- Category: November - December 2009
By relying on a specialist, companies not only reduce their security risks significantly, but also benefit from the hard-won experience of the third-party service provider when it comes to supporting e-commerce applications. And who wants to handle these complicated e-commerce systems at all? Especially as the number of vendors that need to be integrated into the site continue to grow? We all know that in one way or another, many e-commerce systems are not up to the challenge of either defending themselves if attacked or processing high volumes of transactions should they suddenly become popular destinations. Not to mention that proportional to the buying enthusiasm on the Internet, customer demands are growing as well: product videos, live shopping, and Web 2.0 capabilities are in great demand when shopping online. Unfortunately the shoppers’ desire often can’t be satisfied by stores that have been pioneers of the first hour, newcomers or simply companies that are under-staffed in manpower. The switch to a SaaS solution (software as a service) and to "e-commerce on demand" is here an alternative to have a cost-effective and long-term success in the Internet market place.
The challenges online merchants have to face up to right now vary from the design and marketing of the e-shops to the specification of appropriate payment methods or the handling of overdue debts and defaults. And whoever wants to sell via his e-shop worldwide across borders has to take into consideration some other characteristics, for example, product descriptions. Often it is not easy to adopt the shop-layout as it can get pretty complicated with exotic character sets for languages such as for instance Arabic, Russian, Mandarin, or Japanese. If commercial customers are buying from overseas via the Internet platform, you have to consider potential problems occurring with the payment of VAT, too.
How to choose the most suitable e-commerce shop solution
Manufacturers and trading companies that are looking for a comfortable and expandable e-commerce shop solution have a wide range of different offers they can choose from. The software palette ranges from free open-source products to simple rental shops or the acquisition of licenses for high-end solutions of “e-commerce on demand”. You can imagine that the price differences are huge, too. Even the half-life of purchased shop solutions is by now relatively short. After two or three years latest, the consumer recognizes that an online shop is outdated, if there are no upgrades, and turns to more attractive offers. It's like a shopping window nobody decorated anew.
Xsite (http://www.xsite.de/en.go) a German-based provider of flexible SaaS solutions for e-commerce to the upper middle class has more than 12 years experience in the market and perceives itself as more than a pure software vendor. The experts of Xsite go beyond the simple SaaS model by offering a "software and service solution” where the entire e-commerce project is developed, operated, maintained, as well as technically and conceptually advanced as a Managed Service and therefore aptly named "e-commerce-as-a-service".
Interesting is here the fact that their model emphasizes the online revenue of the customer who pays -based on the performance usage of the entire e-commerce framework of the service providers. The whole system can even be controlled and administrated over the Internet. Xsite takes over the entire operation, including redundant hardware, regular backups and security. The powerful and scalable environment grows dynamically with the requirements and is designed in that way so that it can respond flexibly to peak loads such as the Christmas season or temporary events.
Xsite's business model goes further beyond the normal saving opportunities of a SaaS solution as the company comes on board as a full partner of the shop operators. This means that they agree either on a percentage of the Net Internet revenue of approximately three percent or a fixed transaction fee, which is billed monthly for each order actually carried out in the e-shop. This creates a win-win situation for everyone involved: the shop operator saves the high initial investment and ongoing personnel costs for maintenance of software and hardware and Xsite assists in the continuous optimization of the e-commerce system, since they earn with every sale.
No wonder then that the outlook for software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based business solutions looks quite rosy for e-commerce. The American consulting and research firm Gartner expects that by 2013 approximately 40 percent of e-commerce offerings are based entirely on SaaS and 90 percent will use at least one SaaS component.
Obviously customers of Xsite seem to be already ahead of their time, making use of an on-demand solution that provides a complete technical infrastructure with the guarantee of round-the-clock availability, security and good performance.
Apart from the visible redesign of the online shops, as for instance with product videos, live shopping or Web 2.0, it is about payment procedures, safety, language and legal specificities in the background for international online stores. With “E-Commerce on Demand” it is no problem to fulfil all expectations, as the powerful and scalable environment grows with the requirements. Every six months Xsite customers’ get new, innovative e-commerce functionalities for free that ensures them of staying ahead of the competition.
By Daniela La Marca