Seventy-nine percent of American adults have made an online purchase, with 15 percent shopping online weekly, according to latest numbers by the Pew Research Center. Small and mid-sized businesses want to cash in on this e-commerce market growth, and hosting providers could benefit if they offer an easy-to-use software that integrates with tools customers already use.
To that end, HostMySite, the shared hosting platform and division of HOSTING.com, has launched a new range of e-commerce plans this week, based on the latest ePages solution, a cloud-based e-commerce software, in an effort to modernize its e-commerce offering for SMB customers.
“We had a very ancient e-commerce platform at HostMySite that was also very expensive for us and for customers,” TJ Urglavitch, senior manager, HostMySite said in an interview with The WHIR. Urglavitch has worked in the hosting industry for over six years, previously at 1&1. He says the new platform is already receiving praise from customers who had built stores on its old solution.
“A lot of its SMB customers aren’t the most technically sound so having a product that is so easy to use and so simple that they can have an e-commerce shop up in under an hour really fits their needs,” he said, which vary significantly from those of major retailers. SMB merchants have unique challenges, which “include managing product load and inventory that can so quickly change for small businesses because they don’t have giant warehouses everywhere. They’ll need to update their sites frequently.”
“Not being technically sound can make it a real challenge,” he said.
Along with the fact that the new platform, called ePages Now, is easy-to-use for customers, Urglavitch says ePages was easy to integrate into HostMySite’s platform. ePages competes with other e-commerce offerings including Ecwid, Shopify and BigCommerce.
“We utilize Odin as our platform and the simplicity to integrate ePages into our environment was just so seamless through their APS package,” he said. ePages also provided support when it came time to migrate legacy e-commerce sites to the new platform, he said.
The upgrade to its e-commerce offering comes as HostMySite is focused on finding third-party solutions based on the cloud that can help elevate its portfolio of solutions for SMB customers, including ePages and Office 365.
“We’ve been an infrastructure company for a very, very long time, hosting everything within our own data centers, but with the shift of our industry and everything going to cloud we also want to be ahead of the game and become more of a managed provider and a one-stop shop for customers and their needs for their small businesses.”
HostMySite, based in Newark, Delaware, is one of the first hosting companies to launch on the new platform, according to Joachim Antonsen, business development manager at ePages.
In its latest release, ePages focused on simplicity and building out its ecosystem of third-party apps, Antonsen said.
“We’re actually in the middle of changing our whole architecture and platform,” Antonsen said. “The first phase was the redesign of the storefront and content editor, and the second phase is to change the underlying architecture of the software, which is going to be based on microservices.”
In addition to the launch with HostMySite, ePages also announced this week that it has launched a new integrated solution with CM4all, a website builder targeted at web hosting providers.
According to the announcement on Wednesday, the CM4all Sites web builder is now offered with a native integration of ePages shop functionality, based on a partnership announced in late 2016.
The partnerships come several months after Fasthosts Internet launched its eShop Builder, based on ePages technology.
Join ePages next week at HostingCon Global 2017 in Los Angeles as ePages CEO Wilfried Beeck speaks on two panels, including a panel on Weds. Apr. 6 on e-commerce trends. Still need to register for HostingCon? Use our coupon code HC36 to save $150 on your HostingCon All-Access Pass. Register today!