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RealTime IT News

Tandy Enters The Lion's Den

E-tailing's newest player, electronics retailer Tandy, is hoping its online retailing model, which draws on the logistics expertise of Australia Post and the e-commerce solutions of Smartbuy, will be the one to work. Tandy has declared its online doors open for business, following several months of development and systems integration undertaken by e-commerce solutions provider Smartbuy.

Tandy.com.au has launched with an initial product offering of about 70 per cent of its catalogue range of products, although the retailer said this percentage is set to increase over coming weeks to include an extended range of software, console games and computers.

Working with Smartbuy, Tandy said it eventually intends to feature over 30,000 products, integrating its own with Smartbuy's range of home entertainment and software merchandise. The site features an auction function, Tandy auctions, an integrated online action zone where consumers can bid for bargains, and a Gift Centre offering gift vouchers, suggestions, wrapping and reminders.

Smartbuy was appointed as Tandy's e-tail arm in November last year, after changing its original model from a 'pure-play' e-tailer to an e-commerce solutions provider for retailers. Under the partnership, Smartbuy is responsible for managing, marketing and continuing to develop Tandy's Web site.

Smartbuy has provided Tandy with a fully operational front and back-end Web system, customised for Tandy specifications. The site is managed on a daily basis by Smartbuy.

The package was provided using Smartbuy's existing relationships with Davnet, providing Web site hosting; Unique Web providing Web site programming and development; and Customer Care supplying call centre services.

The site is also fully integrated with Post Logistics, a business unit of Australia Post, which offers Tandy access to Post's transport and distribution network. This includes scaleable warehousing, inventory management, automated pack and pick fulfilment.

"We see Tandy Online as an extension of the service we offer through our stores," said Tandy's managing director John Winstanley. "The site is a great way for customers to buy, or simply research products before they come into the store. The next phase of development will truly integrate the stores and the site, so that the site will actually help drive consumers through our stores."

Tandy said this initiative, which will see the site completely integrated with Tandy's network of 3000 stores and dealers who will offer a number of payment and pick-up options, is currently underway. The full integration will also create in-store kiosks enabling customers and salespeople to look up extended product information.

Smartbuy general manager Kathryn Saducas said this ability would truly set Tandy apart from other e-tailers. "This is a true clicks-and-mortar relationship and combined with the strength of the Post Logistics partnership, the Tandy brand name, a huge range of products and a good Web site, we think we've got a winning formula," she said



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