As online merchants look for new ways to market themselves in an increasingly competitive climate, e-commerce service provider MarketLive is betting it has the answer with a new subscription-based suite of marketing tools.
MarketLive also is taking the wraps off a host of upgrades to its online selling platform and a new developer community network.
“The strategy is based on the fact that to help retailers be successful online, that’s not just about selling them the technology, but about building a service for our customers that includes a platform, marketing solutions and a community for support,” Ken Burke, founder and chairman of the company, told InternetNews.com.
But it’s the addition of new marketing features — called Intelligent Commerce Solutions — to MarketLive’s hosted offerings that mark perhaps the most significant addition in the update.
The subscription-based offerings promise to help online sellers save time and money, through outsourcing functions such as advanced site analytics, search engine marketing, e-mail marketing and merchandising.
Specifically, MarketLive’s Intelligent Insights offers access to regular performance analysis and custom reporting, based on Omniture Analytics. It also supports Google Analytics. The company said that customers also receive detailed recommendations from MarketLive analysts and Internet strategists about improving performance based on the analysis.
Users can access search engine marketing tools through MarketLive’s new Intelligent Acquisition Solutions feature. Future solutions will include natural search engine optimization (SEO), e-mail marketing and affiliate marketing.
Meanwhile, a third component, MarketLive’s new Intelligent Conversion Solutions, provides “A/B testing” — a tool for testing how different offer compare in effectiveness — and eventually will offer product categorization and merchandising, the company said.
Every MarketLive client will receive “interactive branding” help from experts for free as part of the company’s new offerings, the company added.
Networking and developer outreach
The company also rounded out its family of new services with MarketLive Intelligent Commerce Connections, a moderated forum in which the company’s online shop owners and platform developers can exchange ideas and share in problem solving.
Housed under the Connections section is the developer’s area, called the Developer Exchange. There will be a discussion board and training areas in which MarketLive engineers offer instruction on using the service’s APIs
The forum is now available on a limited membership basis, with general availability for all MarketLive merchants slated for April 2.
MarketLive platform updates
The new marketing features and developer forum aren’t the only major enhancements in the company’s latest version of its core hosted offering, the MarketLive Intelligent Commerce Platform (ICP).
Updates to MarketLive ICP include new storefront and administration features and a 30 percent improvement in application performance, according to the company. It also provides new services for integrating back-end processes, partner technologies and custom-built application modules.
The hosted offering also is built on a new, scalable architecture, aimed at meeting sudden spikes in traffic or seasonal demand. It also offers built-in edge content caching, which helps merchants stream media — images or video — without performance degradation.
Additionally, MarketLive said it’s now using an enterprise-class network operations center for uptime monitoring, along with a PCI-compliant infrastructure.
“The MarketLive Commerce Platform offers the right features, reliable hosting and third-party technologies in a single solution,” Burke said.