RealTime IT News

Net2Phone Plans Shopping Portal Powered by IP Telephony

IDT's Net2Phone said it will launch the first Web shopping portal powered by Internet telephony.

The new site, EZSurf, will integrate voice, graphics, and eventually video and push technology to enhance the online shopper's experience, the company said.

EZSurf will be designed to provide users, particularly those living outside the U.S., with the value-added information needed to buy products online.

As the international market increasingly becomes a focus in e-commerce, EZSurf will provide visitors with an array of retailer sites as well as information regarding each vendor, such as multiple payment options (including billing against their Net2Phone accounts), availability of global shipping and ability to track orders online, the company said.

Additionally, by incorporating IP telephony communication services, visitors will be able to contact retailers free of charge via voice interaction in real time without the need to visit the retailer's Web site. EZSurf will launch on February 1, and will be marketed directly to over 1 million Net2Phone users and through online advertising.

"It is clear that customers have been spending more time online, but we want to ensure that they actually make their purchases online as well," said David Greenblatt, chief operating officer of Net2Phone.

"Surfers can spend up to an hour just looking for critical information such as e-mail addresses, phone numbers and international shipping possibilities. . .EZSurf gives users value- added content combined with Internet telephony services to make the experience online significantly easier and faster."

Hackensack, NJ-based IDT's Internet telephony services, Net2Phone and Click2Talk, will be fully integrated into EZSurf, allowing visitors to call retailers, friends and family via the Internet. Net2Phone enables voice data to be carried over the Internet's packet switched network until it reaches traditional telephone infrastructure. There the signal is converted to the circuit switched network used by telephones, enabling the signal to be received by any phone worldwide.

IDT will introduce and promote EZSurf to its current customers, and will embed an EZSurf icon into the next release of the Net2Phone client software. EZSurf will also feature Click2CallMe, IDT's new Web-based callback service. This service uses regular telephone lines for voice traffic and is designed for customers who do not have multimedia PCs.