From DM News' Special Report on E-Commerce Platforms & Software: Build Your E-Commerce Platform With Many Planks

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Retailers know the importance of having an online presence to their business, but today's challenge for the e-commerce-savvy firm is how to use multiple channels to drive sales online.

Search plays a key role for the marketing efforts of retailers. However, an ongoing issue is how to ensure that consumers find the product through their search efforts and follow through with the purchase. Conversion rates are being improved with analytics and through various refinements in search marketing techniques.

As is known, better design is always a key to get the browser to become a buyer. Retailers are bolstering design with information on product listings, easier-to-use shopping carts and more secure credit card pages. This content is key to the consumer experience, and e-commerce firms are stressing this to their clients.

Search and navigation marketing tools also are being employed to let retailers merchandise within a search engine. These software platforms let retailers enhance search into an online sales person by giving consumers product information like color, price and size.

Personalized e-mail is a key way to drive customers to a retailer's Web site, too. By offering promotions relevant to the consumer, e-mail has become an effective way to drive sales.

Also, supplier firms are helping retailers test major offline ad campaigns by launching to smaller audiences via the Web.

Finally, a way to attract buyers is through relationships between online retailers and e-commerce portals like Amazon and eBay. By including products on such portals, retailers can tone down the problems associated with system integration, timely customer service, real-time inventory and availability information.

DM News invited key players in the e-commerce platforms and software space to discuss trends, challenges, new products and services, clients and projects in the fastest-growing e-commerce channel.

The discussion participants were:

Mark Wachen, CEO of Optimost,

New York (mark_wachen@optimost.com);

Robert Coon, president of Dydacomp Development Corp., Totowa, NJ (rob@dydacomp.com);

Corey Leibow, president/CEO of

Mercado Software, Pleasanton, CA (cleibow@mercado.com);

Brian Dean, vice president of strategy and marketing at Ecometry Corp.,

Delray Beach, FL (bdean@ecometry.com);

Brian L. Carpizo, CEO of Junction Solutions, Lincolnshire, IL (bcarpizo@junctionsolutions.com);

Jane Cannon, chief operating officer of CommercialWare, Natick, MA

(jcannon@commercialware.com); and Ken Burke, CEO of MarketLive, Petaluma, CA (ken.burke@marketlive.com).

Read what these executives have to say about their work for clients like Brooks Brothers, Macy's, Overstock, Time Warner and Williams-Sonoma. Their thoughts are a good platform for your future e-commerce efforts.

For a PDF of the report, click here or cut and paste the link below into your browser

 http://www.dmnews.com/cms/lib/6444.pdf.

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