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Buy.com Offers New Online Market Strategy

Online retailer buy.com has launched on the Australian market with an e-tailing strategy it claims will make it Australia's first end-to-end e-commerce, multi-category retail business.

The company will use a three-pronged strategy to win a significant proportion of the 3.8 million consumers who are set to be shopping online the end of the year, according to managing director of the Australian operation Richard Baillie.

"Buy.com's new-generation real e-tail is not about more bells and whistles, but about properly addressing the fundamentals of retail, which are choice competitive pricing, customer service and fulfilment," said Baillie.

Baillie said that so far in Australia, no other e-tailers had yet offered consumers true end-to-end online capabilities from the point of browsing and customer advice through purchase and order to dispatch, installation and after sales service.

"In contrast, buy.com is a totally integrated online system at all points from initial browsing through to dispatch," he said.

Buy.com Australia is jointly owned by US retail giant buy.com and the Internet investment vehicle of Softbank and News Corporation, eVentures.

EVentures was established last year by Japanese Internet investor Softbank, and News' e-commerce investment fund, epartners.

On the new site, buy.com customers will be able to browse, obtain reliable product advice and buy 24 hours a day, seven days a week with next day delivery in most capital cities, Mr Baillie said.

Buy.com prices will be between 10 and 20 per cent below those for the same goods in the local regional shopping centres, offering a range of goods including office supplies, communications, electronics and computing equipment.

The Australian company has developed "chooseware", an online recommendation engine that finds products to meet the needs and criteria specified by customers.

"It is reality time for the virtual retail sector," Baillie said. "The sector has to start delivering true choice, price competition and fulfilment rather than making hollow claims about the demise of traditional bricks and mortar retail."



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