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Online Retailers Create Cooperative Shopping Portal

Shopping site Webtailer.com, conceived by merchants for merchants in an effort to reduce the cost of new customer acquisition, has launched with a promotion for Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Participating retailers include Omaha Steaks, Fashionmall, FragranceNet.com, K-Tel, shades.com and others. Webtailer.com said its initial test period results had an average sales conversion rate of 6.2 percent and a cost of new customer acquisition under $5.

The idea is to share customers in a way that is low risk, low cost and mutually beneficial for all the merchants.

Merchants have the capability to update their information and special offers in real time. Reporting features have also been incorporated into the merchant interface to provide critical marketing information. A Merchant Advisory Board oversees the operation.

"When you look at a traditional brick and mortar shopping mall, companies are indirectly sharing customers by physical location. The challenge was to find a way to do the same thing on the Internet," said Webtailer.com President Roger Bohner.

"Webtailer.Com is effective because each merchant has made the commitment to work together under a set of guidelines that they established."

During December, 10 percent of the gross revenues at Webtailer.com will be donated to Make-A-Wish and a portion of revenue will be donated throughout the year as well.