Making e-commerce flow for retailers


Making e-commerce flow for retailers

I happen to agree with your comment (Publisher's Note, May/June 1999) particularly with regards to workflow and sales on the Internet. It would appear from the research we have carried out that this is still early days in the e-commerce market in Australia and retailers really would like the whole thing to go away. Consequently most retailers are not embracing the change and will do the minimal amount only and hope that they have done enough for the situation to go away.

Nor do I think many retailers understand the effect e-commerce will ultimately have on their business and therefore at the moment it is not important to have a fully integrated system that looks after Web sales the same way over the counter transaction are handled.

I have invested over $1 million in building a product that provides the retailer with a set of Visual Basic screens (not HTML) which handle methods the retailer expects to see in the recording of inventory items, that is, normal back office functions.

The system also handles account customer sales at multiple pricing levels according to privilege, and is also date driven. In the event inventory slips below preset numbers the item is removed from the Web and therefore cannot be sold. Inventory handles most items retailers want to see with 3 dimensional products (colour/size/style), packaging, alternates, complementary sales and so on.

The inventory system is the core to ongoing development that handles the entire operation of a retail system The operator can select items for publication on the Web but is not forced to put everything out for sale.

The retailer is given a set of standard templates and if they elect to use one or more of them, then there is no more work to do. The system automatically generates the pages for punters to buy from. No special skills required.

Peter Bourne

Disc Computer Systems

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