The e-commerce industry is changing to increasingly incorporate the online sale of services and one Brisbane start-up is not about to let this business opportunity pass it by.
"E-commerce is moving from being product-centric to service-centric," said osCommRes CEO Damian Hickey. "With things like travel, hotels and car hire, people are now trusting the Internet as a place to order services."
Since its inception in 2003, osCommRes has been developing its self-titled, open source eCommerce software package that manages bookings, ticketing, subscriptions and marketing for businesses selling services. The software is available under a GPL licence and can be freely downloaded from the company's Web site.
The product is aimed at small and medium businesses that may not have the resources to have their e-commerce systems custom-made. Hickey said tennis courts, yoga classes, music schools, and food and beverage venues are potential users of the software.
"The service industries make up 70 percent of western economies, and only a small proportion of these are on the Internet at the moment," Hickey said. "Service-based e-commerce is an area that's going to explode. Over the next two years, there is a market potential of literally billions of dollars."
In addition to its open source software, osCommRes will launch an on-demand service that includes Web hosting and an integrated payment service. The additional service aims to further simplify e-commerce for small and medium businesses.
"Although it's possible for businesses to set up and host their own sites, there are a lot of ancillary functions - merchant facilities, security, software updates, integration - it's a complicated process," Hickey said. "It's time consuming and a bit annoying, and we [osCommRes] just take the pain out of all that."
osCommRes's on-demand services will operate on commission basis.