E-Commerce Update

Back in April, Forrester Research released its now famous report predicting the “Imminent Demise of Most Dotcom Retailers.”

With a few months left before this year’s online holiday shopping season gets into full gear, seattle.internet.com headed for the Eastside to see what one Bellevue-based company is doing to help e-commerce retailers revive.

Ecadia’s President and Co-Founder Mark Jaffe hails from the Los Angeles entertainment industry. In fact, the concept for his Bellevue-based company came up in the midst of his involvement with the release of the music for a Dreamworks SKG animation film. Jaffe, who saw a great need for a system that enables information to consumers teamed up with Software Industry veteran Joe Levin to form Ecadia in March 1999.

According to Jaffe, on the average most e-tailing sites experience just a two percent conversion of turning shoppers into buyers. What can be done? Jaffe believes it is all about providing the necessary content and sales-closing functionality.

As regard content, Ecadia has formed two key strategic partnerships that have set the stage for it to roll out its customized software applications. The company signed a partnership agreement with CNET Data Services to provide easy-to-find product information and with Consumers Digest Online to provide on-site third-party product evaluation and review content.

Ecadia’s Buying Decision System allows consumers to effectively make a buying decision in one place, streamlined navigation, guided searching and comparison, product location and product content managmenet. “It is all about making the buying experience simple,” says Jaffe.

As regard product content management, a major benefit of Ecadia’s buying decision system, is that it easy to administer changes such as relevant info on products sales or price changes. Thus, the product manager as opposed to the IT specialist can be in charge of the content management.

As Jaffe sees it, three major things have occurred in the e-commerce space in the past six months. Profitability conversion is now a leading factor. “It’s no longer just about attracting customer eyeballs,” says Jaffe.

“There is also recognition that one needs to leverage the customer’s knowledge not ignorance,” continues Jaffe. Finally, branding is a function of the customer’s online experience rather than the merchant’s message. “It is the customer’s experience that needs to be reinforced.”

The system is already in use by DailyShopper Network, and the company is currently in negotiations with other e-commerce companies and anticipates to make some announcements shortly.

“At the end of the day, if you take the needs of your customers into consideration, you will be the preferred solution.

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