lastminute.com, 12snap Launch Co-Branded M-Commerce Services

[London, ENGLAND] Late deals e-tailer lastminute.com announced
Wednesday it has partnered with European mobile-commerce player
12snap to offer wireless services on a co-branded site.

The new site, boasting the no-so-snappy address www.12snap-lastminute.com,
will launch in the U.K. on Thursday — and in Germany “at a later
date,” according to the partners which both have operations in
the two countries.

As part of the deal, 12snap will deliver lastminute.com’s latest
offers via text and interactive voice messages, complementing
its existing shopping, entertainment and content services.

“This is a big step towards new, innovative delivery of goods and
services via the mobile — creating the ultimate time-sensitive
proposition,” said Anne de Kerckhove, managing director of 12snap UK.

Tempting customers to join the service before the end of March, the
two companies have put into operation an elaborate marketing plan
with a Valentine’s Day theme. For example, customers will have a
chance to win a hot-pink Benilli scooter in a jointly promoted draw,
while other prizes on offer include first class tickets to Paris on
Eurostar, dirty weekends in top hotels, and dinner in otherwise
unbookable restaurants.

Lastminute.com’s joint site with 12snap is intended to complement
rather than compete with its existing wireless services. It
clearly impressed with 12snap’s lively foray into the wireless
market, bringing new techniques to make mobile commerce a reality
today rather than a promise tomorrow.

12snap launched in Germany in January 2000, attracting
0.4 million users there, and followed this success with
launches in Italy (October 2000) and the U.K. (December 2000).

12snap combines SMS text messaging, IVR voice technology,
Web and WAP, offering consumers access to shopping, auctions,
interactive entertainment and other content.

The two partners say they plan to promote the new wireless
service to lastminute.com’s 2.8 million registered subscribers
as well as to 12snap’s half-million users.

Lastminute.com’s last major deal was its October 2000 acquisition
of French e-travel company Degriftour Group which greatly
expanded its European e-commerce activities.

News Around the Web