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News Corp.’s Clear Channel, GE unveil mobile-optimized storefrontsBy
News Corp.’s Clear Channel Radio and General Electric have both debuted mobile-optimized online storefronts to expand their respective footprints and drive revenue.
The companies tapped ecommerce service provider Sum Effect Software Inc., which recently unveiled CoreCommerce 7.7, the latest version of its shopping-cart platform featuring a mobile-optimized online storefront. Mobile CoreCommerce extends merchants’ online access to millions of Web-enabled mobile phone users.
“Working with Sum Effect [to integrate] CoreCommerce has been a pleasure from the beginning,” said Matt Scafidi, Melbourne, FL-based webmaster at Clear Channel Radio. “We were looking for an ecommerce solution that required minimal set-up and maintenance while being user-friendly to both administrators and customers—we found our answer!
“The staff have been extremely courteous, flexible and quick to respond to any problems
or questions we’ve encountered,” he said. “Moving our Web store to CoreCommerce has yielded increased profit margins and expanded sales opportunities available to us.
“There are many ecommerce providers floating around on the Web, but before you pick one, do your due diligence and look closely at CoreCommerce.”
Sum Effect Software is dedicated to providing software that makes marketing, selling and supporting products and services easier for merchants.
Sofware-as-a-service ecommerce platform CoreCommerce helps small-to-medium-sized retail businesses sell their products on the internet as an ecommerce software provider.
Mobile CoreCommerce is a new feature that the company has released with version 7.7.
Hardcore mobile commerce
The mobile-optimized storefront in CoreCommerce 7.7 automatically detects if a mobile device is accessing a CoreCommerce customer’s storefront. It then instantly adjusts and optimizes the display for the smaller screens of mobile devices.
The mobile storefront includes an optimized front-end check-out and merchants can continue to use their existing payment processors.
“We wanted to extend our traditional Web storefront software for our clients so they can tap into the growing mobile commerce traffic and give our merchant clients even more prospective customers,” said Matt DeLong, president/CEO of Sum Effect Software, Franklin, TN.
“To my knowledge, we are the only ecommerce software providers to have done this,” he said. “This new feature has been deployed to all our merchants—it’s turned on by default.”
Inline payment processors, such as Google Checkout, have already announced that their payments platform is already mobile-optimized.
Other ecommerce storefronts display full size Web sites, showing only two or three square inches of the full size site at a time on mobile phone screens, requiring users to constantly scroll and move the image around to see the rest of the storefront.
Sum Effect Software claims that the CoreCommerce 7.7 mobile storefront eliminates all of that manipulation to make it easy for mobile device users to buy online using their handset.
The new Auto-Suggest feature in the search function of CoreCommerce 7.7 is designed to help ecommerce shoppers find items they are interested in and wish to buy.
Similar to the search suggestion function of major search engines such as Google, when a shopper starts to type, the CoreCommerce 7.7 search will display a drop-down list of suggestions the shopper can click on to execute the search.
This minimizes typing and mistakes and helps shoppers find products fast even if they are unsure of the name or correct spelling.
Every online store has buttons to facilitate shopping, such as check out, add to cart, save and view cart.
CoreCommerce now comes with a library of 45 predesigned button groups that merchants can choose from. Each group has a theme reflected in button shape, size, font and graphical rendering.
A merchant can choose a theme, and CoreCommerce automatically installs all of the buttons from that group throughout the storefront to give store owners control over the look and feel of their sites.
Keeping online product offerings and images up to date is essential in ecommerce, according to Sum Effect. To that end, CoreCommerce 7.7 launched ccImagePlus with Picnik, a Web-based photo manipulation program.
Store owners can upload product photos and use ccImagePlus tools to resize, crop, touch up and edit images automatically, on the fly, then post them on their storefronts in real time.
Current CoreCommerce customers will automatically be upgraded to version 7.7 at no extra cost.
While GM and Clear Channel Radio have adopted the platform, CoreCommerce’s shopping cart system is designed specifically for the small business retailer.
Other clients include Olan Mills, Minnesota Work Wear, the Outdoor Store and BorgWarner, as well as basketlady.com and careformenaturally.com.
Enterprise-grade hosting with Rackspace and fully-encrypted security, 24/7 ticketing support, live chat and flexible payment processing and shipping integration, CoreCommerce is geared toward businesses looking to add ecommerce to an existing Web site, replace their current shopping cart provider or build their first online store.
Support for iPhone and BlackBerry
Mobile CoreCommerce has been optimized for Apple’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry platforms.
Sum Effect is currently working on other mobile platforms based on our customer feedback.
Merchants can use their existing payment methods to accept payments from their customers via Mobile CoreCommere.
These include MasterCard, Visa, check, money order, COD, pickup, post office, gift certificates, Google checkout, PayPal, checkout by Amazon and echecks from Transaction Central, Payments Gateway and Authorize.net.
Also, merchants can accept traditional credit cards—Mastercard, Visa, AmEx and Discover—through one of Sum Effect’s 33 payment gateways with which the company integrates.
“Our clients are the merchants who sell stuff online,” Mr. DeLong said. “We didn’t want our client’s customers to have to download and install an app to make a purchase from our
“Client customers can find their mobile optimized store fronts the same way they would with traditional desktop storefront—Google, Yahoo, Bing, etcetera,” he said.
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