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Yahoo! Broadens Shopping Range

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Yahoo! Australia and New Zealand today launched Yahoo! store, an economical option for building, hosting and managing online stores.

Yahoo! Store is a combination of an authoring tool and a hosting service where a merchant's store is built on the Yahoo! server, using an easy point and click interface. There is no software involved, merchants need only be familiar with an ordinary browser.

The finished site is hosted by Yahoo!, who offer individual domain names or the option of Yahoo! Store's naming - au.store.yahoo.com/yourname. Customer orders are accepted securely using industry-standard SSL encryption, and can be retrieved securely from the Yahoo! server over the Web.

Merchants can log in to change their site or retrieve orders from any browser at any time, and are able to update a site as often as several times a day. While the site is being edited, visitors continue to see the previous version, but once changes are published, the updated version instantly becomes visible.

The pricing is $30 a month for a store selling 20 items, and $60 a month for up to 1000 items. There is no startup fee, and merchants can cancel at any time. For a further fee, merchants can elect to join the Yahoo! Shopping virtual mall as a way of driving traffic and increasing sales.

The tool has been used to build many of the shops currently existing within Yahoo! Shopping, but will now enable smaller merchants to be guided step by step through setting up a store, managing the store once it is up, and retrieving customer orders in a secure way. The solution also features a suite of tracking and reporting tools.

"This is one of the fastest, easiest and most economical ways for merchants to create an online commerce site and grow their business on the Web," said Yahoo! Australia & NZ's product director Alan Jones.

"It's already proven highly successful overseas with more than 12,000 merchants making use of the tools so it's great that it's now available for Australian businesses."