Business enterprises can pursue different options to develop an e-commerce platform: on-premise hosting, open-source platform, proprietary platform build, or Software as a Service (SaaS). The first three options give the technology departments within business entities substantial control over the affairs of companies. Furthermore, open-source e-commerce platforms, where all aspects of the code can be modified, are cumbersome, and expensive to maintain. They require technical knowledge to operate, which evolves at a rapid pace. As opposed to SaaS, with open-source e-commerce platforms, users are responsible for Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance and for security issues. In addition, with Software as a Service (SaaS), firms are likely to incur a substantially lower annual cost of ownership versus other alternatives.
Businesses should focus on key operating activities to meet business objectives, which include developing customer experiences, marketing policies, operational processes, and team building. An e-commerce platform should free resources and streamline business activity to allow for the development of operating efficiencies and strategic initiatives. It must also be scalable to accompany business long-term growth.
With self-hosting e-commerce platforms, businesses need to deal with installations and software updates, which can prove costly. While providing better visibility for own data and understanding of data security, it can prove extremely complex and time-consuming dealing with non-business generating issues. Cloud hosting with Google or Amazon offers solutions with significantly fewer downtimes. Holderchem has developed an e-commerce platform, Hedge, which is cloud-hosted, offers chemicals and construction materials suppliers powerful features needed to run a business and the ability to integrate with common business tools. While allowing entities to centralize operations, it provides them with sufficient flexibility to run their businesses their way.
Brands using Hedge will have their own customizable domain name. They will benefit from significant uptime of a mobile-optimized site, application programming interfaces (APIs), and from the bandwidth that can be enhanced as business activity increases. They will take advantage of the marketplace platform Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and extensive build-in features, which specifically address concerns of businesses involved in the supply of chemicals and construction materials. Features include promotions and discounts, analytics, catalog management, affiliate program, Payment Card Interfaces (PCI), etc.
Hedge will typically meet the requirements of chemicals and construction material suppliers. The platform, which is very easy to use, will fulfill suppliers’ needs to promote, market, and sell a product catalog. It provides flexibility for the management of product catalogs and customer data, allowing for the addition of multiple images in any item, import-export of customer data, products, technical datasheets, and Material Safety Datasheets (MSDS). Users may push products from Hedge over to Amazon and vice versa to conduct multi-channel selling.