BT will unveil Storecentre on Wednesday, a cobranded service to help small and medium sized companies set up their own ecommerce sites.
The scheme will be available to BT's 1.3 million strong small and medium sized business customers and also large corporates with low level ecommerce requirements.
The service is based on a family of repackaged tools from Icat, an Intel subsidiary based in Seattle, which sells a range of tools to enable companies to create ecommerce sites. Icat will provide companies that use the Storecentre initiative to build their stores with the same sales channel and marketing services as its other merchant sites.
This includes Excite's recently launched shopping service, which was the first fruit of a collaboration between Intel and Excite.
BT will also offer to host customers' sites and plans to provide realtime credit card transaction processing and primary customer support.
Storecentre is aimed at companies selling products rather than services and will cost about 112 sterling per quarter. A BT spokesperson said that customers would continue to pay for their telephone lines and be responsible for registering their own URLs.
He added: "If you want to get onto the Internet, you would log onto BT Storecentre, upload pictures, graphics and prices, and pay a quarterly cost. If you have 3,000 products, it would cost less than one pound per product per year."
Storecentre will sit alongside BT's Marketsite ecommerce venture, which went live last month. Marketsite is an ecommerce community that sells indirect products and services such as furniture, stationery, travel services and computer equipment.
The aim is to enable businesses of all sizes to purchase goods from member suppliers of the scheme. So far, BT has attracted three buying companies and 42 suppliers to the programme, and aims to have 15 buyers by the end of the year.
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