December 22, 2000, 1:33 PM — There was a time when, if you were in charge of a Web site that needed e-commerce capabilities, you had to add them yourself. Today you can contract that service out. One of the companies that provides that service is Iconomy, which this month signed an alliance with OrderTrust to help expand its e-commerce network of suppliers. In an interview with InfoWorld Editor in Chief Michael Vizard, company Chairman Aaron Day outlined Iconomy's strategy.
InfoWorld: What exactly does Iconomy do?
Day: Iconomy provides complete outsourced, private-label e-commerce solutions for content-community sites. Put very simply, our clients build the brand and bring all of the traffic, and we drive and perform all of the e-commerce on the back end. We create a site with their brand identity and host the site.
InfoWorld: How does this get done?
Day: When we work with our clients, we assign a client services team: an account executive, a designer, a merchandiser, and an integration engineer. What it involves is our clients usually hosting links that link into the site that we've created for them. Typically when we start, we have them give us all their graphical treatments, their logos, their typefaces, colors, sizes, and all that information, and then we have a design staff in-house that integrates all of that information as we develop the user interface and the site itself.
InfoWorld: So why is this a better approach than buying an e-commerce application and doing it myself?
Day: It's already integrated with all of our products, all of our vendors, and it's a very object-oriented system. That allows us to reuse different data and design objects very quickly and cost-effectively. We're building up a library of objects over time,[and] that's going to give us a lot of customizability. For instance, we're now focusing on the CRM [customer relationship management] side of things, integrating various promotion and rewards programs, coupons, and those types of modules.
InfoWorld: What are the alternatives?