Net Shopping Kicks Off in Italy

Italy’s first national Internet shopping network
kicked off today at Smau, the country’s annual technology and telecommunications fair, which runs through Oct. 26 in Milan.


Magellano E-Shop offers over 150
products, representing 50
different manufacturers. Though offering a wide range of products,
E-Shop’s primary line consists of computer software and hardware. All
purchases are made through major credit cards, using the Telepay electronic
system. Organizers have partnered with United Parcel Service for
merchandise delivery.


“Initially,” said Enore Deotto, president of Smau, “this joint venture
will be operated as an experiment in connection with the fair. Products,
for the most part, are those of technology partners. Our goal is to
demonstrate the ease and mechanics of online shopping in an attempt to
expand its use in Italy.”


Transforming the Italian population from a culture of traditional shoppers
to one of Web browsing buyers will not be easy.


“We know that the
technology behind online shopping is reliable, because it is already in
existence and being used,” said Antonello Busetto, a government
coordinator for
the development of electronic commerce. “The real challenge will be to gain
the confidence
of Italian users.”


The key to E-shop and all online shopping in Italy, according to Busetto,
is involvement by small and medium-sized businesses. They must understand
not only the technology but also the value of this new means of marketing
and take advantage of it.


“Business people must understand, also, that it is not sufficient to simply
offer competitive prices, based on those found in traditional stores.
Internet sellers must offer products that impossible to find in the
neighborhood shops,” said Busetto.

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