Six corporations have delayed the launch of their Christmas present Web site to link shoppers with merchants in nine European countries.
Hewlett-Packard, KPMG, Mastercard, Microsoft, UPS and Visa were due to launch e-Christmas, a temporary venture, today but have delayed the date when the project goes live. The project is designed to show e-commerce is safe and presents available at the site will include organic chocolates, wooden nutcrackers and mail-order Irish breakfasts.
The companies said European customers do not trust e-commerce and use the Internet less than Americans, according to their research. Alex Sozonoff, vice president and general manager of marketing operations at HP, said e-Christmas is designed to create awareness about the Internet and give European Internet service providers, banks, developers and merchants the knowledge to conduct business online.
Merchants can add their products to e-Christmas even if they do not have their own site but the sponsors did not reveal how much this will cost. Twenty-one local ISPs in nine countries will host e-Christmas and UK-based software developer Xplora developed the e-Christmas pages.
Work began on the project in June and was based in the UK. The site is at www.e-christmas.com using hardware from HP, software from Microsoft, delivery services from UPS and credit card services from Mastercard and Visa.
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