- Multichannel ecommerce
Multichannel ecommerce (eCommerce, e-commerce, electronic commerce) consists of selling products or services through third party retail partners. Multichannel ecommerce can be differentiated from traditional retail distribution partnerships in that the manufacturer usually maintains a single product management system that electronically feeds into multiple partners. These partners can be: a comparison shopping engine like Google Product Search, a search engine like Bing Marketplace, an online marketplace like Amazon or an online shopping malls like Yatego.
Between 2005-2010, multichannel distribution has become a significant part of the overall ecommerce universe. The key factor in the development of multichannel ecommerce has been the advent of online marketplaces, which aggregate product and inventory information from multiple merchants and display on their own sites, either in a branded or a non-branded fashion. Companies like Amazon, eBay, Buy.com, Shop.com, and Overstock all allow online merchants to syndicate product information to their product and inventory databases and generally receive a commission for goods sold through their marketplaces. According to Amazon.com, up to 40% of its revenue is now derived through the sales of third-party goods through its Merchants@ and Amazon Associates programs.
Product and inventory information that feeds into marketplaces is aggregated either through a seller portal offered by marketplaces or via data uploads and links in the form of flat files or XML feeds. Merchant integration services are often utilized by merchants in setting up direct XML links with the marketplaces. Most frequently, merchants rely on third-party integration services offered by companies like PJ Media, Linnworks, eSellerPro, SolidCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, Ixtens, and Mercent.
Multi Channel commerce is supported by various software applications that enable, Enterprise and business globally to build an infrastructure, that allows customers to experience a unified and personal experience across all the sales channels. As the Multichannel solution providers build better software applications, business responds with ever increasing demands for software venders to deliver against. This area is one of the most evolving areas of technical innovation. Market leading venders Hybris, ATG (Now Oracle) and IBM all compete for dominance of the Enterprise space.
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