UK companies eager to set up trade online but wary of the costs and risks involved can now take advantage of a new design and hosting service.
Merchandizer from Screen Pages allows retailers to choose the look and feel of their online business without the hassle of building and running a fully transactional site.
The software includes tools to incorporate company logos and product illustrations choosing from a range of colours and texts and backgrounds - without requiring knowledge of HTML.
While it may not create a unique looking site with cutting edge design, Screen Pages will handle the security and back office services, leaving the retailer free to concentrate on running the business.
The Merchandizer program resides on Web servers in the US allowing the retailer to manage the online business from anywhere in the world. There may be times when transatlantic links are busier than if the site was hosted by a more local ISPs.
Instead of paying high design and consultancy fee, or learning to do it themselves, the retailer pays a setup fee of #150, which includes the site installation and a monthly maintenance charge of #80 for all software, ISP and hosting charges.
Transactional functions such as a shopping basket and secure credit card payments are also built in, while the retailer also has access to customer records, order tracking and visitor statistics.
Netobjects last week launched the latest version of its Fusion Web site building software and while, for a higher cost, it allows the user more control over the design of the site than Merchandizer, it too takes the weight of hosting and transactions away from the retailer by linking with Icat?s Commerce Online service. (See Newswire 13 January)
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