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Excite Offers Tools for Small Businesses

Looking to expand its offerings to small businesses, Excite@Home Corp. Thursday debuted its E-Business Services group, which was created as a result of the company's recent iMALL Inc. acquisition.

The flagship feature of the new services is the Excite StoreBuilder utility, found within the Excite portal. StoreBuilder is a joint venture between Excite@Home (ATHM), First Data Merchant Services (FDC) and Old Kent Merchant Services.

StoreBuilder is made to allow merchants to design their own store with a suite of templates and graphics customized to specific industries. Each store is built on top of a database that can be updated to support seasonal pricing and promotions or order status in real time. Merchants can obtain a merchant account and access to the integrated payment gateway, along with an electronic shopping cart and cash register. The service also includes a secure transaction and order management system to manage credit card orders, track the status of funds or monitor store traffic.

To help promote the newly created storefronts, Excite automatically registers new storefronts with www.excitestores.com on the Excite portal as well as a variety of well-known industry sites.

"The Excite StoreBuilder provides merchants with the leading fully integrated e-commerce solution," said Richard Rosenblatt, senior vice-president, Excite@Home E-Business Services. "The Excite@Home Network will be an important vehicle for the deployment of our advanced e-commerce solutions and further expansion of our distribution partners and strategy."

The overall E-Business Services is a new organization formed through the acquisition of iMALL, which Excite@Home acquired in July for approximately $425 million. It focuses on bringing e-commerce services and leading transaction solutions to online businesses. The group will leverage its existing services and technologies, including flexible store building tools, hosting products, and payment gateway solutions to work with merchants and bring them quickly online, the company said.