Marketing Systems Analysis

13 Pitfalls to Avoid When Acquiring an Order Management System
November 3, 2005

By Ernie Schell Selecting and implementing a new order management system can be a daunting process. After all, this is a mission-critical suite of applications that can make or break your business. There are dozens of potential solutions and never enough time — or so it seems — to attend to all the details. There's also the issue of technophobia. And sorting out the real from the hype in your technology options is unquestionably a tough challenge, even if you're trying to keep up with the changes in this fast-paced field. Often the best way to achieve a successful outcome is to

Taking Credit
Strategies for Managing Credit Card Payments
December 1, 2003

Strategies for Managing Credit Card Payments By Ernie Schell Like many technologies, managing e-commerce credit card payments has become commoditized. With the methods used to manage authorizations and charges now routine and standard, and with hundreds of vendors vying for your business, costs have plummeted to near rock-bottom levels, as well. Nevertheless, handling credit card payments in any medium is always fraught with its share of challenges—preventing fraudulent charges and theft of credit card data chief among them—and the details, though manageable, require close attention. The following explanations are simplified, covering the most important details you need to know. Authorizations vs. Charges When a

Software Knowing When to Upgrade
April 1, 2003

By Alicia Orr Suman How do you know when it's time to upgrade your fulfillment software? Of course, looking at the number of orders processed by your distribution center is the first consideration. But it's a more complicated issue than that. Expansion into new markets or new business channels such as the Web also may necessitate a more sophisticated software system. Then there are other factors specific to your business to consider. To determine whether you should pursue a software upgrade, first take a look at your operation's current business processes. As a mailer that recently went through a software upgrade, Daryle Scott, president

E-Commerce Systems Options
October 1, 2002

Choose the Platform That Best Suits Your Needs By Ernie Schell E-commerce platforms play a vital role in today's multi-channel marketing mix. With Web sales growing faster than catalog or retail revenues, they also can provide the biggest return on investment. There are essentially four ways to create an e-commerce Web site:

Back-end Integration
September 1, 2002

Multichannel commerce poses new systems-integration challenges By Ernie Schell It wasn't long ago that most directcommerce companies were catalog businesses, with orders coming in by mail and phone. These orders were entered into a comprehensive catalog management system that handled customers, inventory and orders. Fulfillment was driven by the catalog management application. While this paradigm still applies in some facilities, it's more complicated for most of today's direct-commerce businesses. E-commerce Web sites are the primary source of complication. Kiosks in retail stores are another. A growing number of companies have found that a warehouse management system (WMS) is more effective in handling fulfillment

Step Up to World Class Standards (1,745 words)
March 1, 2001

By Ernie Schell Wisely selecting appropriate back-end technologies can help bolster your multi-channel, direct-commerce operations Thanks in large part to the innovations developed by and for Internet marketers, the pace of change in direct commerce has been dizzying in the past few years. Now that Web sites are de rigueur, most successful merchants have become "multi-channel" marketers—whether they like it or not. While some Web merchants invest in multi-million-dollar advertising and marketing campaigns to attract traffic to their sites, others have created successful e-commerce sites that rack up sales without much, if any, money spent on promotion. For example, when a well-known catalog