For companies offering tools and services for small businesses, partnering with an ecommerce platform eliminates the need for in-house development and creates an established customer base for their products.

Scott Varner, vice president of business development at Ecwid

When COVID-19 shuttered the doors of thousands of businesses, brick-and-mortar sellers, many for the first time, headed online to maintain their businesses and livelihoods.

It was a shift brought on by necessity. Still, as consumers and merchants grow increasingly comfortable with the convenience of digital marketplaces, ecommerce is becoming a mainstay for businesses of all types and sizes.

Industries that have traditionally relied on physical locations to do business like banking and manufacturing are now exploring ecommerce avenues, while retailers and restaurants are looking to expand their online capabilities. To keep up with the increased demand, service providers for small businesses need to evolve with the times.

That’s where strategic and technology partnerships come in. Partnerships are the easiest way to deliver experiences that meet evolving consumer expectations quickly.

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A win-win situation

Choosing to pursue strategic partnerships versus creating new solutions helps platforms speed up merchants’ online migration. Creating in-house solutions requires extra time and financial resources and puts platforms into direct and unnecessary competition with other established technologies. Partnerships are an easy way to avoid these costs.

For companies offering tools and services for small businesses, partnering with an ecommerce platform eliminates the need for in-house development and automatically creates an established customer base for their solutions. With the newfound urgency to deliver ecommerce capabilities to their customers this year, website builders, POS systems, agencies, and other SaaS platforms have launched partnerships to serve and reach more merchants. Many are reselling these services alongside their own to ensure they can quickly offer full suites of solutions for online selling. These relationships increase visibility and expand reach for all companies in the solution stack.

The holidays are here

The holidays are a huge annual shopping event, but many retailers and merchants don’t know what to expect this year. As we gear up for the most online holiday season yet, tech companies across ecommerce will need to collaborate to ensure a seamless merchant experience.

With holiday shopping starting earlier and online demand growing more than ever, merchants face many increased challenges. These include everything from rising unease around delivery delays, cutting through the noise of online promotions, and ensuring they have a robust platform that is easy for their customers to transact. The best ecommerce platforms today have a robust range of options to serve these needs:

Partnering with a range of shipping providers and making the process as easy as possible is critical; it gives merchants flexibility and comfort to know they have a variety of shipping options at their disposal.

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Ensuring merchants have robust tools to market their business and make their products discoverable is also critical. Partnerships with top social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, marketplaces like Amazon, and email platforms like MailChimp ensure merchants can reach their customers where they are already spending their time.

Lastly, it is vital for merchants to have a platform they can trust to scale with demand. When demand surges, merchants want to know the platform is reliable and secure and gives them the tools and features they need to keep up with traffic and sales.

During this unprecedented holiday season, tech providers across ecommerce will need to stay nimble within a fluctuating changing economy and retail landscape, all the while anticipating seller needs. Strong partnerships can ensure a platform is ready to help merchants pivot or adapt when it matters most.

The next phase of partnerships

No longer is ecommerce a “nice-to-have” for businesses, big or small. It’s a necessity. And the pandemic has shown us that reliance on ecommerce will only grow. Collaboration significantly helps sellers and other platforms wishing to add ecommerce capabilities keep pace with the current ecommerce boom. Instead of investing time and resources to build services that have become table stakes for their clients, partnerships enable technology platforms and service providers to offer a comprehensive solution.

Yet, partnerships are only the first step. Looking forward, many technology companies are now embracing white-label deals for the most innovative features, tailoring technologies to the specific needs of their merchants while growing the services offered under their own brand.

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Naturally, ecommerce will exist beyond COVID-19, as it did before. However, it will continue to evolve with the times. Robust partnerships hold the key to ushering in a new era of innovation. It’s time to take advantage.

Ecwid is a hosted cloud commerce platform.

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