New Technology Boosts Lastminute.com

[London, ENGLAND] Last minute solutions retailer lastminute.com
announced Monday a new technology platform for its Web sites —
and immediately saw its share price jump over 10 percent.

Part of the reason for the market’s enthusiasm is that one
of lastminute.com’s aims in moving to a new platform is to
increase the conversion rate of visitors to customers. The
new system will allow the company to target customers more
accurately while introducing greater personalization.

Thirty in-house developers have worked to create the new
platform in conjunction with several external companies.
The result is a 3-tier Java/XML architecture built around
the open-standards-based ATG Dynamo application server.

Lastminute.com says it has taken full control of its code
base using ATG Dynamo, Informix, Sun Solaris and Apache
systems.

Apart from greater product visibility, cross-selling
and better targeting, lastminute.com says the new technology
enables it to integrate its offerings with its suppliers’
databases and customer relationship management tools. Its
new open architecture makes this integration possible,
thereby extending its reach and adding value for the
consumer.

Brent Hoberman, chief executive of lastminute.com, said
a great deal of time and effort had been put into understanding
customers and their last minute needs.

“The introduction of the new architecture means we now have
advanced technology systems, skills and processes in place.
This is a launch pad from which we can grow the business further,
particularly through greater personalization and highly
targeted offers which will enhance the customer experience,”
said Hoberman.

Hoberman went on to say that the new technology puts in place
“another significant barrier to entry” — and gives lastminute.com
a real competitive advantage.

Observers will now try to decide whether the new platform will
be the much awaited turning-point for lastminute.com, shares
in which have declined by nearly 80 percent since June.

With localized versions of its Web site in France, Germany and
Sweden — and another in Australia — lastminute.com has
2.1 million registered subscribers, many of whom will
appreciate the multi-lingual, multi-currency, multi-channel
facility made possible by the new platform.

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