Affinity Internet Launches 'WebStore'

Monday Jun 26th 2006 by Devin Comiskey
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Affinity Internet recently announced WebStore, a new e-commerce application based on a popular storefront package from an unexpected partner.

Affinity Internet, a Web site, e-commerce and online-marketing service provider, recently announced WebStore, a new e-commerce application based on a popular storefront package from an unexpected partner -- eBay. The company says its new service was created specifically with the small business owner in mind.

"At Affinity, our goal is to ensure that our customers not only get on the Web, but thrive on the Web," said Jim Collins, CEO, in a written statement. "Affinity has helped more businesses establish a successful e-commerce presence than any other Web-based services provider because we understand that an effective storefront is a critical component of any successful e-commerce Web site. We continue to remain one step ahead of our competition by developing products like WebStore, which truly enable our customers to harness the power of e-commerce."

In an interesting move, the WebStore solution is powered by ProStores e-commerce technology, licensed from eBay. This is the first time a large e-commerce provider has switched to or licensed eBay's technology. "Affinity Internet strives to provide its customers with the most cutting-edge solutions for users of any skill level. One of the key reasons for choosing ProStores was its flexibility and our ability to tailor the offering to meet customer needs," Collins says.

Collins indicated that the company was targeting Yahoo's Small Business customers with this move.

WebStore is browser-based and features the similar design wizards that can be found in eBay's ProStores service. Collins said, "Through WebStore, Affinity offers small business owners the ability to design their own storefront or to use existing templates." The company says its new e-commerce platform is designed specifically for the non-technical user — its single interface "eliminates the need to learn and use multiple applications."

Features include:

  • Enhanced inventory management and reporting tools — lets you track orders, stock and customer information and to exchange data directly with QuickBooks
  • Integrated shopping cart — provides a system for customers to quickly and easily purchase items online
  • Integrated payment processing — calculates sales tax and lets customers pay with a credit card through QuickBooks Merchant Services, PayPal and others
  • Integrated shipping functionality — creates customized shipping tables and policies
  • Fraud protection — provides security technology to protect all transactions

Additionally, Affinity said it offers people without the time to build a Web storefront themselves the option to have a professional designer create, configure and maintain their online store for them. Custom services start as little as $100 per month.

"Affinity Internet has a strong record performance of helping small- to mid-size businesses succeed in e-commerce," says Julian Green, director of ProStores. "We appreciate the fact that Affinity has recognized the value of ProStores technology in enabling merchants to establish a comprehensive and distinctive online presence through the WebStore solution."

WebStore is currently available through Affinity's ValueWeb brand. An entry-level version of the product is free to Affinity's ValueWeb customers. A more advanced product offering costs an additional $20/month. For more information, visit: www.valueweb.com.

Adapted from ECommerce-Guide.com, part of internet.com's Small Business Channel.

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