Marathon's E-Commerce Implementation Services cover a wide range of services, reaching far beyond simple shopping cart implementations. Marathon looks at the successful e-commerce launch as a comprehensive set of technology and business components addressing every major functional requirement of the e-commerce enterprise. These requirements typically parallel those associated with the traditional sales cycle. Leaving any requirement unfulfilled is likely to have a detrimental impact on the success of the e-commerce initiative.
Functional requirements range from the promotion of the enterprise and related topics, through the completion of sales transactions, to order fulfillment, and eventual reporting in the financial and cost accounting systems. Therefore, Marathon takes great care to assist clients with the definition of requirements and scope of the e-commerce system. The following illustration presents the various business functions associated with a complete e-commerce system and relates the functions to the appropriate technical component. It also identifies the components provided and requirements fulfilled by the typical packaged shopping cart solution.
The Marathon approach to this challenge is to leverage existing, commercially available software with a series of custom-developed components required to meet specific client requirements across the entire spectrum of functionality.
While many packaged shopping cart solutions fulfill their narrow requirements quite effectively, many, if not most, fall short on the Internet Marketing side of the equation. Without the ability to draw customers to the site through a highly appealing site design, effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and PPC campaign management, shopping cart-centric e-commerce solutions can produce disappointing sales results. Failing to consider and execute a cost-effective marketing strategy leaves a critical gap in the e-commerce capability spectrum.
Marathon specializes in Internet Marketing services, possessing a highly (100%) successful track record. Based on thorough analysis, defined strategies, and measured results, our achievements in this area have always exceeded client expectations.
A major element in the Marathon e-commerce solution is our ability to leverage existing software to the client's advantage. This is particularly true in the critical area of shopping cart selection and implementation. Marathon assists clients with the selection of the appropriate shopping cart software by helping the client define specific business requirements and then recommending a solid shopping cart package. In all cases the recommended package also includes the application software source code, enabling the client to modify the package to his or her specific business needs. This also reduces the risk of being totally dependent on a distant vendor who would otherwise have control over the client's implementation. Even the most successful software companies are acquired by competitors or cease operations. Possessing the software source code allows the client to eliminate the impact of that risk.
Many clients have certain "downstream" software systems in place. This could include Order Fulfillment, Shipping & Logistics, Supply Chain Management, Management Reporting, and Financial and Cost Accounting, among others. Some are packaged and some are in-house developed systems. The goal of the e-commerce initiative should be to leverage those components to the fullest extent possible, with a minimum need for duplication or replacement. While the choices vary, this is usually accomplished by developing an integration strategy that presents the most cost-effective and maintainable solution for the client environment. Data is then maintained in the optimum location and easily shared among client systems.
Marathon takes great pride in our ability to assist clients with the creation and deployment of holistic e-commerce solutions through the provision of expert thought leadership. This capability results directly from the experience level of our consulting staff.
Client Success: SwimWays
SwimWays brought Marathon in to develop an ecommerce solution for two of its brands - SwimWays® and Kelsyus®. In less than 11 weeks, Marathon successfully launched 2 ecommerce websites. Both websites were fully integrated into SwimWays' ERP and Order Fulfillment systems, and were constructed using Marathon's Search Engine Optimization methodology.
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