Web Connection Launches inter-Merchant, Goes Regional

Hong Kong-based Web Connection, self-proclaimed as a digital communications agency, will next month formally launch inter-Merchant, its home grown e-commerce application, and plans within twelve months to open offices in Japan and Taiwan as well as increase its business in China.

With its English and Chinese compatibility, inter-Merchant, which is priced at around US$500, is designed to provide SMEs in the China market with easily installable and affordable e-commerce capabilities.

According to the Web Connection, with access to a Web server, installing inter-Merchant is a simple task because it is facilitated by a setup wizard.

The e-commerce application provides merchants with an online catalog and inventory display, an offline management tool, pre-defined templates, easy updating of inventory, order processing, order tracking, and a search engine.

“inter-Merchant is a simple off-the-shelf software product [that allows] merchants to create an inventory of their goods for an electronic commerce environment,” said Peter Hamilton, co-founder and CEO of the Web Connection. He added that inter-Merchant allows all kinds of businesses to have easy access to e-commerce.

Hamilton indicated that the product was developed to exploit Intel’s Pentium III chip for the benefit of double byte technology producing e-commerce functions in Chinese and eventually Korean and Japanese.

In addition to encouraging Asian merchants to adopt online commerce services, Hamilton believes that inter-Merchant will be attractive to American companies who want to sell to the China market.

Since 1995, Web Connection has evolved from a Hong Kong a run-of-the-mill Web page developer into a successful regional online solutions provider.

“We thought it was going to be a mass market model,” commented Hamilton. “We got to the end of the first year. We found that the real value is in producing a business solution.”

“Increasingly, the types of people that we are attracting to our organization allow us to deliver high end solutions,” said Hamilton. “We are working for half as many people as we did a year ago.”

“I wouldn’t mind next year if we are working for fewer customers and providing better services. Once you work out your quality deliverables, you can start to increase your numbers again.”

Last year, China Internet Corporation (CIC), partially owned by China’s official Xinhua News Agency, saw considerable value in the Web Connection. It bought a 51 percent stake in the Hong Kong company.

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