RealTime IT News

AltaVista Deploys Rewards Program

The CMGI Inc.-owned AltaVista portal this week unveiled a rewards program that extends to all of its shopping partner sites, in hopes that the points program will draw e-commerce customers from its competitors.

The rewards program is the first that a CMGI company has deployed with the help of Netcentives Inc., which the company allied with -- and took an equity stake in -- last month. Netcentives will likely create points-based loyalty programs for many of the holding company's 70 sites.

"For the first time ever, online shoppers will be rewarded for all the steps they take to make smart shopping decisions," said Michael Rubin, executive vice president of marketing and e-commerce, AltaVista Co.

Visitors to AltaVista's shopping site will be rewarded for shopping at 700 different merchants through the program. They can also earn points by researching and comparing products, and browsing departments.

To kick off the program -- and give membership an initial boost -- the company unveiled a sweepstakes promotion, in which it'll be giving away a Mercedes convertible and a trip to Germany, vacation packages, and 500,000 points.