June 26, 2008, 12:00 AM

E-commerce Solutions

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Retailers can also focus on particular groups of a retailer’s products, he adds. “We can take the top 50 SKUs and see how they’re doing across multiple advertising strategies,” he says.

Optimizing resources

Deciding what e-commerce technology to deploy, and how far to expand it with the latest functionality, can vary widely among retailers, says Bernardine Wu, founder and CEO of FitForCommerce, a company that helps merchants identify their technology needs and find the right match with a technology vendor.

For example, it helps retailers decide whether to deploy e-commerce technology on their own servers, through an on-demand system hosted by a vendor, or an on-demand, hosted system that comes with complete managed services. “If you don’t have enough internal technology resources, you may need something with managed services with good administration tools designed for business users to manage products online,” she says.

Retailers may also have to decide if they want an e-commerce platform with, for example, built-in guided navigation or to opt for guided navigation as a separate, best-of-breed application. Either way, Wu says, the retailer should try to estimate the return on investment. “Don’t do guided navigation just because it’s cool,” she says. “Make sure you can cover the cost of it.”

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