Holiday Shoppers Rush To The Web: Can Online Retailers Handle This Season’s Growth?

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During this holiday season, online spending is expected to rise 11% over last year, bringing the projected holiday e-commerce spending to $32.4 billion according to ComScore. Holiday shoppers are clearly heading to the web and according to ComScore Chairman, Gian Fulgoni, the e-commerce holiday season "has gotten off to an extremely positive start." Large retailers have the systems and processes in place to handle this projected spike in sales but what about the thousands of small online merchants? Will they be able to handle the growth?

We are seeing increased interest in our software over the past few weeks

Holiday sales can overwhelm any business, especially small online retailers during the peak sales weeks between Thanksgiving and mid-January. With a high growth forecast for this year, one of the biggest fears of many small online merchants is making shipping errors and having inventory stock-outs thus missing out on their share of the ecommerce boom. With larger order volumes during the holiday season, manual tasks such as typing in the address on every shipping label can become difficult to manage. Not to mention the hassle of maintaining inventory information in spreadsheets.

Fortunately, a few start-up software companies have emerged with solutions for these small businesses. One of them, Ordoro Inc, based in Austin, Texas, provides a web based order management and inventory management software for small online retailers. Ordoro is becoming more popular as the weeks leading to Thanksgiving show an boost in online sales.

"We are seeing increased interest in our software over the past few weeks", says Jagath Narayan, Co-Founder and CEO of Ordoro, “many merchants, who used to struggle with filling orders on time and keeping inventory on track, are now managing their sales easily via our web interface.” The Ordoro web software integrates with shopping cart channels such as Amazon, Shopsite and BigCommerce, and also tracks inventory in multiple warehouse locations, whether in-house or at outsourced fulfillment centers.

"I’m impressed with what Ordoro has to offer small and medium sized merchants," says Rob Mangiafico, CTO of Lexiconn Internet Services, which hosts hundreds of ecommerce merchants on their platform. As web-based software becomes more prevalent, companies like these are bringing their offerings to the small business space, with an affordable price tag. The Ordoro software, for example, starts at $99/month, and services like these are being well received by the ecommerce community.

Based on the growth projections, this may be an exciting year for small ecommerce businesses. We'll have to wait till January to see what gifts were left under the tree during this year's holiday sales.

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Naruby Schlenker
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