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Why is that ideal? Because rather than simultaneously juggle three or four different companies to expedite services for your client's site, you have one point of contact for all your e-commerce needs. Later, this benefit extends to your clients as well: they will have that same point of contact for all of their customer service and maintenance issues. Everything is already consolidated and streamlined.
Of course, compatibility and integration is key to a successful partnership. Therefore, technology like automated payment processing systems, catalogs, and shopping carts must not only be state-of-the-art, but flexible enough to be seamlessly integrated into your design work. Here, your vendor should be able to offer secure transactions, a robust processing system, full-featured catalogs and shopping carts (with custom-design capability), and secure hosting at a recognized data center.
And so you don't have to foreclose possibility working with a wide variety of clients, your service provider must be able to accommodate multiple business models and commerce channels - from shippable e-tail and downloadable goods to subscription and donation-based platforms.
Above all, process of adding e-commerce functionality to a website should always enhance design. Aesthetics and navigability cannot be jeopardized. Your web development credibility is at stake when you integrate an e-commerce platform into a client site - and that's why your service provider has to be reputable on all fronts. With a single, reliable vendor, you also avoid any 'weak links' among a group of individual service providers.
Finally, if you are working with a single-source partner, you have opportunity to negotiate a lucrative reseller or revenue sharing plan. Your web development packages will not only offer total e-commerce functionality, but every time you e-commerce enable a client site, you'll earn a percentage or fee for referral. By working with a vendor who consolidates all aspects of an e-commerce platform, you have a better position to leverage a worthwhile revenue sharing deal.
Kurt Thumlert is Internet Content Specialist for PaymentOnline - a company that provides e-commerce solutions like the eCom Business Pack Pro for Web Developers . Feel free to contact Kurt at firstname.lastname@example.org