June 28, 2012, 5:04 PM

MarketLive gives mid-sized e-retailers a ‘Jump Start’

The e-commerce platform provider offers a stripped-down product.

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E-commerce platform provider MarketLive today introduced a service that enables mid-sized e-retailers to quickly set up relatively simple and low-cost online retail sites.

Dubbed “Jump Start,” the program has attracted more than a dozen e-retailers over the last year. MarketLive privately invited those retailers into the program. The retailers launched their sites in 90 day or less—about two months less than the normal set-up time for MarketLive’s standard platform—and for $120,000 each—about 25% cheaper than the full-service platform designed for larger e-retailers, says MarketLive founder and chairman Ken Burke. MarketLive charges its retailer clients fees that start at $10,000 per month.

MarketLive can cut costs and speed up the time to launch by using one of 80 possible e-commerce site configurations that incorporate what it deems the most popular and important features in e-commerce, such as shopping carts and product listings. To minimize cost and deployment time, retailers in the program cannot request any customization of the preset configurations in the 90-day set-up period, Burke says.

After that period, most mid-sized retailers don’t need much beyond what is included in the preconfigured software, he says. That will help keep costs low as customizations can add significantly to the price of building an e-commerce site.

Outdoor furniture merchant Brown Jordan International finished relaunched its e-commerce site, BrownJordan.com, with the MarketLive program in March. Since then its online sales increased 120% on average for each product compared with the same product’s sales last year, says Paul Dempsey, the retailer’s e-commerce manager. Page views also jumped by 38% and the bounce rate—the rate at which customers immediately leave after viewing just one page—decreased by 90%.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with how the web site is doing,” Dempsey says. The old Brown Jordan site was home-grown and required consumers who placed orders to go through a series of tedious steps. Dempsey cites MarketLive’s regular upgrades and its strong integration with other vendors—in particular, e-mail service provider Bronto Software Inc. and search engine optimization and rich media company DEPLabs Inc.—as instilling confidence that his I.T. team will be able to improve the site as needs arise.

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