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What Does Flexibility Mean?

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Author: Dennis Michael Gannon

A look at e-commerce platforms Part IV

With the number of online vendors growing, the complexities of solutions that are required also change to give the vendor the proper services. Today's online solution provider has to reach new levels of service and responses to answer these growing needs. Not only working with select features of the industry, but venturing into other sectors of the online market to answer all of the vendor's requirements. Today's vendor is constantly looking for the right combination of services to expand their customer base and to reach new markets.

One key feature that seems to vary between providers is flexibility of their services and benefits. When you conduct your research, prior to selecting the provider, make sure to find out the level of flexibility in their platform. Many service providers have a standard package of what they will offer while others have a flexible approach to work better with the vendors.

The first part of this adventure is choosing the right shopping cart - this can also prove to be a formidable job; there are literally hundreds to choose from. The major service providers generally provide integration modules for the shopping carts most often used. At this point, you would want to use a shopping cart that is popular and kept up-to-date. Trying to choose the right combination that fits you can be a daunting task.

Once these first two steps are completed, your next move is to find an e-commerce service provider to allow you to accept online transactions from your targeted customers. This provider should be able to offer the options you need to conduct business wherever your target market may be. One of the major issues with this step of the online adventure is to get all the details and to compare the pros and cons of each provider. There are numerous features that are offered along with the standard payment services that most online services offer.

For the vendor who wants to sell to the largest public possible, global currencies and payment methods are needed. This in itself can create a problem with the less equipped provider because some choose a select few currencies or options to work with. When worldwide sales are expected it is best to ensure that the vendor selects the service that can deliver the major currencies and payment methods that are used worldwide.

Another issue with the global vendor is customer service and linguistics support for providing a top-notch customer support. Providing quality multi-lingual support adds a lot of benefits to any business that is doing business worldwide.

If the perspective vendor is more inclined to work with a specific market and does not need the extended global currencies, the provider needs to be able to work with local currencies and payment methods. By offering these localized currencies and payment options, a more personalized service is presented. This builds confidence in the vendors when their target market has the most popular options in their area.

To continue on the topic of flexibility, a favorite according to many online vendors is payouts. Providing fast payouts allows the vendor to reinvest their money quicker. This attracts vendors from small to medium sized business because it gives them quicker access to their sales revenues and therefore gives them the ability to restock their merchandise. Offering this feature adds to the list of features that today's vendor is looking for.

About the author: Written by
Dennis Michael Gannon
Marketing Communications Representative
Gate2Shop - E-Commerce Solution Provider

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