog postings? And why on earth is Ashop using this idiotic strategy?