There is special form of e-commerce networks that I classify as syndicated e-commerce. Actually, it as more of a model for deploying e-commerce than an actual network itself, as you will see.
First of all, a syndicated e-commerce network requires a sponsoring agency. This agency can be a manufacturer, a distributor, a professional asociation, or any group of affiliates that share a common commercial purpose. And, the sponsoring agency must have a significant number of affiliates (members, sales partners, agents, etc.) who share a common set of e-commerce objectives.
A sponsor takes the lead in providing the online marketing expertise and developing the requirements for the e-commerce enterprise. The purpose of the syndicated approach to e-commerce is to share the reduced cost benefits with the affiliates, such as:
- A shared, secure server infrastructure (I like a private cloud)
- A shared design template (that can still be customized to the member's custom branding)
- A shared catalog schema (that will accept multiple lines of products)
- A shared sales force (that shares a homogeneous customer base (e.g.homeowners)
- A shared set of marketing materials (web portal, flyers, etc.)
- A shared webmaster (for technical support and administration)
The fundamental idea behind syndicated e-commerce is that a sponsor can work with a web developer to enable its partner/members enjoy a professional online presence and its commercial benefits for greatly reduced costs without having to hire and manage the expertise themselves.
I have been working with this type of online syndication for a number of years and have been lucky to have worked with excellent sponsors. I will try to share what I have learned about syndicated e-commerce as I see what level of interest and questions the subject generates.
Please feel free to jump in with your comments an ideas. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org