Outsourced e-commerce and software delivery-purchase options
Shipwire is integrated with a ton of shopping cart and e-commerce software systems (List of Shipwire compatible e-commerce systems). Some we have built ourselves, a lot have been built by third party developers using our Fulfillment Web Services APIs.
A lot of existing and new online merchants ask us, “what cart do you recommend?” This is a lot like asking us “who should I marry?”
Honestly, we don’t really know, it (the shopping cart question) is a personal choice based on your business need, technical expertise, long/short term sales strategies and personal preferences.
That said, there are some basic shopping cart hosting and delivery models that you should be aware of when choosing. I’m writing this blog to give context for this great presentation that went on at Internet Retailer 2009 called “The DIY Approach: Why and How Some Retailers Do it All In-House”. I would have called it “E-commerce Software Delivery Option – Pros and Cons” as I think that would have been more descriptive.
- Licensed – Buy an annual or 1 time license for a piece of proprietary software that you can use.
- Hosted Licensed – You get a piece of licensed software; but, a vendor or VAR hosts it. There are various options for level of outsourcing, management and maintenance here.
- Software as a Service – Outsourced. Rent the software you need, have it delivered over the Internet and pay for it monthly or usage based.
- Roll your own – Build your own software.
- Open source – Collaboratively built software that you can use to build your own solution.
- Commercial Off the Shelf – Basically licensed software that you can use in a host your own or hosted model. Sometimes referred to as “COTS”
I’m putting up this post because if you don’t understand the pro’s and con’s of the models above you should spend the 30 minutes to watch the presentation. The guy from Gartner has a a nice visual model that shows the pro’s and con’s for each delivery and licensing type that is one of the more straight forward that I’ve seen.
Remember, most software (not just your shopping cart) can be delivered similarly. So this presentation can help as you look at e-mail software, analytics, fulfillment, inventory management, etc.
To help you understand – Shipwire provides it’s Store-Sell-Ship® platform Internet-delivered for outsourced e-commerce fulfillment (Software as a Service). Meaning Shipwire hosts it, maintains the software, improves the software, provides API’s so you can get data in and out of the software and you can get a fulfillment free trial or a free Internet postage printing trial. Through our software you can get access to all of our warehouses, shipping rates, shopping cart connections and of course your complete shipping history with us.