RealTime IT News

GeoCities Introduces Digital Storefronts for Small Businesses

GeoCities announced the launch of GeoShops, an electronic-commerce solution available to all GeoCities "homesteaders."

Through a partnership with Internet Commerce Services Corp., which uses software provided by Open Market, GeoShops allows any GeoCities homesteader to easily and inexpensively commerce-enable their site to sell products on the Internet, the company said.

In addition to gaining access to all existing GeoCities tools and utilities, each GeoShops Merchant will receive a license to engage in commercial activity, a full 15 megs of server space (additional space available), a URL address for their store, and unlimited e-mail aliases.

Those who elect to make their GeoShop transaction-enabled will get secure, real-time, credit-card processing capabilities; use of TaxWare to calculate sales tax and shipping; and order notification and fulfillment.

GeoCities said it expects to welcome more than 100,000 marketers and online shops, generating nearly $10 million in revenues, during the program's first 12 months of operation.

"GeoShops is the culmination of our mission to integrate commerce into our dynamic online community," said David Bohnett, CEO of GeoCities. "Our mission has always been to offer a valuable service and sense of place on the Internet for the nine million users who visit GeoCities each month. With GeoShops, we have created the most compelling and robust commercial page program available anywhere on the Internet."

To create GeoShops, GeoCities has established relationships with ICOMS (Internet Commerce Services Corp.) and, through ICOMS, Open Market, two of the most well respected and reliable e-commerce names on the Internet. Financial details were not disclosed.

A GeoShop costs $24.95 per month for a special listing in the GeoCities neighborhoods and up to three "Topics" pages, plus a $100 fee to register the merchant's domain name directly with InterNIC.

A $120 one-time startup fee for credit card processing will be applied if the GeoShop Merchant elects to use GeoCities' transaction technology powered by ICOMS. A monthly charge of either $80, or $40 plus 5% of transactions, whichever is larger, will be applied to each GeoShops Merchant.

In addition, GeoCities said it has entered into a marketing partnership with Wells Fargo Bank to facilitate the establishment of special accounts for GeoShops Merchants.