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Which platform for the Ecommerce Express?

Benjamin Dyer, CEO of Sellerdeck Software, an E-Commerce specialist, looks at the pros and cons of marketplaces versus your own E-Commerce store

An important decision in the early days of your web channel is what platform to sell from. There are several choices: packaged software solutions versus bespoke, or desktop versus online.

Here I will focus on the online marketplace versus your own domain.

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Loyalty schemes - the elephant in the room?

Now and again at Sellerdeck we get asked whether our E-Commerce software includes functionality to support a loyalty scheme. The answer is no, and there are very good reasons why we have not developed it. I thought the rationale would be worth sharing more widely. If you're considering developing a loyalty for your own site, it might just persuade you otherwise.

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Driving your business from the sales forecast

Years ago I found myself on a board tasked with privatising part of the old Greater London Council (GLC). We submitted a bid to buy our business but it was unsuccessful and the business was sold to some other guys. Just before I received my marching orders I did get a chance to see how the new predators operated. There are some lessons that I've never forgotten.

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Why what you don’t need is more important

Years ago I had a friend who lived with his parents, held down a good job and saved prodigiously. The result was that he had tens of thousands of pounds to invest as he saw fit.

One day he announced to me that he was starting his own business and had been looking at some warehouses. He didn't know what would go in the warehouses or who would buy the goods. But they were fine warehouses available at a good rate.

This is an extreme example of the wrong way of going about starting a business. When you begin in business, you mustn't do anything that isn't vital at that point in time.

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Play to your strengths

This is my third blog in a handful of months that is essentially about people issues in a start-up, but I make no apology for that. I will, however, admit that a few years ago, before I had actually started a business, I was a sceptic on this subject. But that was then, this is now.

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