March E-commerce Digest

March 28, 2012 by Elan Sherbill.

This March, Building Keystones researched and published blog posts on our favorite e-commerce Twitter accounts, reducing churn with proper dunning techniques and the state of downloaded software vis-a-vis SaaS and apps.

We also kept an eye on the latest developments and insights in how software is sold and delivered online. The links below highlight some of the best articles that we’ve read this month. Use the Comments section below to share your favorite e-commerce articles and videos.

Alex Payne — How Not To Sell Software in 2012: Alex Payne, one of the original employees at Twitter, writes that in our day and age, software vendors need to simplify overly complicated sales processes so that purchasing software is as easy downloading an app.

This quote sums up his position, “Basically, if a given software package or service isn’t free/open, it should be as easy as humanly possible to try it, pay for it, and start using it in production. If it isn’t easy to get started with your product, I’m going to find another vendor.”

The post continues with a list of eight “Don’ts,” those companies that are getting it right, and those companies that are doing it wrong.

Internet Retailer – Amazon steps up competition in cloud services: Amazon is the acknowledged gold standard of online retailing. According to Internet Retailer, this e-commerce behemoth wants to occupy that same position in cloud based service offerings.

The important point here for vendors of electronically delivered software is something we have pointed out time and again here at Building Keystones. Namely, cloud computing, PaaS and SaaS are on the rise and companies need to understand how they can leverage this growing technology.

Amazon is so certain of this fact, it is cutting prices for its web services up to 42% in some instances; another example of a strategy Amazon employed with both the Kindle and the Kindle Fire: selling products or services at a loss in order to corner a specific market.

Order Management Hub

Source: Brian Walker, Forrester Research

Forrester Blogs – Order Management Has Become A Strategic Commerce Capability: Forrester analyst Brian Walker examines the ways in which the ordering and delivery of software are changing.

While a good chunk of the post deals with fulfillment strategies for physical goods (which is highly relevant to those of you who cross sell OEMs with your software), of special interest to purveyors of digital goods is the necessity of incorporating a variety of payment types, tiered fraud screening and managing common customer service situations.

E-Commerce Times – Shepherding Content to a New E-Commerce Platform: We’ve written in the past about the various elements upon which to focus during a re-platforming project. This post from E-commerce Times advises that companies considering a migration project abide by the 3R principle: retain, rewrite and retire.

FutureNow – 3x WhichTestWon Winner! “Conversion optimization” is a highly competitive keyword in Google AdWords, which speaks to the general (and quite understandable) desire of e-commerce companies to improve the performance of their online shopping carts. This enlightening post shares some actual test cases that encourage some practical ideas you can use to increase conversions in your checkout process, search results and landing pages.

Let us know which blogs you’ve learned from this month in your quest toward e-commerce excellence.

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