Demandware, Stephan Schambach’s latest start-up, is hoping that the online, hosted model so successful for companies like Salesforce.com will translate well to the e-commerce world.
Demandware, a 20-person company founded in February by Schambach, who also started e-commerce pioneer Intershop in 1992, plans to launch a new hosted service early next year designed to let companies quickly assemble e-commerce Web sites.
People looking to set up custom, high-volume, commercial e-commerce sites have a few options: buy thousands of dollars worth of computing gear, and hire programmers and other staff to assemble it all, or sign up with a hosting company for a one-size-fits-all storefront. “Neither of those two basic approaches really helps (midsize) companies that need advanced functions and want to look like Amazon.com,” Schambach said.
Demandware is offering a third option, and targeting companies that want e-commerce sites in a hurry but don’t want to set up the software themselves or settle for the cookie-cutter, me-too look and feel of available hosted services. The company’s service, which uses the latest technology, such as grid computing and Web services software, combines the rapid start up offered by hosted services with the endless customization available through specially built software.
Schambach said that a company doing $5 million of business online a year would spend between $3,000 and $5,000 per month for a customized, e-commerce site hosted by Demandware, based on how many customers they serve per hour.