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"We have the technical expertise in-house to define and execute on what we want a new platform to do, but we aren't going to build the technology ourselves," Roussos says. "There are affordable and flexible commercial applications already out there that can get us up and running quicker."
While Vitamin Research is in the midst of its replatforming project, Market America has its new e-commerce system almost fully in place and is putting it to work developing more flexible customer service and social media features. One new feature allows Market America shoppers to use a customer loyalty program that pays them up to 50% back on various products. Other new features, many based on APIs and web services that facilitate communication among applications, include updated mobile apps for iPhones and iPads, and for wireless devices that work on the Android operating system. The apps allow shoppers to customize the messages they receive from Market America and see the types of daily deals and promotions they prefer from MarketAmerica.com, Shop.com and 3,000 other affiliated retailers.
"We have new technology to work with, along with a deeper understanding of API development and web services that will make our new site connect with customers in a lot more ways," Brady says. "Our new platform will let customers set up replenishment orders along with the auto-ship dates they select and use new tools to customize their vitamin and beauty purchases based on the choices they make. That's the flexibility customers want and now we have the technology to deliver it."