RealTime IT News

AIMing for the Holidays

Just as local malls have often begun decorating for the holidays just after Halloween has come and gone, so the Association for Interactive Media will begin its SmartOnlineShopping.org program Nov. 6, three weeks earlier this year.

The move is designed to give AIM and its partners, including the AltaVista Co., a longer time period to educate and interact with holiday shoppers.

"SmartOnlineShopping.org is organized to help consumers become more Net-savvy in their holiday shopping this year," said Ben Isaacson, executive director of AIM. "Not only does the site offer shopping with discounts and money-saving tips, but it also provides educational shopping strategies that promote online shopping confidence and save consumers valuable time."

Last year, AIM's Holiday Shopping campaign was launched on the day after Thanksgiving, which traditionally is the busiest shopping day of the year. But to emphasize the need for consumers to shop early to get the best deals and avoid any supply or shipping delays, the 2000 campaign will begin nearly three weeks earlier, the organization said.

The site will give shoppers access to merchandise divided into categories such as jewelry, home decor, computers and electronics, from retailers that offer ways to save money through discounts and incentives, as well as "smart online shopper" educational tools. Comparison shopping services from AltaVista also will be included this year.

The Association for Interactive Media, a subsidiary of the Direct Marketing Association, is a trade association devoted to helping companies that use the Internet and interactive media to reach their respective marketplaces with maximum effectiveness.